Japanese craft beer bar JiBiru celebrates eight years in business with (yet another) rejuvenated food menu to go with its ten draft beer taps and other alcoholic tipples.
It’s not easy to have an enduring business in any industry, much less in F&B, but Japanese craft beer bar JiBiru seems to have stumbled upon one. Located at the open air dining section of 313@Somerset, JiBiru combines two seemingly incompatible concepts – a beer bar focusing on craft beers and the Japanese izakaya – into one. But eight years into the business, and in the same location to boot, have proven sceptics otherwise.
Perhaps it’s the Singaporean love for all things Japanese, or the growing interest in craft beers over the past handful of years. It’s likely both; the craft beer pioneer – it opened back in 2011 as one of the first fully craft beer-focused venues – remains the sole concept in the entire of Singapore offering a wide, revolving range of craft beers that you can have with Japanese beer-friendly bites such as yakitori or karaage.
And to celebrate its eighth anniversary, JiBiru has recently rejigged its food menu; essentially it’s made permanent some of the seasonal favourites over the past couple of years as well as introduced a number of new entries. The Kyushu favourite that is Tori Nanban ($13.90++, main picture) – think chicken karaage smothered in a creamy tartar sauce – was a seasonal turned core item. The crispy Ebi Tempura ($14.90++) is also new; it was always there as part of the Tempura Moriawase ($13.50++) but patrons probably kept asking for just prawn tempura.
Newly introduced is Hibachi Noodles ($12.80++, above); the version here is Japanese-style aglio olio served with thick chunks of gammon bacon that’s quick fried on its hibachi grill. Then there’s the Wafu Beef Steak ($21.90++), which sees a well-seared and tender cut of beef covered in a tangy ponzu sauce. We’re also totally loving the new Tori Nankotsu Karaage ($9.80++), juicy and crunchy morsels of deep-fried chicken soft bone we think are perfect with beer.
Speaking of which, you can’t go wrong with any of the draft beers here at JiBiru. In its earlier years taps here were dominated by Japanese craft beers with the likes of those from Hitachino Nest and Shiga Kogen; recently it’s included those from other parts of the world. These days you’ll also find beers from Scotland’s BrewDog, England’s Fourpure and even Gweilo from Hong Kong. For those not keen on beer JiBiru earlier this year introduced the Jim Beam Highball, but there are sake options as well.
JiBiru’s revised food menu continues to reinforce its concept of offering substantial Japanese bar bites to go with its craft beers. It’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill pub offering the ubiquitous french fries and beer (even if it does have french fries and a commercial lager on tap).
Which probably explains its longevity.
JiBiru Craft Beer Bar
Address 313 Orchard Rd, 313@Somerset #01-26, Singapore 238895 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 11.30am to 12mn on Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays; 11.30am to 1am Fridays and Saturdays
Tel (65) 6732 6884