Neon Pigeon – A Hipster Izakaya Serves Modern Japanese Cuisine

The first time I laid my eyes on Neon Pigeon was after a meal at Lollapalooza. The dimly lit interior with the bright neon pink pigeon sign got my attention and I made a mental note to return again. And it was well planned that the friend wanted Japanese cuisine for her birthday dinner so here we are, excited to try what this izakaya can surprise us. The place only accepts reservation for group of 8 or more, so being the kiasu us, we started queuing 5 minutes before they open for dinner The place isn’t exactly big and can be filled up quite easily. The friend said she always see queue streaming out of this place when she walked by. Well that can only say 2 things, either the food is really good or the place is really small, I choose to believe the first, given the benefit of the doubt

Chilled Cucumber w Crushed Chilli Peanuts, Nori & Goma $9 (Small) $17 (Large)

I really enjoyed the chilled cucumber. The crunch and sweetness of the vegetable topped with a little bit of spice and saltiness of the nuts and seaweed was simple, yet addictive

Cold Grilled Squid Salad w Wasabi Tenpura Seaweed and Shiso Ponzu $15 (Small) $28 (Large)

The grilled squid salad was a little too salty towards the end. There wasn’t much surprise in this dish, from the squid to the salad

Tuna Crudo w Miso, Pickled Apple & Sprout $18 (Small) $34 (Large)

I thought the tuna was pretty decent but somehow pairing with the sauce seems abit wasteful. The mayo sauce was a little too heavy in flavours and could not bring out the sweetness in the tuna. Maybe they should add the sauce on the salad instead, given the sprouts were rather bland

Marinated Hamachi W Ume Somen Noodles, Shiso and Ponzu $18 (Small) $34 (Large)

The somen noodles were well marinated and the texture was firm and springy though the fish was sliced so thinly that I might mistook the star of the dish was the noodles instead

Tsukune Sliders w Pickled Kyuri and Tare Aioli $14 (Small) $26 (Large)

The grilled tsukune was amazing. The patty was firm, juicy and overwhelmed with sweetness of the chicken meat, topped off with slightly burnt buns

Smoked Pork Buns w Pickled Daikon & Ginger $13 (Small) $34 (Large)

The friend said to try their smoked pork buns, but I thought the tsukune fared much better. The crackling of the skin was there but the meat somehow lacked a little flavour. The bun was good though, just soft and warm and you felt like you can just satisfy yourself with the bun alone

Butter Braised Mushroom w Soy and Sesame $12 (Small) $24 (Large)

The mushroom was a surprise. The aroma of the butter mixed with the crunchy sesame gave the mushroom a well rounded and balanced taste

Slow Cooked Octopus w Cauliflower Puree $20 (Small) $38 (Large)

Octopus that doesn’t taste like one. The friend asked if this was sausage and I was shocked and laughing away. The octopus meat was so smooth and tender if you eat this dish blindfolded, you will guess all other dishes as well

Smoked Baby Back Ribs w Sake BBQ Sauce $19 (Small) $36 (Large)

They serve some mean baby back ribs here. A smart combination of sake and bbq sauce to bring out the wonderful flavours of the meat, using a traditional yet surprising marinate

Miso Roasted Pumpkin w Sugar Snap Peas, Crispy Garlic and Egg Yolk $15 (Small) $28 (Large)

It’s like mui fan, Japanese style. The sweet pumpkins with crunchy snow peas and fragrant garlic gave different elements to a normal plate of rice. It was simple yet satisfying

Even though it says no service charge, but 10% gratuity fee applies to group of 6 or more so..

I like the vibes that Neon Pigeon portrays – young, hip and friendly. What seems like the next upcoming in thing, Neon Pigeon might just hit the bucket list. It is a place I’ll recommend if you just wanna chill over some good food and drinks, or if you are in the area

Neon Pigeon

1 Keong Saik Rd, 1-03, S(089109)