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Oishi 🇯🇵

Oishi 🇯🇵

A collection of Japanese food in Singapore!
Melissa Chee
Melissa Chee

One last hurrah for Liang Court and all the Japanese eateries there before they shutter up at the end of March 2020.

Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza is located in Meidi-ya supermarket food court. There’s a common seating area, so even while dining as a group you can order food from this stall or the Japanese Curry stall, or get sushi.

We got the tempura soba (hot), and added on a mini rice bowl to it (unagi don), plus 3pc chicken karaage. This was pretty filling for two people!

The soba was a little mushy, perhaps due to the type of noodle used, but with noodles I guess it’s personal preference. I would’ve preferred more bite in my noodles. The tempura came with three prawns, a green bell pepper, carrot and pumpkin. Love the tempura batter here, it’s just the right thickness, and retained its crispness very well. Wasn’t too oily either.

The Mini dons aren’t available for order on their own, so you have to order them as an add-on to the soba sets. There’s four different choices - two tempura based, and then the unagi or crab meat. They were quite pricey for add-ons given their size, but we definitely couldn’t finish a regular sized rice bowl so having this was a good option to have both noodles and rice in one meal. I enjoyed the unagi as it didn’t have a sandpaper texture at all!

What we thought was the star of our dinner: the chicken karaage. It cost $6 for 3 pieces, which works out to $2 per piece. A little expensive for a side, but bear in mind that the chicken chunks are really sizeable! I love love love how crispy the chicken karaage is, the batter is light and stayed crisp throughout our whole meal. If I’m not mistaken, they actually advertise their chicken karaage as champions in a food competition so.... if that’s not enough endorsement, I don’t know what is.

While the Japanese curry rice stall had a notice of closure and clearly stated that they will reopen when Meidi-ya moves to Millenia Walk, I’m not too sure about this stall. Hopefully they do, as I’d like to have their karaage again!

Actually wanted the matcha soba set but they’d run out for the day, so I chose the Beef mazesoba which comes with cold soba noodles, slices of beef shabu, shimeji mushrooms, and a chilli oil dipping sauce with a soft boiled egg. The server instructed me to pour the sauce into the noodles, but I wouldn’t recommend this as it dilutes the sauce too much and the soba doesnt absorb the flavours. I found it better to dip the soba into the sauce. This resulted in a better coating of the noodles. Surprisingly, the sauce was actually spicier than I would’ve thought as there didn’t look to be much chilli oil in it. The soba noodles were a tad undercooked as they were hard, but it didn’t bother me that much after I dipped them in the sauce. The beef shabu was tender and yummy, but the amount given was very little. Overall, I think the ingredient to noodle ratio needs to be improved. I probably wouldn’t order this again as there are other tastier dishes on the menu, and better mazesobas in other local eateries.

Quite a simple warm noodle dish topped with sweet beancurd pocket, leek, seaweed and fish cake. As with the rest of the soba dishes at Shimbashi Soba, the noodles are cooked al dente but try to eat them fast as they do tend to get soggy and progressively softer the longer you leave them in the soup. My favourite part of this dish was the beancurd pocket which was literally just Inari sushi without any rice. The sweet beancurd pocket is really yummy to eat warm and provides a nice flavour contrast to the savoury soup broth.

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A healthy warm soba dish topped with beancurd skin, fried beancurd, seaweed and assorted mushrooms. Hearty and healthy, this is a comforting warm dish that doesn’t make you feel guilty about eating it. The soba was al dente, and there were quite a lot of ingredients. The broth was really tasty, but it did tend to get too salty after a while. That’s ok though, as Shimbashi Soba provides a thermos with dashi stock at each table for this very purpose.

There’s also a vegetarian version of this dish made with vegetable soup broth.

This combination soba set is perfect for those who can’t make up their minds like me. You get the best of both worlds with a warm soup soba and a chilled soba in sauce topped with tempura bits, seaweed, grated radish and Japanese omelette. The set is also served with assorted tempura (pumpkin, sweet pea, eggplant, seaweed, prawn).

The tempura is pretty good! Not too oily, and they are quite generous with the number of pieces of tempura in the set.

In addition, it’s yuzu season now! So you can top up $2 to upgrade any cold soba to yuzukiri soba (available till 1 May). Although I was only expecting the upgrade for my cold soba, the staff kindly informed me that they would upgrade both my warm and chilled soba! Yay! I think it’s totally worth the upgrade because the yuzukiri soba is fragrant and extremely refreshing. I was surprised at how well the yuzu taste carried through in the noodles. It was a sweet citrusy fragrance that just made me really happy. I did find that the warm soba was a little softer, maybe because it was soaking in the soup, whereas the chilled soba was more al dente and had more bite. I can’t decide which one I like more because they were both awesome and it was nice to alternate between the two. After having the yuzukiri soba, I found the regular soba taste pretty bland - it really did make quite a lot of difference in my opinion, so go get the yuzukiri soba before the season ends!

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Was choosing between this dish and the chicken karaage but since Aburi-EN is a grilled meat specialist, it wasn’t that difficult to decide right?

All I can say is wow. The Sumibi Chicken Yakitori ($8.90) is incredible. The smoky aroma wafts into your nostrils the instant the dish is brought to your table, the level of charring is just nice to add a layer of complexity to the taste without overpowering the taste of the meat. The chicken pieces are plump, tender and juicy, even bordering on the edge of being undercooked as some of the thicker pieces were still slightly pink on the inside. Worth getting as a side for extra protein supplement to the rice bowls!

Some days you just gotta treat yo-self right? The Premium Wagyu Don comes with a premium price tag of $28 but for the quality, it is worth it.

My don was served in 5 minutes after ordering, which was really quick considering I’ve seen some reviews that mention a wait time of 30 minutes. There’re 3 slices of thicker Wagyu beef on the right, and 5 very fine slices on the left of the bowl. The marbling on the Wagyu is amazing! They’re drenched in the grilling sauce, and laid atop shimeji mushrooms on a bed of fluffy Japanese rice. I was in awe of how tender and melt in your mouth these fatty beef slices were. Even my dad who doesn’t like beef really loved the thin slices! The thicker slices are grilled to medium doneness, revealing a juicy pinkish interior when bitten into. All the meat and mushrooms were dripping in mouth-watering savoury sauce that I wish they’d provided more of as the rice on its own was really plain and tasteless without sauce.

If you love beef, you will love this bowl and it’s definitely worth treating yourself once in a while :)

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Choosing between the buta don and the hoho don was a hard decision as they both looked so good. The idea of pork jowl won in the end though.

This bowl took about 15 minutes to serve, which was pretty long compared to the beef bowl. However, if you have time to spare, this is definitely worth the wait. The pork jowl is thinly sliced and so tender that it gives with very little effort and melts in your mouth. It’s grilled to perfection, with an amazing smoky charcoal aroma. Would be better with more sauce for the rice. At $16, this bowl is value for money given the quality!

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Probably the most expensive item at Mr Obanyaki - the mochi taiyaki is available with two different fillings (red bean and cream cheese).

I personally don’t like this very much as I feel the mochi is a tad too soft and sticky for my liking. The taiyaki is quite flimsy and tends to flop about. However, my mom absolutely loves the mochi taiyaki and thinks it’s the best flavour out of all the taiyaki and Obanyaki available. If you like chewy and sticky mochi, give this a try.

Always biding my time to my next meal. Everything in between just serves to kill time.

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