With the travel ban, it goes to say that many of us are missing our annual pilgrimage to Japan, home to the dreamy torii gates of Hiroshima and sweeping landscapes of Nikko and Hokkaido. Miss them no further as there’s a new bar, Taki Izakaya, an oasis in Raffles Place that looks straight out of the land of sushi.
Opened recently in December last year, this Japan-inspired enclave is a new 120-seater tavern for stressed out 9-to-6 folks to take a breather among the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Taki (or “瀧”), meaning cascade or falling water, is the theme here, which explains the overall rejuvenating ambience of the space that plucks our weary souls right out of the CBD, and spirits us right away into a reflection of a quaint Japanese countryside.
Come right through the main entrance and you’ll be greeted with 10 majestic torii gates that lead up a fantastical make-believe “hill”, which may bring to mind the iconic Fushimi Inari shrine of Japan. And because they didn’t hold back with the interior design, between the gates is a cascading HD waterfall, lit using seven projectors, that’ll change with the season in the future.
Torii gates on escalators
“Can we go up the escalators?” was one of the first few questions we asked. It does look like a bizarre stairway to heaven that we simply can’t resist for the sake of our IG feeds.
Though the answer is no, as the escalators were built prior to Taki’s takeover and pay homage to the lobby the area once was, we’re not complaining as it adds a surreal feel to the place nonetheless.
What you’re more than welcomed to do instead, is head up the illuminated staircase to an elevated platform to enjoy a close up of the waterfall, elevated view of the rest of the bar, as well as get that mandatory girls-night-out shot with the gorgeous backdrop.
Indoor, alfresco, and bar seats are available. Pick your favourite spot to enjoy the decor, but we’ll recommend making a reservation and coming early in order to snag the prime 6-seater spot symmetrically in the middle of the backdrop for the best experience.
Also, frequent the bar enough and you may just be elevated to the status of VIP, where you’ll gain access to the more intimate private booths below the virtual waterfall, fitted with plush leather seats.
Half the reason to visit is the atmosphere; the other half goes to the food and drinks. An izakaya is incomplete without a range of drinks to enjoy. You won’t be disappointed to find that there are over 100 different types of liquor here, with more than 10 types of sake and almost 20 types of whiskey.
Gingari and Taki Bellini
Alcohol aficionados will be spoilt for choice with cocktails such as the spicy gin and ginger-based Gingari ($17.80) and Taki Bellini ($17.80) – a sweet prosecco to match the equally sweet night out. Also find house pour sake at $45/360ML carafe, wine from $12.80/glass and highballs at $45/5 glasses.
Nosh here comes in the form of kushiyaki, agemono, makimono, temaki and zensai, all of which are small plates of appetisers or bar bites that pair well with our favourite liquid refreshment. If you’re a softie for sashimi, go straight for their sashimi platter (from $26.80) with an assortment of fish to pick from. Choices include salmon belly, hotate and yellowtail hamachi.
With plenty of Japanese dining spots, vegan options and surprisingly affordable gems, it’s no secret that Raffles Places is a foodie’s haven with more than enough options for CBD workers to try something different every day. But for folks out there who miss a good getaway, Taki Izakaya Bar is one that’ll also give you a taste of Japan.
For more to convince yourself that you’re overseas, read our guide to these 11 “Japan” things you can do in Singapore.
Taki Izakaya Bar
Address: 16 Collyer Quay, #01-05A B, Singapore 049318
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12PM-2PM & 5PM-10.30PM (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Telephone: 6223 0797
Taki Izakaya Bar website
Getting there: Cut through the Change Alley Mall right after you exit Raffles Place MRT’s Exit A. You’ll find Taki Izakaya just on the left.
Cover image adapted from: TheSmartLocal, TheSmartlocal
Photography by Nadia Loewito.
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