Where to find new casual Japanese eateries in Singapore

·5-min read
(PHOTO: Tempura Tendon Tenya)
(PHOTO: Tempura Tendon Tenya)

By: Alexandria Lin

If you are missing the well-executed tempura to slurp-worthy ramen and cloud-like soufflé pancakes that Japan has to offer, fret not. Check out these Japanese F&B brands that have opened up their outposts in Singapore recently.

Tempura Tendon Tenya

Tempura Tendon Tenya or popularly known as Tenya, launched its first Singapore outlet at Orchard Central this October. Established in 1989 in Asakusa, Tokyo, this concept is sought-after for its quality, value-for-money meals. Touted as Japan’s No.1 Tendon chain restaurant, it has over 200 outlets in Japan and Asia today.

The brand is best known for its signature Tendon – a donburi bowl of lightly battered, crispy seafood, meat and/or vegetable tempura perched atop Japanese Aomori rice. Tenya fries their tempura consistently, effortlessly and swiftly in a patented Automatic Fryer. Most of the ingredients, like the secret blends of tempura flour, tare sauce and togarashi chilli are sourced from producers in Japan.

Dig into the signature Tenya Tendon ($8.50) comprising battered black tiger prawn, red fish, squid, pumpkin and French beans. Or go for the Seafood Tendon ($12.90) brimming with succulent black tiger prawn, anago, scallop, pumpkin and French beans. There’s also a Mushroom Vegetables Tendon ($7.90) filled with tempura vegetables such as shiitake, shimeji and enoki mushrooms, sweet potato, lotus root, pumpkin and French beans. Enjoy these with fluffy steamed rice and miso soup. The menu also offers soba or udon noodles served hot or cold (from $11.90).

Round off with the velvety smooth Hokkaido Soft Serve ($2) made with 100% dairy products from Tokachi, Hokkaido. Or have a slice of the rich, chocolatey Brownie ($6.90) with soft-serve ice cream. As you relax and wait for your meal, freshly prepared food is delivered to the table by trusty sensor-navigated robots.

Tel: 6509 6838

(PHOTO: Flipper's)
(PHOTO: Flipper's)


One of Japan’s iconic pancake chains, Flipper’s will launch its flagship store at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City this November. Originated in Tokyo in 2014, the brand set the soufflé pancake trend in Japan and around the world including New York, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Seoul. The Singapore flagship store will offer both sweet and savoury favourites from Flipper’s classic menu. These include Kiseki (meaning miracle) Pancakes in Hazelnut Chocolate and Matcha. Look out for the seasonal special – Millennial Strawberry.

The best ingredients from Japan are used for the pillow-soft pancakes. These include fresh Japanese milk, Japanese ‘Hinata’ eggs from Kanagawa prefecture, Japanese ‘Kitahonami’ flour milled from Hokkaido wheat as well as AOP-certified French butter. Other speciality ingredients include Chitose strawberries, French Valrhona chocolate, and house-made maple buttercream.

At the café, the batter is prepared in small batches to ensure that the mixture remains light till the point it is cooked on the custom-made griddles from Japan.

Thanks to their precise techniques, you’ll get to enjoy an airy, soft and fluffy texture, and lightly golden-brown exterior.


Syohachi Japanese A5 Wagyu Hamburg Steak Set. (PHOTO: Syohachi Wagyu Hamburg)
Syohachi Japanese A5 Wagyu Hamburg Steak Set. (PHOTO: Syohachi Wagyu Hamburg)

Syohachi Wagyu Hamburg

Who can say no to reasonably priced premium cuts of A5 wagyu air-flown from Japan? Owned by the same folks behind Hong Kong’s Syohachi Yakiniku, Syohachi Wagyu Hamburg is a fast-casual restaurant that prides itself in its farm-to-table concept. The brand is able to procure exquisite cuts of Japanese A5 Wagyu beef thanks to an exclusive partnership with award-winning Hidakami Ranch in Japan’s Miyagi-ken prefecture.

To ensure freshness, Syohachi Wagyu Hamburg at One Raffles Place Shopping Mall serves different dishes at three different time slots: Breakfast Menu: 8.30am to 11.30am; Lunch Menu: 11.30am to 2.30pm; Afternoon Tea & Dinner Menu: 2.30pm to 8.30pm

For breakfast, afternoon tea or dinner, grab the signature Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef Toastie ($7.70; $10.70 for set), comprising a juicy cut of A5 wagyu beef in between two thick slices of toasted white bread. You can also top up the toastie with a serving of cheddar cheese and egg omelette. Or go for the Syohachi Japanese A5 Wagyu Petite Hamburg Steak ($9.50; $12.50 for set), which comes with two petite patties made with freshly ground Japanese A5 wagyu beef that are charbroiled to perfection.

Enjoy this with sides of fresh salad, seasonal Japanese pickles and crunchy tater tots. Recommended for lunch or dinner is the more substantial Japanese A5 Wagyu Hamburg Steak ($16.50 per set). You’ll get a slab of well-seared A5 wagyu meat topped with Syohachi’s signature beef gravy, accompanied by fresh green salad, seasonal pickles, and fragrant Japanese rice.

Along with the premium well-marbled meat, thick buttery toast in savoury and sweet options are offered. We recommend rounding off your meal with the Chunky Peanut Butter with Condensed Milk Toastie ($5; $8 for set).

Tel: 6223 0755


Deluxe Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen. (PHOTO: Ramen Kiou)
Deluxe Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen. (PHOTO: Ramen Kiou)

Ramen Kiou and Roman.Tei

Although not technically new in town, Ramen Kiou and Roman.Tei are worth a visit to get your fill of affordably priced Japanese creations. These two renowned F&B brands from Osaka launched their first-ever Singapore outlets late last year at &JOY Dining Hall, Great World’s multi-concept Japanese dining hall.

Roman.Tei's thick slices of juicy beef cuts, assembled over fluffy rice, and drizzled with a special homemade sauce will satisfy your cravings for fine quality wagyu. The concept has recently introduced the award-winning champion beef A4 Miyazaki Wagyu ($31.90; $34.90 rice box). Sink your teeth into the well-marbled beef laced with Roman.Tei’s secret-recipe steak sauce. There’s also the Double Beef Zen ($17.90), a succulent combination of beef steak and sliced beef.

If you prefer a bowl of hearty ramen, head over to Ramen Kiou, famed for its creamy tonkotsu ramen topped with slices of braised pork belly. Don’t miss the recently launched Deluxe Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.50), complete with large slices of signature Kiou chashu. For something deliciously tangy, choose the Tomato Chashu Ramen.


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