Food

FOOD REVIEW: 5 radical Japanese restaurants to excite your tastebuds… again

We know, your palate’s jaded in food-paradise-Singapore #FirstWorldProblems. But trust the Japanese to make dining out unforgettable once more. So live a little more dangerously, eat tiger pufferfish, watch your desserts go up in flames and have eels gutted right before your very eyes
 

Guenpin

 

 

Why eat fish when you can eat pufferfish? Guenpin, the largest fugu restaurant chain in Japan has just opened up its first-ever overseas outlet in Singapore, Maxwell Chambers. Serving torafugu, a top notch tiger pufferfish, you can have it any way you wish. Be it sashimi, thick slices, karaage, sushi, grilled, hotpot or even porridge.

 

With over 30 years of experience, the puffer fish toxins are all taken care of in Japan by professionals, before importing them into Singapore.

 

 

Thick sliced pufferfish sashimi $32, it is chewy and has a rather intriguing texture, almost gelatinous-like. Taste wise, it’s quite bland so we recommend having it with the tangy ponzu sauce provided.

 

 

If you’re not in the mood for pufferfish overload, then choose from their snow crab selection. Sweet, plump and exceedingly fresh, the snow crab is well worth the money and time.

 

Guenpin: 32 Maxwell Chambers, #01-06 Singapore 069115

 

BAM!

 

 

If you’re thinking oh, just another sake joint, that is where you’re so wrong. Incorporating Eastern customs with European influences, each tapas hints at a subtle Eastern touch, all matched properly with sake taste profiles.

 

Instagram: @cuisinewineasia

 

We recommend their all-time popular dish, cold capellini, $24, with sakura ebi, uni, citron confit, hazelnut oil and nori. Try it without the sake, then add a drop or two of sake and try it again. You’ll find a heftier umami factor, elevating the entire dish with just a simple addition.

 

BAM!: 38 Tras Street, Singapore 078977

 

Henri Charpentier

 

 

Perched atop Dempsey Hill is the grandeur Henri Charpentier, a dedicated French-inspired Japanese dessert parlour all decked out in cushy interiors and hanging chandeliers. Over at Henri Charpentier, it isn’t just about how exquisite these desserts are, but about the theatrical performances accompanying the desserts as well. And as we know it, Japanese sweets are quite the thing to go crazy for.

 

 

Instagram: @erica4577

 

Ooooh, flambe. The signature dessert, Crepes Suzette, $22, is a dish that held happiness, joy and wonder, as recounted by the founder, Mr. Arita. Orange-soaked crepes, flambeed in Grand Marnier right in front of your eyes, is a boozy and silky dessert that warms your soul.

 

First notes of citrus flavours will leave a tangy feeling, before the Grand Marnier kicks in, giving the entire dessert more complexity. Dining at Henri Charpentier will definitely spoil you silly.

 

Henri Charpentier: 9A Dempsey Road, Singapore 247698

 

Man Man by Teppei

Teppei is expanding his Japanese restaurant kingdom in Singapore, slowly but surely. So it comes at no surprise that Man Man by Teppei is well, by Teppei.

 

Instagram: @es4estella

 

Not your regular unagi-centric restaurant, Man Man by Teppei houses tanks of live freshwater eel from Mikawa Isshiki region in Japan. All sliced and gutted up before your eyes, you can witness some of the unagi still squirming on the skewers, what a sight. Marinated in tare and skillfully grilled by Chef Nakagawa, the unagi are grilled to perfection with a nice char on the skin.

 

Instagram: @yaxin_94

 

The Unatama, priced at a very affordable $18.60 for fresh unagi, it comes with rice and two slabs of tamagoyaki, which are heavenly. Light and fluffy, it helps to refresh the palate in between bites of unagi. The charred unagi is crisp on the outside, with a layer of sweet tare marinade while remaining smooth and tender on the inside. Get there early though, there’s always a snaking line.

 

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant: 1 Keong Saik Road, #01-01, Singapore 089109

 

Senmi Sushi

 

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Instagram: @electropopsicles

 

Found within the one-stop destination, Emporium Shokuhin at Marina Square, is Senmi Sushi serving up giant proportions of chirashi don at $36. So huge you’ll never be able to finish it by yourself, not even if you starved for the entire day. We tried.

 

For a quick first date idea, why not head to Senmi Sushi and share an intimate bowl of chirashi don? Remember not to get another plate to scoop away some rice, you would want to eat straight from that and maybe, coyly bump into each other.  

 

Senmi Sushi: Emporium Shokuhin, Marina Square 6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-18, Singapore 039594

 

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