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

Have been hearing some things about Kissajin for quite a while now, but it does seem that the Les Amis group has been working on a revamp of the concept for some time since. A concept by the Les Amis group which runs Les Amis and brought us other F&B concepts such as that of Jinjo, Tarte by Cheryl Koh, Tenjin, KOAL and many more, Kissajin is located at the ground floor and is a concept that is linked with sister-restaurant Jinhonten; another concept by the Les Amis group that serves up omakase set menus. Kissajin was previously a concept that focused much on serving up lower-priced omakase set menus as compared to Jinhonten — something a little less formal considering how Kissajin is also the concept that leads up to the entrance of Jinhonten. That being said, the Les Amis group seemed to have revisited the concept behind Kissajin and has now positioned it to be a casual Japanese restaurant inspired of the old Japanese tea-drinking shops with a twist of modernity. While there are not too many changes made within the interior of Kissajin less the removal of the privacy panels that makes the establishment more noticeable to passers-by, the most significant change is how Kissajin now offers an ala-carte menu instead. The ala-carte menu at Kissajin features sections dedicated to sides, salad, curry, ramen, Donburi, Sando and dessert; the beverages menu in the meanwhile consists of non-alcoholic beverages ranging from coolers, iced tea, soft drinks, coffee and tea, while alcoholic beverages include cocktails, beer, highball, sake and wine.

One thing that we have noted about Les Amis group’s Japanese concepts is how they do seem to have an emphasis on Japanese ramen dishes in most of their casual dining brands. Given so, it was pretty evident that one of the items which we would be giving a try would have to be an item on the Ramen section of the menu. The menu does state that all Ramen items served up at Kissajin does come with elements such as bamboo shoots, Hanjuku egg and fish cake with a chicken broth — this is be default even despite the patron’s choice of ramen dish to go for as listed on the menu. We decided to go for the Saburo Ramen; the menu describes the Saburo Ramen to come with thinly-sliced Kagoshima pork and assorted vegetables — the vegetables seemingly being the bean sprouts, spring onions and black fungus, while the ramen noodles used in their Ramen is the more wavy sort that comes still thin, but slightly more yellowish than the Hakata-style ramen noodles.

Going straight for the broth, we noticed how the chicken broth here is quite light to the palate — not the overly rich, collagen-filled type that can be a little too sticky and heavy to finish; just a light savouriness that was also mildly refreshing from the addition of yuzu that brightens it up and thus made it really easy to have. The thinly-sliced Kagoshima pork did deliver in terms of texture — these were much like Shabu Shabu pork slices and did not carry any undesirable porky stench along with it. The noodles itself were pretty springy, yet firm enough for a bite, while the Hajnuku egg came with the molten egg yolk that is undoubtedly satisfying. Other elements like the beansprouts helped add another dimension of texture, while the addition of fish cake was a good to have. During our visit to Kissajjn, we had also tried other dishes, such as the Salmon Katsu Curry; there was distinct note typical of Japanese curry that comes with the curry roux, though we did note that the Japanese curry here comes with a level of spiciness that would tickle the tastebuds of those whom are tolerable to a level of spiciness closer to moderate — definitely more intense than what one would usually expect for a Japanese establishment. We had also tried the Harajuku Parfait, which features elements such as seasonal fruits, vanilla ice-cream and Hokkaido cream — the Hokkaido cream being highlight for us considering how decadently smooth and lightly sweet it was; definitely helped to gel all the other elements together. With the mains from the Curry, Ramen, and Donburi section of the menu being priced between $16++ and $26++, it seems that Kissajin is positioned as a more casual spot as opposed to what it was supposed to be previously, yet providing Japanese fare of quality that resonates the price point — one spot that we will gladly consider to dine at if craving for some Japanese without having to shell out too much cash in the heart of Orchard Road!

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For those whom have been following our posts since a couple of months ago, Ebisu Sando may not be an unfamiliar name after all; while Ebisu Sando had finally formally launched with the opening of a takeaway kiosk space at Basement 2 at Takashimaya in Ngee Ann City, we had tried Ebisu Sando some time back when they had first appeared as a pop-up stall as part of a limited time-only fair several months ago also in Takashimaya. We did note back then that there seems to be intentions for the brand to launch permanently somewhere or that it will be popping up every now and then — this seems to be pretty much the space that Ebisu Sando has comfortably settled itself in. Being a takeaway kiosk, Ebisu Sando takes over the former location of the Butter Studio outlet in Takashimaya (Butter Studio in turn has taken over the unit formerly tenanted by Ollella) — a rather prominent location since this would also be pretty close by to Peck as well as the outlet of Tai Cheong Bakery there, which is near to the entrance / exit of Takashimaya in Basement 2. As with what we have seen during Ebisu Sando’s pop-up phase several months ago, Ebisu Sando serves up a variety of Japanese Sandos; one can either go for the hot ones that are prepared freshly on the spot, or go for the deli-style ones which are kept chilled in their display chiller that is located right beside the counter. The variety of Japanese Sando offered at their permanent location is fairly reminiscent to what is being served at their pop-up; their hot Sando line-up being pretty comprehensive considering how it does feature patties of different meats / protein / seafood — there is pretty much something for everyone, including an egg omelette sandwich that sees a freshly-rolled Tamago in between. It is noted that they also do offer a Soup of the Day here; presumably something that would either compliment the Sando by having it alongside, or to dip the Sando in like the Curry and Omar Bisque soups.

Having made our way down to the pop-up stall which Ebisu Sando was running in Takashimaya several months ago for their Shrimp Cutlet Sando, we decided that it was apt for us to go for something that is a little more classic for a Japanese Sando — the Ebisu Pork Cutlet Sando. For the Ebisu Pork Cutlet Sando, patrons do get the flexibility to add cheese to their Sando; the option being an additional costs of $0.80 which we eventually also went for. Considering how Ebisu Sando prepares their hot range of Sando fresh upon order, there is no doubt that there would be some waiting time involved in the making of the Sando. All hot Sando will require a minimum waiting time of at least 5 minutes for the order to be completed; since Ebisu Sando is a takeaway establishment after all, all orders would be served in a cardboard box with a layer of food wrapper being lined over the top. Ebisu Sando does not exactly describe about the elements included in the Ebisu Pork Cutlet Sando; that being said, we did note that there is an inclusive of Tonkatsu sauce and shredded cabbage that comes along with the deep-fried breaded pork cutlet and white bread.

It is noted that the white bread that comes with the Sando isn’t toasted nor heated up here — it is, however, soft and fluffy being pretty light and definitely did not make the Sando feel particularly carb-loaded. As one sinks their teeth down further the Ebisu Pork Cutlet Sando, the deep-fried breaded batter of the Ebisu Pork Cutlet provides a firm but crisp texture before it reaches down to the juicy and tender porky cutlet — nothing too fatty, but definitely did not require much effort to chew and came meaty but without an undesirable porky stench. The Tonkatsu sauce in the meanwhile provided a sweet, gingery and tangy note that cuts through the flavours of the meat while the shredded cabbage seems to have been tossed with something similar to mustard that gave it a very mildly spicy note that tingled at the back of the tongue that provided a further dimension of textures to the dish — the shredded cabbage itself giving a refreshing crunch. One thing if particular note about Ebisu Sando is that its offerings are not exactly what one would call affordable, and especially so when one considers that the sandwiches served up here up strictly for takeaways; the cheapest hot Sando offered at Ebisu Sando is priced at $12.80 being the Japanese Egg Omelette Sando, and the priciest hot Sando sits at the price tag of $28 — this being the A5 Japanese Wagyu Karubi Roast Beef Sando. No doubt that the hot Sando at Ebisu Sando does come with a certain level of quality; that being said, it remains to be seen if its existence would be more of a novelty that wears out after the newness has died down — still worth a try for those whom are all curious about Japanese Sandos nonetheless.

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Nadeshiko is one of those spots which we had learnt about via social media — being a coffeeshop stall that is situated in the heartlands, Nadeshiko is probably one of those establishments that is hidden fairly deep in the neighbourhoods. The stall is located within the coffeeshop named MTF Coffee House at Blk 703 Hougang Avenue 2 which is hidden away from view from the main road since the block that the coffeeshop is situated in is in the middle of the housing estate itself. Nadeshiko apparently calls itself a Japanese Style Cafe; that is actually despite their concept being run out of a coffeeshop stall that occupies half a stall unit (the other half being occupied by their neighbour; an outlet of Tanjong Rhu Wanton Noodle that is located there). Apart from the signboard that is somewhat eye catching for the fact that it doesn’t quite adopt the same look as that typical of old-school stalls with a simple white background and black text / logo, the stall doesn’t look too different than the ones surrounding it. Approaching the stall however, one would find that they are retailing drip coffee bags claimed to be from their sister branch in Japan; turns out, Nadeshiko is affiliated to Coffee Rivermet, which is a Japanese coffeehouse located in Aichi, Japan. While Coffee Rivermet is a full-fledged coffeehouse serving not only hot food, but also Japanese coffee and desserts, Nadeshiko only focuses on a limited variety of five dishes on the menu excluding the rotating daily specials; the stall also being manned by what seems to be Japanese as well.

Having seen the menu of what Nadeshiko has to offer via the social media post that we have come across online, we initially headed over to Nadeshiko wanted to give the Hamburg Stew Set a try — this apparently does seem like an item that is offered on the menu at Coffee Rivermet as well. Sadly, Nadeshiko had already sold out of the Hamburg Stew Set when we made our visit to the stall on the weekend during dinner service; after having a quick glance at the menu again, we deciding to just go straight for the Shogayaki Teishoku (i.e. stir-fried ginger pork with rice) instead. Simple as it seems, the stir-fried ginger pork came on its own plate sharing some real estate space with shredded cabbage that was accompanied with Kewpie mayonnaise and some braised vegetables on the side. The item also comes with a bowl of Japanese short-grain rice, and a bowl of Miso Soup that comes with kelp as well. Digging into the stir-fried ginger pork itself, we were already very impressed by how the execution of the dish was here — the pork slices came pretty thin; almost what one would expect out of a Pork Shabu Shabu dish. There was quite an evident note of miso, ginger and grated ginger that was going on here — all savoury and slightly “spicy” from all the gingery notes; something especially flavourful but with a good contrast of flavours that would get one to go on and on with it really easily. The caramalised onions while having absorbed all of that sauce that the pork was stir-fried in was also soft-to-the-bite; adds a hint of sweetness for the dish, while the shredded cabbage is to be had with the Kewpie mayonnaise for a refreshing crunch; the braised vegetables adding on to the wholesomeness of the dish.

The Japanese short grain rice on the other hand was pearly; well-executed with a bit of stickiness — best to be had with the gingery sauce from the stir-fried ginger pork. The accompanying Miso Soup was also pretty outstanding — they seem to be really generous with the miso here considering how earthy that bean-y, earthy note was; all of that whilst coming with a good portion of kelp that provided a soft bite. Truth to be told, the food items at Nadeshiko isn’t something which we would call affordable for coffeeshop standards; the items at Nadeshiko are priced between $7 to $12 — the lowest priced item being the Hot UdonC while the priciest would be the Hamburg Stew Set; there would most certainly be a price gap in between what Nadeshikl is offering against the food that other tenants within the same coffeeshop are serving up. With that in mind, Nadeshiki does actually serve up some seriously good and comforting cooked food that is somewhat of a rare take in the local food scene; the quality of the food can be said as restaurant-grade, and that patrons are likely to get much more than what they expected of the price point which they charge for their dishes. Nadeshiki is most certainly a hidden gem in the heartlands waiting to be discovered with its rather interesting roots and decisions to open at such a location in Singapore — we do hope that they would be able to sustain and thrive in the coffeeshop / hawker scene in Singapore considering the circumstances around price and local preferences especially however; wishing these folks all the best in what has to come!

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Was passing by Raffles Holland V and found out all about Sushi Zanmai setting up their very first outpost in Singapore within the building. For those whom have not heard about the Sushi Zammai brand before, they are a chain of Japanese restaurants which does have quite a presence in Malaysia — locations where there is an outlet of Sushi Zanmai includes malls like Pavilion KL, Mid Valley Megamall and Subway Pyramjd amongst many others. For its outlet in Singapore, they are located at the third level of Raffles Holland V — they sense to have taken over the former premises of a Sushi Tei location, and is the only F&B establishment that operates within the said level in the shopping gallery of the building; this also means that the shop space or which that it occupied is one that is fairly large and similar to what most commercially-owned F&B establishments would take up. The space itself is decked in a way that would be similar to how most commercially-owned Japanese restaurants would look like — there is a heavy use of wood in the furniture and fittings; this includes that of the ceiling, partitions, counters and dining furniture which is undoubtedly oriental, but also warm and inviting being all cosy and modern. Given how Sushi Zanmai is a Japanese chain restaurant much to the likes of Sakae Sushi, Ichiban Sushi and Itacho Sushi in general, the variety of dishes served up at Sushi Zanmai spreads far and wide — the menu being segmented into sections such as Appetizer, House Specialty (mainly comprising of sushi rolls), Sashimi, Salad, Sushi Moriawase, Nigri Sushi, Gunkan Sushi, Temaki, Makimono, Miyazaki Wagyu, Agemono, Tempura, Nabemono & Wanmono, Noodle, Donburi, and Dessert. Beverages available at Sushi Zanmai includes a variety of flavoured soda, milkshake, juice, tea, canned drinks and alcoholic selections like Japanese Sake, beer and Kaku Highballs.

We ordered quite a number of sushi-based items since our dining partner whom has went to Sushi Zanmai in his visits to Malaysia previously — they did mention that the sushi dishes are quite the highlight at Sushi Zanmai and would be something that we should not miss out. That being said, we visited Sushi Zanmai during dinner hours on a weekend — we were also waning to give a Donburi item a go just to give a variety of items a try during our trip there. Whilst skimming through the Donburi section of the menu, the Fish Karaage Don was one that really stood out for us — no doubt some part of us wanted to go for a Donburi featuring raw fish slices, though we felt that we had enough of raw fish from the sushi that we were ordering; the Fish Karaage Don caught our attention since the terms “fish” and “Karaage” rarely comes together in Japanese cuisine. One thing interesting to note is how the Fish Karaage Don actually comes with a choice of either Pacific Salmon or Atlantic Flounder for the patron to go for — picking either would not incur an extra charge over the other since the price for the item is at a flat rate of $12.80++ irregardless of the type of fish chosen; our order would be for the Atlantic Flounder. The Fish Karaage turns out to be pretty much a stir-fried dish that sees the Atlantic Flounder sliced into cubes and flash-fried before being stir-fried with teriyaki sauce together with other elements like onions, long beans and Shimeiji mushrooms; there is also a sous-vide egg that comes alongside as well. We really weren’t expecting too much from the dish considering how it sounded odd, was priced rather low, and how Sushi Zanmai is a commercially-run establishment positioned to target the masses.

Paying our attention to the sous-vide egg first, we already liked how it came with the right consistency — a wobbly egg that comes with creamy, molten egg yolk that is best to be mixed into the entire bowl before one digs into it; this also allows for a smoother and silkier texture that binds all of the elements in the bowl altogether. The choice of Atlantic Flounder turned out to be a wise choice; we picked the Atlantic Flounder over the Pacific Salmon considering how the Atlantic Flounder is a white fish, and how Pacific Salmon would have already carried a distinct note that is typical of the fishz We found the flash-fried fish chunks to be actually moist and flaky within; very smooth and does not require much chewing even. In terms of flavour, it was almost similar to that of a Gindara Teriyaki (i.e. Teriyaki Cod Fish); the fish carrying its own hint of sweetness amidst the notes of Teriyaki — quite a “cheap thrill” to that of the Gindara Teriyaki that is often pricier. This, coupled with the crunch from the long beans and bouncy Shimeiji Mushrooms provided a good contrast of textures for the dish; the only qualm being there being not enough Teriyaki sauce to flavour up the entire portion of rice sitting beneath. During our visit, we were also impressed with the generous servings of the Mentai Ebi Fry Maki; priced at $5.80, but coming in a sliced sushi roll format comprising of around 7(?) pieces, while we were also pretty amazed by the use of mango in the Cranky Salmon Roll that gave a sweetness to the spicy Mentaiko sauce which we found rather interesting. Also really affordable were their Nigri sushi — $0.80 for a Tamago Nigri Sushi and $1.90 for Jyo Unagi Nigri Sushi (Premium Unagi) was definitely a steal. With food quality surpassing what we usually would think about commercially-run Japanese establishment targeting the mass market and prices kept low for the consumer, we would be pretty stoked if Sushi Zanmai expands their operations across the island — definitely one establishment we will think about for fast, casual Japanese dining with variety and quality at the price point it pitches itself at!

Gyutan-Tan’s latest outlet takes over the former premises of the now-defunct MOS Cafe outlet at Ngee Ann City in basement two — other F&B establishments located around its vicinity within the mall includes that of the equally-new outlet of Kenangan Coffee (replaces Drips Bakery Cafe), Dulcet & Studio and the outlet of Tampopo in Ngee Ann City as well. Much work has been done to the interior of the shop space, which sees the space now looking more like a casual bistro rather than a casual diner when it was still occupied by the previous tenant. Gyutan-Tan has adopted a contemporary interior design featuring geometrical elements as well as a vast use of red amidst more earthier tones and wooden accents to add a visual pop to the otherwise minimalistic interior that evokes a zen sort of vibe; one can even observe their efforts in using plants to spruce up the space for a livelier look that brings it closer to nature. For those whom are unaware of Gyutan-Tan’s speciality, the establishment is one that centres its focus on ox-tongue as a main ingredient used in their offerings — Gyutan-Tan also offers different menus for its lunch and dinner service. Visiting Gyutan-Tan during a lunch service on the weekend, it is noted that the menu is segmented into sections dedicated to Salad & Hot Appetisers, Charcoal Sumiyaki Sets, Don Sets, Curry & Stew Sets, and Desserts — the items listed on the Charcoal Sumiyaki Sets, Don Sets and Curry & Stew Sets sections being exclusively available during lunch service. Beverages served up at Gyutan-Tan at Ngee Ann City includes espresso-based specialty coffee, teas, soft drinks, and alcoholic selections like beers and highballs, as well as sakes. Some entremets are also on display in the display case at the counter facing out of the establishment, which adds on to the number of desserts that they have to offer.

Having wanted to give Gyutan-Tan a try since it had opened their very first location at Tras Street, it was needless to say that the item that we were looking forward to give a go for would be their Gyutan and Beef Karubi which is an item off their Charcoal Sumiyaki Set section of the menu which is exclusively available only for lunch. It is noted that the menu mentions all items in the Charcoal Sumiyaki Set comes with Mugimeshi (i.e. barley mixed with regular rice grains), pickles, soup, salad and Tororo (i.e. sticky grated yam). Patrons also do get to pick between five different sauces for their Charcoal Sumiyaki Set order — the five sauces being Original (a soy-based sauce), Ponzu Oroshi (grated radish and Ponzu sauce), Korean (sweet and spicy sauce; probably akin to the spicy sauce served with Korean fried chicken) , Negi Shio (seasoned chopped leek), and Lemon and pepper (lemon and black pepper). We found ourselves opting for the Ponzu Oroshi for our order. It is needless to say that the item which we excitedly went for first on the tray would be the Gyutan and Beef Karubi — all these were being charcoal-grilled and came with obvious grill marks that adds on to the presentation of the dish.

It was pretty easy to distinguish between the Gyutan and Beef Karubi slices in terms of texture, with one being thicker than the other and the thinner one carrying more tension when one chews upon it. That being said, both cuts of meat were well-marinated in a sweet-savoury sauce and came absolutely smoky from the charcoal-grilling process; tender and does not require much effort to chew nor did it come with a prominent gaminess — absolutely delightful to have. Pairing it up with the Ponzu Oroshi sauce that we had opted for to have with a bit of rice, this gives the rice sufficient moisture and flavour; a little sweet and refreshingly earthy that gels the meat and rice together without it being too heavy on the tastebuds. At $26++; thought this came at a decent quality at a price point that fits — may not be a “cheap” enough item to have for some, though is quite satisfying in the way that it was executed nonetheless. Other items which we have had at Gyutan-Tan includes the Spicy Gyutan Don; described on the menu as “slices of beef tongue pan-fried with special spicy sauce served on rice” that was pretty much like a good stir-fry — think Yakiniku Don featuring beef tongue slices in a spicy sauce that also comes with bits of chopped pepper for a spicy note. The Strawberry Zenzai is a little bit of a misinterpretation of the Zenzai; the dish being more of a Monaka wafer in the way that it was presented and executed. While Gyutan-Tan does seem like an informal concept with a slightly upscale touch serving up food at a quality befitting of the price it calls for, we felt an ounce of a confused identity considering how it bears a contemporary look and its offerings of desserts and entremets alongside specialty coffee — feels lesser of a Japanese dining establishment and more of specialty coffee joint, though this also highlights the versatility of the concept as well. All in all, an establishment which we will gladly revisit for some charcoal-grilled ox tongue especially on days where we don’t fancy doing the grilling on our own.

Paya Lebar Square’s Cantine food court Har never been a place that particularly caught our attention in the past whenever we are looking for a spot to dine at around the Paya Lebar area — that being said, the Cantine food court had recently been through a round of revamp that gives it a brand new look. The food court definitely looks less tired and worn out, with a whole new layout which differs from what it used to be pre-renovation; there also seems to be some sort of effort being placed in the curation of the stalls operating within the food court — with interesting tenants like Kim Dae Bak Korean Restaurant serving Korean cuisine, as well as Flips N Dips that serves up western cuisine. Tokyo Ekiben is the stall they serves up Japanese cuisine here — it is also worth noting that the stall is being operating by Muslims behind the counter. Tokyo Ekiben’s menu does comprise of several items that are typical of Japanese cuisine stalls located in food courts that are run by other operators all across the island — think Donburi as well as Bento items. That being said, what stands out for Tokyo Ekiben that makes them a little more unique than other Japanese cuisine stalls around is how their menu also features items such as Okonomiyaki, Taco Sushi and Oyster Party — not an entirely new concept considering how we are aware that Kenji Taco Sushi at the Kopitiam food court in Northpoint City actually Carrie’s those items, though such fare is still considerably unheard of in the local food scene especially in a food court setting.

Since it was the Taco Sushi offerings that got ourselves fairly intrigued to make a visit down to Tokyo Ekiben to give them a try, it was needless to say that our attention was placed on the various items being listed in the Taco Sushi category of the menu whilst skimming through the menu to see what they have to offer. We did notice that there are some rather interesting variants of the Taco Sushi being offered at Tokyo Ekiben — this includes the Kabocha Korokke which the menu describes as “Fried Prawn Taco Sushi”; with all being said, we still went ahead with the tested-and-proven variant that is likely to be the safest variant of all that they have to offer. The Spicy Salmon Taco Sushi unfortunately bears an erroneous description that seems to be copied over from the Mentai Prawn Taco Sushi (the description being “Mentai Prawn Taco Sushi”); that being said, we did observe elements such as lettuce, corn nibs, sesame seeds, Takuan (i.e. Japanese yellow pickled radish), cucmbers, diced salmon cubes, mayonnaise, spicy mayonnaise and sushi rice that are all encased in between the fried Nori (i.e. Japanese seaweed sheets).

One could observe the preparation process from the counter — these are apparently flame-torched after assembly that gives it an “aburi” sort of vibe. We were glad that they used unflavoured Nori for the taco shell — this also meant that the Taco Sushi here comes with a more balanced saltiness as opposed to those that uses flavoured Nori sheets that are more snack-like in nature (think Tao Kae Noi); one can indeed observe the brown batter that covers part of the seaweed that also keeps its curved shape to hold everything that is in between. The Japanese short-grain rice that lines the bottom of the deep-fried Nori comes slightly sweetened with vinegar; the flavours being what one would expect out of typical sushi rice. The mix of mayonnaise was supposed to make the lettuce gel with the deep-fried Nori and whatever else were to come above it, though we did feel that it wouldn’t have been too different if they used the spicy mayonnaise that is being topped off on the diced salmon sashimi anyway. Various elements in the mix like the lettuce, corn nibs and Takuan; adds a bit of bite and a crunch for a more wholesome feel. Meanwhile, the cubes of raw sashimi could be said to have come with a decent quality — we aren’t exactly expecting top-notch quality especially considering the setting and the price tag which we are paying for, and this turns out to resonate well with the price tag quoted. The spicy mayonnaise carries evident notes of Sansho peppers, though should also be suitable even for those whom have lighter tolerance to spiciness. At $9.20, the Spicy Salmon Taco Sushi is the highest-priced Taco Sushi offering at Tokyo Ekiben; the more affordable options are priced at $6.90. Given the rarity of such items all around, we would say that Tokyo Ekiben’s range of Taco Sushi is worth giving a go for the curious especially if one were to be around Paya Lebar looking to settle for something a slightly out of the ordinary.

Learnt about the new Tempura Bar which had just recently opened its doors at SingPost Centre — Tempura Bar takes over the former premises of the now-defunct Aji Ichi that used to occupy the space. Strategically located right beside the outlet of ASTONS Specialities there, Aji Ichi was a concept that was brought by the folks of Astons Group; this remains the same with Tempura Bar — apart from Tempura Bar, Aji Ichi and ASTONS Specialties, the Astons Group also runs other F&B concepts such as ANDES by ASTONS, Chic-a-boo, East Treasure Chinese Restaurant / Specialty Prawn Noodle, BIZEN Okayama Wagyu Steakhouse and The Ranch Steakhouse & Bar. The space has seen a bit of a revamp now that it is occupied by Tempura Bar from its days being Aji-Ichi; the shop now sees a more open-concept design where one can actually have a good view of the restaurant even whilst standing outside the restaurant — Tempura Bar also features furniture and fittings in a darker shade of wood and in a more yellow-ish and dimmer lighting as compared to Aji Ichi. There is also a wall where a shelf containing a wide variety of alcohol is stocked — all with a prominent placement of the price tags that suggests that the alcohol is available for retail. Whilst Aji Ichi was more focused in serving Donburi, Sushi and Sashimi dishes, it seems that Tempura Bar is more focused on tempura and tendon-related items — the menu features categories dedicated to Signature (think items that are more canapé-like to start the meal with), Tendon, Don, Kids, Tempura aka Carte, Kakiage, Sashimi, Noodle, and dessert). For drinks, Tempura Bar offers non-alcoholic beverages as well as alcoholic ones; non-alcoholic selections include bubble tea and soft drinks.

Since Tempura Bar is pretty much a tempura-centric establishment, it was needless to say that we would not be leaving Tempura Bar without having tried their tempura / Tendon items during the visit we had made there. Amongst all the Tempura-based Don items on the menu, the Chicken Fillet Tendon was the item that seemed to stand out considering its price and what one would be getting for the item itself. The Chicken Fillet Tendon is listed at $10.30++ on its menu; the menu also mentions that the Chicken Fillet Tendon consists of elements such as Chicken fillet, broccolini, butternut pumpkin, Shimeji mushroom, french bean, tempura egg Koshihikari premium rice. All items from the “Don” section of the menu at Tempura Bar also comes with a bowl of miso soup, as well a side dish on the side; the side dish that was served on the day of our visit being something similar to a Japanese Okra Salad. Going straight for the Chicken Fillet Tendon, we did feel that this was a pretty substantially-sized dish — there mere fact that the Don came with two pieces of tempura chicken fillet meant that it was especially filling for us at the least. That being said, we did like how the tempura batter was seemingly on point here; it is light and airy — while in no way as well-executed as the ones from Tenjin which we really love, this was much better than what some other commercially-owned eateries churn out. The batter was crisp and not particularly greasy; all that whilst coming with a good portion of rice that didn’t make the dish too overwhelming considering the number of fried items it features.

Each tempura item carried a different texture to the Tendon; the chicken fillet retained its moisture and did not require much effort to chew through — almost akin to a chicken tender, while the broccolini provided a good crunch. Meanwhile, the Shimeiji mushrooms provide a good bounce and chew with a lightly earthy note, while the butternut pumpkin slice came with a good bite and a soft sweetness for some flavour contrast. Despite not coming with a tempura poached egg, we would still like to commend them on the effort placed in serving up a tempura sunny-side-up; perhaps even a first for Tendon / tempura-specialty shops in the local dining scene — there were bits of the tempura batter clinging onto the sunny-side-up that was as light and airy as the same that comes with the other fried elements without being greasy. That being said, we it came with a molten egg yolk with a creamy texture that oozes as one pokes it with the chopsticks — very well-executed despite something that they gave their own twist to. The rice and tempura pieces are also drenched in a Japanese sweet-savoury sauce; there was ample sauce that gave the Koshihikari Premium Rice beneath flavour and moisture that made it easy to have. Overall, the execution of the Chicken Fillet Tendon was something that exceeded what we have thought for the price range — definitely one that we would have not associated with the Astons Group especially since their focus has always been on their Western fare. Whilst this isn’t the best Tendon that we have had, this was a pleasant Tendon that surpasses that of being just average — something that is pretty surprising when the Tendons here generally are priced below $15++ (the only exception being the Signature Tendon Soba (Half and Half), which comes with rice and soba). We also managed to try the Buta Kakuni Donburi, which came with braised pork belly that does not require much effort to chew apart; melt-in-the-mouth whilst having absorbed a sweet note from the braising process. Hopefully Tempura Bar is able to keep to such quality of food as time goes past; this does seem like a good start for the brand, and we do see ourselves returning if they remain consistently good or even better in the future!

Umami Ramen & Izakaya is one of the places that we had found out whilst walking around Katong Square some time back, but one which we just pretty much skipped out on visiting since we hadn’t really found a reason to be in this part of the East for quite some time. Still probably one of the latest tenants to have moved into Katong Square (or at least one of the newer ones) that had moved into the shopping gallery, Umami Ramen and Izakaya takes over the former shop unit that was previously tenanted to the now-defunct Baikohken Ramen Restaurant that is located right towards the corner of the first level of the shopping gallery. There has been some attempts made by Umami Ramen to make the space their very own; some of its branding can be found on the walls of the space — that being said, most of the furnishings and fittings are re-used from what the previous tenant has left behind. Given how Umami Ramen & Izakaya has named itself as such, it is pretty easy to tell that this an establishment that seemingly prides itself over their ramen offerings — the menu at Umami Ramen & Izakaya is being segmented into categories such as Ramen, Sides, Tempura, Rice, Salad, Karaage, and Yakitori; the Ramen menu even further segregated to Signature Ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen and Chicken Broth & Mini Ramen. Since Umami Ramen & Izakaya is after all an Izakaya at heart; the list of beverages Umami Ramen & Izakaya serves up include a long list of alcoholic beverages — they have also not forgotten about those whom might opt for something non-alcoholic, providing options of soft drinks and hot / iced tea as well.

For those whom want to give the most number of ramen offerings at Umami Ramen & Izakaya a go in a single seating but do not have enough friends accompanying them to do so, the Umami Mini Ramen is probably the way to go. Think of the Umami Mini Ramen as a platter of three ramens that are being served in mini-portions; each bowl probably being approximately one-third the size of the full-sized bowls. Umami Ramen and Izakaya has fixed the selection of ramen which they offer as part of the Umami Mini Ramen platter — patrons will get a fixed set of three mini bowls of Ramen comprising of the Aburi Tori Ramen which is featured in their Chicken Broth & Mini Ramen section of their menu, as well as the Shogayaki Tonkotsu Ramen and the Red Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen which are both listed in the Tonkotsu Ramen section of their menu. As far as it goes, all three types of Ramen did manage to impress us — the noodles that they had went for here being the thin noodles which came with a bit of bite, though not overly hard. That being said, it would be the Aburi Tori Ramen that we found to be really impressive. The Aburi Tori Ramen itself felt almost similar to that of a Shio Ramen where the broth is of concern; it is the right level of savouriness without being overly salty — the broth also carrying a really clean note and a clear appearance. The whole chicken leg that usually comes with the full-sized ramen comes with mid joint wings; these were very clean-tasting with meat that falls off the bones without nah effort.

Between the Shogayaki Tonkotsu Ramen and the Red Spicy Tonkotsu, the Shogayaki Tonkotsu Ramen takes the cake for its broth that again comes with the right depth of umami flavours that is also sufficiently rich; the ginger pork belly slices adding a little sweetness to the broth as well. Admittedly, the Red Spicy Tonkotsu is one that would capture the hearts of those who cannot do without spice in their bowl of ramens; that being said, we did feel that the Sansho paste used in the marination of the spicy minced pork did overshadow the flavours of the Tonkotsu broth that is used as the base — pretty much eliminating much of the umami notes of the Tonkotsu broth in favour of hint of spiciness instead. Still, we do reckon that the spicy minced pork would have been a pretty good accompaniment should they decide to introduce a Mazemen dish sometime in the future — its flavours being pretty befitting of that purpose. Other dishes which we tried such as the Kinoko Butter and the Umami Handmade Gyoza were certainly worth ordering — the former being a stir-fried dish consisting of mixed mushrooms, onions and butter, while one could definitely tell the latter is made in-house with its distinct aesthetic of the prawn’s tail sticking out of the dumpling wrapper. On the contrary, their Yakitori offerings were a little less memorable — the smokiness from the grilling process was not as evident as we had expected, while the Yakitori sauce was also a little lacking in flavour. With their ramen offerings priced between $11.90 to $16.90, Umami Ramen & Izakaya does offer quite a fair bit of value-for-money considering the quality of their ramen — definitely better than what we had experienced for most joints serving Japanese ramen in this price range; we would skip on their Yakitori items, though it does seem that they do have some quite well-executed sides to go along with their ramen offerings as well. A spot that is worth considering to dine at especially for those who are into Japanese Ramen in general!

Cuppage Plaza had been one of those places around the Orchard / Somerset areas which are better known for being an enclave of independently-run Japanese dining establishments — the likes of Gyoza no Osho and Shinjuku Japanese Restaurant having been rather established names within the local F&B scene all these while. One of the latest additions to Cuppage Plaza is Tsukiji Sushi TEN — they have taken up quite a prominent shop unit within Cuppage Plaza with a dual frontage that is located right across from Gyoza no Osho and also beside the outlet of Isle Eating House there; one side facing out of the shopping mall, while the other side facing Gyoza no Ohsho. Turns out, Tsukiji Sushi TEN is opened by the same folks behind Dashi Master Marusaya; a Japanese establishment that had been operating from their location at Robertson Quay for a while. Whilst the space at Tsukiji Sushi TEN isn’t particularly large, there is still sufficient space for dining tables that cater for larger groups of up to six or eight pax — the interior being decked almost like a typical Japanese Izakaya with Japanese posters pasted around the walls, lanterns hanging from the ceiling that also act as lighting, as well as tables made from crates and wooden surfaces paired plastic chairs for its dine-in furniture. Unlike Dashi Master Marusaya where the emphasis is placed more on their cooked food offerings, Tsukiji Sushi TEN’s lunch menu is focused more on Donburi that comprises of raw fish — think items like the Seafood Donburi, Tri-coloured Tuna Donburi and the Marinated Salmon Donburi; just to name a few. For dinner, Tsukiji Sushi TEN operates more akin to an actual Japanese Izakaya, where one can also opt from the different types of alcohol and sakes which they have to offer.

Since we are always into affordable Barachirashi Don, it is needless to say that the item we had decided to go for during our visit to Tsukiji Sushi TEN on a weekend afternoon was the Barachirashi Don. Available only during lunch hours, patrons can also choose to opt for the various Donburi items to come in a Set if they wish — the items that come with the set includes a Chawanmushi, Salad and a bowl of Miso Soup; the set being priced at an additional $6 on top of the price of the respective Donburi which the patron decided to order. The menu at Tsukiji Sushi TEN does not describe the elements that come with their Barachirashi Don; that being said, we did observe from the bowl that came with our order that the Barachirashi Don comes with elements such as diced Tamago, diced cucumbers, a diced assortment of raw fish that includes what seems to be salmon, tuna and fatty tuna, Ebiko, pickled ginger, Takuan (i.e. Japanese yellow pickled radish), Wasabi and sliced cucumber — all of that above Japanese short-grain rice.

Giving the Barachirashi Don a first taste, it is noted that the rendition of the Barachirashi Don served up at Tsukiji Sushi TEN comes as-is; there are establishments out there which serves their Barachirashi Don with an assortment of marinated diced fish, but this is not the case at Tsukiji Sushi TEN — this also means one can actually taste the freshness of the assortment of diced fish here, with each type of fish carrying a texture and flavour of its own. The cubes of diced fish are sized a little smaller than what we would like them to be, but they are still of a sufficient size where one could taste the textures and flavours of the fish — one can also get quite a bit of fish and rice in a spoonful as well. Coming to the rice, the rice comes served at room temperature here; something which we prefer considering how some establishments seem to like to serve their rice warm and that tends to mess up the temperature and hence the texture of the raw fish somewhat. The Japanese short-grain rice also comes flavoured, though at just a light touch for that slight hint of vinegary sweetness to compliment with the assortment of diced raw fish. The addition of diced Tamago further enhances the sweetness of the entire bowl for a more balanced flavour; the Tamago also adding a soft bite that gives a good contrast to the chewier cubes of assorted raw fish, while the diced cucumbers add a refreshing crunch to balance things out. The knob of wasabi provided on the side comes especially “lethal” — sends a wave of unforgiving numbness to the tastebuds providing quite a bit of “oomph” factor that we really loved. The other elements like the pickled ginger slices and the Takuan provides a tang that refreshes the tastebuds. Overall, not the most memorable nor prettiest bowl of Barachirashi Don but one that is still pretty worthy of its price tag at $15.90++ especially considering the quality — definitely a dining option to consider about when in the area looking for some value-for-money Barachirashi Don to cure those cravings indeed!

Mentioned about a 24-hour establishment that serves up Japanese ramen around Singapore and one particular brand name would instantly come to mind — that particular brand name also seems to be the only concept venturing into 24-hour operation as a stall that specialises in serving Japanese Ramen but there seems to be a new contender in town. Situated at Blk 530 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 is the new Kazutake Ramen; a relatively new establishment that had recently just opened its doors in the same neighbourhood where other notable F&B establishments are also located — think the likes of The Pine Garden, as well as that of Magic Kitchen AM:PM Cafe; this neighbourhood was at one point of time the hippiest neighbourhood in Ang Mo Kio anyway. It is surprising to see the size of the space that Kazutake Ramen occupied here — there is actually quite a good number of seats that cater to dine-in patrons here with a mix of counter seats as well as normal dining tables that is great for groups of two to four pax. The space attempts to bring a Japanese flair featuring wallpapers of an oriental vibe; the dining chairs coming with an wooden accent while the table tops come with a marble-esque look to go along. While the influences of which Kazutake Ramen had drawn from are rather obvious, the menu at Kazutake Ramen does seem wider than that of the other brand that is well known for its 24-hour operation as a Japanese ramen shop — the menu not only features a variety of dry and soup ramen with different broth bases (think Shoyu, Miso and Mala for a start), but they do also offer a variety of sashimi and sushi dishes as well as Donburi; there are also ala-carte sides which one can also opt for to share across the table as well. For those into bubble tea, Kazutake Ramen does offer a range of that; this would be aside from the hot tea which they also offer.

Since soup ramen isn’t quite our sort of thing, it is needless to say that our attention to as placed on their dry ramen offerings after noticing that they do offer Donburi and dry ramen from the menu board on the wall that is located beside the ordering counter. Kazutake Ramen does have self-service POS systems located right outside its shop space; that being said, the POS system were not in service when we made our visit to Kazutake Ramen on a weekday dinner service shortly after the news of its existence had started to spread around social media. Kazutake Ramen is pretty much a self-service establishment; patrons make their order at the counter, and the o see number will be called out by the display system once the food has been prepared and ready for collection at the counter. The Karui Mazemen is an item that is supposed to mimic similar dishes that other Mazemen-specialty stores serve up — the dish itself featuring spicy minced pork, spring onions, Onsen egg and seaweed that is supposed to be mixed with the thick Ramen noodles beneath for a good flavour. While we admittedly liked the flavours of the Karui Mazemen here, there was one key issue with the Karui Mazemen that marred the entire experience — no doubt we liked that spicy kick of the minced pork and how it mixes with the sous-vide egg for a creamy texture that just clings onto the noodles; that being said, the noodles were served lukewarm, which did not help the fact that the noodles were also a little bit hard for a chewier texture. All else was great; from the texture of the entire dish with the crunch from the spring onions, to how the flavours are just about right — even bearing a suitable level of spiciness that attempts to tingle the taste buds, which we felt was a little bit of a shame. We did notice that the soup ramen at other tables does come piping hot here — perhaps just a case of us ordering the wrong items. That being said, we do feel that the food at Kazutake Ramen isn’t much to shout about — the Salmon Sashimi being decent but joust stops at that. Still, a spot that residents around the neighbourhood would enjoy having at their convenience.

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Katsu-An had pretty much opened to quite a bit of hype in recent times — it has been a pretty interesting time for Japanese food in the local F&B scene since there have been multiple openings of almost the same nature all in the heart of town; this includes Butahage’s return to the local F&B scene with its new location also at Suntec City, as well as Tori Sanwa which had recently opened its doors at Suntec City. Katsu-An is located at the basement of Suntec City; situated at a spot that is near to Kebabchi Charcoal BBQ and the outlet of Tre Caphe there. Being positioned as a quick-service Japanese diner, the interior sees the large use of wooden elements and matching hues of orange and maroon for its interior decor. Katsu-An is a brand that hails from Japan; this is also their very first outpost outside of Japan as well. That being said, one might be able sense some vibes that are rather similar to that of SUKIYA (the Japanese brand that is most notable for serving up affordable Gyudon and Yakiniku Don; not to be confused with the similarly named Suki-Ya that is known for being a hotpot restaurant) in terms of how the menu is structured and how the entire establishment is being operated; this is also because Katsu-An is a concept run by the same folks behind SUKIYA. That being said, Katsu-An is a concept that focuses heavily on Katsu offerings — think items split into categories such as Katsu Don, Teishoku, Combination and Japanese Curry; the variety of Katsu comprising of different cuts of pork and even protein / seafood options to choose from. Examples of the types of Katsu available at Katsu-An includes Tenderloin, Chicken, Calamari and more. Katsu-An also serves up a Homemade Mont Blanc Cake and a variety of ice-cream for desserts, while the drinks available at Katsu-An most revolve around a variety of soft drinks.

Looking through the wide variety of items which they have to offer on the menu, we were more attracted towards their Katsu Don section of the menu — these would be the items that are priced at a really affordable price point as opposed to the items from the Teishoku, Combination and Japanese Curry sections of the menu which may tend to veer towards that of a casual Japanese restaurant; the Katsu Don being reasonably priced here with all items priced well below $10 for the M-sized Katsu Don. Much like at SUKIYA, patrons can opt for either M, L or XL sizes for their Katsu Don, while one can also choose to have the item ala-carte or as a combo set with the flexibility of going for a soft-boiled egg, salad or Chicken Karaage with soup or drinks.

We opted for the Tenderloin Katsu Don in M-size — the item being served in the style of an Oyakodon with eggs and onions seemingly simmered in mirin, dashi and soy sauce; all with 80 grams of Tenderloin Katsu served along with it. Simple yet comforting, it seems like the folks at Katsu-An had pretty much gotten things right here with how their Katsu Don goes — there is sufficient sauce to go around all of that short-grain Japanese rice that makes the entire bowl of rice absolutely umami and easy to finish; the egg being soft and fluffy while the caramalised onions delivered a soft crunch. The Tenderloin Katsu was also absolutely on-point; there wasn’t much chew required for the Tenderloin for how it was melt-in-the-mouth — the breaded exterior being all crisp without feeling greasy nor carried undesirable stench of overused oil. Another item we had tried was the Homemade Mont Blanc Cake; this follows the trend of Mont Blanc featuring “threads” of chestnut paste that is piped over what seems to be castella cake and ice-cream. Whilst sounding really sweet on paper, the earthiness of the chestnut paste helped to cut through all of the sweetness from the other elements; each element also carrying a different texture for a good contrast as well. All-in-all, Katsu-An probably answers to the same audience that would find SUKIYA appealing; a concept that serves up affordably-priced Katsu Don that delivers in terms of quality — despite the low price point of the dishes here, we are left satisfied by how well-executed their items are. Needless to say, Katsu-An is a concept which we think is likely to expand into a few more locations all across the island in due time like what SUKIYA has become, though it is also one that we would drop by again if craving for a good Katsu Don without the frills.

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Kaisen 8ar is one place that we have had caught wind of a couple of months ago and looking forward to its opening — located at the third floor of Fortune Centre, Kaisen 8ar takes over the former premises of the now-defunct Gyosen; itself being another Japanese restaurant serving up Donburi and Omakase set menus for lunch and dinner within the building. Kaisen 8ar is yet another concept by Chef Kevin Wee; a name that probably one would find familiar if they had been following the happenings in the local F&B scene in the past couple of years — for those whom are unaware, Chef Kevin Wee had previously been worked in establishments such as Syun and Kaunta, while other establishments that he had been involved with in the past includes House of Chirashi which is located at East Village, the now-defunct Chirashi Sora at The Venue Shoppes, as well as Age-Ya at Far East Plaza. He also does run a hawker centre stall named Hinoyama at Golden Mile Food Centre which serves up his stellar salmon miso soup which we visited some time back when they had just opened their doors. The space of Kaisen 8ar hadn’t seen much change ever since its days of being Gyosen; the entire space being decked in a rather dark theme that sees a large use of black in its fittings. That being said, we did notice that there is quite an impressive mural on the wall of the main unit featuring Japanese Koi fish, while the wooden furnishings do help to provide some contrast against the dark interiors of the space. Occupying two shop units that we are located across the aisle from each other, patrons can either pick to sit at the main unit which comprises of mainly bar counter seating or the adjacent unit that comes with proper dining tables and chairs. The food menu at Kaisen B8r sees items being split across categories such as Appetizers, Bara, Sashimi, Sushi, Kaisen Chirashi, Tempura (deep-fried), Yakimoko (grilled), Donburi and dessert.

We have previously written about the various Chirashi Dons which Chef Kevin Wee had served up at the various establishments which he had been involved with in the past ever since his days at House of Chirashi — all of them being having left a strong impression considering the price and the quality of which it comes with; his Kaisen and Bara items are not to be missed. The menu at Kaisen 8ar describes the Salmon Don to come with elements such as Trout Sashimi, Trout Belly, Tamago, Ikura, Tobiko, Furikake, Tempura bits, Sakura shrimp and Cucumber — the Salmon Don also comes accompanied with a bowl of their Salmon Miso Soup on the side as well. As always, the Salmon Don comes in a really dramatic aesthetic where the item is served in a two-tiered platter; the main components of the Salmon Don occupying the top-most tier of the plating, while the salad comes at the base. Having tried so many variants of Chirashi Dons from Chef Kevin Wee, the Salmon Don at Kaisen 8ar isn’t too unfamiliar to those whom had tried his creations before — going straight for the slices of trout sashimi, these were thickly cut to ensure one can get a good bite of the fish to enjoy its textures; the fish being absolutely fresh at the same time. In retrospect, the Trout Belly comes with a light torching from the blowtorch to achieve that slight smokiness akin to Aburi salmon belly; this one being thickly-sliced like the Trout Sashimi to give it a good bite as well. Since this is pretty much a Kaisen item (as opposed to Bara), this meant that the other elements such as the Tamago, Cucumber, etc. are not chopped up and mixed into the rice just like how the Hana Bara is. That being said, the other elements all play well to provide a harmonious blend and contrast of flavours that enhances the flavours of the dish; a little sweetness here, a bit of crunch there, and a popping sensation that provides for a umami note — everything is just as well-balanced. The mushroom-infused sushi rice served at room temperature is a hallmark of Chef Kevin Wee that should not be forgotten as well; provides an additional touch of earthiness to the Salmon Don for a flavour unique to his very own.

From all of the previous concepts that Chef Kevin Wee had been part of all the way to Hinoyama and Kaisen B8r, one thing is definitely constant here — the concepts which he had been involved with have shared one thing in common. There has always been a disparity between well-priced Bara Chirashi Dons that often feature marinated fish slices / cubes as opposed to the ones that seemingly coin on the natural flavours of the fish which usually comes charged at a premium price tag — Kaisen 8ar attempts to bridge this gap rather reasonably; despite the higher price of the Bara and Kaisen items at Kaisen 8ar as compared to that of what House of Chirashi, Chirashi Sora and Age-Ya used to charge, we do still think that Kaisen 8ar had achieved what seems to have been a constant theme across all the concepts that came before it. Food quality has also remained rather consistent all these whole with Chef Kevin Wee behind the counter as well; there had always been a consistent emphasis on the freshness of the fish, while the execution of the dishes exudes attention to detail — right from the way the sashimi slices / cubes of assorted raw fish are being sliced, all the way to the other elements that are included in the dish to further elevate the entire experience further. There is also a lot of care placed in the presentation of each dish; every dish featuring a multitude of colours with an eye-catching presentation — usually in a format featuring multiple tiers, which is a feast to the eyes to the patrons. Case-in-point, the Hana Bara was exactly what we recalled it to be as per our visit to Age-Ya just months before where we last had it; still as colourful and flavoursome with a myriad of textures that just keeps one going. The same could also be said about the Salmon Miso Soup as well; not overly salty, while the salmon chunks (which they were also generous with) was melt-in-the-mouth tender — very delicious. Prices of the Bara and Kaisen items at Kaisen 8ar range between $20.80++ to $78.80++ — pretty much dependant on how “premium” one wishes to go; still a place that those whom have yet to check out Chef Kevin Wee’s rendition of the Chirashi should add to the list of places to go. We were still able to make walk-in visits when we dropped by on a weekend afternoon for lunch service; best to check it out before the crowd finds out about their existence in time to come!

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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