Bara Chirashi ばらちらし means “scattered seafood, vegetables and ingredients on top of a bowl of rice”.
The sashimi is usually diced and marinated with soy sauce and mirin, compared to the Chirashi Don which has sashimi in the more unadulterated, sliced form. (Note: some eateries in Singapore may call their “Bara Chirashi” bowls “Chirashi”.)
Its price is generally a lot more affordable than the usual Chirashi, making it a favourite among Singaporeans looking for a quick, oishii and filling one-bowl Japanese meal.
For the purpose of this guide, I tried to find those that fall below $20. Here are 14 places in Singapore to get your inexpensive Bara Chirashi and Kaisendon fix:
Guoco Tower, 7 Wallich Street #01-04 Singapore 078884 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6386 8561
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 9pm (Sat – Sun)
Kuro Maguro is able to ship the freshest maguro from the trawler directly, and can keep its prices competitive and affordable.
The restaurant imports the fish directly from Misaki Port to Singapore via ANA air freight. It uses meat culled from blue fins that weigh a minimum of 280kg, as these fishes have a good amount of fat as well as lean meat.
The brand uses the technique called ‘super frozen’ to freeze its maguro at minus 60 degrees Celsius, so as to achieve absolute freshness.
The classic Barachirashi ($18.80 for lunch, $19.80 for dinner) came with an assortment of cubed sashimi.
Compared to the other brands in Singapore, I find that this bowl had a cleaner, somewhat more delicate taste without going too heavy on the marinate.
Ingredients wise, the bowl had proportionally more maguro pieces, complemented with fluffy Japanese rice which was tasty on its own. Kuro Maguro (Guoco Tower)
301 Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Plaza #03-24A, Singapore 574408
Tel: +65 9450 1020
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 8pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
$12.80 for a bowl of Bara Chirashi don in a restaurant is a steal. Omote which was previously known as Sushiro, has become quite popular for its inexpensive donburi.
There are choices like Umami Soy Chirashi ($17.80), Truffle Roasted Garlic Chirashi ($21.80), Tamago-Menti Chirashi ($19.80), Ikura Chirashi ($28.80), to Spicy Dashi Chirashi ($17.80).
The Bara-Chirashi Don ($12.80) is definitely the highlight with salmon, tuna, octopus, prawn and salmon roe in a palm-sized sushi rice bowl.
However, I thought there used to be a lot more “liao” (sashimi toppings), so much that the rice almost took on a lesser proportion. Well.
Fresh sashimi cut into small bite-sized cubes for easy consumption, while fragrant sesame oil, umami-ness, and tinge of sweetness, made this a comforting bowl.
If you are up to it, go for the “Second-Gen” Mount Chirashi ($38.80) which comes with a mini hill of assorted marinated diced seafood on sushi rice.
The Sushi Bar (Ngee Ann City)
391B Orchard Rd, #05-34/35 Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238874
Tel: +65 8818 3535
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:45pm (Mon – Sun)
The Sushi Bar calls itself the “best affordable sushi place in Singapore”. While “best” is always debatable, it is no doubt very popular among office workers and youths.
Its Bara Chirashi Don ($19.90) of assorted cube sized sashimi over sushi rice includes salmon, tune, yellowtail, swordfish, ikura, and tamago.
It was a colourful variety of fresh cuts in a single bowl, good for those who likes a bit of everything.
All in all, I liked this bowl – thick cubes pieces, some melted in the mouth, matched with tasty and fluffy sushi rice. There is a particular freshness about the sashimi here.
If you need to find a casual Japanese eatery at Orchard Road that serves up a wide repertoire of decent fare, you have come to the right place. The Sushi Bar (Ngee Ann City)
2 Orchard Turn, #B4 -57, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 10am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 10am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Teppei Syokudo needs little introduction, created by Chef Teppei Yamashita, known for its signature Kaisendon.
Their Kaisendon is a hit among office workers, for sashimi rice bowls included with colourful cubes of fleshy raw seafood mixed with a secret-recipe sauce, fresh vegetables, on a bed of fragrant sushi rice.
Do you know: Teppei’s Kaisendon was originally meant to be a meal for his employees. Cutting up fish into cubes from fish that was not used up during dinner, Chef Teppei would serve it with a home-made sauce at the side.
The off-the-menu special item became popular among regular diners, and has now even found fame beyond our shores with a store in Hong Kong.
Teppei Syokudo’s Kaisendon ($16 Nett) includes 6 different types of raw seafood (Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Whelk, Scallop and Ikura), Teppei’s special secret sauce, on top of a bowl of fluffy Japanese rice complemented with freshly grated wasabi.
Bugis Junction #02-50, 200 Victoria Street, Singapore 188021
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last Order 9pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 11pm Last Order 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Another outlet at JEM #01-15
The Kogane Yama Bara Chirashi don ($16.90) comes with diced raw salmon, tuna, swordfish, surf clam, steamed prawn, ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying fish roe), cucumber and tamago (Japanese omelette) on a bed of sushi rice.
The base used is of premium Koshihikari short-grain rice, fluffy and has a natural sweet taste.
Compared to some of the other brands which are more heavily seasoned, Kogane Yama’s version allows the natural-taste of the sashimi and other ingredients to come through. Depends on what you prefer.
If you like all things truffle, choose to add on truffle oil (+$2) for that added aroma as you mix the cubed fish throughout. Kogane Yama (Bugis Junction)
313@somerset #B3-19/20, 313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Sora Boru is a casual Japanese dining concept serving a variety of wholesome one-bowl meals to hungry diners at 313@somerset.
It is also Halal-certified.
Operating as a quick-service restaurant, it allows you to order and quick pay for your meal over the counter fast-food style, or via its self-service ordering kiosk.
The Bara Chirashi Ebimayo Aburi Don ($9.50 for mini, $13.50 for regular, $16.50 for large) is a rice bowl topped with assorted fish and seafood cubes of salmon, tuna and baby scallops; tamagoyaki and cucumber blanketed in blow-torched shrimp roe mayonnaise.
And it comes in 3 sizes, good for those who just want a light meal in between shopping. Sora Boru (313@somerset)
This is a hidden restaurant in the East at Pasir Ris Downtown East.
Take your pick from a variety of Gaku Sushi Bar’s Donburis from Bara Chirashi ($19), Chirashi ($27), Aburi Chirashi ($29), Tendon ($18), to Premium Chirashi ($47).
Gaku Sushi Bar takes pride in using only King Salmon, known to have the highest omega-3 content.
Though Norwegian Salmon is more common, they go the extra mile and serve only the finest of the wild Pacific salmon species.
This is when you can taste its richer flavour and smooth-creamy texture in this Spicy King Salmon Donburi, with the fish loaded up with heart-friendly oils.
The light spiciness comes from aburi-ed mentaiko sauce or spicy pollock roe, which also would give the added savoury and rich flavours.
CityLink Mall #B1-16, One Raffles Link, Singapore 039393 (Esplanade MRT, CityHall MRT)
Tel: +65 8511 4425
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Located at CityLink Mall, Singapore’s first underground mall, Donburi-Ya is a fast-casual dining spot, literally “house of donburi”.
The humble eatery can be found near to the entrance leading to Marina Square, right opposite Starbucks.
Donburi-Ya’s Bara Chirashi ($14.90 Nett) was a medley of salmon cube, sweet egg roll cubes and ebiko on a bowl of fluffy Japanese rice.
Though tasty on its own, the rice gets a boost of flavour from the ‘liao” and a drizzled savoury sauce.
Is this the Bara Chirashi I had? I won’t say it is, but it is a good portion for the price, and the sauce added more rich flavours for those prefer something not so ‘clean-tasting’.
Donburi-Ya also offers their own version of Salmon Poke Bowl, priced at $10 (0.5 protein), $13 (1 protein) and $16 (2 protein). Donburi-Ya (CityLink Mall)
Tsuta Japanese Dining
313 Orchard Rd, #01-16, 313@somerset, Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm, Last order 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Craving for a seafood rice bowl? The ramen eatery has also introduced Kaisen Don ($19.80, $12.80 for light) and Aburi Salmon Mentaiko Don ($16.80).
The Kaisen Don features a duo of salmon and tuna, served sashimi-style as thin raw cubes. Joining the seafood are fresh cubes of creamy avocado, all together served with Tsuta’s signature sauce atop vinegared rice. Tsuta Japanese Dining (313@somerset)
From now till 13 June 2021, order from https://order.tsuta.com
1-for-1 Michelin-starred Ramen or Don from $18
1-for-1 Michelin-starred Ramen/Don Set for 2 from $38, which includes 2 ramen/don, 1 maki roll, 1 appetiser and 2 drinks
Paya Lebar Square #01-84, Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 409051
Tel: +65 68449915
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Delivery via GrabFood, Foodpanda, Deliveroo
Kei Kaisendon is a Kaisendon specialty restaurant serving rice bowls topped with fresh sashimi imported straight from the seas of Japan. You may see more outlets peppered across the island, so quality may not be that consistent from outlet to outlet.
Each bowl of Japanese white rice is brimming with a wide variety of sashimi, and a mixture of toppings and seasonings.
Recommended is the Kei Signature Kaisendon ($12.90, $16.90, $19.90) which comes with salad or rice or a mixture of both.
Maximise your Kei Kaisendon dining experience by exploring the 4 different ways of eating the Kei Kaisendon Signature Bowl.
First, savour the taste of signature Kaisendon with fresh sashimi and a little bit of shoyu and wasabi. Next, you can combine a dollop of mayonnaise and chili powder on a sauce and blend the mixture into the rice bowl. Enjoy the spicy creamy rice.
Once you finish your Kaisendon halfway, pour the special Sakura chicken soup into the remaining ingredients and enjoy the mixture as a porridge – this is the 3rd way.
Finally, the fourth way is to take some nori seaweed to wrap a spoonful of rice and sashimi into hand rolls. Four ways to Kaisendon bliss.
Chirashi King Kong
2 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Blk 1, Singapore 082002 (Tanjong Pagar MRT Station)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 7pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Delivery via GrabFood, Foodpanda, Deliveroo
Chirashi King Kong is a hole-in-the-wall Japanese Donburi eatery located on the second floor of Tanjong Pagar Plaza.
Its Bara Chirashi ($14.90) 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.
What I enjoyed was the fluffy rice mixture, with just the right amount of seasoning that didn’t tip on being salty, and there was just that whiff of truffle oil without being overpowering.
Other bowls include Salmon Bowl ($8.90, $10.90), Tuna Bowl ($10.90, $12.90), Salmon Tuna ($10.90), Swordfish ($11.90, $14.90), Otoro Bowl ($26.90), Salmon Mentaiko ($10.90), Spicy Salmon ($10.90), Aburi Salmon ($10.90), and Scallop Saikyoyaki Bowl ($12.90).
100G Pasir Panjang Road #01-01, Singapore 118523
Tel: +65 9689 4092
Opening hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 4pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 12.30pm – 10pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Yuzutei, 柚子亭 which means Yuzu Pavilion in Japanese, offers a yuzu-centric menu which would attract yuzu fans.
It is located at level 1 of the Interlocal Centre – a development in the heart of the rejuvenated Alexandra Pasir Panjang region, and of approximately 8 minutes’ walk from the nearest Pasir Panjang MRT station.
If you are thinking of head during lunch, more casual Japanese food items of Classic Donburi such as Salmon Mentai Don ($14), Chirashi Kaisen Don ($14.90), Unagi Don ($16), Teriyaki Chicken Don ($10); and Yuzu & Mentai Pasta are available.
The Chirashi Kaisen Don ($14.90) comes with an assortment of diced sashimi such as salmon, tuna and swordfish belly marinated with homemade vinaigrette dressing.
Something unique is the addition of tomatoes, corns, edamame, pumpkin slices, spring onions on top of fluffy, white Japanese rice with a light, citrusy and refreshing dressing, adding texture and flavours as a whole. Yuzutei (Pasir Panjang)
Our Tampines Hub #01-86, 1 Tampines Walk, #01-86, Singapore 528523
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm, last order 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Delivery via GrabFood, Foodpanda, Deliveroo
Niigata Bento derives its name from Niigata Prefecture which is considered the rice capital of Japan. It also marks the origin of Koshihikari, which is the world famous Japanese short grain rice with a rich sweet and nutty taste and a firm bite.
Featuring a wide-ranging variety of bento, donburi, chirashi and udon, this is where you can find Japanese meals at affordable pricing.
All of their Bento Boxes served with 2 sides are priced below $10 nett, with offerings of Teriyaki Chicken ($7.50), Tempura ($8.00), Tonkatsu ($8.00), Gyu ($8.50), Salmon Katsu ($7.00), and Chicken Katsu ($7.50) boxes.
The Bara Chirashi ($15.50) is an enjoyable concoction of assorted salmon and tuna sashimi along flavourful Japanese sweet egg roll cubes served atop the soft and fluffy Koshihikari Rice.
8 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, Singapore 277674
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
What foodies are loving at Umi Nami is its affordability. This no-frills Jap place is located at the Holland Village area, a place convenient for after-work dinners.
If you want affordable donburis that doesn’t hurt the wallet priced between $10 – $25.
First up, it offers the popular Bara Chirashi Don ($10) with fresh chunks of tuna, salmon, tamago and squid atop traditional sushi rice.
Those who prefer their sashimi torched should get the Aburi Salmon Don, offering the same Japanese rice laden with chunks of aburi salmon.
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