If you’re after a groovy vibe, cool ambience, good food and killer cocktails, try heading to CHIKIN Bar on Bukit Pasoh Road. We were recently invited to a tasting there and even though it was only 5.30pm and the place wasn’t quite pumping just yet, it was an excellent experience and one that I’d like to share with friends. I can imagine it becoming a big night out because, over three levels, there is plenty to enjoy.
Three levels of CHIKIN
Enter ground level and walk into the dark but chilled bar area. CHIKIN is all things trendy, cool and pop art-ish, with tinned food adorning their walls when you enter, graffiti, neon lights and a long marble bar with sleek leather covered stools.
Up on level two is a dining area designed for chilling out. There are two comfy leather lounges at the end with tables and chairs that could easily seat a nice group of people. I imagine many hours could be spent here sipping cocktails and nibbling on their tasty yakitori skewers or any of their delicious items on offer!
Level three is a reservation only open karaoke and dining “attic” where you can book a table and enjoy watching random people sing tunes while taking a turn yourself. I didn’t quite make it upstairs to level three but I can imagine it would be fantastic for a birthday or other celebratory event.
Cocktails and drinks
When faced with a cocktail menu the likes that CHIKIN has, it is impossible not to feel immediately dry in the mouth and in need of a cool drink in hand. Their Sake Sangria came up tops for me. Sweet, mild, completely drinkable. I would order it again, but then the rest of their list sounds delicious too. All cocktails are $19 nett so how about trying a couple. Their infusions are carefully formulated by Mr Sam Wong, bartender extraordinaire whose experience at Jigger and Pony as well as Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall only adds to his impressive repertoire. They also have many, many other drinks on hand (beer, wine, sake, whisky…) so you will not go thirsty.
Sticks and bowls of delight
While my friends would be drinking, I would be eating… Not sure if that is good or bad, but to each their own. Yakitori at a basic level is chicken on a stick. But here at CHIKIN, it’s not just your normal yakitori, the sticky, sweet, soy flavours or plain salt of traditional Japanese yakitori. At CHIKIN it is Szechuan yakitori so the marinade is hot Szechuan peppercorns and salt. This is just fine for me because, as a chilli wimp, I seem to have no problem with this marinade. The Szechuan peppercorns are more of an aromatic, numbing heat rather than a hot searing sensation.
Feast on 13 parts of the chicken and check out where these bits are on their menu diagram. For me, the gizzards with their light crunch and bouncy texture and the crunchy, salty chicken skin were tops. They also have a good selection of vegetables – San Marzano tomatoes were brilliant – and a couple options for beef, pork and others like the quail eggs which were a hit for me.
You can also enjoy “little” dishes like edamame and potato salad, “more ample” offerings like the chilled Japanese sea snails in Szechuan spice that we ordered – YUM! Along with that, we also tried one of their rice dishes, the unagi garlic fried rice with fish roe that I could have kept eating all night.
Modern into traditional
CHIKIN is a place that celebrates the most traditional of food (yakitori) and adds a modern twist to it. This is the ethos behind Coterie Dining Concepts, the group that brings us CHIKIN. CHIKIN is their second concept which they pull off with style and fun. I can’t wait to visit their Chinese Tapas concept, Sum Yi Tai which again infuses traditional Chinese with a modern concept.
For more information, visit CHIKIN.
6 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089820
For this tasting, we were invited to try the food and beverages at CHIKIN and did not pay for the meal. We are never obligated to post a favourable review whether or not it is a tasting or a meal we pay for ourselves.