Step 1: Login / Sign up for a J Passport account
Step 2: Present your valid JAC card with the Sabar e-coupon, to the staff
About the shop
SABAR is a Japanese restaurant/bar specializing in Saba fish, or mackerel. The restaurant originated from Osaka, Japan in 2014, with a current total of 15 stores across Japan, in places like Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Takatsuki, Tokyo, Ebina, Obama and Hiroshima. Singapore holds their first global branch which opened about 3 years ago. Despite being a relatively young establishment, the Managing Director Mr. Okada Ryo has plans to set up another branch in the city area sometime this year.
What makes the fish in SABAR stand out?
The fish that they use is caught off the coast of the Pacific Ocean, roughly between the period from September to February; which is also when Saba fishes have the highest concentration of fat in their bodies, making them extremely delectable. They are then frozen using state of the art freezing techniques to preserve their freshness.
Read about our amazing food experience at SABAR here
On 4th March, we were invited down to SABAR to try out some of their “Saba Month” promotions. 8th March also happened to be Saba Day, because in Japanese, the numbers 3 and 8 sound like “sa” and “ba” respectively.
Fresh TORO-SABA Sashimi (トロ鯖刺身)
We were first treated to a plate of the shop’s specialty, Fresh Toro-Saba Sashimi. The dewy sheen of the generous cut left a very lasting impression. The appropriate amount of greens added to the aesthetics of the dish.
A refreshing taste enveloped our taste buds with the first bite. The freshness of the fish was evident in its taste, a rarity beyond your everyday frozen fish.
The high level freezing techniques used to ensure the freshness of the fish effectively captured the flavour of the sea. The fish itself was also very soft, melting bite after bite.
Shime TORO-SABA Sashimi (トロしめ鯖刺身)
A variation of the Fresh Toro Saba Sashimi, with the difference being that this dish was marinated before serving. The marinate consists of Japanese vinegar as well as the shop’s secret sauce.
The harmony between the natural umami of the fish and sourness of the marinate resulted in a perfect balance of flavors. There was also a lingering sweet aftertaste, which was pleasantly surprising.
Grilled TORO-SABA (焼きトロ鯖)
The number one bestselling dish in the shop and it is not surprising why. The fish was grilled to perfection with the golden crisp skin. The meat was very tender and could be easily cut with our chopsticks. We were told that the fish is first aged for a period of time before being grilled using a secret technique.
The fish retained much of its juiciness and, while the toro part was soft and full of omega-3 goodness, the meat was not overly greasy. The contrast of the crispy skin and tender meat resulted in an addictive mouthfeel and tastiness.
TORO-SABA Koi Sake (とろさば 恋酒)
For beverages, we were treated to some delicious home-produced sake.
Originally made through a joint effort between SABAR and Hachinohe Syurui (八戸酒類株式会社) from Aomori Prefecture, this sake has 2 distinct layers: the top layer being clean transparent sake and the bottom layer, rice sediments. Upon shaking, the sake took on a milky color and was ready to be served.
The sake has a refreshing taste, with sweet taste-notes before the burning sensation of the alcohol kicked in. It contains 15% alcohol content and we felt that it paired well with the grilled Toro-Saba.