Local recommendation - Nobuya Fortune Centre - Japanese Izakaya

Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: Nobuya

I'm two minds about blogging Nobuya: I want to keep it for myself, but yet it's so good I want to share it with you. Guess by now you know which of the two decisions I chose... I'm so nice, right!? Yes, I know... so onto this non-descript izakaya right in the middle of town that you would erroneously dismiss as a suspicious gambling den. Nobuya is extremely underrated.and probably would not surface in most 'best izakayas in Singapore lists'. And this is why you should go, because you know, it's non-mainstream.

Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: Nobuya

I love how it is a whole new world in here, bustling with Japanese locals who have apparently found where the real authentic stuff is in a place far from home. The dinner crowd appears to be mostly working adults having a dinner and casual unwinding drinking session. It sure didn't feel like fast-paced Singapore there! It is often stuffed to the brim despite its low-key profile, so be prepared to queue just a bit. Reservations are allowed.

Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: NobuyaSingapore's Best Kept Secrets: Nobuya

One thing about Nobuya is that it's mandatory to drink (sakes) in here. Before you go 'what?!' and turn away immediately... stay for a little while more. There are two critical reasons for this 'rule': their sakes are damn awesome, and it'll be criminal not to try them. If you're unsure of what to choose in the long list they have, ask for recommendations - they have a lot of pride in their sakes so they will have lots to tell you about them :) Or go ahead and order the Harushika ($13/glass, $24/carate) which I've certified exquisite and divine to enjoy alongside the dishes at Nobuya.

Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: Nobuya

They have a comprehensive list of dishes on the menu - be prepared to gape at it for the first three minutes, the next three enjoying being spoilt for choice, and the last three being rushed into ordering something because it's hard to resist the temptation of delicious fumes all around. I dashed into ordering the Ika Shoyu Yaki (Grilled Squid Teriyaki Sauce) which turned out to be very chewy and swept with a good dose of sweet sticky teriyaki sauce. It was very good - I rushed into eating it like a glutton as always, and got choked in the process. Hazards of being a glutton, eh? Caution: eat slowly despite good food ahead.

Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: Nobuya

Just when you think rice is just rice... this Shake Gohan (Salmon and Ikura Rice) proves you wrong with plenty of explosive, fat, juicy salmon roe for your savoury pleasures. Uh-huh, every burst is so satisfying and it goes in all directions in your mouth upon the slightest pressure. #SoFiftyShades Enough food porn, just order this.

Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: Nobuya

Go for the Suji Nikomi (Soy Braised Beef Tendon) as well which surprised me with its carefully attuned beef texture that is rather tender and tastes of home. It is bathed lovingly in a savoury broth of garlic, onion, soy sauce, and possibly hours of beef stock. It feels like good quality stuff. I would expect the rest of the menu to be pretty stellar too as these dishes were picked randomly without much referring to much recommendation. Nobuya calls for a second visit soon.

Fortune Centre
190 Middle Road #01-05
Singapore 188979

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a travel and food blogger with a constant longing to be somewhere to makes her feel alive ☆ life's an adventure

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