Big Sake Bar may be a tiny hole-in-the-wall operation located at The Concourse along Beach Road, but it’s big on all things sake.
We’ve got to admit, Singapore has somewhat of an unhealthy obsession with many things Japanese, especially its food but also for its sake and whisky. Anecdotally, the number of Japanese izakayas and sake bars in this tiny country compared to its population can seem disproportionate, and it can’t all be attributed to the sizable Japanese expatriate community here. But that does mean that a Japanese drinking hole is never too far away wherever you live, and we can only consider that a good thing.
Take Big Sake Bar, for example. The izakaya – so small it’s reminiscent of those tiny eating spaces under Tokyo railway tracks – is located along a rather quiet stretch along Beach Road where the Concourse, but it’s already done well enough that’s it’s survived a full year, a celebratory milestone considering the brutally competitive F&B scene in Singapore.
Perhaps it isn’t shouldn’t be too surprising; Big Sake Bar reminds one of Shukuu Izakaya, and like that Telok Ayer Road izakaya, Big Sake Bar is started by locals. Three friends, Daniel Kwok, Jeremy Goh, and Chef Andy Quek banded together over their love for Japanese food and sake, opening Big Sake Bar in October last year. “We are named Big Sake Bar because in essence, that is what we are – big on food, big on service, big on sake,” laughs Jeremy Goh, co-owner of Big Sake Bar.
That said due to their limited size Big Sake Bar doesn’t quite have the extensive selection of sakes that many of their peers may boast. But with a range of some 40 different sakes to choose from it’s still more than enough for most enthusiasts. The export-only Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Junmai from Niigata Prefecture, is good value at $40 for 300ml. The Masumi Karakuchi Ki-Ippon from Nagano Prefecture, a rather dry junmai ginjyo bursting with yubari melon flavours which at $180 for an isshobin (1.8L) is also very reasonably priced.
There’s also the crowd favourite Nabeshima “Pink Label” Tokubetsu Honjozo ($188 for 1.8L) from Saga Prefecture, but for those with deeper pockets even the ultra-premium Dassai 23 – made by Asahishuzo Brewery from Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture – will only set you back $398 for a 1.8L isshobin.
For those who aren’t quite into sake, there’s a range of affordable wines and less competitively priced Japanese whiskies as well. You wouldn’t mind stumping up around $40 for a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, but that Nikka Yoichi Single Malt at $328 will be a bit hard to swallow.
Big Sake Bar is an izakaya so the food on offer is perfectly suited for drinking. Be sure to order the Pitan Tofu ($5), a great healthy starter, while the Sirloin Steak ($35) will satisfy the pickiest carnivores.
Big Sake Bar recently celebrated its first anniversary – it has introduced till the end of the year a special eight-course wagyu beef omakase set at $88 for the occasion, and $108 with a tokkuri of sake – and based on what we see they’ll be sticking around for quite a bit yet.
Address 302 Beach Road, Concourse Skyline, #01-02, Singapore 199600
Opening Hours 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to midnight on Mondays to Fridays; Saturdays from 6pm to midnight
Tel (65) 6291 2700