Igokochi Dining Bar – Winter Omakase that warms your heart at only $108++!

My first experience with Igokochi was a few months back when they were serving the Matsu Omakase. I was blown away by the food that I immediately told Chef Ivan that I will come back in December for its Winter Omakase menu.

It is a great time to return because the Omakase menu has changed, so it was like a whole new dining experience!

3 menus were presented to me when I was there during lunchtime.

Half of this menu features things I don’t eat or don’t fancy, so I immediately flipped to the next page.
OOOHHH new menu!

I must be a baka desu (stupid fool) because I was actually there for the Fuyu (Winter) Omakase, $108++ menu as highly recommended by my boss who also visited Igokochi again recently but when I saw that the Sushi Omakase had so many items at only $78++, I couldn’t resist ordering it!!

So what happened at Igokochi that day was that I ended up eating a lot from my dining partner’s Fuyu Omakase menu. HAHAHA

I won’t be writing about the Sushi Omakase because I am really not a fan of raw fish and the sushi menu was full of raw fish! Haha! I don’t know what I was thinking. I am really not the best person to review the Sushi Omakase, so let me talk about the Fuyu Omakase now!!!

  1. Ankimo (Monk Fish Liver)

The monk fish liver is in season and more delicious than ever. It really tastes like foie gras. Enjoyable appetiser!

2. Gindara with Ponzu sauce

Next, we have a very interesting dish! It’s codfish lightly torched and served in ponzu sauce. The ponzu sauce retained a nice smoky flavour and was a refreshing complement for the codfish.

3. Winter Hotate Sashimi

Ok. Please. Please take a look at that.

Oh my god. This hotate sashimi is nothing I’ve tasted before. One bite into it and I know it’s not simple.

Do you know how I know????

I was served my hotate sushi from the Sushi Omakase menu and it tasted so different!!!

I couldn’t help but ask the chef, “This hotate sashimi is different from mine, right???”

“Of course! This Hotate Sashimi is from Hokkaido. Thrice the price of yours,” Chef Jason replied with a laugh. Oh well.

My dining partner’s Hotate Sashimi tasted fresh, sweet and crunchy. It was really very good and we were so happy that Igokochi is not like other atas Japanese restaurants that give you only one piece of this precious stuff. Over here, you are given 3 plump pieces of these beautiful scallops!

4. Hamaguri Owan

This dish tasted like Japanese winter itself. Everything was so on point. The warm soup served with Aomori clam, fish paste noodles, and vegetables was refreshing and bursting with umami. Every sip of this delicious broth will warm your heart and belly.

At this point of time, I really wanted to tell Chef Jason that I would like to change what I have ordered to the Fuyu Omakase menu instead. The envy was real every time something was served to my dining partner!

5. Zuwaigari Tempura

Next was Hokkaido snow crab in light tempura batter. It is served with assorted vegetables and a citrusy sauce made from passionfruit and pumpkin.

This is my first time eating snow crab! Do you know that snow crabs can only be harvested during this time of the year? This is to prevent its population decline but I wonder how this works? So all these snow crabs live till the end of the year and they are all caught and eaten anyway during Winter?

So far, I really like the build-up of this menu – it starts from a fatty cold dish, goes on to warm soupy stuff, and then to deep fried food. The Zuwaigari Tempura feels like the climax of this menu because it is the final new item before the menu returns to familiar favourites.

I normally don’t like tempura because I feel that the thick, oily batter usually steals the whole show (in a bad way), but the fried crab legs and vegetables here actually retained their sweetness and moisture, so I really enjoyed this dish!

6. Assorted Sushi

The sushi items in the Fuyu Omakase menu are also found on the Sushi Omakase menu. They’ve also appeared in the Matsu Omakase menu before, just that my favourite Toro sushi is no longer torched. I was so sad. I thought I would get to eat that again. That was really my favourite sushi. Chef Ivan wasn’t around that day. I think the next time I go, I will request for that if it’s possible. It’s so good!

You are served 5 different sushi here, each piece freshly made before you. Here are my favourites!

Toro Sushi. I prefer it flamed though! Sobs.
Still good, but not as good as Autumn’s. This is apparently not the season for uni (sea urchin). Looking forward to next Autumn already!!!
Anago (saltwater eel) is still yummy and better than the one we ate at Japan!

A couple sitting near us commented that Igokochi serves better-tasting seafood than the ones they have eaten at other famous restaurants before. This is my second time there and I was again seated near people who are ordering random items that I don’t think are from the menu. When will I know how to do that???

The last two items are Miso Soup and Yuzu Ice Cream.

Actually, I saw them serving another couple some seasonal pink rolled cake and I am pretty sure that is what you will get if you go too. The other couple was exclaiming how good the cake was, so I was quite sad that we didn’t get it when suddenly…

…we were presented with a cake to celebrate my dining partner’s birthday! How thoughtful!!! And it was very good quality matcha cheesecake! Very generous slice and very delectable! It was also served with a piece of potato cheese mochi that was soooo delicious!!!!!

It was my dining partner’s first time here and like how I had felt during my first time here, he too said that he really likes the food and the people at Igokochi.

I know that it may be difficult to take a Japanese restaurant seriously when you enter and see not a single Japanese chef, but I’ve since learned that our local chefs can be as good, if not better than Japanese chefs in understanding what makes locals tick. Igokochi attracts Japanese diners as well, so I think their understanding of Japanese food really goes beyond just delighting the locals.

Another notable thing is that because there is no language barrier at all, you can really learn about your food more and have a more enjoyable dining experience. The people here are all very candid and friendly. It is not a pretentious expensive Japanese restaurant where the ambiance is serious and tense. There is a very laid-back atmosphere here where the staff can feel like your long-time friends if you reciprocate their friendliness and warmth.

I’m really looking forward to coming back actually, so don’t be surprised to see another Igokochi review again. I will probably come back for their Spring menu! Haha!

The Fuyu Omakase menu ends in February, so make your reservations before Winter ends!

What’s special:

  • Hidden gem in the West for sushi and Omakase dining
  • Chef Ivan’s innovative, beautiful and delicious creations in his Omakase menus
  • The very high quality yet affordable Omakase menus
  • Seasonal fish served is from same supplier of Michelin restaurants here
  • There’s a bar just next to the dining area for alcohol and bar food if you want somewhere to chill at instead

What to Order:

  • Fuyu Omakase ($108++) – Menu available till February only! Grab the chance to taste seasonal monkfish liver, Aomori clam, Hokkaido scallop and snowcrab!

What to Skip:

  • Sushi Omakase ($78/$88++) – Seriously, top up $20/$30 and you get a way better Omakase menu. Like, WAYYYYY better.

Igokochi Dining Bar, NEWest
1 W Coast Dr, #01-98/99, Singapore 128020

Telephone Number: +65 6963 9430

Nearest MRT Station: Clementi (Take the free shuttle bus from Exit D.)

For your convenience. You’re welcome.

Opening hours: 
Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm,
Lunch 11am to 2pm,
Dinner 5pm to 10pm,
Happy Hour 11am to 8pm,
Sunday closed.

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