Top 10 Underrated Japanese Eateries
Japanese cuisine has always been well-received in Singapore but there are only a few dominant outlets that have successfully established a reputable image among the locals. These mainstream joints more often than not block out the other smaller Japanese eateries, creating a misconception that the Japanese food scene is strictly circumscribed. In order to subvert your perception that the Japanese food options are dreadfully limited, we have come up with a list of 10 underrated Japanese eateries that we think you should most definitely check out!

1. The Bento People

Helmed by the owner of The Snack Culture Company, The Bento People believes in the joy of eating healthy and endeavours to promote a healthy, balanced diet through their Bento sets. Featuring three different compartments for whole grains, nutritional protein dishes and vegetables/fruits, their Bento Box is a visual aid that guides patrons in consuming a healthy meal. Patrons can select from an extensive array of delectable palates such as Bulgogi Beef with Tofu and Cauliflower in Thai Green Curry. If you are looking to indulge in a hearty meal while not compromising your diet, The Bento People is the right place to go to! Make Your Own Bento lunch set is available on Monday to Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Image: The Bento People Website

2. Uogashi

A takeaway joint offering premium seafood at quality prices, Uogashi keeps their sea commodities fresh by utilizing advanced freezing technology to retain the natural texture and flavour of their fish. Drop by Uogashi during lunch time to savour fresh seafood at wallet-friendly prices! We most definitely recommend the store’s speciality Special Chirashi Don ($12.50, pictured) or the Sashimi Moriawase Tairyo ($36.90) platter to share with your family and friends! Image: Uogashi Facebook Page

3. Wafuken

Living up to the meaning of its name (“Wafu”- Japanese style of Western fare; “Ken”- wellness in Japanese), Wafuken aspires to deliver a scrumptious and healthy meal. Adopting the Sous-vide method that consists of cooking vacuumed packed food in a water bath, Wafuken ensures that its meats are perfectly executed with maximum flavour retained. Under the Dons option, we would advise you to get the Australian brown rice for a healthier and more flavourful meal. Afterwards, choose from an extravagant assortment of meat products that includes Truffle Wagyu Rump ($20 onward, pictured) and finally top it off with sides such as Wasabi Yuzu Salad ($1.50) for a gratifying meal. Image: Wafuken Facebook Page

4. Izakaya 95

Izakaya 95
Housing an open-space veranda with a spectacular panorama, Izakaya 95 is a modern izakaya with an extensive menu of Japanese small plates, yakitori and alcohol beverages. Opt for light snacks such as Kawa Ebi Deep Fried Prawns ($10) and Hotate Scallop ($5) to go with your beer. Alternatively, satiate your hunger pangs with the signature dish Niniku Garlic Fried Rice ($6, pictured). Image: Izakaya 95 Facebook Page

5. Goen Udon

Goen Udon
Renowned for its ginormous Katsu Chicken, Goen Udon is a favourite among business executives working within its vicinity. What is so appealing about Goen Udon is its generous serving at affordable prices (below $10!) and its rich, milky tonkotsu stock that is brewed for 10 hours each day. You most certainly can’t leave without getting your hands on the signature Chicken Katsu Curry with Rice ($6.80, pictured). Other notable dishes include Tonkotsu Special Ramen ($10.80) and Curry Udon ($5.80). Image: Goen Udon Facebook Page

6. Woshoku Goen

Woshoku Goen
Hailing from the same brand as Goen Udon, Woshoku Goen offers the same katsu chicken while distinguishing itself from its sister concept with its sumibiyaki (charcoal grill). The meats are marinated overnight and then generously ladened with eel sauce (under the Japanese BBQ Menu) or Japanese BBQ sauce (under the Singa Style BBQ Menu) before it is grilled on-the-spot by the chef. Under the Japanese BBQ Menu, a must-try is most certainly Sumibi Pork Juu ($6.80). Alternatively, indulge in a gratifying meal with the Sumibi Big Rice ($23.80) that is incorporated under the Singa Style BBQ Menu and consists of steak, sumibi beef, pork belly, sumibi yakitori and rice. Image: Open Rice user Chubby Botak Koala

7. Bariuma

Tucked in an obscure corner along Orchard Road Belt, Bariuma helms over 60 branches in Japan yet it is highly underestimated in Singapore. The key to its success among Japanese lies in its rich tonkotsu broth that is painstakingly brewed for six hours. A must-try is the Ajitama-Uma ($14.90, pictured) that comprises of chashu, Ajitsuke Tamago and shoyu soup. Image: Bariuma Facebook Page

8. Rollie Olie

Rollie Olie
Newly established in mid-2015, Rollie Olie intertwined a medley of Asian ingredients with the classic Japanese sushi roll. Get ready to savour innovative made-to-order sushi rolls such as Sunkissed Salmon ($16.95, pictured) or Kpop Roll ($12.95) that fuses Korean and Japan cultures together in its amalgamation of kimchi and spicy crab meat tightly wrapped within the Japanese roll of delight. Alternatively, for a more filling meal, opt for the daily set meal that comes with a half sushi roll, soup and salad at $12.95. Image: Rollie Olie Facebook Page

9. Sushi Burrito

Sushi Burrito
We have all heard of sushi rolls and burritos but what exactly are sushi burritos? Proudly promulgating themselves as Singapore’s first burrito sized sushi, Sushi Burrito is a healthy bite-sized fusion of Mexican and Japanese influences. It prides itself on its low carb diet, fresh and natural ingredients in its endeavour to provide a balanced meal for the working business executives. For the health-conscious crowd, there is even a calorie count for every item on the menu! We would definitely advise you to get the signature Hot Chick Burrito ($9.90 for a full roll) or the Rainbow Shrimp Burrito ($10.90 for full roll) for a fuss free lunch. Image: Sushi Burrito SG Facebook Page

10. Buta Ramen

Buta Ramen
Helmed by three locals, Buta Ramen is notable for its experimental modern spin on traditional Japanese ramen. Taking its inspiration from the local delight, Bak Kut Teh, Buta Ramen seamlessly merges Singapore and Japanese cuisine in its signature Boss Rib Ramen ($13.90, pictured) Comprising of tender, grilled pork ribs slow cooked over a day and bathed in rich, creamy tonkotsu broth, the Boss Rib Ramen definitely makes for a savoury, fulfilling meal. Image: Buta Ramen Website
Written by Tan Siew Bee
10 Japanese Eateries
Tan Siew Bee
When Siew Bee is not indulging in a good read, she is either hustling with a group of friends or travelling.
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