Ippin Cafe Bar 極品 – Home Cooked Japanese in town Centre with its elegant ingredients

Ippin Cafe Bar 極品

18 Mohamed Sultan Road

IMG_8038Ippin 極品 cafe Bar somehow reminds me of the good old days in London; when the housemates and I were craving sooo badly for some Japanese, that we would pop by the-hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant on a wintry night just beneath our Victorian apartment at Earls Court for a good, hearty bowl of Oyako don. Ahhh.. those were the days. Not that it feels wintry over here nor does it look exactly like a hole in the wall, the restaurants, however share similar qualities in that they are family-run. Just imagine an affable Japanese mum cooking for you, and it should pretty much give you a good idea on the experience here.

IMG_8041On top of their meals, this restaurant also functions like a small Japanese minimart in the neighbourhood where you can get the Japanese essentials for your authentic cook off all in one place.

IMG_8043An integral part of Japanese lifestyle, the fragrant Sencha, Genmaicha and Hojicha over here are sold at $6 each. My personal favourite still lies with the Hojicha as its roasted flavour is hard to beat.

IMG_8052But of course, this also functions as a bar and the usual Japanese Beers and Sake here are perhaps not for the less-trained. Had this small cup of sake and it hit me within minutes. The tipsiness made me go for my tea instead. Nevertheless, learning how these different types of sake made from kome (rice) of different sizes actually makes a discernible difference to the taste is really quite an eye-opener. If you need a serious sake tasting, then choose a set of 3 for just $15.


IMG_8062My favourite teishoku (set meal) out of the lot – Deep Fried Oyster Set for $24 that comes together with rice, Hatcho miso soup, Nikujaga Pork and potato stew, salad and dessert. Lets focus more on the lightly battered oysters that are fried to a beautiful golden brown hue as these oysters are raised in clean ocean that yielded a clean taste. I have no idea what that exactly means, but for those who are averse to oysters, this is my interpretation of the clean taste, that there isn’t any iron taste at all (not even the freshest from Borough Market could beat this I felt). The puffy fat oysters were downed happily together with its creamy egg mayo accompaniment that enriches its taste. 

IMG_8055Stir fried to a slight sweetness balanced with its greens, the  yakisoba is definitely a form of comfort food for the Japanese, especially for people from the Chiba prefecture where this delicacy originated from. $12 for a set that comes with Kobachi (Small dish) and dessert.

IMG_8057The Oyako Don set unexpectedly did not turn out as wonderful. Though the diced chicken pieces were tender and well-penetrated by the mildly sweet dashi stock, the rice was slightly too wet, that somehow dilutes the supposedly umami rice bowl. $15.


IMG_8054 Grilled oyster & Veggies in Ponzu Butter Sauce – $20. You could imagine the ponzu sourness cutting through the thick, rich buttery sauce already from its name that helps to fire up these clean-tasting oysters while preserving its freshness. Together with its homely sides such as the Nikujaga Pork and potato stew, this is indeed a hearty set.

IMG_8044You would probably have heard about the Nikujaga pork and potato stew as a side for an umpteenth time already as this was a marvelous side that seemed to have a potential of transforming into a main. Emanating the motherly nature of the chef, this bowl was indeed a sincere bowl of stew that has all the right mushy consistencies and an excellent balance of flavour.

IMG_8046The extensive set of salad dressing at the side ranging from the largely familiar Ponzu sauce to the more uncommon Yuzu Salt really shows how serious Ippin is towards the ingredients used.

IMG_8058For $8 a cup, you would be able to scoop up your favourite flavoured peanuts – Strawberry, Green tea and Coffee. My first time seeing this kind of snacks, the strawberry one intriguingly tasted like Poky for some of us!

Though meals over here are more straightforward than other fanciful restaurants, I would reckon that the sets are more well-balanced, hearty and definitely competitively priced (prices above are all nett prices) which I believe would be able to rejuvenate most after a long day!

Thank you Hazel for the homely lunch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s