Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Food Review: Hidden Finds- Izakaya Nijumaru

By Tuesday, April 24, 2012 , , , ,

Cuppage Plaza is really a Japanese food heaven. Like what i've mentioned before previously, the dodginess of the place has failed to deter me from exploring the wonderful offers there. I hope you are not put off by that as well or you would really be missing out on quite a bit! Previously, i have written a review on Kaiho Sushi (which was quite delightful) and i finally managed to grab some pictures of Izakaya Nijumaru for this review so here you go!

Located on the corner of the 2nd storey of Cuppage Plaza lies this pretty huge restaurant that serves tasty bento sets at reasonable prices. I was pretty impressed with the selection the first time i had dinner there with S and we have introduced it to our friends after. The bento and sets range from $8- 25, with most of the sets being priced below $15. Other than that, choose from a variety of yakitori (there is a grill counter in the corner of the restaurant where the chef prepares the grilled items), sashimi, tempura and cooked items. Items are written in Japanese and katakana so it helps if you know a little Jap. If not, simply tell the servers what you feel like having and have them recommend. I'm a visual person so i really need pictures to help me decide what to eat. So read on to find out what are some available dishes over here.
Nijumaru Bento ($20). This is one of the more popular sets. I would go for this for its sheer variety. Love bento sets for that reason. Fresh and firm sashimi, stewed dish (usually pork), tempura, grilled fish (saba). The stewed pork is nicely braised and tender. This goes very well with the rice. The tempura is crisp and light so you don't quite feel guilty from consuming all that deep fried food. All sets are served with rice, miso soup and fruits.
S had the Sashimi Bento ($15)- 9 pieces of Sashimi. Usual suspects as shown from picture. Try not to order this dish on a Sunday. Fresh sashimi is usually flown in only a couple of times a week and never on weekends. Nevertheless, the sashimi wasn't too bad. It's kinda weird that they don't serve Chirashi don though.
The Unajyu Bento with Sashimi set ($25) is another popular dish. According to the server auntie, this is the upsized version of Unadon. The generous slabs of grilled eel, nicely glazed and tenderly sizzled over the charcoal flame, were indeed very tasty. R was quite amazed at the texture of the meat and repeatedly told us to try some. The Kabayaki sauce was wonderful with the starchy Japanese grains.
I decided to try Shogayaki Beef Set ($12). This is a sliced beef stir fry with ginger and onions. I would say it's more Chinese than Japanese. My mama does this with pork instead and we never fail to drench our bowls of rice with the gravy, which was exactly what i did here. I was expecting more of the spice from the ginger but the soy sauce kinda overpowered it. Nevertheless, it's quite a homey dish. Definitely something i would crave for if i'm away from home for some time.
W had the Ten Don ($10) which came looking quite drenched the tendon sauce (made from Dashi soup, mirin, sugar and soy sauce). The tempura looked a little soggy to me but W said it was very good. So anyway, generous toppings of tempura of all sorts- Prawn, sweet potato, some unidentified but tasty root/veg, peppers etc. I think it's really cheap. Of course it can't be compared to the tendon chains in Japan but it's still quite awesome by Sg terms.

The Ika Butter Yaki ($8)- Grilled Salted butter squid is also a great choice at Nijumaru. The squid is extremely fresh and succulent. I could taste the sweetness of the Ika and you only taste that if it's really fresh. It is lightly grilled to give the exterior a nice charred pattern but not too barbequed to retain the moisture in the squid. Love this dish.

Here comes the negative. On my last dinner visit, we had a terrible run in with the servers. We made a reservation for 7pm for a large group of 10 (on a sunday). The aunties refused to let us into the restaurant until everyone has arrived. They claim it to be a company policy. Even though more than half the group was present and the place was empty, they were reluctant to let us take a seat.

After we were finally seated, they kept rushing us to place our orders. Then we noticed that some of these aunties were giving us the dirty look and grumbling and complaining in the corner. Seriously WTH? It's just really bad service. It's not as though we were going to cancel our reservations. We felt very harassed throughout our meal because they kept trying to clear our dishes even though we were not done. Honestly the service really put us off and such attitude from the servers is uncalled for. I believe that service is something that dining establishments should really brush up on because it helps to build loyalty to the restaurant. I have other friends who have had bad experiences with Nijumaru and have sworn not to patronize them again. I probably will take my business elsewhere unless i'm really such a sucker for punishment. So yea, eat there if you can take the lousy service. Extremely disappointed because i have not experienced this previously. BOO to bad service.
Verdict- Unsure. The bad service is quite hard to stomach.
Food: 4/5
Service: 2/5 Some servers were quite attentive and patient but the others really suck. 
Atmosphere: 3/5 Authentic feel of a Japanese Izakaya complete with the sleaziness of the other businesses in Cuppage. 

Izakaya Nijumaru
#02-10 Cuppage Plaza 
Tel: +65 6235 6693
Mon-Sat: 12pm - 2.30pm, 6pm -10pm
Sun: 6pm - 10pm

You Might Also Like


  1. W: THE SERVICE SUCKS but the food is good and value for money

    1. YES. Ok for a fuss free quick bite. Not for chilling out with friends.