When you think of izakayas, one would normally associate it with beer, noise and lots of tapas-like servings of food. Normally yakitori. And that is the basis of The Public Izakaya by the Hachi group, located at 100AM in Tanjong Pagar.
On a warm day, you may want to sit inside the air-conditioned area but you would risk coming out smelling slightly like the grilled meats. On a cooler evening, the al fresco seats are lovely to just have a good meal with friends or family. You’ve got to love the handwritten menus in both English and Japanese, which is a nice juxtaposition to how everything else looks quite modern.
|Fermented squid with butter potato|
The dish above is not for those who do not like chinchaluk or any strong smelling fermented foods. If you do, then this is perfect pairing of salty fermented squid with buttery potato which takes the edge off. Great snack and you kind of wished that there was more potato to go with the squid.
With the simple name of “Chicken Ramen”, it does not do much justice to this wonderful bowl of chicken goodness. You could taste the rich chicken stock and the noodles were springy! All this was topped with loads of bamboo shoots, chicken balls and chicken meat. Definitely a MUST TRY!
We also tried the braised pork which was ok. Nothing too special about it. Kind of reminded me of our usual Chinese style braised pork.
We HAD to try these grilled pork balls with squid ink sauce. I must say that it was quite interesting.
My favourite – chicken hearts. YES! You know this place is legit Japanese but you have chicken hearts on the menu! They were gorgeously soft and still had that grilled taste. Mmm…much yummier than those on a sword skewer from Carnivore.
If you’re not into sharing small dishes, I highly recommend the above Chicken Skewer Chazuke. It’s a bit of a misnomer since there wasn’t any tea in this whole dish. It’s a bowl of rice topped with chicken stock (I suspect it’s the same stock as the ramen) and topped with 2 skewers of yakitori and seaweed. That teapot is filled with more chicken stock because you will be slurping up the soup and will need a refill. Another legit Japanese thing in this meal was that tiny serving of Yuzu salt that you can see at the top left corner. The citrusy smell and flavour immediately lifts the dish up, making it refreshing and you will not get sick of drinking more of the soup.
Overall, I love the food at Hachi but be prepared to spend about S$30 per person. It’s great for sharing so do bring a couple of friends or family with you when you visit. If you do want to sit in air-con comfort, do call and reserve a table early.
The Public Izakaya by Hashi
100 Tras St
Tel: +65 6604 9622