The cuisine of Japan is big in Singapore, and there are heaps of options to get your fix. But if you're looking to get your mind blown, only these places will do
Singapore may have a Japanese restaurant at every turn, but you should know that not all are made equal. Whether you’re looking for a fancy omakase place for date night or hoping to save some cash and go budget, your best options for sushi, sashimi, ramen, donburi, and yakitori are right here in this list. Itadakimasu!
Tuck into modern Japanese plates at this sleek Tiong Bahru dining establishment. Order creations like the wagyu tsukune and the hotate truffle carpaccio in addition to items like the assorted premium sashimi.
IKYU, 5 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168643, p. 6223 9003.
Over at Hashida Sushi you’re in terrific hands, and we can assure you that you won’t go home hungry. The premium ingredients and fantastic execution are worth every penny of your $350 bill. Chef Kenjiro Hatch Hashida, who helms the kitchen, is also the only son of chef Hashida, who runs a sushi restaurant near the famed Tsukiji Market in Japan.
Hashida Sushi, 333A Orchard Road, #04-16 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897, p. 6733 2114.
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King
This joint is one of the best places to get your ramen fix, in our opinion, and at no more than $15! Slurp up the superbly rich tonkotsu-based soup, and don’t forget to add a flavoured egg as well. Tip: Get here early or you’ll have to wait in line.
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, #01-19 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, Singapore 078867, p. 6636 0855.
Where do we even begin? A $400 price tag, private chefs, and the rarest, most expensive ingredients like Japanese Ohmi wagyu and Oscietra caviar, a trip to Waku Ghin is the high-end splurge every foodie worth his salt must make once in his/her lifetime. The ten-course degustation menu definitely costs a pretty penny, but one bite is all it takes for you to overlook the expensive bill.
Waku Ghin, #02-02 The Shoppes Atrium 2, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, p. 6688 8507.
This upscale Japanese dining spot serves up a mean mazechirashi with the sweetest, freshest raw fish, but it won’t cost an arm and a leg to have it. Go for the set lunch option: $35 gets you the mazechirashi, miso soup, pickles, and dessert – score!
Aoki Restaurant, #01-17 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, Singapore 228208, p. 6333 8015.
Ikoi Japanese Restaurant
If all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet makes your foodie heart flutter, Ikoi should be your go-to restaurant in Singapore. It’s one of our top picks when we need a full-on feast, but be warned: you need to book early to avoid disappointment. If you’ve got a large posse to feed, ask for the private room (up to 12 pax) for free-flow sashimi and more classic Japanese bites.
Ikoi Japanese Restaurant, #01-01 Hotel Miramar, 401 Havelock Road, Singapore 169631, p. 6887 3788.
Behind a 70-year-old mee pok stall – which opens in the day – is this grungy open-concept yakitori restaurant run by chef Asai Masashi, who whips up some stellar grilled bites featuring chicken. Here for lunch? Their donburi lunch sets start from $25, and they come with appetisers, salad, pickles, karaage, soup, and dessert.
Bincho, #01-19, 78 Moh Guan Terrace, Singapore 162078, p. 6438 4567.
There’s the infamous waiting list that goes on for months and months (because their omakase is super affordable!), but if you can’t wait, head there for lunch to try their uber-popular barachirashi – which has no waiting list. Thank the food gods! Those who has time to wait around, make a trip between 1-2pm for a late lunch; it’s less crowded.
Teppei Restaurant, #01-18, 1 Tras Link, Singapore 078867, p. 6222 7363.
The donburi bowls are pretty satisfying at Wasabi Tei, though hardcore sashimi fans will be very pleased with their fresh and (very) thick slices of raw fish. Be sure to add on a chawanmushi to complete your meal.
Wasabi Tei, #05-70 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213, p. 6238 8216.
The Sushi Bar
There’s always a line to get into this no-frills joint, but we’d gladly wait patiently for delights like the chirashi don (available in three different prices – sorted according to the “grade” and amount of toppings) and the salmon aburi roll. Everything’s pretty wallet-friendly too.
The Sushi Bar, The Sushi Bar, #04-28 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213, p. 9653 6464.
Crazy about the whole collagen-gives-you-beautiful-skin business? At Tsukada Nojo, you can get your wonder protein fix in a pot with their super famous Bijin Nabe – a collagen-rich creation featuring organic chicken broth and fresh ingredients like shrimp, mushrooms and chicken meatballs.
Tsukada Nojo, #03-81 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839, p. 6336 5003.
Yakitori lovers swear by this unassuming Cuppage Plaza outlet that shines a spotlight on Japanese grilled delights like pork belly, chicken liver, and even foie gras on a stick.
Kazu Sumiyaki, #04-05 Cuppage Plaza, 5 Koek Road, Singapore 228796, p. 6734 2492.
Shun Ka Shuu Tou
Sample food from the four seasons at this Japanese restaurant (whose name literally translates to “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter”). The restaurant’s creations may be dependent on the season, but expect classics like a chirashi don on the kaiseki menus.
Shun Ka Shuu Tou, #02-26 Amara Hotel, 165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088539, p. 6444 7735.