The Muttons’ New Izakaya Itchy Bun In Town Has Heartland Hawker Stall Prices
You can get a beer and donburi for under $20 at this drinking hole in the heart of town.
If you think about it, Itchy Bun is a brilliant name for a Japanese eatery (say it out loud and you’ll know what we mean). That is what Class 95 jocks The Muttons — aka Justin Ang and Vernon A — have named their latest izakaya, a cosy joint along Prinsep Street modelled after a traditional Kyoto diner.
Opening on 22/2/22
On its menu are donburis, izakaya-style bar bites and mod ‘kong bak paus’ (braised pork belly buns, from $5.80 for two), which inspired the restaurant’s name, though there are also lotus bun options with karaage (Japanese fried chicken). Itchy Bun opens next Tuesday. “It’s 22/2/22, easy to remember,” quips Justin.
We give you a sneak peek of the new drinking hole below:
Travel to ‘Kyoto’
Itchy Bun is nestled in a row of bars and cafes along Prinsep Street, and offers both indoors and outdoors seating.
As it’s located near schools like SOTA, SMU and NAFA, prices here are very wallet-friendly for a drinking hole in town, and comparable to a heartland Japanese hawker stall. They start from $6.80 for a Teriyaki Chicken Don, with the priciest Subarashii Don with foie gras going for $19.80. Meanwhile, tipples like Kirin Ichiban Frozen Beer go for $12.80 for a pint ($8.80 for half pint), and $60 for a Kirin Ichiban Tower. There are also six types of sake on the menu (from $28 to $50), all served in a 300ml bottle, like the Masumi Ginjyo Shiro and Masumi Sanka Dai Ginjyo.
Yakiniku Butadon, $7.80
At $7.80, this reasonably-priced bowl makes for a decent comfort meal. You get strips of grilled pork (a bit too sweet on our pre-opening visit), tobiko, pickles, seaweed and rice draped with a gooey onsen egg. The grilled Unagi Don ($10.80) is also value-for-money.
Tori Karaage, $7.80 (8 Days Pick!)
At Justin’s recommendation, we ordered the Tori Karaage, a platter of addictively-seasoned tender chook with delicately crispy fried skin that we could eat a bucket of with the accompanying ponzu mayo dip. Wash it down with a cold beer.
Chicken Crackling, $6.80
The fried chicken skin here is moreish enough, fried to a light golden crisp without being too greasy.
Itchy Buns, $5.80 to $7.80 for two
The eponymous buns here sound promising; a karaage option with seaweed mayonnaise, another fried chicken pick with mentaiko mayo, and braised pork belly. Fried chicken and lotus buns aren’t our favourite combinations even with creamy sauces; the flattish steamed bun, which doesn’t have the fluffy, pillowy texture of a plump bao, goes better with fatty braised pork belly. Itchy Bun serves a luxurious slab topped with crunchy takuan (pickled daikon) that’s not as aggressively salty as the Chinese-style soy sauce-soaked kong bak.
Itchy Bun opens Feb 22 at 44A Prinsep St, S188674.
Photos: Kelvin Chia