Serangoon NEX continues to get more exciting for foodies, with the opening of &JOY Japanese Food Street.
Spanning 12,000 square feet, this is considered the largest Japanese food enclave in the Northeast of Singapore.
This Japanese-style one-stop dining destination allows you to ‘travel’ to Japan with its vibrant energy and combination of eight different concepts. Yes, eight.
Love yakiniku, shabu shabu, teppanyaki, ramen, Japanese breads, and more?
These two offers a communal dining space with self-service format; while the NEX concept (previously known as Shokutsu Ten Japanese Food Street) models after food streets in Japan to allow customers to explore the individual restaurants (and bakery) in the same space.
Here’s what you can expect from the eight F&B concepts at &JOY Japanese Food Street:
A brand-new Japanese-style hotpot restaurant which offers shabu shabu sets good for the individual or pair.
Prices are value-for-money, with Chicken Set ($9.90), Pork Set ($11.90) and Beef Set ($12.90) coming with the soup base (half), veggie platter, as well as Japanese vermicelli.
For a more filling treat, go for the Pork & Beef Set ($20.90) which boasts of pork collar, beef short plate, mini GO-Special cuttlefish paste with corn, veggie platter and Japanese vermicelli. Quite a lot of items for this price.
The set includes a choice of soup base (half), from Healthy Clear Dashi, Chicken Chintan, to All-time Favourite Sukiyaki. Order two sets, and you get a full pot of soup base (two halves).
Customers can also top up ($2 or $4) for more premium soup bases featuring Collagen-rich Paitan, Nourishing Ginseng Tonkotsu, Flavoursome Tomato, Refreshing Yuzu Dashi, Aromatic Mushroom, and Fiery Spicy. My personal recommendation would be the more full-bodied Nourishing Ginseng Tonkotsu.
Note that the Japanese style of hotpot typically focuses on soup stocks that are lighter to allow diners to better appreciate the flavours of the meats and seafood. The soups would gradually get tastier and richer as more ingredients are added in.
Top-up with other fresh ingredients to be cooked in the hotpot, including sashimi-grade Hamachi ($8), Salmon ($8); and house-special GO-Special Prawn Paste ($9), Cuttlefish Paste ($6) and Chicken Tsukune ($6) complete with an egg.
The pork-free restaurant provides all the amenities of a yakiniku restaurant with full-sized tables (like having a ‘private yakiniku desk’) in a cosy environment.
For those of you worried about smelling like a BBQ after the meal, the electric grills produce no smoke and so there is none of that lingering smell.
One of the most popular sets is the signature Yakiniku-GO Set (from $16.80) which boasts three popular cuts of beef: Short Plate, Angus Ribeye Steak and Beef Tongue, as well as rice, soup, kimchi or salad.
A new addition is the Value Treat (from $14.80) with Beef Short Plate, Beef Rib Finger (Nakaochi Karubi) and Chicken.
The Nakaochi Karubi is taken from in-between individual ribs, which boosts of a cut with meaty and chewy texture and robust beefy flavours.
Hailing from Osaka, RAMEN KIOU which has been around since 1995 is known for its appetising ramen bowls.
Something not that commonly found in Singapore is Tomato Ramen. Go for the classic Tomato Chashu Ramen ($14.90), Tomato Cheese Ramen ($14.90), or Roasted Beef Tomato Ramen ($17.90).
The indulgent Double Roasted Beef Tomato Cheese Ramen ($24.90) comes recommended, with tangy tomato-based tonkotsu broth surrounded with double portions of roasted beef, chicken, special sauce, and topped with torched cheese.
Tip: Do not finish the sauce yet, as you can choose to top-up to get a bowl of rice with garlic or cheese to be mixed in to further enjoy the risotto-style rice ‘soup’.
Other than noodle offerings, the menu has also been expanded to include donburi bowls such as Deluxe Chashu Don ($12.90), Chashu Curry Don ($9.90), and Yawaraka Tamago Don ($7.90).
Yaki Yaki Bo
This is a Teppanyaki concept, in which the skilled chefs will fry up succulent meats, fresh seafood, vegetables and shrooms, to even yakisoba, okonomiyaki and fried rice over hot flat iron griddle.
All right in front of your eyes, to experience the sizzling and aromas if you choose to sit at the counter.
The Yaki Yaki Bo menu comes with over 20 new offerings, with highlights including Pork Tomahawk ($32.90 for approx 300g), Wagyu Beef Hamburg ($7.90), Sliced Beef ($12.90), Chicken Steak ($9.90), Beef Ribeye ($24.90), Kurobuta Pork Collar ($21.90) and Ika (Squid) Ichiyaboshi ($16.90).
The satisfying Pork Tomahawk comes with grilled inch-thick bone-in pork loin chop cooked with signature sauce, served with a plate of crunchy Teppanyaki beansprouts.
Gokoku Japanese Bakery
Gokoku Shichifuku which is Japanese for “five grains and seven fortunes”, is a bakery concept from Kobe, Japan.
This authentic Japanese bakery has been baking breads for more than 60 years, serving customers healthy buns made with hearty grains.
If you are undecided on what to pick, select their Top 5 best-sellers of Gokoku Shichifuku Pan ($2.10), Malt Kurumi Pan ($2.10), Mochi Mochi Cheese ($2.50), Mochi Mochi Cranberry ($2) and Signature Hokkaido Red Bean Anpan ($2.40).
Need to takeaway breakfast or a quick-bite? Get the Japanese-inspired sandwiches including the Tonkatsu & Egg Sandwich ($5.80) which features the chewy Meiho bread, the Ham & Egg Sandwich ($5.20) and the Shio Pan Chicken & Avocado ($3.80).
A sweeter delightful treat would be the Jumbo Coronet ($1.90) or Couverture Chocolate Coronet ($2.10) featuring puff pastries filled with smooth custard cream.
Idaten is a Udon restaurant where you can mix and match smooth udon, sides and tempura, and it has been revamped with a new look.
If you like the more original taste, go for their specialty Kamatama Udon which comes with a half-boiled egg.
Other udon offerings include Garlic Chicken Maze Udon, Niku Curry Udon, Beef Sukiyaki Don, and Mentai Carbonara Udon. Plus, prices start from just $5.90.
Ichiban Boshi is a well-loved contemporary diner offering an extensive range of Japanese fare in a relaxed setting.
Here you can enjoy Japanese classics like sushi and donburis, or go for the specially-curated crowd favourite set meals.
No two Ichiban Boshi outlets are the same. The NEX restaurant focuses on fresh seafood (kaisen) including fresh sashimi, sushi and seafood delights.
For the lover of sashimi and sushi, get the Sashimi & Sushi Gozen ($29.90) which comes with assorted sashimi & sushi, including sliced salmon, hamachi, maki rolls, tuna, ebi, and many more.
A complete set that comes with a bowl of smooth chawanmushi, fruit, and a teapot soup.
Kuriya Japanese Market
Kuriya Japanese Market is known to be a one-stop shop for Japanese food items including fresh sashimi, sushi, sake, frozen food items, sauces, seasonings, and condiments.
It is also the exclusive retailer for Gyomu Super, a popular 800+ supermarket chain of outlets in Japan.
What’s noteworthy to mention is that you can get the freshest sashimi as premium fish and seafood are air-flown to Singapore from Japan such as the Osaka Central Wholesale Market thrice a week.
Yet compared to other dine-in restaurants, sashimi prices are at least 30% cheaper.
&JOY Japanese Food Street – NEX
23 Serangoon Central, NEX #B1-78, Singapore 556083
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Except Gokoku Japanese Bakery which opens at 10am
&JOY Dining Hall – Jurong Point
Jurong Point #B1-47, 1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 648886
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
&JOY Dining Hall – Great World
Great World #B1-132, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with &JOY Japanese Food Street.