Let’s first talk about the history of “Yayoiken”, started more than 125 years ago as a Western food restaurant in Kaybacho Tokyo. That was when Western cuisine was still considered rare in Japan, it is no surprise that they successfully developed a chain with 190 restaurants in Japan alone.
For Yayoiken’s menu, you would find hamburger steaks, grilled mackerel, pork cutlets, beef steak and mixed grills – food more Western in flavours. Personally, I love the Japanese take on Western food, such as pasta, as they are usually lighter and more delicate.
Yayoiken has just opened its 2nd branch at Bugis+ (former Iluma), and has easily the longest F&B queue in the entire mall. What’s the appeal?
It is really affordable for a Japanese restaurant standard. A Buta Shogayaki, Saba miso or Oyako don set can cost only $9.90. So that’s stir fried sliced pork, with Japanese rice, miso, salad and tofu costing slightly more than $10 after taxes.
The greedy-me wanted an all-in-one set. So that’s the Mixed Toji set ($13.90) with sliced beef, fried prawn, AND pork cutlet with egg served Oyako don style ALL in a single bowl. Oh, this is also called a ‘donburi’ where the parent (chicken) and child (egg) is served in the same dish.
I liked almost every ingredient there, especially the rice which is so fragrant and high-quality. A pity that the pork cutlet was slightly tough, otherwise it would have been perfect.
In Japan, they have a traditional culinary term called "ichijū-sansai", which means having three sides and with one soup. The food is not top-notch, but Yayoiken is probably one of the most affordable Japanese restaurant in Singapore where you can get meat, vegetables and rice all in one meal. Recommended.
201 Victoria Street, #01-02 Bugis+ (formerly Iluma), Singapore (Bugis MRT) Tel:+65 6636 5448
First branch at Liang Court Basement
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm