Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Tasting Session

November 02, 2018 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Tasting Session
39 East Coast Road

103 Beach Road


Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm (Lunch), 5pm - 11pm (Dinner)



https://www.facebook.com/qwabar/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from Purple Taste, Chubby Botak Koala, Little Tiny Sun, and Her Pen And Fork.



Meal Flat Lay



Decent Japanese Skewers, Cozy Bar

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 5
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $40 per person.


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Founded in August 2015 by Rita Qi, Q-WA Bar & Yakitori is a Japanese style izakaya and kushiyaki bar. How authentic is it? Well, Q-WA Bar & Yakitori is frequently patronised by Japanese workers and business people in Singapore, and they've also been graced by visiting Japanese athletes and tourists. Q-WA Bar & Yakitori is known for its wide variety of kushiyaki yakitori skewers and sake.

Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Signage
Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Signage



Ambience at Q-WA Bar & Yakitori is styled like a traditional Japanese izakaya and kushiyaki bar. Low warm lighting cast shadows upon the dark wooden walls, which are adorned with traditional Japanese paintings and murals. The sturdy wooden furniture is closely packed for communal dining, and the place can get noisy and bustling during peak periods. Loyal customers have also stuck photographs and polaroids of themselves on the walls.

Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Exterior
Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Exterior


Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Interior
Q-WA Bar & Yakitori Interior


Decor
Decor



Service at Q-WA Bar & Yakitori is transactional, with some engagement, though the place is mostly understaffed. That said, staff display decent product knowledge on the extensive menu, and are quick at cleaning and clearing away empty / dirty tables when diners leave, turning it over efficiently. If owner Rita Qi is around, she'll come around to engage diners, as well as check for feedback on the experience.

Menu


Menu


Menu



Food at Q-WA Bar & Yakitori is focused on Japanese kushiyaki / grilled skewers. Quality of ingredients is fresh, and each dish or skewer is well executed. Taste profile tends towards more salty and savoury, which is authentic, but you can request for less seasoning if you wish. Portions are sized for individuals, but can be shared. Prices are high in ratio to the portion size though, budget about SGD $40 per person for a meal with 1 drink here.

Meal Flat Lay
Meal Flat Lay


Meal Flat Lay


Muse


Us



The Calpis (SGD $4.90) is a milk-based, yoghurt beverage that is typically served mixed with water. This versatile beverage has a creamy texture, with a milky sweet flavour, and can even be used as a seasoning or condiment. Also known as Calpico, the name is a portmanteau of 'Calcium' and the Sanskrit word 'Salpis'.

Calpis
Calpis (SGD $4.90)



The Beer Asahi Super Dry (SGD $5 / $9) is a Japanese pale lager, brewed by Asahi Breweries in Tokyo, within the Kanto region of Japan. This bright, clear golden yellow brew has a tame aroma of hops, grass, corn, and apples, with a smooth, refreshing, medium body and medium carbonation. Taste is floral bitter sweet, with notes of wheat, rice, malted barley, and lemon citrus, with a super dry, crisp finish. Very drinkable.

Beer Asahi Super Dry
Beer Asahi Super Dry (SGD $5 / $9)



The Sake Gekkeikan Traditional (SGD $8 per glass) is the current house pour sake. Brewed by the Gekkeikan Sake Company in Fushimi-Ku ward, Kyoto prefecture, Kansai region of Japan, it has a clear, transparent colour. Versatile enough to be served either warm or chilled, this sake has a medium strong body with good acidity, and light herbal earthy sweet flavours of mineral and citrus.

Sake Gekkeikan Traditional (SGD $8 per glass)


Sake Gekkeikan Traditional
Sake Gekkeikan Traditional


Sake Gekkeikan Traditional



The Pork Katsu Cheese (SGD $14.90) will appeal to the younger crowd. A thick, juicy, tender pork loin katsu, coated in crisp breadcrumbs for a light crunch, has a gooey molten center of cheese, giving this a cheesy savoury sweet flavour. Pair with the sour plum dipping sauce on the side for more flavour!

Pork Katsu Cheese (SGD $14.90)


Pork Katsu Cheese
Pork Katsu Cheese


Pork Katsu Cheese



The Kawa Ebi Karaage / Deep-Fried River Shrimp (SGD $8.90) makes a perfect bar snack. The small Hokkaido prawns / shrimp have a beautiful crunch, with a light salty savoury flavour, so addictive. Best with sake or beer. Good!

Kawa Ebi Karaage
Kawa Ebi Karaage / Deep-Fried River Shrimp (SGD $8.90)


Deep-Fried River Shrimp
Kawa Ebi Karaage / Deep-Fried River Shrimp


Kawa Ebi Karaage / Deep-Fried River Shrimp & Sake Gekkeikan
Kawa Ebi Karaage / Deep-Fried River Shrimp & Sake Gekkeikan



The Surame Ika / Grilled Squid Marinated With Teriyaki (SGD $15.80) features a whole squid, with a bouncy meaty texture, coated in teriyaki sauce then grilled, giving it a light sweet savoury smoky flavour. But our favourite dish is the Shime Saba / Seared Mackerel Fish Marinated With Vinegar (SGD $18.80). The mackerel fish is marinated in white vinegar then grilled, giving each thin slice a tender meaty bite to texture, with a light sour sweet savoury flavour. Really addictive. Highly recommended!

Surame Ika / Grilled Squid Marinated With Teriyaki, Shime Saba / Seared Mackerel Fish Marinated With Vinegar


Surame Ika
Surame Ika / Grilled Squid Marinated With Teriyaki (SGD $15.80)


Grilled Squid Marinated With Teriyaki
Surame Ika / Grilled Squid Marinated With Teriyaki


Shime Saba
Shime Saba / Seared Mackerel Fish Marinated With Vinegar (SGD $18.80)


Seared Mackerel Fish Marinated With Vinegar
Shime Saba / Seared Mackerel Fish Marinated With Vinegar


Shime Saba / Seared Mackerel Fish Marinated With Vinegar



The Bondiri / Chicken Tail (SGD $2.80) skewer has a light crunch, with a delicate salty sweet flavour, and looks pretty with its heart shape. The Nankotsu / Chicken Cartilage (SGD $3.60) skewer has a contrasting firm crunch with tender moist texture, and a decent salty savoury flavour.

Skewers - Bondiri, Nankotsu
Skewers - Bondiri / Chicken Tail (SGD $2.80), Nankotsu / Chicken Cartilage (SGD $3.60)


Skewers - Chicken Tail, Chicken Cartilage
Skewers - Bondiri / Chicken Tail, Nankotsu / Chicken Cartilage


Skewers - Bondiri / Chicken Tail, Nankotsu / Chicken Cartilage



The Gyu Enoki / Beef With Golden Mushrooms (SGD $4.80) skewer came out somewhat dry, with an earthy meaty savoury flavour. The Uzura Maki / Bacon Wrapped Quail Eggs (SGD $3.30) skewer was our favourite skewer, the crisp salty bacon complementing the juicy burst of eggy sweet flavour from the quail eggs. The Shiitake Maki / Bacon Wrapped Shiitake Mushrooms (SGD $3.30) skewer has an alternating crisp and tender texture, with light earthy salty savoury flavour. The Tebasaki / Chicken Wing (SGD $3.50) skewer has a smoky aroma, with the chicken meat clinging tightly to the bone.

Skewers - Gyu Enoki, Uzura Maki, Shiitake Maki, Tebasaki
Skewers - Gyu Enoki / Beef With Golden Mushrooms (SGD $4.80), Uzura Maki / Bacon Wrapped Quail Eggs (SGD $3.30), Shiitake Maki / Bacon Wrapped Shiitake Mushrooms (SGD $3.30), Tebasaki / Chicken Wing (SGD $3.50)


Skewers - Beef With Golden Mushrooms, Bacon Wrapped Quail Eggs, Bacon Wrapped Shiitake Mushrooms, Chicken Wing
Skewers - Gyu Enoki / Beef With Golden Mushrooms, Uzura Maki / Bacon Wrapped Quail Eggs, Shiitake Maki / Bacon Wrapped Shiitake Mushrooms, Tebasaki / Chicken Wing



The Gyu Yaki Shio / Beef With Salt And Pepper (SGD $5.90) skewer has a bold savoury salty spice flavour, with a tender, chewy texture. Loved the Gyu Tan / Ox Tongue (SGD $6.80) skewer with its slippery crunchy ox tongue that has a delicate savoury fatty flavour, although it's pretty expensive.

Skewers - Gyu Yaki Shio, Gyu Tan
Skewers - Gyu Yaki Shio / Beef With Salt And Pepper (SGD $5.90), Gyu Tan / Ox Tongue (SGD $6.80)


Skewers - Beef With Salt And Pepper, Ox Tongue
Skewers - Gyu Yaki Shio / Beef With Salt And Pepper, Gyu Tan / Ox Tongue



The Hatsu / Chicken Heart (SGD $2.60) skewer and Reba / Chicken Liver (SGD $2.60) skewer are not for the faint of heart, but is so uncommon in Singapore, though it's easily found in Japan. Both have a crunchy tender texture, with a mineral earthy salty flavour.

Skewers - Hatsu, Reba
Skewers - Hatsu / Chicken Heart (SGD $2.60), Reba / Chicken Liver (SGD $2.60)


Skewers - Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver
Skewers - Hatsu / Chicken Heart, Reba / Chicken Liver



Enjoyed the burst of juice and crunchy texture in the Maki Enoki / Bacon Wrapped Golden Mushrooms (SGD $3.30) skewer, with its salty vegetal sweet flavour. Likewise, the juicy burst from the Tomato Maki / Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes With Cheese (SGD $3.20) skewer floods the palate with vegetal sweet cheesy flavour. The Butabara Miso / Pork Belly With Miso Paste (SGD $3.20) skewer has a tender texture, with a bold savoury earthy flavour. The Butabara Shio / Pork Belly With Salt (SGD $2.90) skewer didn't quite work as well, despite the tender fatty texture, the savoury salty flavour was just decent.

Skewers - Maki Enoki, Tomato Maki, Butabara Miso, Butabara Shio
Skewers - Maki Enoki / Bacon Wrapped Golden Mushrooms (SGD $3.30), Tomato Maki / Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes With Cheese (SGD $3.20), Butabara Miso / Pork Belly With Miso Paste (SGD $3.20), Butabara Shio / Pork Belly With Salt (SGD $2.90)


Skewers - Bacon Wrapped Golden Mushrooms, Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes With Cheese, Pork Belly With Miso Paste, Pork Belly With Salt
Skewers - Maki Enoki / Bacon Wrapped Golden Mushrooms, Tomato Maki / Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes With Cheese, Butabara Miso / Pork Belly With Miso Paste, Butabara Shio / Pork Belly With Salt



The marinade for the Tsukune / Chicken Meat Ball (SGD $3.60) skewer differs, giving this a light savoury sweet salty flavour, complementing the bouncy meaty texture. The Uzura / Quail Eggs (SGD $2.90) skewer is straightforward, with a bouncy juicy texture and eggy sweet savoury flavour. The Negima Cheese / Chicken With Cheese (SGD $3.30) skewer has a slight firm texture, with a sweet savoury cheesy flavour. The Negima / Chicken With Leek (SGD $2.90) skewer is alright, with a tender crunchy texture and layered vegetal sweet savoury salty flavour, just decent.

Skewers - Torikawa, Tsukune, Uzura, Negima Cheese, Negima
Skewers - Torikawa / Chicken Skin (SGD $2.80), Tsukune / Chicken Meat Ball (SGD $3.60), Uzura / Quail Eggs (SGD $2.90), Negima Cheese / Chicken With Cheese (SGD $3.30), Negima / Chicken With Leek (SGD $2.90)


Skewers - Chicken Skin, Chicken Meat Ball, Quail Eggs, Chicken With Cheese, Chicken With Leek
Skewers - Torikawa / Chicken Skin, Tsukune / Chicken Meat Ball, Uzura / Quail Eggs, Negima Cheese / Chicken With Cheese, Negima / Chicken With Leek



Loved the Sunagimo / Chicken Gizzard (SGD $2.60) skewer with its firm crunch and salty smoky flavour. The Torikawa / Chicken Skin (SGD $2.80) skewer is very good as well, with a soft crunch and a bold salty savoury fatty flavour.

Skewers - Sunagimo / Chicken Gizzard, Torikawa / Chicken Skin
Skewers - Sunagimo / Chicken Gizzard (SGD $2.60), Torikawa / Chicken Skin (SGD $2.80)


Skewers - Sunagimo / Chicken Gizzard, Torikawa / Chicken Skin
Skewers - Sunagimo / Chicken Gizzard, Torikawa / Chicken Skin



The Yaki Udon / Pan-Fried Udon (SGD $10.90) entices with a smoky aroma, and the slippery chewy udon noodles have a light savoury sweet flavour. Garnished with carrots, seaweed flakes, lettuce, and spring onions, all of which lend a vegetal sweet flavour. Rather unique dish, filling enough to share. Worth ordering!

Yaki Udon
Yaki Udon / Pan-Fried Udon (SGD $10.90)


Pan-Fried Udon
Yaki Udon / Pan-Fried Udon


Yaki Udon / Pan-Fried Udon



The Garlic Yaki Meishi / Garlic Fried Rice (SGD $11.90) was a little too weak for my liking. It lacked the smoky oily pungent aroma of typical garlic fried rice. Skip this.

Garlic Yaki Meishi
Garlic Yaki Meishi / Garlic Fried Rice (SGD $11.90)


Garlic Fried Rice
Garlic Yaki Meishi / Garlic Fried Rice



I love Japanese kushiyaki, so I enjoyed my dining experience at Q-WA Bar & Yakitori. While prices are relatively high, the chill ambience and tasty food make a visit to Q-WA Bar & Yakitori worthwhile, especially if I'm craving for it. They just need to improve upon their service slightly. Overall, would return to Q-WA Bar & Yakitori again.


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