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BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANTS IN SINGAPORE

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 22 Sep 2021

 

The diversity of Singapore’s food and drink culture makes it one of the top destinations for food enthusiasts to explore. From hawker centres to high-end restaurants, the multitude of cultures and traditions contribute to a happening scene that encapsulates the Singaporean soul. Of all the dishes and delights you can enjoy while you’re here, one popular with locals and travelers alike is Japanese. Whether you’re looking for scrumptious sushi or unbelievable unagi, this essential list includes the best options for you to experience Japanese cuisine in Singapore.

 

Waku Ghin

 

Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda

From the omotenashi atmosphere to the presentation of the food, it's clear that care and consideration has gone into every aspect of ensuring your time at Waku Ghin is a promise of something extraordinary. A promise that has been rewarded with two Michelin Stars.

The mind behind this newly revamped, award-winning concept is distinguished chef Tetsuya Wakuda. A prodigy from a young age, he opened his first restaurant, Tetsuya's, in Sydney in 1989. His talents in the kitchen and expert knowledge of produce and flavours inspired Tetsuya's to be consistently included in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Those high standards have not only continued but have also grown in stature with Waku Ghin, his first overseas restaurant located in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

 

Waku Ghin Cocktail

 

Start your meal and sample a wide selection of handcrafted Japanese-style cocktails, wines, and premium sake from their extensive collection – including exclusive brews specially created for Waku Ghin. With your appetite poised, it's time to move on to the food.

The menu is curated with specials that promise a gastronomic odyssey of culinary brilliance. A hallmark of the restaurant's philosophy is a passion for ingredients. Chef Tetsuya and his staff are dedicated to sourcing the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients from the best suppliers in the World. This obsessive attention to even the most minor details has cultivated a menu that organically varies, giving each visit a unique sense of anticipation.

 

Waku Ghin Uni

 

There are a few standouts that you should look out for. The Salmon Caviar and Sea Urchin with Rice ($40++) and selection of Oysters of the day (from $6++) are bursting with the freshness of the ocean and rich aquatic textures. There's the Fregola with Abalone ($48++), a pasta that melds the Japanese approach to fish preparation with a rustic twist of tomato and basil. Beyond seafood, the WG Grilled Wagyu Beef set on Rice ($45++) is melt-on-the-fork tender, while the Kagoshima Black Pork and Vegetable Gyoza ($25++) offers a sweeter, earthier treat. You could also put yourself in the chef's hands and enjoy the 10-seater Omakase Chef's Table.

Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda is located at L2-03, The Shoppes.

 

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Koma

 

KOMA Singapore

If clean lines, reductive, and uncluttered essentialism comes to mind when you think of Japanese design, you'll be visibly thrilled by KOMA's perspective on dining aesthetics. Your first hint at this unconventional approach is the panoply of distinctive orange arches that greet you as you enter. Reminiscent of the torii gates found at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, the 20m long passageway eventually leads you towards the secluded lounge space.

The atmospheric lighting sets the mood and presents a perfect opportunity for a cocktail. The KOMA Canary (Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla Gin, Lemon Juice, Saffron Syrup, $23++) and KOMA Phoenix (Ocho Tequila Blanco, Chili Umeshu, Lime Juice, S$23++) are house signatures and are simply sublime. For a hit of sweet and sour, the Sawayaka Sake (Shiso Infused Vodka, Yuzu Sake, Japanese Cucumber infused Syrup, Lemon Juice, $23++) will only crank up your expectations even more for what's to come.

 

KOMA

 

As you stroll across the small footbridge, you won't be able to miss the 2.5m-tall bronze Japanese bell. The main dining area impresses with its bold decor, and the lofty ceilings unfurl a voluminous sense of depth. All this attention to detail is the overture to the outstanding menus. The lunch sets (from $48++, Mon – Fri, 11:30am – 3pm) offer an expansive selection of 2 and 3-course options along with complimentary desserts. The Ginger Honey-Glazed Salmon and Spicy Tofu Hotpot are staple main course favourites. In addition, you can also upgrade your main to a Prime Sirloin or Wagyu beef dish.

You can find a kaleidoscope of definitive dishes on the menu. The Salmon Pillows ($14++) are a delectable way to start the meal with elegant pastry shells topped with slices of salmon, roasted jalapeño, and smoked avocado. The playful D.I.Y. Spicy Tuna ($25++) balances the heat with crispy rice, sweet soy, and chives. KOMA is one of Singapore's premium sashimi and nigiri restaurants, with some of the best unagi, maguro, ebi, and tako. For meat lovers, the A5 Wagyu Beef Tenderloin ($170++) and the Hobayaki Snow Aged Niigata Wagyu ($180++) are wonders to behold as they melt in your mouth.

 

Koma Bonsai

 

Finally, round off your meal with your picks from the dessert menu; a popular favourite is Bonsai ($17++), carefully constructed with molten dark chocolate and crunchy praline that resembles the iconic Japanese plant, along with an edible pot. Treat yourself to Koma’s comprehensive beverage menu, with its unrivalled collection of premium sakes, wines, and spirits, for a multi-sensory, fine dining escapade.

KOMA Singapore is located at B1-67, The Shoppes.

 

Sen of Japan

 

Sen of Japan

For a chef, the plate is a canvas where ideas are free to reveal their final form, a waking reflection of the ideas and whims of the artist’s instincts; a chance to articulate the philosophy behind their food. At Sen of Japan, this principle is derived directly from its name. With a concept centered around freshness or 'Sen', Chef Nakano Hiromi, who formerly headed the highly acclaimed NOBU at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, elevates culinary artistry with his contemporary take on Japanese cuisine.

 

Sen of Japan

 

The convergence between freshness and flavour comes alive throughout the menu. The lunch sets are an indulgent way to treat yourself to an alternative to the typical midday fare. Seek out the Hon Maguro Nigiri Set ($58++), a medley of three different cuts of Bluefin Tuna Nigiri (6 pieces) - Akami, Chutoro, and Otoro. If you love cod, the Yuzu Kosho Black Cod Set ($32++) with baked black cod marinated in yuzu kosho and sautéed mushrooms is sure to hit the spot.

Meat enthusiasts can also spoil themselves with the A4 Wagyu Yakiniku Set ($48++) and its grilled Japanese A4 wagyu beef, sautéed mushrooms with truffle shoyu, onsen egg, and rice. You can also mix things up with the Yakitori Set ($25++) for assorted grilled chicken wings, thighs, and vegetables topped with a sweet Yakitori glaze and rice. For donburi lovers, the Hokkaido Chashu ($30++) with slices of grilled Hokkaido pork belly, a sweet soy glaze and onsen egg served over fluffy rice is pure umami.

 

Sen of Japan

 

As the lights dim for dinner, get cosy with a menu that has a lineup of irresistible dishes to savour. Hamachi Carpaccio ($25++) and Maguro Pizza ($38++) take the crown for cold starters, while the Wagyu Tataki ($36++) is a delightful way to satisfy your craving for a warm meal.

The food and desserts at Sen of Japan are incredible, but we would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to mention their exceptional Sake collection. Whether you’re a Sake connoisseur or have never tasted a drop of the rice-based beverage, their vast array offers a diverse brew of flavours to accommodate all tastes. Make sure you don’t miss your chance to try a glass.

Sen of Japan is located at L1-86, The Shoppes.

 

Ippudo

 

IPPUDO

From sizzling izakayas and tempura to tonkatsu and sukiyaki, it's no surprise that Japanese food is one of Singapore's most popular cuisines. For comfort food, nothing hits the spot better than a hot bowl of ramen. With its origins rooted in Chinese culture, this hearty and nutritious dish quickly became a big hit in Japan.

The rapid rise of ramen restaurants shows how popular the dish has gotten in recent times, but not all ramen is created equal. The makings of a great, flavourful bowl of ramen requires a level of sophistication and technique that few can claim to own. Not the case for Ippudo's founder Shigemi Kawahara. Respectfully known as the King of Ramen, Kawahara opened the first Ippudo restaurant in 1985 in Japan's ramen capital, Hakata in Fukuoka city. His passion for ramen and an attuned sense for detail resulted in his quest to create the ultimate ramen experience. The result of that drive is Ippudo’s reputation for affordable Japanese food with absolutely no compromise in quality.

 

Ippudo

 

For a taste of the classic Hakata-style ramen, try the Shiromaru Motoaji Special ($23++); tender slices of pork belly, noodles prepared just how you like, seaweed, and a sprinkle of spring onion, all bathed in Ippudo's original, creamy, and addictive tonkotsu broth. If you want to heat things up, the Karaka-Men Special ($25++) will light your fire.

Beyond ramen, the menu offers a pleasing set of the appetisers and side dishes to complement your meal. Tuck into Gyoza (from $9++) – pan-fried, deep-fried, or boiled – for a satisfying combination of chicken and chives wrapped up in one bite. Or elevate your meal with Beef Tataki ($17++) for pan-seared prime beef slices served alongside Ippudo’s signature sauce.

IPPUDO in Marina Bay Sands is located at B2-54, The Shoppes.

 

Local food set within Marina Bay Sands.

Rasapura Masters and Toast Box are your go-to stops for local food, whatever you're after. If you're at Rasapura Masters, take the chance to admire Digital Light Canvas – a digital art installation comprising over 400,000 LEDs. 

Kickstart your luxe vacation with Marina Bay Sands' Book Direct offer today! 

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