Cuppage plaza represents lively night of Singapore. Within this aged building, there is an atrium surrounded by ladies with sexy clothes. In between these sexy ladies, there is a sake bar, Donpachi, operating discreetly.
When I made a visit to the bar, there were crowd of people over there, as it was the Donpachi’s opening anniversary. Most of Customers are sake lovers, Japanese restaurant owners and people who seem to be involved with adult industries.
First thing I noticed in the bar interior was the painting of Al Pacino. According to the bar master Tooyama, this painting gave inspiration for the opening of the bar. There are only two tables and one long counter.
Ceiling is exposed plaster board. Heat generated by drunken customers and cooking: all of these elements somehow remind me of Noge area in Yokohama.
Menu is all hand written by Tooyama dressed neatly in Kimono. Choice of menu is limited, but every plate seems to have a good twist. Price of each plates are reasonable, mostly fit within ten dollars.
Tooyama said, he puts effort to offering affordable sake dining. Sake selections focus on matured junmai sake from Kanagawa and Fukuoka prefectures, suitable for drinking hot.
I started pairing with olive marinade and junmai sake, Tanzawasan from Kanagawa prefecture. Marinade source was made of nuts, almonds, red vinegar and anchovy and has rich sweet sour taste that goes well with grilled apple like bittersweet taste of the hot sake.
Notably sake taste expands at the end of my tongue, then there was a slight after taste of sweetness. Then I had sake called Tombo (dragonfly) also from Kanagawa prefecture.
The image of dragonfly on the sake label is quite cute by the way. Sake has Aroma like toasted bread; first taste is bitterness and followed by sweetness.
Mini plates arrived. Karasumi (dried mullet roe) goes well with any sake with its umami and rich saltiness. Narazuke (vegetables pickled in sake lees), and carbonara like taste of potato salad were tasty.
Exceptional plate was tofu with dried young sardines and spring onion on grilled garlic ginger oil. This matches smoothly with sake.
The best sake of the day was junmai sake called Tensei from Kanagawa. This sake was carefully matured inside a bomb shelter built during the war time.
There is a sweet aroma and taste, and that sweetness continues until the very end of my tongue.
This beautiful after taste reminded me of the applause given by the audiences after Sviatoslav Richter performance of Debussy “Estampes” in Italy 1962. This kind of thing happens sometime…
It is good to visit when you feel like having good sake, before you go to karaoke or sexy bar. Just remind you that space is very limited so I recommend you to visit with small group.