SINGAPORE RESTAURANT

Hokkaido-Ya

Fast casual Japanese restaurant at VivoCity from the guys behind Sushi Tei

The long queues that form outside each Sushi Tei branch every lunch and dinner time is understandable—consistently good, quality Japanese cuisine at affordable prices is hard to resist. Hokkaido-Ya is a new concept established by the same folks using that same formula, but rather than being an izakaya concept, it focuses on single-serve offerings like donmono and ramen.

The hype: The long queues that form outside each Sushi Tei branch every lunch and dinner time is understandable—consistently good, quality Japanese cuisine at affordable prices is hard to resist. Hokkaido-Ya is a new concept established by the same folks using that same formula, but rather than being an izakaya concept, it focuses on single-serve offerings like donmono and ramen.

The vibe: It’s a 60-seater casual diner with wooden chairs and tables packed together. Bright, warm lights make it more inviting than say Sushi Tei, but is still cosy. Two state-of-the-art ordering kiosks with facial recognition features out front helps smoothen the ordering process along.

The food: Dive straight for the donburi items cause those are best sellers for good reason. You can’t go wrong with the Bara Chirashi Don ($13.90), but trust us, fork out a little more, and get the truffle version ($14.90) for added enjoyment—the truffle fragrance isn’t overpowering and complements the fresh fish well. Those who love mentaiko should get the aburi mentai ($14.90) one—a piquant bowl of torched mentai sauce on a soft bed of Japanese rice and seafood—instead.

There’s a selection of white curry (a mild, creamy Japanese-style curry famed in Hokkaido) items to choose from too, ranging from Shirobuta Pork Katsu ones served with rice ($12.90) or udon ($13.90), to one served with fried ebi, and also with rice ($11.90) or udon ($12.90) as carb options. For something hearty, get the Hokkaido Butter Corn Chasyu Ramen ($12.90), or opt for the hotate or beef versions, depending on your cravings. All ramen comes with a choice of paitan, miso or spicy soup bases.

An assortment of sides is also on the menu, with items like Chawanmushi ($3), Miso Soup ($2.50) or the more unique Hokkaido Corn Cream Croquette ($3.50) available. There’s the Bara Chirashi Salad ($14.90; that comes with either sesame or onion dressing) for the health conscious too, though Sushi Tei’s sashimi salad with their eponymous dressing is still tops. Be sure to get a dessert to go. The ice-creams ($3.50-3.90) here are all served still wrapped, and are deliciously creamy thanks to the use of Hokkaido milk.

The drinks: There’s not much to say. Choose from the usual soft drinks, Japanese beers like Asahi and Sapporo, or hot green tea to slake your thirst.

Why you’ll be back: For those working in the Harbourfront area, this is a no-brainer daily lunch spot, perfect for when you wanna eat a little better (because we deserve it) without going too luxe at the same time.

Venue Details
Address: Hokkaido-Ya, 02-153 VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore, 098585 Singapore
Phone: 6376-8387
Website: www.fb.com/hokkaidoyasg
Area: Sentosa and Harbourfront
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: $ - $$
Open since: June, 2018
Opening hours: daily 11:30am-10pm
Nearest trainHarbourFront
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