Sa Tae Bak Review: Affordable Yakitori Bar With Retro Vibes |
Japanese Restaurant Reviews

Sa Tae Bak Review: Affordable Yakitori Bar With Retro Vibes In Changi

31st May 2024

Sa Tae Bak is a retro yakitori bar selling skewers and oysters


Izakayas and yakitori bars are aplenty in Singapore, but I don’t think I have ever seen one that does it like Sa Tae Bak. As I entered the restaurant, I was greeted with old-timey posters, and Ballerina by Miki Matsubara was playing in the background. As a Japanese city pop music fan, I was immediately drawn to the yakitori bar, and thought they might have something different to offer.


There’s an interesting story behind the yakitori bar’s name: Sa Tae Bak is transliterated as “three stacked meat” in Hokkien, which refers to grilled meats on a stick. I thought this was a clever play on words, as it sounds like “satay”, which also refers to skewered meat! 

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Food at Sa Tae Bak


My colleague and I got the Yaki Moriawase Set ($69+) which is perfect for two people. Everything in the picture above, except the oysters and drinks, was part of the set meal. This set consists of 13 varieties of Japanese small bites, including Mentaiko Rice Ball, Grilled Unagi, and Chicken Thigh With Leek

With such a wide variety, I’d say it was quite value for money. Out of all these dishes, here are some highlights worth a try! 


The Angus Ribeye and Japan A5 Wagyu Sirloin skewers stayed juicy and tender even after our prolonged shoot. In particular, the sirloin on the left hit the right spot: the Wagyu was soft, buttery, and smoky all at once.

I also appreciated that all the grilled meats were lightly seasoned with just salt. In contrast to how it is usually slathered with teriyaki sauce, I liked how salt was used instead as the skewer’s own meaty umami flavour shone through, all the while keeping the palate light. 


Next, we really liked their Chicken Meat Ball for the minced chicken cartilage! This added more crunch to each ball, and when paired with the juicy tenderness of the minced chicken, we could enjoy a variety of textures in just a single bite.  


The Enoki Bacon Miso is another must-try: enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon are grilled and topped with a miso mayonnaise sauce before being torched for an extra char. Thanks to this meticulous process, the bacon and enoki stalks were extra crispy and yummy. The mayo sauce also provided an extra touch of salty, creamy richness.  

As someone who does not like eels, the Grilled Unagi Skewers were surprisingly really good! I’m not a fan of eels as I find the meat to be rather tough and dry, but this was anything like that. The unagi was prepared fresh, so the flesh was tender. There was also a melt-in-your-mouth fattiness in the meat that made this skewer all the better. 


In addition to the two-person set, we tried the Fresh Hyogo Oysters ($18+ for three pieces). Just look at how big and fresh the oyster flesh was! I have never seen oysters this big, especially at such wallet-friendly prices. 

These were a great palate cleanser, especially for how fresh they tasted. Plus, the oysters were served with a wedge of lemon and tabasco on the side, which helped to accentuate the natural seafood umami of the oysters while removing any hint of fishiness.  


Finally, we got these mochi skewers to complete our meal and the “sa tae” experience. Even though Premium Thai Milk Tea Ice Cream Mochi Dango ($12.90+) was one of the bestsellers, I found them to be quite unmemorable. The milk tea in the ice cream was quite muted, and it mostly tasted like sweet vanilla which became slightly cloying towards the end

However, I appreciated the slight bitterness of cocoa in the Chocolate Ice Cream Mochi Dango ($9.90+). It gave more depth of flavour to the otherwise simple dessert. 

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Ambience at Sa Tae Bak


The vibes at Sa Tae Bak were truly immaculate. The stylish, vintage interior of the yakitori bar made our dining experience a lot more enjoyable. The dining area was also only lit up by mood lighting, which eased the diners into a cosy and comfortable space. 

The outlet we visited is an 11-minute walk from either Eunos MRT Station or Kembangan MRT Station. The space can fit 50 people comfortably, so you won’t be eavesdropping on your neighbours as you dine and drink. 

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The verdict


You’d think with so much effort the owner put into bringing the space together, the yakitori bar would mostly be good for the camera. But the food has left me impressed too. Despite the lacklustre dessert, almost every plate of savoury goods offered high-quality ingredients at affordable prices. 

The chef even clued us in on the upcoming new dishes such as a plate of charcoal-grilled A5 Wagyu steak for just $35+. I will definitely be back for this. 

For more Japanese food, check out Tsuki Ramen, a new affordable noodle place by an ex-Takagi chef. Or If you’re in the area, read our guide to the best Joo Chiat and Katong food places.

Bugis outlet
Address: 31 Bali Lane, Singapore 189867
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Tel: 8207 7749

Changi outlet
Address: 318 Changi Road, Singapore 419793
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 11pm

Sa Tae Bak is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Maisie Chong.
This was a media tasting at Sa Tae Bak. 

Sa Tae Bak Review: Affordable Yakitori Bar With Retro Vibes In Changi
  • 8.5/10
    Sa Tae Bak Review: Affordable Yakitori Bar With Retro Vibes In Changi - 8.5/10


– Great vibey ambience
– Huge oysters and fresh unagi
– Affordably priced

– Quite far from the MRT Station
– The ice cream dango was quite lacklustre

Recommended dishes: Fresh Hyogo Oysters ($18+ for three pieces), Yaki Moriawase Set ($69+)

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 11pm

Address: 318 Changi Road, Singapore 419793

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