Ku-Kai Izakaya is a hidden izakaya by the sea that looks straight out of a Japanese anime

by Christabel Tan

Travel may be picking up, but we’re always on the lookout for hidden finds and exciting eats in Singapore. If you’re craving a little slice of Japan (which has sadly yet to open its borders for leisure travel), look no further than Ku-Kai Izakaya at SAF Yacht Club in Admiralty.

Scenic views & cosy ambience

Photos: @sundaevibe/instagram

Don’t be put off by the far-flung location — you’ll get to enjoy scenic views of the Northern coast at this hidden izakaya by the sea. The alfresco dining area is adorned with akachōchin (Japanese red lanterns) and even a torii gate, the perfect setting for a Japanese anime series.

Photo: @secondpeople/instagram

If not for the surrounding yachts, this place would give off major “idyllic fishing village” vibes.

I may have watched one too many Netflix series centred around izakaya, like Midnight Diner, Izakaya Bottakuri, and Restaurant to Another World, but doesn’t the cosy-looking interior remind you of Restaurant Yukihara from Food Wars! (Shokugeki no Soma)?

Hearty izakaya grub

ku-kai izakaya
Photos: @iris.nihao/instagram

Moving on to the food and alcohol, Ku-Kai Izakaya doles out comfort classics like Crispy Fried Chicken (S$12), Kani Tama Gratin (S$11), and Jaga Mentaiko (S$11), all of which are making my mouth water.

Don’t miss out on the popular Omakase Skewer Set (S$19 for 5pcs, S$26 for 7pcs), a platter of assorted kushiyaki skewers like tsukune, negima, and shiitake.

Photos: @coolnegotiator_eats/instagram

For a taste of the sea, the Aburi Shimesaba (S$15) and Kawa Eib-age (S$11), or mini deep-fried river shrimps, are best washed down with pints of ice-cold Sapporo beer. Bliss.

ku-kai izakaya
Photo: @shootandspoon/instagram

Catch the sunset with your partner over a romantic dinner, or round up your makan kakis for a chill drinking session. One thing to note: you are highly encouraged to make reservations by calling 8304 3028 due to limited seating.

ku-kai izakaya
Photo: @tasteofmoment/instagram

I never thought I’d ever say this, but date night in Admiralty sounds like a great idea.

Ku-Kai Izakaya
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📍 SAF Yacht Club, 43 Admiralty Road West, Singapore 759962
🕒 5.30pm–10.30pm (Tue to Fri), 11.30am–10.30pm (Weekends), Closed on Mon

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I would gladly desert you for dessert.

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