Nirai Kanai - Okinawan Food Meets Sake
When one says Japan Town in Singapore, traditionally it means "Liang Court". At the basement of this complex, there is a popular Okinawa restaurant among both Japanese businessmen and local people. Typical match with Okinawa food is Awamori or Orion beer, but this time I tried Sake instead.
Nirai Kanai means “paradise” in Okinawa. There are paper and blow glass lantern light the space gently, seating framed by timber works look like one you can find by the seaside, colorful wall tiling decoration, Posters of Okinawa on a wall and Local pottery displayed on a shelf. They help to create warm Okinawa beachside like atmosphere.
I had Dassai 50 from Yamaguchi prefecture to pair food with. It goes without saying for sake lovers that type of sake Dassai produce is only Junmai Daiginjo. First, there is a melon or tropical fruit like aroma. Then for the first sip there is a strong sweet taste, Muscat like sourness expand, and slowly taste turn to bitterness.
First plate was “Rafute”, tender pork born rib stew. Slice a piece of meat with chop sticks, bring it to my mouth, soy source, rice vinegar, sugar and Awamori taste blend with meat umami. Together with Dassai, there is less of sweet taste, but fresh bitterness expands in my mouth.
Next dish was “Goya Chumpur”, stir fried bitter gourd, pork, tofu, and egg. When I chew, there is a nice texture of bitter gourd with umami of pork. Local pottery work fits well with the color of the food also. Sake cancels bitterness of the bitter gourd and let Muscat like fruitiness stands out.
Last dish was “Soki”, well grilled savory rib pork. With sake sweet and sour taste stands out more than Goya Chumpur. With additional salt it expands sake taste, and with lemon, umami of the Sake run through my tongue, and then become transparent bitterness.
This time, I tried Dassai with signature Okinawa dishes and I must say Okinawa dishes have unique chemical reaction with sake. This is the only Okinawa specialized restaurant in Singapore and you can enjoy the taste without going there. So go and experience rich Okinawa food culture!
Okinawan Diner Nirai-Kanai 177 River Valley Rd, Liang Court, Singapore 179030
65 6339 4811
Operating Hours Mon - Sun 11:30–15:00 18:00–23:00 [FACEBOOK]