The chef at IKYU sure knows his sushi, with his exclusive use of Niigata “Uonuma” Koshihikari rice at the restaurant being the first of many telling signs. This culinary birthright results in a dedication to the purest of ingredients used in a fanned array of Japanese cuisine. And while you’re bound to find minimalist, wood-laden sushi bars around Singapore with similar leanings, you won’t find it in such modern, chic and resolutely un-Ryokan-like digs as IKYU.
IKYU is at home among the other hipster hangouts in the blossoming hood of Tiong Bahru. With iron clad walls favoured over sliding wooden slatted doors, IKYU relies heavily on raw textures and angular design to create a refreshingly modern take on Japanese restaurant decor. The burnt umber tones along with the cool, shaded vibe of the place form a welcome hideaway from the oppressive heat of Yong Siak Street. Here, simple Japanese cuisine makes perfect sense. Whether fashioned into an omakase experience or ordered a la carte, each course of Tsukiji-sourced fish, Mini Kaisen Don, or their famed Barachirashi is classic and satisfying. Generating major buzz since its opening, IKYU dishes out well-executed Japanese fare in a cool, updated setting that fits any wallet or craving. (Sep 2016)