Honesty speaking, while there are more Japanese stalls appearing in hawker centres around Singapore, the quality can be a hit-and-miss.
Yao Japanese Rice House with its striking yellow signboard and caricature of “Yao” at Tanjong Pagar Food Centre piqued my curiosity, specialising in Japanese-style Omu Fried Rice and Curry Rice.
While you are there at the hawker centre, some of the popular stalls to look out for include Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu, Delicious 美味 Mee Rebus, Pandan Leaf Nasi Lemak, Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff, Issan Thai Food, Ming Kee Cooked Food, and Kueh Ho Jiak.
No websites have covered this Japanese Rice stall though – strange, and so I have decided to give it a try (as part of what food bloggers should do is share these hidden gems).
On the menu are Omu Fried Rice dishes with Japanese Curry Sauce ($4.50), Mushroom Cream Sauce ($4.50), Teriyaki Chicken ($5.50), Thai Style Chicken ($5.50), Braised Pork ($5.50) and Salmon with Wasabi Mayo ($6.50).
Customers can top up with grilled chicken, chicken cutlet, grilled pork loin or pork cutlet for $1.70 extra each.
Compared to many Japanese casual eateries and cafes, this food here comes at a fraction of the price. I mean, Salmon Omu Fried Rice at $6.50 – where to find?
All dishes come served with miso soup, but the soup is not available with takeaways. Understandable.
I had the Japanese Curry and Chicken Cutlet ($6.00), and the most impressionable part was the hot silky-runny egg.
While the egg didn’t wrap around the rice perfectly, it was certainly on par in taste and texture if not better than what some of the cafes serves. (You can pay top dollars for café brunches, but not can do their eggs well.)
Some may find it slightly on the saltier side, but I think the plainer-tasting short-grained rice kind of balanced it off.
The Japanese curry all thick and smooth came with a spicier kick than the usual, but was absolutely manageable in terms of the spice levels.
There was even pickled radish and carrot on the side to cut through the richness.
I would have enjoyed the Salmon with Wasabi Mayo ($6.50) better if the slab of fish wasn’t that dry. But at that price, I am not complaining much.
The wasabi mayo had a sweeter and milder touch, and won’t become an intense nostril hit.
If rice is not your thing, also available are Potato Salad options with pork cutlet, grill pork loin, chicken culet and grilled chicken, paired with Japanese Curry, Tonkatsu or Black Pepper sauce.
Yao Japanese Rice House
6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-42 Tanjong Pagar Food Centre, Singapore 081006
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 3:30pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
Other Related Entries
Tanjong Pagar Food Centre Hawker Guide
Rong Xing Yong Tau Fu (Tanjong Pagar Food Centre)
Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puffs (Tanjong Pagar Food Centre)
Issan Thai Food (Tanjong Pagar Food Centre)