Japanese food fans can rejoice at the number of new options available in Singapore. One of the latest being an enclave of 5 dining options at Japan Foods Garden tucked at the back of Shaw House’s Food Republic.
Centrally based and walking distance from Orchard MRT, these 5 brands provide a good mix of Japanese cuisines at very affordable prices. The Food Republic concept makes it easier to dine out with friends as everyone can order from the different stores during communal dining sessions.
One of our favourite’s during our tasting was Akasaka Yukun, serving up steamed eel dishes. You know that a brand can be trusted when they have 8 existing outlets in Japan and have been honing their recipe since being founded in 1952.
We tried their signature Unagi Seiro Mushi ($28.80 – 1 layer | $38.80 – 2 layers) that was neatly packed in a wooden box. The eel is carefully displayed with sliced egg on top of a bed of seasoned rice creating an eye-catching presentation.
Seiro Mushi is the technique of carefully packing ingredients into a bamboo dish, then steaming everything to bring out the ingredients’ natural flavours. The eel in this dish is first glazed before steaming and the sweet flavour shines through in the served portion. One of the pricier dishes at Japan Foods Garden, but truly a box of comforting flavour not to be missed.
Genki Japan stood out when we heard that their noodles are made fresh on location. The outlet has a machine specially imported from Japan where dough is compressed and comes out as strands of noodles directly into a pot of boiling water. After the noodles are cooked, they’re then rinsed in cold water to retain their springy texture. With a serving of Zaru Soba at just $5.50, it’s truly an affordable price point for the freshness!
Apart from fresh soba, Genki Japan also serves up hearty rice bowls and fried tempura dishes.
- Ebi (Prawn) – $3.00
- Sweet Potato – $1.00
- Chicken – $2.00
Gyu Tetsu Teppanyaki
Have a little time to watch your meal being cooked before your eyes? Gyu Tetsu Teppanyaki at Japan Foods Garden is the place for you. Sit around the bar and watch as chefs cook up your dishes on the hot plate. Meat lovers will enjoy the options served up from this dining concept too.
Their recommended dish is the Signature US Angus Beef Lemon Steak ($18.80). Not your usual chunk of steak, this beef is thinly sliced then cooked on a hotplate. The tender beef is then doused with citrus sauce for a distinct flavour. Best eaten with a side of rice so that you can soak up the sweet, lemony sauce. Highly recommended to try—however if you’re not a fan of tangy, citrus flavour, opt for their other options like Seafood Okonomiyaki ($14.80) or Teppanyaki Cod Fish ($19.90).
Not feeling like a full meal or just want to try a variety of dishes? Banzaya is the concept for you. Their selection of dishes change daily and is priced from $1.50 to $5.00 each. Just rock up to the counter where you’ll see a range of available dishes in the glass case to choose from.
Their silky Chawanmushi ($2.50) is recommended as well as their Fried Tofu ($2.50). Other dishes include Temari Sushi ($4.00 for 3 pieces) and Saba Shio Yaki ($5.00).
Bear’s Curry Cafe & Bar
Truly a family friendly outlet, Bear’s Curry even has a non-spicy Kid’s Curry ($9.80) in the shape of a bear. Kids can enjoy this sweet Japanese curry while parents try out the other curries available and maybe opt for a beer or two as there’s Pitsner and Black Beer on tap amongst other alcoholic beverages.Adults can opt for a range of curries with different spice levels which includes this unique Katsu Black Curry ($14.80). Charcoal powder is used in the curry to give it the dark appearance and it packs a little punch in terms of spiciness, but evens out once mixed with the rice and tender pork cutlet.
Overall, Japan Foods Garden is a great place to get a variety of Japanese dishes especially when dining out with friends and family. Mix and match dishes from the variety of stores and the best part is the central location—pop by for lunch or dinner when shopping around town.
Japan Foods Garden
Food Republic at Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Road, #B1-01, Singapore 228208
The Black katsu curry unique but the tonkatsu tasted too dry and it was not juicy or what. they could do better.