A group of 5 of us had dinner at Izy, a new(ish) izakaya-concept bar and restaurant along Club Street. They do sharing plates, but portions are still on the small side, so between us we managed to sample most of their menu.
I have to say that I expected it to be more style than substance, but was happily proven wrong. Staff were very friendly, and more importantly the food was very good. I don't think anything was bad; it was just a question of what impressed us more.
First off, remember to ask about their specials. A couple of dishes weren't on the menu but we ran into A's friend there, who raved about a couple of off-menu items. The sesame tofu with uni and ikura was very tasty - a silken tofu pudding with just a hint of sesame, and a dollop each of fresh uni and ikura. Both the uni and ikura were already strongly flavoured, so I appreciated how they were quite restrained with everything else.
The foie is another special - foie gras marinated in sake for 3 day is then charcoal grilled, so the flavours are sweet yet smokey. The sake added a very nice dimension to an otherwise straightforward yakitori foie dish.
Two seemingly unassuming dishes on the menu turned out to be some of the best we had all night. First was the smoked potato salad, which again was so simple but so tasty - a creamy and smokey cross between potato salad and mashed potato, with a smokey hit. The other was their salad, that featured fresh vegetables tossed in a sesame dressing. The vegetables were super fresh, and again the dressing wasn't overpowering.
That's not to say that the food is always simple and bland. Their pork and ginger rolls had slices of pork wrapped around young ginger. The ginger flavour was almost too strong, but it stopped just shy of being overpowering. The fried chicken with balsamic soy glaze was also quite a flavour bomb, with battered chicken quite heavily spiced and drizzled with a sticky glaze.
In comparison, some of the other dishes like the trout carpaccio, pork skewers and stewed eggplant were, while certainly not bad in any way, just less memorable than some of the other dishes.
The carbs were tasty too - we tried the wagyu beef don with shaved black truffles, and the lobster porridge. A preferred the beef don and I preferred the lobster porridge, mainly because I thought the latter was a lot less predictable. Both were great way to end the meal.
Even their desserts are interesting. We tried the mangosteen almond pudding, and a coffee and chocolate mousse. I enjoyed the pudding, but objectively I think the mousse was better.
Another place that definitely begs a revisit.
Surprisingly, it's the simple dishes that really stand out here. Is it the best for the price? I'm not sure, but it's definitely worth a try.
27 Club Street
Mon - Sat: 12 noon - 2.30 pm; 5 pm - 1 am