Tsubohachi Izakaya was first opened in 2009 and conceived as a restaurant for friends to gather at after work. This spacious restaurant with its many small booths is a great best place for group outings and hearty conversations.
Located next to Ramen Champion on the top floor of Bugis+, Tsubohachi prides itself on serving good quality sashimi and Japanese skewers called kushi. Tsubohachi is one of the restaurants under Komars Group, which also owns Ramen Champion and popular budget hair salon EC House.
We were there to check out what they offered and man we were in for a feast!
The Food At Tsubohachi
Our first dished arrived in a boat complete with a mini bonsai tree. This was the Sashimi Go Shu Mori ($39.80++), a delectable assortment of sashimi including sweet prawn, scallops, salmon, tuna and yellow tail atop a bed of white radish. The servings were generous, with thick cuts of fresh, chilled sashimi for a very reasonable price.
Our next dish was a unique one. The Tsubohachi Salmon Ramen Salad ($11.80++) was essentially fresh salad with ramen noodles and salmon aburi (torched salmon with a raw centre), covered with a light Japanese sesame dressing. The salmon was delicious, but I felt there were too little vegetables for the amount of noodles, making the dish really more of a main than a salad.
The Salmon Carpaccio ($9.80++) is Tsubohachi’s take on a fusion Italian dish. Thick cuts of salmon sashimi are lathered in the restaurant’s special spicy sauce resting on top of thinly sliced onions and topped with a heap of spring onion.
For the salmon belly lovers Tsubohachi offers the Salmon Harasuyaki ($13.80++) – three succulent pieces of salmon belly grilled in its own juices. It was so soft it fell apart when I tried to pick it up and positively melted in my mouth.
I’ve tried Agedashi Tofu ($5.50++) from most Japanese food joints but none quite like the one they have at Tsubohachi. The tofu batter was light and crispy and remained intact even when I attempted to pick it up with my chopsticks. Personally, this was my favourite side of the day.
We were recommended the Otoro Nigiri ($12.00++ per piece) for every customer. This particular cut of tuna is less fatty than tuna belly yet not as lean as regular maguro, giving it a refreshing sweetness rarely found in tuna sashimi.
The Salmon Kamameshi ($13.80++) was another unique dish to Tsubohachi. Rice, salmon, soup stock and mushrooms are served in a stainless steel pot over a flame. There is a waiting time of about 20 to 30 minutes for the rice to be slow cooked in the pot, but the wait is definitely worth the taste of the end product.
Prawns are the hero of the Tsubohachi Crouching Tiger Roll ($14.80++), which is essentially a prawn tempura roll with crabmeat mayo, cucumber and boiled prawn on top.
A good side dish would be the Hokkaido Zangi ($9.80++) consisting of deep fried boneless chicken pieces, quite similar to your typical karaage chicken.
Finally, If you’re in the mood for some sake and snacks, you should try the restaurant’s popular kushi dishes. These are essentially assorted bite-sized skewers that are the perfect accompaniment to beer or sake. Shiso Buta Maki Kushi ($5.60++) and Kushi Moriawase ($10.80++) are two of the popular favourites.
The first dish consists of pork belly wrapped around perilla leaves that cut through the fattiness of the pork, while the latter is an assortment of skewers including pork belly and asparagus, chicken and scallops.
The generous portions make Tsubohachi the perfect restaurant for large group gatherings. I was also extremely impressed by the service we received from the managers on duty especially Vin, who took it upon himself to clear up our dirty dishes and to make sure we always had clean plates.
I’d also recommend the variety of affordable lunch and dinner set menus available that provide great value for your money.
Getting to Tsubohachi
The restaurant is situated on the top floor of the Bugis+ complex accessible via connected walkway from Bugis Junction.
Address: 201 Victoria Street, Bugis+ #04-10, Singapore 188067.
This post is brought to you by Tsubohachi.