Japan Foods Garden – Japanese Themed Foodcourt Opens At Shaw Centre

Japan Foods Garden - Japanese Themed Foodcourt Opens At Shaw Centre
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Do not confuse Japan Foods Garden (note the extra ‘s’ behind food) at Shaw Centre Basement 1, with Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria. Even though they are a short walk away from each other.

They are both Japanese food clusters, which is becoming quite a commonplace in Singapore.

Other than these two, there are Emporium Shokuhin at Marina Square, Eat at Seven at Suntec City Mall, Kuriya Japanese Market Yokocho at Tampines 1 and Japanese Food Street at Jurong Point.

Okay, is the next place going to be called Japan Food Hall / Avenue / Boulevard / Centre ? You get my point.

The difference is that Japan Foods Garden terms itself as the FIRST fully Japanese cuisine “food court” concept in Singapore. (But wasn’t there Ishi Mura Japanese Food Street some time back?)

This Japanese Food Court with 5 different stalls is located at the back of Food Republic at Shaw Centre. It is of no coincidence that it is a BreadTalk Group concept.

The 5 stalls are:
Soba and Donburi
Akasaka Yukun Steamed Unagi
Bear’s Curry Café & Bar
Banzaiya Obanzai Sushi
Gyu Tetsu Tokyo Teppanyaki

Two of the concepts including Asakasa Yukun are brands that are brought in from Japan, while the other three are original brands created for Japan Foods Garden.

Akasaka Yukun Steamed Unagi
Unagi specialist Akasaka Yukun was first founded in Kurume city in Kyushu in 1952, and currently has 8 branches in Japan. Japan Foods Garden is its first outpost outside Japan.

The signature item is the “Unagi Seiro Mushi” whereby the eel is steamed instead of grilled the conventional way.

The Unagi Chazuke ($9.80) is a reasonably priced, comforting bowl of stock over rice with pieces of unagi.

Its signature Unagi Serio Mushi 1 Layer ($28.80) was comparatively steeper. Fortunately there was a 50% opening promotion, otherwise the taste might not warrant this price.

While I liked the smoky rice at the base, there were parts of the unagi that were surprisingly mushy-textured. Asked my friends to take a bite, and they all agreed there was something not-quite-right about the consistency.

Gyu Tetsu Tokyo Teppanyaki
The recommended dish is the Gyu Tetsu US Angus Beef Lemon Steak ($18.80).

Beef slices were tender enough, while the added lemon gave the pieces a refreshing, not overly tangy aftertaste.

However, the dish was not impressive enough for a repeat order.

Banzaiya Obanzai
Obanzai refers to a variety of small, traditional homecooked dishes that Japanese families typically serve to relatives and friends during special occasions.

Banzaiya Obanzai is a self-serve kiosk where items are placed in plates or bowls for selection, such as Tobiko Gunkan, Potato Salad, Mentaiko, Chawanmushi, Salmon Shioyaki and Sabar fish. Food didn’t look inspiring enough.

Take, pay, go.

Soba and Donburi
The one item that is probably worth coming back for is the Tendon ($11.80), considered value for its money for the amount of ingredients.

The tempura was crisp, drizzled over with a sweetish-savoury sauce.

Here, the soba was made on the spot using a specially-imported machine, which compressed the soba dough and passed it out as strands of noodles into a pot of boiling water.

On the other hand, for a Soba-specialist stall, I found the texture of the noodles clumpy, and would personally prefer strands with chewier texture.

Bear’s Curry Café & Bar
A concept restaurant that Japan Foods Garden had worked with Suntory & Jim Bean.

Bear’s Curry serves Japanese curry 2 different levels of spiciness – normal curry ($10.80, $13.80 with Katsu) and black squid ink Devil Curry ($11.80, $14.80 with katsu).

Unfortunately, the dish was marred by less than lukewarm, shrivelled, dry-textured tonkatsu, as though the meat was fried hours ago and topped up on rice just before serving.

If that is the concept and operational process, a suggestion would be to serve the dish with piping hot curry gravy so that at least something in that dish would be warm.

A good thing is, service was rather enthusiastic, and people at the counters were sincere and friendly.

If you are familiar with Food Republic’s general standard, you can make a gauge as Japan Foods Garden does not depart too far from there.

Japan Foods Garden
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #B1-01 (Within Food Republic), Singapore 228208
Tel: +65 6493 7300
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm

Other Related Entries
Japan Food Town Singapore (Wisma Atria)
Emporium Shokuhin (Marina Square)
11 Must Try Japanese Restaurants At Millenia Walk
Kohaku Tendon (Suntec City)
Hokkaido Izakaya (Tanjong Pagar)

* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.

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Comments

  1. If it is not bad enough, regarding about their curry. It seems that it was never fresh… Kinda tasted funky the other time round.

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