The Place Located in Lavender along Hamilton Road where cafes usually take the hot spot, Hinode Izakaya & Bar is a relatively new restaurant in this precinct. The restaurant spots an old Japan interior dotted with lanterns while retaining the retro tiles of the shophouse space. It is probably more buzzing at night for its bar bites and drinks, and it was relatively quiet during my visit on a weekend lunch.
The Food As a move to draw more diners in the day, the restaurant has launched a lunch set menu for their premium dons.
I had the Chirashi Sashimi Don (S$28.80) lunch set which comes with salad and miso soup. This is a relatively huge serving of sashimi where I spotted sea urchin, ikura, salmon, scallop, tuna and ikura. Each component is fresh and you really can’t go very wrong with this order.
A more affordable option is the Salmon Ikura Don (S$18.80) lunch set if you are a serious salmon lover.
For cooked dishes, I tried some of the skewers on the menu, which range from $3 to $10.90 per skewer. The one which left the most impression is the Wagyu Ponzu (S$10.90) where the Wagyu cubes are succulent and thickly sliced. The Asparagus Bacon (S$3.50) and Tebasaki (aka Chicken Wings, S$3.80) are pretty good too.
I can’t say much about the Surume Ika (Pacific Flying Squid, S$19.90) as I’m not big on squids in general. I only had a bite and I left the rest to The Rantee.
Rants The dining ambience does feel sleepy in the day, especially when it was quite quiet during my weekend visit. I guess you can only expect more of the izakaya vibe in the evenings.
Will I Return Again? The ambience of the restaurant is more suited for night dining than day, and that is their main challenge especially when there are many cafe options in the vicinity. Regardless, the restaurant offers decent Japanese dishes at relatively affordable prices. I will probably feel more strongly that I’m dining in an Izakaya restaurant in the evening next time.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Hinode Izakaya & Bar
14 Hamilton Road
Tel: +65 6293 3018
Monday to Saturday: 11:30am to 2:30pm; 5;30pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter