Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Cuisine’

Botan Japanese Restaurant – Good quality affordable Japanese food near Raffles Place

I had not heard of Botan Japanese Restaurant so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my dining companion had not only heard of it, but had actually dined at Botan several times over the last few years. Botan Japanese Restaurant is the type of understated Japanese restaurant that those in the know would have heard about.

It’s homely decor may not attract eyeballs immediately. It seems to be hidden in plain view because despite its central location within Far East Square, I’d actually walked past it without realising, probably distracted by all the banker types sitting al-fresco nearby and chugging down bottles during lunch time. But, they boast a loyal following because of their quality ingredients flown in from Japan, as well as their value-for-money pricing.

Botan Japanese Restaurant Compilation

Executive Chef, Thomas Kok, a pioneer of the Japanese culinary scene in Singapore with over four decades of experience has taken over the helm of the restaurant. He was already working at Japanese restaurants back in the day where Singaporeans were more accustomed to cooked, hot food rather than foreign things like raw fish. Apparently, many dishes now easily found in Singapore were creations of or championed by Chef Thomas and his team decades ago. Take for example the Pitan Tofu, a proud creation of Chef Thomas, now easily available in many Japanese Restaurants in Singapore.

The price-range at Botan is quite varied. Depending on your budget, you can have a perfectly satisfying meal for under $20, or you can splurge on some of the more luxurious dishes. Here are some of my recommendations.

Pixy Restaurant & Bar – Contemporary fusion French & Japanese cuisine that is a feast for the eyes and palate

Nestled in one of the shophouses along Mohamed Sultan Road is the unassuming Pixy Restaurant & Bar. The muted tones of the decor belie the creative and somewhat flamboyant fusion French & Japanese cuisine that is offered at Pixy. The restaurant is helmed by Chef Tomine Nobuaki (Nobu) who was born in Japan but grew up in San Francisco during his teenage and early adult years. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in the US, he worked in various restaurants such as Gary Danko (US), La Baie in Ritz Carlton Osaka and Luxury resort hotel Sankara in Yakushima before coming to Singapore and helming the fort at Pixy since January 2019.

We had the pleasure to partake in the $100 Omakase Autumn menu, which comprises of 5 dishes. Please scroll down to read more about the omakase. In particular, I would really like to highlight the Foie Gras Flan and Roasted Irish Duck Rouennaise, which are dishes I would not hesitate to try again if given the opportunity.

Pixy - Foie Gras Flan

Foie Gras Flan

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Wagyu Express – Enjoy Japanese Wagyu Yakiniku at wallet-friendly prices!

Do you shy away from dining at Japanese Yakiniku (Japanese grilled meats) because of the cost factor? I am glad to report that you can now enjoy Japanese Yakiniku, Wagyu Yakiniku to be exact at a more affordable price if you visit Wagyu Express by Aburiya. If you’ve heard of Aburiya, which is also a Yakiniku restaurant, Wagyu Express is the no-frills version.

Wagyu Express - Wagyu Sukiyaki ($20)

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Teppan Kappou Kenji – Affordable Japanese food right in the heart of Tanjong Pagar

Great Japanese food is hardly synonymous with affordable prices, but recently I chanced upon a gem located in the heart of Tanjong Pagar, just a few minutes walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. This is a gem not just because the food here is fabulous, but that it’s price point allows you to actually feel comfortable visiting multiple times as opposed to it being for just special occasions.

Teppan Kappou Kenji - Tiger Prawn, Hokkaido Scallop topped with Uni, Salmon
Teppan Kappou Kenji – Tiger Prawn, Hokkaido Scallop topped with Uni, Salmon
For example, lunch sets start from $12.90, and includes chawan mushi. As far as I know, this is even cheaper than certain sushi chains in Singapore. For dinner, its entirely possible to order a dish and pair it with rice to form a complete meal for less than $20.

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RIZU– Contemporary new Japanese restaurant opens at Duxton Hill offering Omakase sets worth trying

RIZU is an intimate and contemporary Japanese restaurant that recently opened in the Duxton Hill enclave back in September. The restaurant seats 38 and is well known for its vibrant rolls and sashimi. I’ll be upfront, the prices are not cheap here, but you are offered exemplary service and quality of food that would befit the pricing.

If you are looking for a Japanese restaurant suitable to celebrate a special occasion, RIZU would be a good recommendation. They also have Omakase set menus, which allow you to “leave it to the chef” to curate a meal with the best ingredients of the day. And to really live it up, go for the wine/sake pairing as well. Diners during the month of December will also be able to be gifted a complimentary bottle of Champagne to all groups of four that are partaking in the festive Omakase menu.

Recently, I had the luxury to check out the Omakase set, and I must say almost every single dish was a winner. Each dish had been thoughtfully crafted by Head Chef Noboru Shimohigashi, which is evident in both plating and taste. Chef Nobru has over a decade of experience working in restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Ryuzu in Japan and Beni in Singapore. Scroll down to read my tasting notes for the Omakase set that I tried several weeks ago.

Rizu - Appetiser of Calliflower Puree, Caviar, Sea Urchin, Jellyfish

Appetiser of Cauliflower Puree, Caviar, Sea Urchin

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