You’ll be dizzy with choices

Japanese food is nothing new in Singapore. But with the opening last year of Japan Food Town and famed Japanese patissiere Henri Charpentier at Orchard Road, as well as news of the Japan Rail Café in Tanjong Pagar, it seems like folks are really going gaga for the cuisine. Here's a roundup on more Japanese food enclaves in Singapore to get that authentic Japanese fix.

Gyu Kaku

The historic 160-year old building underwent a facelift in 2014, and now there’s a Japanese food alley which resembles a ramen street outside Tokyo station. With Japanese restaurants like sushi-by-day and teppanyaki-by-night diner, Tatsu, shabu shabu specialists On-Yasai, and Ikkousha which serves traditional tonkotsu ramen, you’ll never run out of options. For something casual and fun, don’t miss probably Singapore’s favorite yakiniku chain, Gyu Kaku. There’s also Japanese-fusion seafood fare at Wharf Oyster Bar, whose Robertson Quay branch we’ve already written about, and a branch of Tonkatsu by Ma Maison. 30 Victoria St. 6337-7810.

Also known as “Little Japan”, this older and more modest building to the right of Cuppage Terrace is a favorite go-to for Japanese-orientated KTV, massage and foot reflexology sessions, and of course, Japanese food. It houses seven eateries specializing in a diverse range of Japanese food such as Azmaya Honten’s signature shabu shabu; Kazu Sumiyaki’s chargrilled yakitori; quality omakase from Kaiho Sushi; and tempura from izakaya-inspired Japanese restaurant and bar, Hanashizuku. 5 Koek Rd., 6734-1413.

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Eat at Seven

Maguro Donya

Seven popular Japanese cuisines converged under one roof late last year and they’re all relatively affordable. There's a tuna, salmon, yellowtail and swordfish sashimi specialist over at Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi & Dining; a yakiniku-style hot plate restaurant, NikuNoHi, which specializes in kuroge wagyu beef; Nigiro Cafe, a Tokyo cafe that claims to have the best Caesar salad in the Japanese city; and Enbu, a warayaki and charcoal grill izakaya serving traditional small plates paired with Coedo beer. For the complete lowdown on where to eat at Eat at Seven, see our recent guide.Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-313. 6238-1630. 

This 34,000 sq. ft. space on the first floor of Marina Square's new wing consists of eight dining concepts as well as a Japanese gourmet grocer—including tanks filled with live seafood from Japan. There’s a small section dedicated to produce from Ehime prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan, with options like yuzu and iyokan yokan (thick jelly dessert) and flavored somen. If you’re looking for some authentic bites, head to Senmi Sushi, a 102-seat sushi bar or get your own hot pot at shabu shabu outlet, Tsukeru. Seafood and wine bar umi + vino is a date night kind of spot. For lighter options, grab some pastries from Japanese bakery-cafe, Kohi-KojiMarina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-18. 6224-3433.

Dashi Bar

Go grocery shopping in Japan without needing your passport at this 18,000 sq. ft. revamped space with modern and minimalist interiors which showcases authentic Japanese products and a "food theatre" section. It houses Japanese eateries like Wa-Dining, which serves bentos with ingredients such as seafood from Hokkaido and wagyu beef from Kagoshima; udon and soba diner Dashi Bar, known for its Hyoshiro dashi soup stock and Kaku-Uchi Sake Bar, a casual watering hole specializing in premium sake brands. It’s also big on keeping up with the Japanese seasons too, so expect green tea and matcha pastries in May, apples in October and strawberries in December. Shaw House, 350 Orchard Rd. 6733-1111. 

Bonta Bonta

The fourth level of the former department store has been revived recently as a 628-seater food hall specializing in authentic Japanese cuisine. It houses 16 casual-dining eateries from Japan's various prefectures and cities such as udon specialist Inanwa Yosuke (Tokyo), famous for their handmade udon that uses a 150-year-old technique; onigiri masters Bonta BontaOsaka Kitchen (Osaka), popular for teppanyaki and okonomiyaki, and Sushi Takewaka, a 36-year-old sushi specialty shop originally from Tsukiji market. Diners can also opt for healthier choice Kinme Mai rice (available at half of Japan Town's eateries), which has the nutritional value of brown rice. Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, 435 Orchard Road, #04-39/54. 6694-6535. 

Tomi Sushi

There are plenty of options to choose from in the Japanese food street, from steaming bowls of ramen at Chabuton and Miharu Sapporo Ramen, and fresh premium thick cuts of sashimi at Teppei Syokudo, Tomi Sushior Rakuzen (all serving up generous amounts), to a wide variety of quality sake at Patisserie G and freshly baked Japanese pastries fromPullman Bakery, the only Hokkaido-born bakery in Singapore. 9 Raffles Boulevard. 6883-1122.

Kuro Maguro

Singapore’s tallest skyscraperTanjong Pagar Centre (you’ll recall it’s already home to the new Virgin Active gym with altitude training) is home to Singapore’s newest Japanese food enclave. Cutest among them is the Japan Rail Cafe, but we also now have bakery and cake shop Hattendo. Additionally, there is a branch of Imakatsu, a branch of Ippudo and probably most excitingly, donburi place Kuro Maguro, by Kanagawa prefecture’s tuna wholesaler Misaki Megumi Suisan, which flies in top-grade blue fin tuna at -60F for maximum freshness and serves it in a menu full of nearly 20 donburi options, along with sushi restaurant Azuma. #31-01 Guoco Tower, 1 Wallich St.

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