Exciting NEW restaurant openings in Singapore for the month include Restaurant Ibid by first MasterChef Asia winner Woo Wai Leong; The Spot at Marina One; Le Bon Funk at Club Street; Zui Hong Lou also at Club Street; Madame Fan at the newly-refurbished NCO Club; The Stamford Brasserie at Swissotel The Stamford; Jinjo at Shaw Centre; Yellow Pot of Six Senses Duxton; ATOUT at Dempsey; and Forbidden Duck by Chef Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation fame.
Here are some of the highlights (was feeling in the mood of Japanese cuisine, so there is a lot more of them featured):
Marugame Udon & Tempura Singapore 丸亀製麺
2 Orchard Turn #B4-67/68 ION Orchard Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6732 0687
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
Most Popular Udon Shop From Japan Has Arrived In Singapore
The brand is known for its freshly made Sanuki-style Udon at affordable prices, starting at $5.90 for a classic regular Udon. Inexpensive considering ION Orchard is at the heart of town.
Similar to the Japan restaurants, Marugame Udon & Tempura in Singapore operates in a self-serve style where you first can choose the Udon, then add your preferred tempura.
After paying, there is a toppings seasoning bar to further customise your bowl. Choose from coriander, spring onions, grated ginger, wasabi, and agedama – deep-fried batter bits from cooking tempura.
Recommended item is the Udon with Seasoned Cod Roe & Half Boiled Egg ($11.90, $12.90). This is one of the best sellers and my personal favourite is a dry udon with mentaiko and seaweed strips. Marugame Udon & Tempura 丸亀製麺 (ION Orchard)
65 Ubi Road 1, #01-92 Oxley Bizhub, 408729
Tel: +65 6385 5273
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
3-In-1 Japanese Dining Concept At Ubi
Man Man Unagi by Teppei has quietly opened at Ubi Oxley Bizhub under the Yamato Izakaya concept – which also houses Ramen Hitoyoshi and Tora Tora.
Ubi may seem too far for many, but great for those working in the MacPherson and Tai Seng areas, and diners who need unagi after your driving lessons.
The other good news is Yamato Izakaya can accommodate over 300 patrons, with free onsite parking. Yamato Izakaya (Ubi)
Takayama Japanese Restaurant
6 Shenton Way #01-09/10 OUE Downtown Gallery Singapore 068815 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6224 0864
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 2:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Japanese Kappo-style Restaurant At Downtown Gallery
Newly opened at Downtown Gallery, Takayama Japanese Restaurant is where you can savour a medley of authentic Japanese flavours in its multi-course menu.
This is a “kappo-style” restaurant, similar to a Keiseki meal where elaborately prepared dishes which look like pieces of art, are served.
The influence of the dishes originates from Osaka, and the menu is inspired by the four seasons of Japan, using ingredients at the peak of their flavours. Therefore, if you go during different months, you are likely to get varied dishes depending on the ingredient sourced. Takayama (Downtown Gallery)
01-05 Riverside View, Robertson Quay Singapore 238251
Tel: +65 6732 1970
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm; 5:30pm – 10pm Daily
Unagi Speciality Restaurant Miyagawa Honten Opens 1st Singapore Outlet
Miyagawa Honten is one of Tokyo’s famous unagi restaurants, with a history that spans 125 years, now operating 20 outlets in Japan alone.
The 34-seater restaurant will serve unagi in three different styles: Hitsumabushi ($19.80), Seiro Mushi (S$19.80) and Mamushi Donburi ($18.80).
The eel pieces which were first steamed then grilled were unexpectedly tougher and more charred than expected, with that slight fishy taste.
It was thankfully saved by the accompanying spicy sauce in a bottle, which was very tasty, but I wished I didn’t need to go there that often. Unagiya Ichinoji (Robertson Quay)
Tokachi Tontaro – Downtown Gallery
6A Shenton Way Downtown Gallery #03-20 Singapore 068815
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Japanese Buta Don (Pork Rice Bowl) Eatery
Tokachi Tontaro, located at both Downtown Gallery and Plaza Singapura, features bowls of grilled pork cooked in a Hokkaido speciality tare sauce and served atop premium Hokkaido Yumepirika rice.
Available are the Premium Butadon ($22.80, $25.80) which uses Japanese Kagoshima Pork; or Regular Butadon ($11.80, $13.80, $16.80) which is topped with American pork coated in a signature tare sauce.
The regular version offers you other flavours of Spicy Tomato and Miso Butadon.
I have tried Tokachi Tontaro twice at Plaza Singapura, though I won’t say I was exactly bowled over. Tokachi Tontaro (Plaza Singapura)
Chirashi King Kong
2 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Blk 1, Singapore 082002 (Tanjong Pagar MRT Station)
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Hidden Eatery With $12.90 Unagi Truffle Rice And $6.90 Japanese Curry Rice
Chirashi King Kong is a hole-in-the-wall Japanese Donburi eatery located on the second floor of Tanjong Pagar Plaza.
With its affordable pricing, it won’t be long before office executives head over for inexpensive lunch and takeaways.
Its Bara Chirashi ($13.90) bowl comes topped with of diced salmon, tuna and swordfish sashimi, served on Japanese rice, added with a mixture of truffle oil and flying fish roe.
Other bowls include Salmon ($7.90, $9.90), Tuna ($9.90, $11.90), Salmon Mentaiko ($9.90), Swordfish ($10.90, $13.90), to the attractively-priced Japanese Curry Rice ($6.90). Chirashi King Kong (Tanjong Pagar)
No. 3 Lorong Liput, #01-01 Holland Piazza, Singapore 277739
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Daily)
Famous Australian Flame Grilled Portuguese Chicken Chain Opens In Singapore
The newly-opened Oporto is a fast-food chain from Australia specialising in Portuguese flame grilled chicken. With over 150 stores in Australia, Oporto was first opened in Bondi Beach, Sydney back in 1986.
Its first branch in Singapore is nestled at the corner of Holland Piazza, which used to be the old Holland Road Shopping Mall – affectionately known as the Windmill Building.
The Flame-Grilled Portuguese Chicken here comes marinated with either the Original Chili or Lemon & Herb sauce in quarter, half and whole chicken portions ($6.90, $11.90 and $21.90 respectively).
It is a fast-food option that you can try considering its uniqueness in Singapore. And when you do, I recommend heading straight for the flame grilled chicken and skip the burgers.
The RANCH Steakhouse by ASTONS
Clarke Quay Block B, #01-15, 3 River Valley Road Singapore 179024
Tel: 6256 0334
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm (Mon – Fri), Dinner 5pm – 12am (Sun – Thurs), 5pm – 1am (Fri – Sat)
ASTONS Goes Upmarket With Classic Steakhouse Concept
The ASTONS’ chain is a familiar brand with Singaporeans, attracting long queues outside many of their branches, known for their inexpensive Western classics.
The RANCH Steakhouse located at Block B, is their newest upmarket and most ambitious opening to date.
The classic steakhouse concept boosts of a spacious setting, with a private room to host business lunches, and still retains ASTONS’ core of serving value meals to diners.
You can expect to find more exquisite cuts here, such as USDA Prime 30 Days Dry Aged Bone-In Ribeye, USDA Prime 30 Days Dry Aged Porterhouse-T-Bone, Japanese Hokkaido Wagyu, to New Zealand Grass-Fed Black Angus Sirloin.
For a casual lunch, go for the Mushrooms Linguine with Truffle Cream, lusciously rich with a burst of distinct truffle aroma.
Hong Jjajang 홍짜장
Tel: +65 6909 5171
93 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088514
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm
Jajangmyeon Specialty Shop With Enjoyable Jjamppong
After Nipong Naepong specialising in Jjamppong has opened in JEM to some fanfare, Hong Jjajang 홍짜장 which signature dishes include Jajangmyeon has arrived at 93 Tanjong Pagar (next to Hokkaido Izakaya).
The Jjamppong was my favourite, because the soup base was fiery hot and addictive, brimming with flavours of seafood.
On a scale on 1 to 10, I would say it was around 6-7 in terms of spiciness. Not enough for you to break out in big sweat, but sufficient for you to feel the kick and reach for more water. Hong Jjajang 홍짜장 (Tanjong Pagar)
Da Shi Jia 大食家大大大虾面
89 Killiney Road Singapore 239534
Tel: +65 6732 1085
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:00pm
Big Prawn White Bee Hoon With Wok-Hei
Da Shi Jia Big Prawn Mee 大食家大大大虾面 which has opened since early this year, got into the foodie limelight when hotelier and restauranteur Loh Lik Peng sang praises of its “very rich stock studded liberally with fried lard”
The Prawn Noodles are priced at $5.80, $9.80, and $13.80. The difference is with the size of the prawns.
The dish I would recommend would be the Wok-Fried Big Prawn White Bee Hoon ($16.80) which combines firm bee hoon, umami-rich prawn stock, and wok-hei. Da Shi Jia 大食家大大大虾面 (Killiney Road)
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