Category Archives: Japanese

Sō Ramen, Nex

Go!

Try finding RamenPlay at Nex and you’ll end up at this other ramen place called Sō. 


The whole restaurant felt a lot like RamenPlay for a couple of reasons:

1. Its signature ramen bowl is the same as RamenPlay – Tonkotsu broth with Toroniku (braised pork cheek), Cha Shu and Buta Kakuni (braised pork belly in special sauce). Of course, not forgetting the special black onion sauce.

2. The pricing is similar to RamenPlay – affordable. The ramen mentioned above costs only $12.90++.

3. The physical bowls are the same as RamenPlay – I kid you not. 

Intrigued, I did a quick check on RamenPlay’s website to see if Sō was another restaurant under their wing (or possibly them saying they had rebranded). Nope, not a word about it. Also, interestingly, RamenPlay’s outlets at Breadtalk IHQ and Velocity @ Novena Square are now taken over by Sō.

Tonkotsu Toroniku with Ajitama, $9.90++.

The pork cheek was really tender and flavourful! Melts in your mouth and gone before you know it. Definitely not satisfying to only have 2 pieces. Do top it up for a small fee! 

Sō is one place that does their eggs right. The gooey ooey flow of the egg yolk was perfect! The seasoning was also not to overpowering, allowing it to be a nice complement to the ramen.

The tonkotsu soup on the other hand, was a little disappointing. The flavour wasn’t as intense as I had hoped. It’s still nice, but not the kind that I would want to drink till the very last drop. 

Uobushi Tonkotsu Toroniku, $9.90++.

Bonito flavoured tonkotsu soup! As compared to  Sō’s tonkotsu soup, the uobushi tonkotsu is much more flavourful and more palatable even towards the last few drops. I personally liked it a lot, but my partner didn’t. Take this only if you are a fan of those dancing flakes on your takoyaki balls. 

Sō offers five types of soup bases, including spicy miso which is a blend of 7 different types of miso. The pricing for these ramen bowls can go as low as $7.90++ for a basic bowl, which makes Sō a very affordable comfort food anytime. 

Nex, 23 Serangoon Central, #B2-58, S(556083)

+65 6634 4089 

Mondays to Fridays – 11.30am to 10pm

Saturdays and Sundays – 11am to 10pm

Facebook here 

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, review

Kogane Yama, Bugis Junction

Go!

Slowly but surely, tempura bowls are taking over Singapore. I remember the first tempura bowl I ate was Tendon Ginza Itsuki at Tanjong Pagar and it has since become my Singapore benchmark for all tempura bowls in Singapore.

I’ve read reviews on Kogane Yama and many of them focused on the customisation of the tempura bowl. It got me excited because many of the tempura bowls around only have about three or four variations of the bowl – seafood, non-seafood, vegetables. I thought that I could finally pick my favourite ingredients! (or rather, just not pick the bell peppers).

But… chey. Customisation here refers to choosing which type bowl you want, choosing your carb (which honestly is also offered in some tendon shops), and choosing your spiciness level. Erm okay. 

Here at Kogane Yama, you’ll have to pay for chawanmushi and miso soup. To have either udon or soba, it’s a dollar more. And they don’t serve water as well so… you get it. Top up, top up, top up. Urgh.

Prawn bowl. They serve it with the prawn heads.

Vegetable bowl.

Putting my annoyance aside, the food is delicious! The tempura batter is light, fluffy, crispy, and well seasoned. It can definitely fight with Tendon Ginza Itsuki tastewise. I tried spicy level 1 and really loved the extra kick. I did think that it was already quite spicy for a level 1, so for those who would be trying for the first time, start with level 1.

What disappointed me was the variety for the vegetable bowl. They didn’t even have eggplant! Heyyyy, I’ve been to a lot of Tendon shops, and even in those family Japanese restaurants that don’t specialise in Tendons, the eggplant is a must-have vegetable for all vegetable tempura. Where’s the pumpkin? The oyster mushroom? The lotus root? 

The rice was also barely enough. My partner isn’t a big eater, but halfway through the bowl he had already finished his rice, so I had to give him part of mine. I then had to ration my portion very carefully. The reason why I brought this up is because I feel that Tendons are slightly saltier because of the sauce, so having sufficient rice is a must. Again, we are not big eaters and we never had troubles with other Tendon shops so this really jumped at us.

All in all, I really liked the taste of Kogane Yama but my experience wasn’t the best so I might drop by only if I’m at Bugis and craving for Tendon bowls.

200 Victoria Street, #02-50, S(188021)

Mondays to Thursdays 11am to 10pm

Fridays and Saturdays 11am to 11pm

Facebook here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, review

Himawari, Alexandra Road

Worth a try.

Himawari is one of the better quality ala carte Japanese buffets in Singapore. Its menu variety is extensive, but there are little pockets here and there which I thought could have been done better.

Sashimi platter. Large chunks of fish.

Natto Maguro. Remember to season it with lots of soy sauce!

Agedashi Toufu. Very light batter, but the sauce could be more flavourful.

Teriyaki Salmon. This was good! I think they added something to their teriyaki sauce. It’s not the commercial teriyaki that you can find outside.

Chicken Katsu Toji. This was good too.

Mixed Tempura. Lightly battered which made it really crunchy and not jelat at all.

Beef fillet. Skip this. It was too beefy and cold when served.

Amaebi. All time favourite.

California Roll.

Crab Patty.

Sukiyaki. The sweetness was not too overwhelming, which kept us asking for more beef.

Sukiyaki beef. Yums!

They offer sushi as well and I know what you’re thinking. Why eat sushi at a buffet right? I forgot to take a picture but their sushi is done Japanese style, meaning, toppings are more than the rice. I get super frustrated with Singapore sushi because the rice is always more than the topping so I was quite pleased with Himawari’s sushi.

Himawari at Alexandra also serves Shabu-Shabu and Teppanyaki but we were too full to try their Shabu-Shabu. As for the Teppanyaki, you have to proceed to an outdoor seating area and dine there. Visiting for lunch, it was scorching hot and not a single soul went outside for the Teppanyaki. Time for Himawari to rethink their Teppanyaki?

For the lunch time price of $57 after taxes and service charge, I felt that Himawari lacked that premium feel to its buffet. Though the variety was arguably excellent, the whole buffet felt very basic. The sashimi variety was very limited, no ikura (salmon roe), no cha soba, no fancy sushi rolls, limited grilled dishes, budget ice cream, and more.

What irked me really was how they would impose a tonne of additional charges on you if you chose different options. For example, if you wanted to change your Shabu-Shabu soup to a better flavoured one – additional 5++. Fresh wasabi – additional 1.50++. Free flow soft drinks and one scoop of premium ice cream – additional 8++. Even wanting a cup of coffee would set you back by another 4++. Any desire to visit Himawari a second time has been killed by this.

991B Alexandra Road, #01-08/09, S(119970)

+65 6272 1110

Daily 1130pm to 230pm, 6pm to 10pm

Website here. You can download their buffet menu from there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, review

Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen, Liang Court

Worth a try.

What’s this volcano thingy? It’s Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen! Kazan (火山) means volcano in Japanese. What happens here is that your noodles are served to you in an extremely hot stone bowl. The waiter then pours the tonkotsu soup from the flask into the stone bowl before quickly capping the volcano lid. The end result is lots of steam gushing through the tiny opening, creating a volcano effect minus the eruption of tonkotsu soup and ramen. Be careful. 🔥

Pretty interesting experience. After a minute or so, the waiter removes the volcano lid and viola! Your noodles are ready to be eaten.

I chose the spicy miso ($15.80). I loved it! The soup was  flavourful and the ingredients were all crunchy and fresh. The char siew was quite forgettable though.

Enjoy your ramen! The meal comes with a bowl of rice which you can add into the soup after finishing your noodles. Two ways of enjoyment. 

Won’t you be too full? Yes and no. Firstly, all ramen comes in two sizes. The smaller portion suffices for most people. Secondly, it looks like a lot of carbs, but actually the noodles are being propped up by a generous handful of bean sprouts and vegetables. This prevents the noodles from getting burnt by the hot stone bowl. That said, this ramen is certainly not for you if you happen to dislike bean sprouts. 

177 River Valley Road, #01-09/10 Liang Court, S(179030)

Daily 11am to 1030pm

Fridays and Saturdays till 3am

+65 63976636

Website here

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant, Keong Saik Road

Go!!!

The queue 10 minutes before Man Man was open for lunch at 1130am on a Tuesday!

Man Man is not easy to get to if you’re not familiar with the Outram/ Chinatown district. Do study your route the night before (okay la, morning study also can. I was just too excited.) so you won’t get lost and end up not making the first batch because Man Man requires all guests to arrive before they will seat you. The seating capacity is small (30 odd?), don’t say I never warn you.

Live eels in da house!

Sitting by the counter gets you full view of unagi happiness. The well fed eels are grilled over charcoal! 

Egg Unagi (can’t remember the price).

Fluffy egg roll! I really liked the soft and light texture of the egg, but I think they precooked a lot of these beforehand so by the time it was served, it wasn’t piping hot anymore. 😦 The unagi embedded within wasn’t outstanding as well. You may want to skip this dish.

Hitsumabushi Set (S$26.80)

Best. Unagi. Ever. The closest in taste I got to this unagi were the ones I ate at an unagi specialty store in Japan. It’s not your usual dull and flat tasting eel. The meat is chunky, the skin is slightly charred, and the sauce not too overwhelming (you must eat it with the white rice, which in itself isn’t soaked with the sauce). Mm smokey. This is real unagi for you.

For this particular set, you get to eat your unagi 4 ways. Plain, with seaweed and spring onions, with freshly grated wasabi, or with the soup stock that they provided (forgot to snap a picture, bugger. The soup is in the little black pot at the top left hand corner of the tray).

They also do provide a range of unagi sauces – sweet, normal, spicy as well as Japanese pepper so do play around as much as you like.

Just as we were about to leave we got to catch the staff in action! The eels are so active they kept squirming out of the wooden bucket just like the one you see over there.

Definitely a must go. I don’t think I’ve eaten a better unagi in Singapore.

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant 

1 Keong Saik Road #01-01, S089109 

Mon to Sat, PH: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm 

Sun: Closed 

+65 6222 0678

While you’re here, do head over to Instagram and follow me there for my latest foodie posts! https://instagram.com/littlemsramen

1 Comment

Filed under Japanese

Fat Cow, Camden Medical Centre

Go!

I know, the location sounds weird. Juicy, A5 Wagyu steak in a medical centre?! Yup, medical centre, no less. Just don’t let that get to you, the insides are intimately designed for that atas feeling as you would expect of a posh Japanese steak restaurant.


Dimly lit partitioned rooms that hold about 8 pax at one seating.

A5 Wagyu Steak, half cut 150g ($148)

Melt in your mouth beef! On first glance it may look too little for one pax, but trust me, the portion is just about right. Because the fat content is super high (and as warned by the staff on duty), you definitely don’t want to be stuffig yourself silly on this. 


A3 Tenderloin Steak, full cut 220g ($178)

My partner went for quantity. After trying the A3, we both felt that the A5 was way better (of course right). Perhaps we should have both gotten A4, but we wanted variety.

If eating top grade beef is your thing, be sure to visit Fat Cow. I haven’t been there for lunch but I heard that their set lunches are very affordable! 

At the end of he meal, my A5 did make me feel a little oily on the inside, so I will most certainly order A4 the next time I’m there. 

1 Orchard Blvd #01-01/02, Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649

LUNCH

Monday to Sunday: 12PM to 3PM

DINNER

Monday to Sunday: 6PM to 11PM

+65 6735 0308

Website: Fat Cow SG

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, steak

Ginza Kuroson, Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Go!

Location


At a little corner on level 3 Takashimaya Shopping Centre sits this hidden gem, Kinza Kuroson. The exterior looks very grand and posh, and can be rather intimidating for first timers. I would find out later on that the mains of this place are actually really affordable and yet still of high quality! 

Interior


Counter seats.

There’s three kinds of seating arrangements at the Takashimaya branch. 

Private room

The private room seats 6 to 10 pax, but there’s a minimum spending of $300.  

Counter seat

This is where the seasonal fishes, vegetables and fruits are displayed. Here, you can watch as the chefs perform their magic from the preparation to the serving of food. 

Table seat

I took the table seat. The table seats are well spaced apart and big enough for all the food that you would be ordering.

Food

What a pleasant surprise! You can get dinner sets as low as mid $20. My party of 6 did not even hit $300 and we were all beaming with fullness and happiness at the end of our dinner. The menu here is rather different from the Robertson Quay branch. While you can find the menu of the Robertson Quay branch on their website, they have yet to put up the menu for the Takashimaya branch. No fret though, there’s surely something for everyone at the Takashimaya branch.


Appetisers for every set menu ordered. 

The salad on the right has a very mild dressing. Not too overwhelming or overpowering, just enough to whet your appetite for what’s to come. The tofu on the left is super nice! The jelly looking thing is actually made from sesame, and the tofu is not as soft as you would expect. Some people might not be used to eating semi hard tofu, but I liked it!


A5 Wagyu steak set ($68). 

The most expensive set of the night, but worth every dollar and cent. True to the texture of A5, the beef slices melts in your mouth. I just noticed in the picture that the beef slices are glistening with richness! As an aside, a smaller tray would have looked better for this set.


Udon and chirashi set ($39).

The chirashi-don was bigger than we expected! Look at the amount of ikura! Given the variety of this set, we had expected the udon and chirashi-don to come in halves. Sweet!


Sushi and udon set ($43).


Grilled pork short ribs set ($$33).

The one is worth eating. The meat was tender and juicy. Best eaten with the slightly sautéed onions provided. Yum yum.


Salmon sashimi ($15).


All sets come with a dessert. The above is coffee mousse.

I don’t take coffee, so I asked if there were alternatives and I was given chocolate mousse instead. Sad to say, I was disappointed with their dessert. It’s as though they had expended all their resources on the main course, leaving minimal effort for their dessert. A real pity.

I forgot to take a picture but one of my guests had ala carte Salmon Teriyaki with white rice ($17 for the salmon, $3 for the white rice). The portion was really huge and the salmon was nicely cooked, pan seared to give that light crisp on the outside and pinkish on the inside. If you’re okay with not having the appetisers, sides and dessert (which I think you won’t lose much by forgoing them) you should seriously consider going for the ala carte menu.

Address: 290 Orchard Rd Takashimaya Shopping Centre #03-10 Singapore 238859

Hours: Lunch 11am to 3:30pm, Dinner 6pm to 11pm

Phone: 6235 3785

Website: http://ginza-kuroson.com/

**The menu on the official website is the menu of Robertson Quay. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Japanese, review, steak