Nara, as the name begets, is inspired from the famous park in the city south of Kyoto where sika deer are known to roam freely. As one might be confused upon alighting, the three-storey building bears no semblance of the said destination. But stepping inside is a new feeling altogether; from the traditional noren curtains to the full deck of sake at the bar and a garden-like ambience on the top floor, the modern izakaya-esque restaurant is a pleasant treat for all goers.
If izakayas are known to be an informal tavern-like setting, then Nara elevates it to a rather fine dining experience. The interplay of wood and ceramic interiors oozes a sophisticated yet serene façade, with bamboo greenery décor adding subtle hints of the original park’s atmosphere. The first two floors occupy an ample seating space, perfect for family get-togethers or casual catch-up session during work breaks. But it’s the top floor that kindles some action with nightly live music and DJ sets perfect for the night-crawlers.
Nara is all about embracing Japanese fusion, from its identifying deer logo down to its cuisine. To revel, try chutoro tacos, a fulfilling entree of crispy wonton skin taco filled with spicy diced chutoro (fatty tuna) and mashed avocado. Continue with the crowd favourite Wagyu Teriyaki, sliced wagyu beef sautéed with homemade teriyaki sauce drenched in Japanese coleslaw sauce, or the twice-cooked Japanese Chimichurri Crispy Pork, a Japanese-inspired take on the savoury Argentinian sauce, served with a lychee salad. Bolden the flavours with the tropical Dragon Ball cocktail and the extensive range of sake or go easy with customary drink selections.
The newest entry to Tan Group, Nara lends itself a space for all occasions to thrive. From casual get together and fine dining experience to lounging with live music sets, Nara ticks all the boxes for those wanting quality cuisines in the afternoon with lively diversions at night.