Halal and izakaya are not two words you hear very often in the same sentence. But if it did exist, where else but in Singapore?
Technically speaking, “Izakaya” is a Japanese compound word meaning to stay and drink sake – meaning, alcohol is involved. So excuse our confusion when we stumbled upon the new, Halal, Hararu Izakaya in the heart of the Arab quarters, specialising in Japanese snacks – but none of that alcohol. The purists in us are sounding the bells – this isn’t really an izakaya. But it doesn’t mean we’re not curious.
Looking every part like an authentic one, the eatery is tastefully adorned with Japanese art, and even has a tatami-seating area on one of the floors. You’ll find on the menu classic kushiyaki like assorted grilled meats and vegetables on a skewer, their signature charcoal-grilled dishes like saba fish flavoured with shio and salt, udon bowls and more.
The place also adopts the relaxed and slow-paced izakaya culture of Japan, encouraging customers to take their time. And if you want to drop by for after-work drinks, as an alternative to alcoholic drinks you’re accustomed to at a typical izakaya, this place serves up mocktails instead. Safe to say you won’t be going on a bender.
Hararu Izakaya, Bussorah Street, 16 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199437
If you want the real deal, check out these best izakayas in Singapore.