Japanese food is nothing new in Singapore. But with the recent opening of the fancy Japan Food Town and famed Japanese patissiere Henri Charpentier at Orchard road, as well as news on a Japan-bound rail cafe set to open in November, it seems like folks are really going gaga for the cuisine. Here's a roundup on more Japanese food enclaves in Singapore to get that authentic Japanese fix.
The historic 160-year old building underwent a facelift in 2014, and now there’s a Japanese food alley which resembles a ramen street outside Tokyo station. With Japanese restaurants like sushi-by-day and teppanyaki-by-night diner, Tatsu, shabu shabu specialists On-Yasai, and Ikkousha which serves traditional tonkotsu ramen, you’ll never run out of options. There’s also an exquisite selection of sake, shochu and wines available at Tonkatsu & Sake Bar Tonzaemon by Ma Maison. 30 Victoria St. 6337-7810.
Also known as “Little Japan”, this older and more modest building to the right of Cuppage Terrace is a favorite go-to for Japanese-orientated KTV, massage and foot reflexology sessions, and of course, Japanese food. It houses seven eateries specializing in a diverse range of Japanese food such as Azmaya Honten’s signature shabu shabu; Kazu Sumiyaki’s chargrilled yakitori; quality omakase from Kaiho Sushi; and tempura from izakaya-inspired Japanese restaurant and bar, Hanashizuku. 5 Koek Rd., 6734-1413.
Eat at Seven
Seven popular Japanese cuisines converged under one roof late last year and they’re all relatively affordable. There's a tuna, salmon, yellowtail and swordfish sashimi specialist over at Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi & Dining; a Yakiniku-style hot plate restaurant, NikuNoHi, which specializes in kuroge wagyu beef; Nigiro Cafe, a Tokyo cafe that claims to have the best Caesar salad in the Japanese city; and Enbu, a warayaki and charcoal grill izakaya serving traditional small plates paired with Coedo beer. Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-313. 6238-1630. Opens daily 11am-10.30pm.
Emporium Shokuhin gourmet grocer
This 34,000 sq. ft. space on the first floor of Marina Square's new wing consists of eight dining concepts as well as a Japanese gourmet grocer—including tanks filled with live seafood from Japan. There’s a small section dedicated to produce from Ehime prefecture in north-western Shikoku, Japan, with options like yuzu and iyokan yokan (thick jelly dessert) and flavored somen. If you’re looking for some authentic bites, head to Senmi Sushi, a 102-seat sushi bar or get your own hot pot at shabu shabu outlet, Tsukeru. For lighter options, grab some pastries from Japanese bakery-cafe, Kohi-Koji. Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-18. 6224-3433.
Go grocery shopping in Japan without needing your passport at this 18,000 sq. ft. revamped space with modern and minimalist interiors which showcases authentic Japanese products and a "food theatre" section. It houses Japanese eateries like Wa-Dining, which serves bentos with ingredients such as seafood from Hokkaido and wagyu beef from Kagoshima; udon and soba diner Dashi Bar, known for its Hyoshiro dashi soup stock and Kaku-Uchi Sake Bar, a casual watering hole specializing in premium sake brands. It’s also big on keeping up with the Japanese seasons too, so expect green tea and matcha pastries in May, apples in October and strawberries in December. Shaw House, 350 Orchard Rd. 6733-1111. Opens Sun-Thu 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9.30pm.
Japan Food Town
The fourth level of the former department store has been revived recently as a 628-seater food hall specializing in authentic Japanese cuisine. It houses 16 casual-dining eateries from Japan's various prefectures and cities such as Dassai Bar (Iwakuni), known for their fine sakes; udon specialist Inanwa Yosuke (Tokyo), famous for their handmade udon that uses a 150-year-old technique; Osaka Kitchen (Osaka), popular for teppanyaki and okonomiyaki, and Sushi Takewaka, a 36-year-old sushi specialty shop originally from Tsukiji market. Diners can also opt for healthier choice Kinme Mai rice (available at half of Japan Town's eateries), which has the nutritional value of brown rice. Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 435 Orchard Road, #04-39/54. 6694-6535. Opens daily 11am to 11pm.
There are plenty of options to choose from in the Japanese food street, from steaming bowls of ramen at Chabuton and Miharu Sapporo Ramen, and fresh premium thick cuts of sashimi at Teppei Syokudo, Tomi Sushi or Rakuzen (all serving up generous amounts), to a wide variety of quality sake at Patisserie G and freshly baked Japanese pastries from Pullman Bakery, the only Hokkaido-born bakery in Singapore. 9 Raffles Boulevard. 6883 1122.
Inspired by the bustling district of Ginza in Tokyo, Shokutsu Ten is a Japanese food paradise at this heartland shopping mall, designed with authentic architectural detailing and historic icons specially imported from Japan. It showcases a total of nine restaurants, over 10 cultural kiosks and an amazing selection of Japanese specialties, adding a new dimension to the quintessential Japanese dining experience. Head down for some Japanese pasta at Kabe no Ana or go for a mandatory hot pot over at Shabu Tontei. There's also local favorite Men-ichi Ramen and Idaten Udon which serves up a unique (and spicy) twist on udons. Jurong Point Shopping Centre, 1 Jurong West Central 2, #B1-77/78. 6792 5662. Opens daily 11am-10pm
which is your fav?