Tachinomiya – Your Unexpected “Alcoholic” Resident in Kovan
Often outshined by some of its neighbours like Hatter Street and Nakhon Kitchen, this quaint Japanese bar deserves a little more attention. Tachinomiya, which literally means ‘standing bar’, offers some good old Japanese street food and of course, alcohol. The shop occupies a small hole in the wall with a maximum seating capacity of about 20, and it’s no wonder that it’s easily missed. Who would have thought that this eatery is Singapore’s first heartland Japanese bar opened until as late as 2am?
From left: Asparagus and Bacon, Pork Belly and Leek, Chicken and Leek, Mentai Salmon
Tachinomiya offers a variety of Yakitori (skewered meat traditionally grilled over charcoal fire) as one of their specialties. A minimum purchase of 4 sticks is required, and we chose Asparagus and Bacon ($2.50) recommended by the staff, Pork Belly and Leek ($2.50), Chicken and Leek ($2.50) and Mentai Salmon ($4). Indeed, the smoky bacon neatly wrapped around a crunchy asparagus turned out to be my favourite. The well-cooked bacon complemented the earthly taste of asparagus wonderfully. Mentai Salmon is also worth a try – the salmon, generously covered with a blanket of mentai, was tender and flaky. The other 2 items were just average, but the well-charred leek deserves a mention.
Grilled Cheese Mentaiko Scallops ($3.50 each) served in their shells stole the show. Lifting the cheese layer with my chopsticks unveiled a scallop snugged in a generous, warm bed of mentaiko. It was heavenly; how often can the combination of creamy mentaiko and torched cheese go wrong anyway? If this doesn’t float your boat, look to Tachinomiya’s wide array of Japanese bar snacks to discover your favourite.
Tachinomiya sells a variety of Bento Sets, and don’t be taken aback, they literally come in takeout boxes with wooden utensils. All Bento Sets come with a cup of Miso Soup (Yes, it is served in a cup.) while the Supervalue Lunch Bento Sets ($8.90), which are only available for dine-in, include an extra Green Tea.
Ribeye Beef Teriyaki ($14.50) was slightly underwhelming, as we found the Teriyaki sauce too salty and the meat a little on the tough side. Katsu Cheese Curry (Chicken) ($8.90) from the Supervalue Lunch Bento Set menu was slightly better. However, for the price, it’s not too bad- the serving of curry was satisfactory, and the torched cheese went well with the battered chicken fillet.
To be honest, their sleek display of alcohol on glass shelves looks pretty impressive, doesn’t it? It was a pity that we did not manage to taste some of their alcohols as we made our trip down on an early afternoon. If you’re looking for a quiet Japanese bar to wind down on an evening, look no further. And well, just a friendly reminder, if you’re gonna drink, don’t drive.
Address: 211 Hougang Street 21, #01-285, Singapore 530211
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-12am, till 1am on Fri. Sat & Sun 11.30am-2am, till 12am on Sun.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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