This Japanese-Italian restaurant offers communal dishes including salmon in shiitake broth and lamb with romesco sauce and corn, plus smaller plates like crispy risotto with surf clam and spaghettini with sakura ebi. There’s also a cocktail list by Ethan Leslie Leong of Maison Ikkoku.
The buzz: This Japanese-Italian restaurant doesn’t offer traditional yoshoku (Japanese-Western food) but more contemporary cuisine, blending ingredients from both Japanese and Italian cultures in innovative ways.
The vibe: Dinner here almost feels like dining amongst ancient Roman ruins, with dramatic arches and slate-colored furnishings. There are plenty of long tables for communal gatherings, while cool graphic murals by local artists keep the atmosphere young and edgy.
The food: Creative hybrid fare such as kabocha soup with onsen egg and crispy parma ham ($15) and slow cooked salmon in shitake broth ($25), as well as purely Italian classics like tripe Florentine-style (from $15). There are also drink-friendly snacks including homemade pork sausages ($15) and prawn tartare ($9).
The drinks: Throw back an affordable range of regional Italian wines (from $29) such as Nina Zinfandel Blush from Puglia, plus a selection of cocktails—by Ethan Leslie Leong of Maison Ikkoku (20 Kandahar St., 6294-0078, www.maison-ikkoku.net)—incorporating Asian ingredients like matcha powder.
Why you’ll be back: For high quality East-meets-West fare at a convenient mall location. In fact, we’ll come back even if it’s not this accessible. This place is godsend after an exhausting shopping spree.