Nakano Darling @ Darling Square, Haymarket

A popular Japanese Izakaya that has always made me curious whenever I pass by and I finally had a chance to try it! It was a busy Saturday night, we had no reservations and were hungry. So we tried our luck here and managed to grab a small table for us four.

The tables are low and its very casual dining atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was still a great way to hangout with friends, both old and new. They have a one page menu for food, and a niche booklet for drinks consisting of cocktails, sake, high balls and even Japanese beer.

They’re known for their chicken and gyozas which took up half the page on the menu. Their karaage chicken is huge, juicy and flavoursome. They come in different servings of 1, 2 or 3 (5 pieces per serve; $9.5, $18, $27 respectively). You would think they wouldn’t be big when we ordered 3 servings and other dishes, but we honestly couldn’t finish it all! And we had a guy with us too!

They also have cold dishes in which we tried to balance our the friend with their ume-shio cabbage ($9.5) which I do not recommend. Either they didn’t mix it well but it was salty. We could not stop making faces.

And who could ever not order takoyaki ($7.5) at a Japanese restaurant? It comes in 8 pcs and we ordered a few of those to share between us. Maybe that’s why we couldn’t finish the chicken because these takoyakis were one of the best, and brings me back to Japan.

We also ordered their octopus karaage ($9.5) which comes in small fried chopped up octopus pieces. They give you a wedge of lemon to squeeze over it to add in a refreshing zing in your mouth.

So the question is, would I come back? For the karaage…yes!

Nakano Darling Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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