We tend to associate quality Japanese food with excessive spending but that’s not always the case. Being a total overly-passionate individual for Japanese food, I decided that I need to source for quality and affordable Japanese joints in Singapore to sustain my insatiable appetite.
For all my like-minded souls, here’s a list of places where you can get your freak on without burning a hole in your pocket. Ideally you would be spending less than $30 a person at these places, although some might be more expensive at night.
Yes, you can finally rid of the days where you have to live solely on bread and nutella till your next pay day from over indulging during these meals.
Bara Chirashi ($17). Mmhm, a nice and fresh bowl of bara chirashi yet again at such a steal. Nestled in China Square Central, Koji serves up a trusty meal that comes with a side of salad and miso soup. Other than bara chirashi, it does serve relatively affordable sushi sets that ranges from $9 – $23.
If you’re heading there for lunch, be careful of the crowd as it is very popular amongst the CBD dwellers. Other than that, knock yourself out.
Read our full review on Koji Sushi Bar here.
Koji Sushi Bar: 3 Pickering Street, China Square Central #01-42, Singapore 048660 | Tel: +65 6225 6125 | Website
2. Teppei Japanese Restaurant / Hana Hana
Bara Chirashi ($17.60). Here’s a bowl of freshness and if raw fish isn’t your thing, Teppei does have a tempura set lunch that ranges from $16.50 – $19.80. Teppei literally needs no introduction. We all know how fully booked they can get, we all know how much in advance we need to try and get a seat, we all know how much quality it serves and we also know how affordable it is considering its’ quality.
Hana Hana is also owned by the same group as Teppei and is situated literally beside Teppei sharing the same space (at #01-17), and offers the same great value of Japanese food. Teppei of course, is known for their dinner omakases but Hana Hana is a great substitute during lunch.
Walk-ins are available for lunch but dinner reservations have to be made months in advance for Teppei. Yes, months, because they are that good.
Teppei Japanese Restaurant: 1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel #01-18, Singapore 078867 | Tel: +65 6222 7363 | Website
Yakitori Bento ($13.50). Isn’t that simply a steal for a mere $13? There’s yakitori, quail eggs, mushroom and rice. Of course there’s also the quality taste in these old school charcoal grilled skewers that is worth every while.
Other than this, Nanbantei has other options for their lunch menu, like the saba shioyaki set that goes at $14. Do take note that dinner menu is way more expensive so have a look at their website before heading there.
Read our full review on Nanbantei here.
Nanbantei: Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, #05-132 Singapore 228213 | Tel:+65 6733 5666| Website
Sanuki Udon (Reg $5.80, Large $7.80). All hail the udon from Tokyo, you can either enjoy it in a rich golden broth (kake udon) or the thick soya sauce broth, which is the sanuki udon. Honestly, it’s under a tenner (10 bucks) and it’s as chewy as a udon should ever be. Let’s not forget how aromatic and sweet the broth is.
Tamoya: Liang Court, 177 River Valley Road #01-32, Singapore 179030 | Tel: +65 6337 0301 | Website
5. The Sushi Bar
Bara Chirashi ($22). Oh hello there, we meet again bara chirashi. At The Sushi Bar, be prepared for an indulgent bowl of fresh sashimi topped with ikura. Decent portion that will satisfy your hunger and not overly expensive, The Sushi Bar is one of the affordable options.
Not only these, they are very known for their aburi salmon roll that costs a mere $14.90. The perfect seared taste lingers while the slightly tangy rice slowly complements and washes away the taste, prepping you for the next pop of maki. It is usually pretty packed so do go down early if possible.
The Sushi Bar: Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, #05-34/35, Singapore 238873 | Tel:+65 9653 6464 | Website
6. Tanuki Raw
Bara Chirashi ($17). Honestly who could get enough of these bowls of sashimi happiness right? Tanuki Raw serves up a good bowl of freshness at a steal. The sesame seeds give an extra crunch to the texture and you can either have it cut up (bara) or just a normal chirashi, both at the same pricing.
If you are not a big fan of raw fish, there are other rice bowls such as the truffle yakiniku don and kick ass maki rolls that are unique to Tanuki Raw and here’s a little piece of good news. You can grab all these at only $12 during lunch hours.
Tanuki Raw: Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road #02-03, Singapore 238896 | Tel:+65 6636 5949 | Website
7. Mikoto Singapore
Minced chicken meat ($12) and steamed salmon ($18). I have never tasted a salmon so sweet when steamed and take my word for it. I remember going home and raving it to every single one in my family. It is soft and tender, melt-in-your-mouth kind of goodness. The minced chicken meat was really good too but salmon took the lime light, for sure.
Mikoto Singapore is a modest Japanese joint opened by a Japanese man and gives a very authentic Japanese atmosphere. Their menu is hand-written and changes seasonally. It’s written in Japanese though and might need a little help from the staff when not stated in English.
Mikoto Singapore: 60 Robertson Quay #01-12, Singapore 238252 | Tel: +65 6235 5277 | Website
8. Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya
Mix Bara Kaisen Don ($18.80) and Ni Anago Don ($16.80). Both dons are having a special price promotion right now and they are only available during lunch time. These dons can be found at Orchard Central’s Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya. The branch at Suntec offers lunch set menu as well but with different dishes. Definitely value for money.
Sumiya Charoal Grill Izakaya: Orchard Central 181 Orchard Road, #12-02, Singapore 238896 | Tel: +65 6509 9618 | Website
9. Muji Cafe
2 Cold deli, 1 Hot deli and white rice ($12.90), changing to 10 grain rice ($1) and Hot Chai Milk Tea ($4.90). A newly opened cafe in Muji Paragon, it serves various hot and cold delis that are quintessentially Muji and Japanese. No frills, just a simple and nutritious meal that will leave you feeling healthier.
Opt for the 10 grain rice instead of the white rice, it is healthier and also more flavourful than the white rice. Think nutty and filled with barley. I like their chai milk tea, it isn’t overly sweet like the chai lattes I’d get at certain coffee joints. Easy on the pocket and the waistline I’d say.
Muji Cafe: Orchard Paragon, 290 Orchard Road $04-36, Singapore 238859 | Tel: +65 6735 0123 | Website
Healthy and Beauty Hot Pot Served in Special Chicken and Collagen Stock ($38.80 for 2). Japanese Omelette with Cod Roe ($8.80). When you do the math, this is pretty inexpensive for a huge bowl of hotpot, what’s with the whole pot stuffed with ingredients.
The broth is sweet and nourishing, when prawns are cooked in it, it packs an extra layer of flavour. The portion is good for sharing, with just enough space for a dessert or another side.
Read our full review on Shirokya.
Shirokiya: Cuppage Road #43 & #43A Cuppage Terrace, Singapore 229463 | Tel: +65 6732 8588 | Website
11. Senmi Sushi
Premium Chirashi Don ($26). Inside this delicious bowl of freshness is chutoro, mekajiki, sake, hotate, ama ebi, tamago and topped with ikura, all mixed together in a semi sweet marinate. Sashimi used are directly from the Emporium Shokuhin itself and this means the constant rotation of fresh sashimi stock.
I’ll have you know, I love how fresh the ingredients are and I love the Emporium. They offer a huge Bara Chirashi Bowl at $50, meant for sharing between a 2 – 3 pax and trust me, it’s really massive. Go on down with an empty stomach.
Senmi Sushi: Emporium Shokuhin Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard #01-18, Singapore 030504 | Tel: +65 6224 3433 | Website
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