Taking a flight out, or intending to dine at Changi Airport Terminal 1?
ANA Airlines has a new outlet of Japan Gourmet Hall SORA at T1, modelled after a business class lounge.
Remember its first outlet at Terminal 2? This time it will showcase the best Japanese dishes from three prefectures: Fukuoka, Hokkaido, and Kanagawa.
The new 116-seater SORA at Terminal 1 will feature classic favourites and exclusive dishes from three renowned Japanese restaurants: Ikkousha (ramen), Yoshimi (tonkatsu and curry) and Megumi Maru (maze don).
If you value the convenience of getting some Yatai-style ramen, katsu curry and maze don, all in one place, then you’ll love the concept of SORA.
Plus, you have easy access to wonderful desserts like Hokkaido soft-serve ice cream and pancakes to mellow those sweet cravings.
Popular Japanese ramen which offers traditional Yatai-style ramen
You should have heard of Ikkousha, that popular ramen restaurant in Japan that attracts long queues, founded and operated by Chef Yoshimura Kousuke.
Named after 3 characters: ichi (one), ko (happy), and sha (place), this one happy place has 62 outlets around the world, including Japan, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong, and USA.
The SORA outlet is its 3rd location in Singapore.
What really clicks with the diners is the signature Tonkotsu Ramen, a specialty of Hakata-ku Fukuoka.
Traditionally, this ramen is crafted and served by vendors of open-air food stands aka Yatai. Hakata is also the place in Japan where Ikkousha originated so their ramen is often called “Hakata ramen”.
You will find a thick, creamy and bubbly tonkotsu made by boiling carefully cleaned pork bones for over 12 hours every day. The long and thin noodles are made in-house to match the soup, while the chashu is thinly sliced and well-seasoned to achieve that balance between ramen and toppings.
Special Tonkotsu Ramen ($18.70)
This special ramen features Ikkousha’s signature tonkotsu with its mild flavour not overpowered by the pork bones’ umami and sweet notes.
The collagen-rich broth is served with a balance of thin ramen noodles and toppings, including thin slices of tender cha-shu, flavoured egg, black fungus, and spring onions.
This is the first time Ikkousha has launched Yatai-style ramen in Singapore, exclusively available at SORA. As I tried the other 2 branches before, the difference is that this broth has a lighter and milder flavour, with sweetness coming from the pork bones (the usual Ikkousha Tonkotsu has a creamier texture and bolder flavour.)
Special Red Chili Ramen ($20.90)
Another exclusive ramen, this genuine Yatai-style uses the same signature thick and creamy tonkotsu broth but made red because of a secret ingredient, Ikkousha’s secret brand of “Spicy Fire”.
It also has thin ramen noodles, topped with slices of tender pork cha-shu, black fungus, spring onions, plus some dried seaweed.
Special Black Garlic Ramen ($20.90)
What makes this ramen different is the addition of a special house-made fried garlic paste. Not only does it impart an intense biting flavour but also turns the original tonkotsu soup dark-coloured.
Katsu curry specialist Yoshimi opens 1st overseas outlet in Singapore
Hokkaido is the second of three Japanese prefectures featured in SORA, and represented by Yoshimi a katsu curry specialty restaurant from Sapporo, Hokkaido.
If you love dishes like Katsu rice, Katsu Curry Rice, Omurice Curry and Katsu Sandwich, you’re in luck as these are specials of the house.
Named after its creator Chef Yoshimi Katsuyama, Yoshimi is a product of the chef’s travels in the United States. He had this philosophy that “having fun is delicious” and so he wanted to create a place where he could serve dishes that please both palate and eyes.
Yoshimi grew and became popular, and now has more than 19 outlets across Japan.
Some of the menu mainstays include Pork Loin Katsu Set ($23.80), Mille-feuille Katsu Set ($26.80), Omurice Curry ($16), Beef Curry Rice ($17.90), along with Hokkaido-style desserts.
Mille-feuille Katsu Set ($26.80)
Mille-feuille literally means “thousand-sheets”, and this time you’ll find the multiple layers in a savoury katsu set.
Enjoy the crunchy exterior of the deep-fried katsu as you marvel at all the tender layers inside. Served with finely shredded cabbage and classic katsu sauces.
Omurice Curry ($16.00)
This contemporary Japanese omelette rice is served with a brown curry sauce that goes well with the rest of the ingredients.
A spoonful of that runny omelette, fluffy Japanese rice and curry sauce all come together in one big bite.
I particularly enjoyed the curry which was rich and bold, with just a tinge of spice.
Mixed Berry Pancake ($19.80)
This beautifully dressed up dessert pancake is almost a prize for reaching the finish line of your meal.
Pillow-soft and fluffy pancakes are topped with assorted types of berries, a cream sauce, and zigzagged drizzles of strawberry syrup.
But if you’re more of a chocolate person, you’d probably like the Chocolate & Banana Pancake ($18.00) even more. And just for today, skip your diet regimen and add their Hokkaido Soft-Serve Ice Cream ($6.90).
Singapore’s first-ever Maze Don concept created by Misaki Megumi Suisan
The healthy and delicious maze don shop by Megumi Maru is Singapore’s first-ever maze don concept.
It is created by Misaki Megumi Suisan, a wholesaler of fresh and top-quality maguro and sashimi in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
Before the fresh maguro and sashimi reaches your bowl, the fish undergo super freezing (minus 60 degrees Celsius) on-board the fishing vessels at Misaki Port. Megumi Maru then imports the fish directly to Singapore via ANA Airlines’ air freight service.
This means you’re getting the freshest fish from the seas of Japan. Sashimi lovers, read on for a preview of what you should order at SORA.
Aburitoro Maze Don ($35.10)
The Aburitoro Maze Don is a jumble of torched otoro (tuna belly) and vegetables atop a bed of sushi rice.
The colourful veggies include purple cabbage and ladyfinger, making this a pretty mix of ingredients in a bowl. You also get an onsen tamago that adds another layer of flavour and silky texture.
There are other versions of this using different kinds of seafood, such as Unagi Maze Don ($20.10) with eel, Ebi Mentai Maze Don ($17.90) with prawns, and Maguro and Salmon Maze Don ($17.30) with a duo of tuna and salmon.
Kaisen Maze Don ($18.80)
The Kaisen Maze Don combines sashimi cubes of akami, salmon, boiled prawn, unagi, takuan, and onsen tamago on top of Japanese sushi rice.
The individual ingredients are fresh and tasty on their own but the dressing helps draw them together as a unified dish. Made with sea urchin and shoyu, the dressing imparts that desired umami flavour to the naturally sweet taste of seafood.
Those who want to add healthy fats in their meal should consider the Spicy Maguro Maze Don ($16.90) which has avocado paired up with tuna. Sidekicks include purple cabbage, cucumber, and onsen tamago served with spicy sauce made with tobiko and shichimi.
Or consider the Otoro Maze Don ($35.10) which uses otoro, the most desirable part of the tuna belly, the fattiest part that simply melts in your mouth. Dab some of the sauce, a mixture of sugar, sesame and soya sauce. Oishii!
Maguro Mentai Roll ($15.90)
To help fill you up, rolls are the way to go. Go for the Maguro Mentai Roll ($15.90) which includes tuna sashimi, pollock roe sauce, fish roe with cucumber, and crabstick mayo sauce.
Try the Salmon Cheese Roll ($16.90), Caterpillar Roll ($13.70), or Anago Roll ($17.90). Maki rolls are crowd-favourites, and do get some friends to share.
Japan Gourmet Hall SORA @ Terminal 1
Changi Airport Terminal 1, #03-21, Singapore 819642
Tel: +65 6242 9087
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm, Last Order 10:15pm (Mon – Sun)
Japan Gourmet Hall SORA @ Terminal 2
Changi Airport Terminal 2 Level 3, Airport Blvd, #036-058, Singapore 819643
Tel: +65 6386 7005
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm, Last order 10.15pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Japan Gourmet Hall SORA.