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Taste Of Nippon

Taste Of Nippon

Japanese fare that everyone loves. Curry Don, Sushi and everything else; you name it, we have it!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

From Sushi Plus; a new concept by the folks behind Sushi Express β€” think of it as a combination of Genki Sushi alongside casual conveyor belt sushi chains such as Sushi Express itself; patrons would have to scan a QR code specific to the table that they are seated so as to make their orders from the menu that would arrive through the express lane above the conveyor belt.

Amongst the items that we enjoyed included the Garlic Butter Scallop Nigri Sushi (an Umami bomb on its own; the Garlic Butter is everything to love here), as well as the Cheese Masago with Tamago. Essentially a warm slab of Tamago encasing melted cheese and topped with Mentaiko, the Tamago is well-layered whilst featuring oozy cheese that is all savoury while the Mentaiko over the top provides a umami note that is hard not to love. Yes; a very basic item featuring all the things that almost everyone likes in one package, but still pretty delicious and pretty much a steal at $1.50 a piece.

The opening of PLQ Mall had undeniably added quite a number of dining options to the area. Gave Donburi King a try over the weekend, which not only serves up well-sized Chirashi Don, but also offers other cooked items as well as ramen.

Pretty much liked this dish for how the Sliced Iberico Pork was so on-point; thin slices of pork that is juicy and tender, simmered in a broth that is oh-so-savoury with caramelised onions carrying a distinct sweetness that makes it undoubtedly comforting and delicious. Beneath the pile of meat is the short-grain rice; pearly and sticky, the rice absorbed much of the broth that came with the pork, giving it a bit of moisture without feeling particularly dry. No doubt the main star of this establishment would be their Chirashi Don offerings; mounds of fresh seafood atop rice that is generous and all, but this is something I would see myself ordering again β€” simple, comforting food that warms up the soul indeed.


Had been recently into different forms of fried rice of the late; just cannot resist a good plate of fried rice done either in Japanese or Taiwanese style. While the ramen and gyoza are the main highlights at Kiwami, the Mizayaki Wagyu Garlic Fried Rice is an item that is great to share across the table with the gyoza as well. Well-executed, the Garlic Fried Rice is pretty consistent in flavour throughout the entire portion; savoury, garlicky and not too greasy β€” the rice is also still pearly while speckled with egg and garlic chips for an extra fragrance. The beef comes pretty well-portioned; tender and savoury β€” quite flavourful on its own, and adds a meatiness to the rice and adds a good bite as well without being chewy or tough. An item that is comforting and delicious; something which we would crave for again considering how well-executed it is.


From Kaiyo Sushi & Grill, a newly-opened Japanese establishment along Teck Chye Terrace along the same row of shophouses as Two Bakers' newest outlet in Serangoon.

Offering a wide variety of menu items ranging from sushi/sashimi to grilled items and set menus, the items are largely pretty enjoyable just like this Kaiyo Chirashi β€” an assortment of raw fish slices on a bed of rice served with salad, Chawanmushi and Miso Soup. While most Chirashi Don only places their emphasis on the freshness of the raw slices of fish, this one goes further to even place some effort on the rice for a more well-rounded experience. Really enjoyed how fresh the assortment of fish was; all of which sliced in pretty chunky portions to allow for some bite while the Tamago was well-layered and provided a hint of sweetness. Coming with pickled ginger and Wasabi on the side, the pickled ginger helps to refresh the tastebuds with a zingy crunch while the Wasabi provided quite a kick to tickle the taste buds with its numbing sensation. The short-grained, pearly Japanese Rice was nothing short of being memorable here too; coming with a tinge of slight sweetness, it comes with traces of pickled mushrooms for a slight earthiness that helps to balance things out quite a fair bit. Even the Chawanmushi is out to impress here; the infusion of Yuzu is pretti evident here β€” whilst being relatively smooth, the Chawanmushi comes with an abundance of goodies such as mushrooms, shrimp and a huge chunk of meat as well. Considering how this bowl costs $21.90++, it is pretty value-for-money considering the level of execution here β€” pretty much a showcase of the chef's skill and passion to create the very best for the patrons β€” a gem within the neighbourhood that we would look forward to visiting again!


Slow-cooked Chicken Cubes, Diced Carrots, Potatoes, and Daikon in Homemade Dashi Sauce, Pickled Red Ginger, Bonito Flakes, Japanese Rice.

Apart from the Tamago Sando and the various desserts making its rounds on social media, Matchaya also serves up comforting mains like the Dashi Chicken Stew now β€” a step further from the Matcha-centric menu which featured only desserts and beverages before its revamp of their The Cathay outlet. A rather simple and comforting dish, this was something I would look forward to if I were to crave for something soothing for the soul; the Homemade Dashi Sauce is like a stew (oh, of course) β€” ; savoury yet not too heavy on the taste buds, with the carrots, potatoes and daikon carrying a soft bite and the chicken cubes providing a meaty bite without being too tough nor dry. Coupled with Japanese rice, the rice comes a little less fluffy and a little dry than expected, but easily fixed when portioned with a little bit of the stew; the pickled red ginger adding a crunch and a zing to refresh the taste buds in between. Something that is fuss-free and easy to have.

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From Seizan Uni Ramen, located within the grounds of Picnic at Wisma Atria taking over the stall that used to serve up Taiwanese fare. Being affiliated to a 2 Michelin Star restaurant in Japan, Seizan Uni Ramen serves up Uni Ramen as its specialty, though also serving up to other items that feature their Dashi stock with other condiments.

Featuring a Uni-infused broth where Bafun Uni is cooked and melted down into their Dashi broth, the ramen also comes with other condiments such as Cha Shu, Egg, Seaweed and Spring Onions. Whilst looking more like a thick and rich sauce rather than a soupy broth, the Uni-infused broth is surprisingly liquid; the broth being pretty flavourful and rather interesting with the Uni's distinct umami notes carrying a slight sense of booziness in its finish β€” very unique, though something not meant for everyone for its richness. Noodles were springy, while the Chashu whilst being just a single slice was a pretty chunky portion; a good mix of both lean and fattier parts that provides a bit of chew while also being melt-in-the-mouth. The Egg was a bit of a letdown however; a little dry and lacking of the oozy, molten goodness that other ramen joints may be able to serve up. Overall, a pretty interesting concept; probably one of the only few places that specialises in Uni Ramen as a permanent fixture on the menu, priced rather affordably at $21 considering Uni being a premium ingredient β€” still probably something meant for the adventurous, as well as for ramen lovers who are open to trying all sorts of ramen around.


From Una Una; a new unagi concept located at Bugis+ beside Ramen Champion.

Serving up a variety of Unagi dishes with a smaller variety of non-unagi menu items, the Hitsumabushi is pretty much a steal at its price point at $19.80++ for the double portion. Served with soup, some condiments, Dashi broth and pickles on the side, the main star of the show here would definitely be the Unagi that is tenderly grilled over charcoal. Watching the action in the kitchen live through the glass window, the Unagi is expertly grilled to give that nice crusted exterior that is all smoky whilst glazed in a thick, sweet sauce (albeit sweeter than those of other Unagi specialist stores here) that patrons can also add on themselves β€” the sauce being made available at the condiment bar placed on every dining table here with the utensils box. We also noticed how the Unagi here is rather plump, and the double portion comes with a pretty generous load of Unagi that is portioned well with the portion of pearly, short grain rice sitting beneath. Adding the Dashi broth into the Hitsumabushi, it helps to add an umami note to the dish, further elevating its flavours with a contrasting tone. Whilst the pickles are not much to shout about, the soup on the side comes clear and infused with Yuzu for a refreshing zing; helps to cut out the heavier flavours of the bowl itself.


From the new Don Don Donki at Clarke Quay; named Doraya, this stall within the food court area focuses on its raw tuna offerings.

Perhaps one of the better dining options in the food court itself; despite the slight priciness of the bowl at $19.80, this worked out pretty well considering how fresh the Maguro was, whilst being sliced in well-sized chunks and torched to allow patrons to actually feel and taste the fish with the pearly and fluffy Japanese short-grain rice – pretty well-balanced in that aspect. The garlic chips helps to add a contrast of flavours to the bowl; a crispness and a garlicky note that just adds on the fish and rice here. Coming with Yuzu peels on the side, the Yuzu helps to add just a hint of zinginess to give a good break in between the heavier flavours of the Maguro, while the wasabi invokes a numbing sensation that is oh-so-shiok as it hits the nose when had with the other elements in the bowl.


With Don Don Donki's opening at the basement of Clarke Quay Central, the hype seems to be very much on the Tendon Kohaku X Man Man Unagi collaboration β€” let's not forget about the food court area that is dedicated within the department store itself, just like its City Square Mall and Orchard Central outlets.

Only serving two items (the other being a dessert), Kanda Soba serves up Maze Soba; essentially dry ramen with a number of toppings. Served with Minced Meat, spring onions, seaweed, raw yolk and some seasoning, we were also advised to give it a douse of vinegar that was provided at the side when we finished half the bowl as-is. Mixing everything up, we felt that the condiments are largely overwhelmed by the dominant peppery notes of the seasoning; otherwise, the bowl carries quite a bit of texture from the various elements that provide a crunch and a meaty bite β€” the noodles also carrying some chewiness. Whilst we are not being too fond of the sauce beneath, those who wish to mop up all that sauce can add some of the fluffy short-grain rice provided on the side β€” absorbs all of that sauce pretty well.


Opened recently within Hotel Soloha, Takeshi Noodle Bar is a new ramen establishment that serves up fusion ramen. Allowing patrons to customise their ramen according to their preferences, Takeshi Noodle Bar offers several types of noodles with their Ramen (i.e. Japanese Ramen noodles, Linguine or Angel Hair), whilst also allowing patrons to go for different levels of firmness of the noodles and various thickness of the broth.

Going for the Japanese Ramen noodles for hard level of noodle firmness and a normal thickness of the broth, the ramen also features other elements such as Mizayaki A5 Wagyu Beef, Nori Seaweed, Kikuage, Hon Shimeiji, Ajiitsuke Tamango, Menma, Green Onion and a Truffle Tonkotsu broth. Taking a sip of the broth, the broth carries a light truffle aroma that perfumes the entire bowl; prominent but not overwhelming the creamy and aptly thick Tonkotsu broth that is not too cloying on its own. The slices of Wagyu Beef portioned was not something I would call generous; understandably so considering the grade of the beef for such a price tag but they were pretty tender without carrying any gaminess β€” a mix of lean and fatty meat without needing much effort to chew and almost akin to that of Shabu-Shabu style beef. The remaining condiments help to provide more texture to the ramen; the Hon Shimeiji and Kikuage providing a bouncy bite, while the Menma adds a crunch β€” the Ajiitsuke Tamago coming with molten yolk that carries a savoury note from the marination. Whilst opting for hard firmness for the noodles, we found the noodles to be much on the soft side instead. A pretty decent bowl of ramen; all served it a pretty hip environment that would work well as a spot for dates or catch-ups for small groups.


Had been a fan of Omote's Barachirashi Don ever since the first time I have had it a couple of years ago when they were still Sushiro at the small shop space that would only fit around less than 15 pax near the food court. Its amazing how they had since expanded their Chirashi Don offerings, with this being one of the latest additions to the latest menu launched a couple of weeks ago.

Taking their classic Chirashi Don and switching things up a little, this is everything I liked about their Chirashi Don with its well-sized cubes of assortment of raw fish that is fresh and affordable β€” all with a creamy Wasabi Mayo, chopped Wasabi and the standard knob of Wasabi on the side, topped with Ikura. The result is a mind-piercing, nose-sniffing experience; the numbing sensation that is so intense especially when one bites on the chopped Wasabi that it slows down one's eating speed because its just so mind boggling but so ever shiok. Some might call it a torture, but this is the dish that would be any Wasabi lover's calling; an item that are meant for all the daredevils willing to take up the challenge β€” very interesting indeed.


Taking over the former premises of Pontian Wanton Noodles at Northpoint City is Suparakki Ramen, a new establishment that serves up affordable Tonkotsu broth ramen at less than $10.00 ala-carte.

Coming with condiments such as Onsen Egg, Chashu, Black Fungus, Seaweed, Spring Onions and thin Hakata noodles as standard, the broth comes all creamy and hearty without being too heavy, lightly savoury; pretty heartwarming at the price point. The Chashu is a mix of lean and fatty meat, whilst the Onsen Egg came with a somewhat molten yolk and the noodles carrying a bit of bite. Considering how this came at just $6.90, this is most certainly a steal for its price, for how some less-established ramen places may charge higher without achieving the consistency here; pretty much good value-for-money. Service isn't the most friendly though, and the space does feel a tad claustrophobic with lack of space between groups of diners between tables and narrow aisles β€” more for an eat-and-go space rather than one for lengthy catchups; but a great option to dine at if one doesn't mind the other factors except for the quality of foos served here.


Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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