Marche and Villagé…… The former vacated its former space at Heeren; the other came, imitated and left. Enter the new kid of the block: Shokudo, a Japanese concept Marche, now occupies a huge space at the revamped Raffles City basement.
Meaning ‘dining room’ and conceptualised by the Thai Express people, Shokudo has continued to attract queues of people at all times of the day.
It took me JUST 10 minutes before I got my place on a weekday night. After taking a payment card (be careful not to lose it or you will pay a $100 fine), my friends and I were brought in to what I felt was like playground.
Like a wide-eyed young child looking amazed, I skipped around to check out the various visual stimuli of the bazaar. Wah, there are segments of harajuku cityscape, manga art, children’s playground, contemporary modern and even neoprint machines. A different setting for everyone.
Plus point. The energy is quite high in the whole bazaar, and you sense the very positive and lively vibes around. The vibrant and colourful mood makes you want to eat more.
Every type of cuisine is sold in separate booths and mostly freshly prepared. You can find almost every common Japanese favourites here: from sushi, teppankayi, yakitori, pasta, dons, ramens, shashimi, hot pots, soups, tempura and the popular omelette rice. Shokudo know their competitors well, and even serve Marche-famous rosti. But few do it as good as the original.
Many bloggers feel that this is an overhyped place with mediocre food. Common complaints were that service is also less than desirable.
My friends and I had major greviences, except that the cream soup was too thin and don rice rather dry which needed more sauce. The three of us ordered A LOT, and spent about $20-25 per person. Quite reasonable. It is no Japanese restaurant standard, but certainly beats going to a food court anytime. As to which are the recommended stalls, look out for the queues.
This bazaar is probably targeting at the working executives and youths. It’s quite a suitable place to hold class outings, lessening the problem of splitting cash. Don’t expect too much, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Shokudo may be considered a fad, but I certainly hope it doesn’t land up like Villagé.
Shokudo Japanese Food Bazzar, B1-44E Raffles City Shopping Centre Tel:+65 68373793
Opening: 11:30am – 10:00pm