They say you first eat with your eyes, and at the newly opened Chura Sushi Bar (‘chura’ means ‘beautiful’ in Okinawan), that notion has definitely been taken to heart.
Offering a sensational feast for the eyes and palate, this new sushi-focused joint in downtown Singapore offers the paired pleasures of fresh Japanese seafood and alcohol rolled into one convenient concept.
Sushi in all its forms may take centerstage at Chura, but for us at Spill, the drinks come first, and the star of their beverage menu are the Chura specials (S$15 each), which are essentially their signature cocktails.
Of the four choices here, it’s the Sake Fizz that steals the show. The layered sake, vodka, peach syrup, butterfly pea tea and lime juice concoction is equal parts aesthetic and palate-pleasing – embodying Chura’s concept in a glass.
Then there’s the Cherry Blossom, a brightly-hued gin sour made more eye-catching with a pink sugar rim and flower petals. The other sour on the menu, the eponymous Chura Sour, is also a gin-based tipple but which boasts of refreshing yuzu flavours and an Okinawan lime citrus called shiquasa. For a creamy and desserty treat, look no further than the Rose Matcha Latte, a mix of sake, matcha, rose syrup, milk and simple syrup.
Remembering that each of these signature cocktails only go for S$15 each, it’s a price and value that’s hard to beat considering Singapore’s sky-high prices. Still, if you’re feeling like splashing a little more for better spirits, it’s the menu page filled with House of Suntory specials you should flip to.
There you’ll find a list of six cocktails and six highballs, crafted by Beam Suntory’s Southeast Asia brand ambassador Andrew Pang, specially for Chura Sushi Bar. As you’d expect, all the drinks here make good use of House of Suntory’s craft spirits in their creation.
The cocktails (S$18 each) are all appropriately Japan-inspired and carry an artful flair about them. The Tokyo Drift – Chita Whisky, Cointreau, yuzu juice and orange peel – tastes like a light and citrusy spin on a Whisky Sour, and pairs well with Chura’s more decadent dishes.
Or go for the Autumn in Yokohama, a scarlet and tropical concoction of Haku Vodka, Roku Gin, orange juice, and grenadine syrup. This striking cocktail, though stiff and intense, is best enjoyed in generous gulps and as a first drink to get the evening started on a spirited note.
Our vote goes to the Shiso Bloom (Roku Gin, lime juice, elderflower liqueur, shiso leaf) for the most outstanding drink. Balanced in tartness and sweetness, and effusing pleasurable aromas to entice your olfactory senses even before your first sip, this drink will sit comfortably on any craft cocktail bar menu in town.
Not feeling like cocktails? Chura has a decent sake list as well (as any sushi bar should), ranging from approachable honjozo grade ones to aromatic daiginjos well-loved by most drinkers. The Sakari Junmai Ginjo (S$88) is your best bet for a mid-range option to pair with a wide range of dishes, while the Sakari Yuzu (S$78) is an easy-drinking crowd pleaser.
It’s the Keigetsu Junmai Daiginjo Cel24 (S$105) you’d want if looking for a standout. This bottle, named after the yeast strain used in its making, is a modern style of sake packing an alluring bouquet of candied tropical fruits, creamy mouthfeel and just the right amount of lingering sweetness.
A selection of house pour sakes, sochu and umeshu by the glass or carafe, as well as Asahi beers on draft, rounds out the drinks menu.
As for the food, Chura presents its signature sushi items in a multitude of fetching ways. There’s the value-for-money Chura Nigiri Set (S$35.80), with 10 kinds of nigiri sushi the likes of otoro with uni, anago, snow crab and more. For meat lovers, the Miyazaki Wagyu with Uni and Caviar (S$18.80/2pcs) offers an explosion of umami with each mouthful.
When it comes to sushi rolls, the Chura’s Signature (S$25.80) is the one to get. Packing a host of ingredients including tuna, salmon, and caviar, each seaweed and radish-wrapped roll is a satisfying myriad of flavours. The umibudo topping, also known as sea grapes or green caviar, is also one heck of a rare treat.
Other highlights include the beautifully round Temari Sushi (S$15.80/6pcs) and the Chura Chirashi (S$25.80), the latter of which is a massive masu box full of pillowy sushi rice and chunks of sashimi, ikura, lotus root, uni, tamago, and more.
Usually an expensive treat, Chura manages to make their sushi and beverage offerings accessible and casual while still maintaining a high standard, making it an easy go-to choice for spontaneous fuss-free meals regardless of time of day, and whenever the mood strikes for a sushi bar experience.
Chura Sushi Bar is located at #B1-122A Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.