Had a long day at the office? Loosen those ties, head to this laidback dining bar and do what the Japanese do—down lots and lots of sake in between munching on izayaka offerings such as ebi cream croquettes; tonpei-yaki (egg omelet with pork and cabbage); Tsukune (chicken meatballs) and pirikara (spicy kurobuta pork).
The two‑story Tamaya Dining is tucked away discreetly in a long row of restaurants and bars in Cuppage Terrace. Although we only made it to the restaurant an hour later than the time of our reservation, we were told that a table had been held for us upstairs, which was nice. Downstairs, it was sedate Japanese dining. Upstairs, it was a different story. A lively tavern, the upper section of the restaurant was filled with native Japanese, all laughing loudly and downing what seemed to be copious amounts of sake. There are only about 10 tables with small screens in between for some privacy—with recessed spaces to put your legs in and mats to sit on. Seeing people enjoying themselves so openly was incredibly liberating, and we felt like we could do whatever we liked and no one would care. Our spirits considerably buoyed, we asked our friendly server for some recommendations and she made good suggestions. Two amuse bouches (otoshi) materialized quickly and we gobbled them up. A note though: These are chargeable. In typical izakaya style, we decided to order a whole bunch of sides to share—the ebi cream croquettes, tonpei‑yaki (egg omelet with pork and cabbage), tskune (chicken meatballs) and the pirikara (spicy Kurobuta pork simmered in paper). The food arrived fast and furious, and boy, was everything yummy. The croquettes were crispy and tasty; the egg omelet was an enormous mountain of deliciousness; the tskune were sweet and juicy; and the Kurobuta pork, which arrived with an egg, was the star—with soft layers of fat and lean meat and loads of droolsome gravy. We ate till we almost burst (had to pass on dessert), and delighted in making as much noise as we wanted. It was one of the most fun dining experiences we’ve had, and you bet we’ll be back.
|Address:||Tamaya Dining, Cuppage Terrace, 45 Cuppage Rd., Singapore, 229464 Singapore|
|Open since:||January, 1999|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri noon-2:30pm; daily 6-11:30pm|
|Alfresco, Reservation recommended, Parking available: at The Centrepoint, Takeaway available|
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