SG Japanese Eats

SG Japanese Eats

Featuring Koh Grill & Sushi Bar (Wisma Atria), Omoté (Thomson Plaza), Tendon Kohaku (Suntec City), Tendon Ginza Itsuki (Tanjong Pagar), Ramen Keisuke Tori King (100AM), Ramen Keisuke Lobster King, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (Clarke Quay Central), Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons (Bugis), HANA (Forum The Shopping Mall), Chikuwa Tei
Jonathan Lim
Jonathan Lim

We were impressed with our recent yakiniku dining experience at En Yakiniku. Here’s what we had:

They use binchotan charcoal here for the grilling and it really does make a difference in terms of taste (slightly smokier)! We tried some of their premium quality beef cuts (sourced from Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu, Japan) like A4 wagyu ribeye & A4 wagyu striploin (both of these were so good!), beef tongue, oyster blade, US beef chuck and US prime short rib (loved this too!), as well as tasty pork cuts like Iberico pork collar and chestnut duroc belly, along with tiger prawns, tsukune chicken ball, and some of their cooked food items. The food here ain’t the cheapest, but you are definitely getting your money’s worth with the quality! This place acts as a sake bar too, with an open bar concept so do order some alcohol to pair with your grilled food!

The service standard here is awesome; you can request for help to grill the meats for you and even to de-shell prawns! The ambiance here is really cool & convivial as well, and both of these factors certainly elevated the overall dining experience even more!

We had dinner at Guriru, a Japanese Hamayaki inspired concept by Chef Teppei Yamashita and Anagram Food Lab last week. We tried a number of food items like charcoal-grilled seafood & meats, pizzas and more!

~Black Tiger Prawn
~Hyogo Oysters (both grilled & raw)
~Guriru Oyster Rice
~Kurobuta Pork Belly
~Meltique Beef
~Whole Squid
~Smoked Duck Pizza
~Fugu Mirin Boshi & Burnt Round Cabbage
~Chocolate & Black Sesame Mochi (will be in menu soon)

We were pretty impressed with the food, with more hits than misses overall. Some of the hits include Black Tiger Prawn (nicely grilled, with the garlic butter adding a good flavour to the prawns!), Raw Oysters (so fresh and succulent, with the ponzu sauce pairing so well with the oysters!), Kurobuta Pork Belly (this was so good, with a lovely melt-in-mouth texture!), Fugu Mirin Boshi (very addictive!) & Smoked Duck Pizza (love the texture of the crust!)! They have some off-menu items here too, like Grilled Yellowtail Fish (which we tried but not pictured) and more, that can be ordered but subject to availability on that day. We also had a preview of their new upcoming mochi dessert, and we liked how smooth and soft the texture was!

Although the location here is a little out of the way, I would recommend a visit here (especially if you drive) for their food, chill poolside dining vibes and great service (shoutout to Cris for her awesome hospitality!).

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Had a wonderful meal over at JinHonten, a brand new concept by the Les Amis Group recently, where I enjoyed their 10-course omakase dinner ($450++; 8-course lunch is $180++) skilfully prepared by Head Chef Issey Araki.

Each course from start to finish was so exquisite! Every dish was so fresh and delicious, and prepared using ingredients airflown mainly from Japan! My favourites were the Steamed Kuro Awabi (tender black abalone, paired with a richly addictive abalone liver sauce!), Nodoguro “Benihitomi” Hand Roll (crispy roasted nori sheets filled with meaty fillets of blackthroat seaperch - yummy!), Charcoal Grilled Hida Beef (perfectly cooked to a nice texture - this is so, so good!), and Kegani Donabe Rice (each grain of rice has been infused with umami flavours of the Hokkaido hairy crab, making the whole dish so flavourful)!

The delectable food, beautifully designed dining interior, great service, plus Chef’s ‘showmanship’ made this a truly memorable dining experience!

[1. Appetiser] - Murasaki Uni | Botan Ebi
[2. Steam] - Kuro Awabi
[3. Hand Roll] - Nodoguro “Benihitomi”
[4. Sashimi] - Menuke
[5. Shabu Shabu] - Kinki
[6. Deep Fried] - Shiro Ebi
[7. Refreshment] - Nasu
[8. Charcoal Grilled] - Hida Beef
[9. Donabe Rice] - Kegani
[10. Dessert] - Musk Melon (not pictured)

There seems to be a rising trend in yakiniku style bbq joints opening up in humble coffeeshop settings these days, and Ryo Yakiniku is one of them! Plus, they are Muslim owned, so I was quite intrigued to check them out!

This was one of the better yakiniku style bbq I’ve had recently; we were pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of their meats! Everything was so well-marinated and flavourful! If it’s your first time here, I’d recommend getting their Deluxe Set ($40 - feeds 2 pax), which has beef cuts like Karubi and Gyutan, and also chicken and a mushroom platter too - all of which go really well with their house-made sauces! If you are feeling indulgent, you can also get more premium cuts like the A5 Wagyu ($16) and Striploin ($12). The A5 Wagyu, especially is so juicy! Pro tip: The A5 Wagyu just needs a sprinkling of salt to bring out the full flavour of the beef - no sauce needed at all!

✨ Overall Rating: 3.8/5
🏷 Ryo Yakiniku
📍 61 Tai Seng Ave, Singapore 534167
⏰ Mon to Sat: 5pm - 10.30pm

Maruhachi, known for serving up affordably priced restaurant-quality tonkatsu, has recently launched their limited edition (till 30 June 2022) Cheese Menchi Katsu in celebration of their 8th and newest outlet opening in Bedok. Here’s what we tried at their Edgefield Plains outlet:

~Cheese Menchi Katsu Curry ($10.80)
~Blackpig Katsu Set ($15.80, served with Japanese rice & miso soup)
~Special Pork Katsu Don ($12.80)

As it was my first time trying their tonkatsu, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, despite its humble setting. It’s comparable to those I’ve had at some Japanese restaurants before. The Blackpig Katsu was my favourite - it was crispy and pretty succulent overall! I enjoyed the Cheese Menchi Katsu Curry too, but would have enjoyed it even more if it had more cheese. They are also available on GrabFood, foodpanda and Deliveroo (selected outlets).

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Recently had dinner with my family at Mr Yakiniku, a newly opened yakiniku joint located in a coffeeshop beside ComfortDelGro Driving Centre at Ubi.

They serve a good variety of fresh, affordable and good quality bbq ingredients like meats (beef, chicken & pork), seafood and even plant-based meats! My favourites are the Wagyu Steak, Karubi Prime (boneless shortribs), Harami (skirt steak), Saikyo Miso Tai (snapper) and Hotate (scallop w/ shell). All of these went really well with their signature Mr Yakiniku sauce, which has pineapple puree, making it sweet and tangy!

They also serve charcoal grilled donburis for lunch from 11.30am-2.30pm, where you can choose your choice of meat (includes corn, mushroom & onsen egg) along with Japanese rice, dry ramen or salad. Featured on my last pic is Beef Cube w/ Japanese Rice.

The ambience here, although in a coffeeshop, is pretty cosy, well-lit and even comes with huge fans to keep you cool in SG’s heat. Good for gathering of friends or families!

✨ Overall Rating: 3.7/5
🏷 Mr Yakiniku
📍 179 Ubi Ave 4, Singapore 408793
⏰ Mon to Sat: 11am - 10.30pm

We recently checked out The Gyu Co, which serves affordable Premium Wagyu Dons (from $9.90) in the west (walking distance from Jurong East MRT Station)! Here’s what we had:

~Truffle Foie Gras Gyudon ($23.40)*
~Mentaiko Salmon Don ($16.40)*
~Chicken Nanban ($7.80)
*price includes set meal ($3.50) of miso soup, chawanmushi & drink

We certainly enjoyed the Truffle Foie Gras Gyudon, which includes ingredients like grilled Australian wagyu, a scoop of truffle salsa, foie gras and more on a bed of Japanese rice! The beef slices were tender and well-seasoned while the truffle taste was prominent but not overwhelmingly so! The foie gras had a melt-in-the-mouth texture, and its flavour was decent enough. The Mentaiko Salmon Don was pretty good too; salmon was fresh and well-cooked, topped with a good amount of mentaiko sauce. Lastly, the Chicken Namban is crispy, juicy, and pairs well with the sauce - it’s a great side dish for sharing!

If you find yourself in or near the west, I’d definitely recommend paying a visit to The Gyu Co if you are craving affordable Japanese dons!

✨ Overall Rating: 3.6/5
🏷 The Gyu Co
📍 #02-35, Vision Exchange, 2 Venture Dr, Singapore 608526
⏰ Mon-Sat: 11.30am to 2pm, 5pm to 9pm

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Looking to satisfy your yakiniku cravings in a quick and convenient way? Rice Sando is a takeaway kiosk that offers yakiniku-on-the-go - quick and fuss-free! Watch as the meats are flame-seared, then assembled a la minute, layered with sunny side-up egg and fresh lettuce between fluffy Japanese rice, then finally wrapped with a crisp sheet of Nori (seaweed). Enjoy different grades of beef at different price points; A5 Wagyu Yakiniku Karubi ($12.80), Yakiniku Karubi ($8.80), as well as Hokkaido Pork Yakiniku ($6.80) and classic Pork Yakiniku ($5.40).

Had a chance to try some of these yakiniku rice sandwiches and I must say they were pretty tasty overall, with the meats nicely-grilled, and pairing well with the other ingredients! My favourite one is the A5 Wagyu Yakiniku Karubi! I also tried some of their sides like Takoyaki and Original Karaage which were pretty good too!

Kanada-Ya has recently launched their seasonal special Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen, that’s available at all their outlets. If you like your ramen broth rich and creamy with an added kick of spice, this one is made for you!

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I’ve always felt that Sō Ramen offers one of the better ramen around, with its standard remaining consistent over the years. And now, they’ve recently launched new sides dishes for you to pair with your ramen:

~Ika Geso (Squid) Karaage ($6.50)
~Goma Tofu ($3.50)
~Tori Nanban ($5.90)
~Crispy Whitebait Fry ($6.90)

The sides are pretty enjoyable overall! The Ika Geso Karaage was crispy and tender, the Goma Tofu was creamy and pungent (in a good way!), the Tori Nanban was crispy and juicy, and paired well with the tartare sauce, and finally the Crispy Whitebait Fry was well-seasoned but could have been a little more crisp!

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Visited Ramen King at their Tampines coffeeshop outlet with my friend for lunch recently and here’s what we had:

~Kurobuta Toroniku Spicy Miso Ramen ($15)
~Tonkotsu Ramen ($8)
~Cheese Gyoza (3pcs-$4, 5pcs-$6) & Original Gyoza (3pcs-$3.59, 5pcs-$5.50)

I had the Kurobua Toroniku Spicy Miso Ramen which I thought was pretty yummy! The Kurobuta Toroniku Cha-Shu was juicy and tender, while the spicy miso broth was a good balance of spice and savoriness. Can’t comment much on the Tonkotsu Ramen as my friend had that, but he did say that it was pretty decent. As for the gyoza, we both preferred the original over the cheese.

Overall, I think with the starting price of $8 for a bowl of ramen in a coffeeshop setting, it is really quite affordable! Plus, their ramen standard (the one I had at least) is definitely comparable to those of proper ramen restaurants! I won’t go as far to say this is a must visit, but if you’re around the area and craving for ramen, this is a good option! Btw, they also recently opened their 2nd outlet at Canberra Plaza too.

✨ Overall Rating: 3.4/5
🏷 Ramen King
📍 829 Tampines St 81, Stall 7, Singapore 520829
⏰ Open Daily: 10am to 9pm

Visited Timbre+ Eastside recently and one of the stalls that I patronised was Ajiya Okonomiyaki. Got the Veggie Delight where you can choose any 3 ingredients (Shiitake, Spinach, Kimchi, Grilled Onions & Capsicum) from the Vegetable category. Can’t remember which ones I picked, but I do remember that this was pretty delicious! You could taste the freshness of the veggies, and the okonomiyaki also had a nicely charred based, while the insides were still fluffy. Everything came together nicely with the sauces - a must have for this dish! They have other Okonomiyaki combos to choose from as well, and you can decide for yourself while you’re here!

Constantly on the hunt for good eats! Instagram & TikTok: @jonnyboyeats

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