If there’s anything at all we Singaporeans have in common, it’s our love for food. That sheer passion for trying different cuisines coursing through our veins keeps us going. Dining at Japanese restaurants, in particular, brings us huge gratification! In fact, the Japanese cuisine has met other wonderful ones in stunning fusions with a uniqueness that will have your heart pumping in excitement!
But we know how tough it is to find quality food, so let us help you out! We’ve compiled some of the best Japanese and Japanese fusion gems that hit the spot. Keep a tissue in hand just in case you start drooling!
Best Japanese Restaurants to try in Singapore (Near CBD area)
Japanese cuisine is undoubtedly drool-worthy. But have you wondered what it would be like if this magnificent cuisine joined hands with another one just as breathtaking? Like Italian? No need for wondering! Monte Risaia is where Japanese meets Italian in a marriage that you will have nothing but compliments for! Specially frequented by those craving a fun yet delicious omakase experience, this restaurant has won many hearts.
Omakase is a style of Japanese dining where the chef provides you with a meal based on your preferences and budget. In fact, omakase loosely translates to “I’ll leave it to you” as you entrust the chef with the responsibility to make you delicious food that keeps you guessing. It’s an intimate style of dining. Monte Risaia makes omakase dining affordable with a starting price of just S$98! You don’t want to miss out on the Chef’s Special Course where you get to experience Chef Tazio Yamada’s five courses at S$228!
Enjoy a grand Japanese-Italian feast at 59 Duxton Rd, Chinatown Point, Singapore 089523!
Being one of the most popular ramen chains in Japan, it’s no surprise that this has stolen the hearts of so many Singaporeans, being raved as the best ramen some have had! And for good reason. At Ramen Nagi, you are in charge of what you get. All ramen options are fully customisable – from the richness of the broth to the type of cutting of pork you’d like.
For your first time, do try the Original BUTAO King ($13.90) – one of the classics on the menu, tonkotsu pork broth which has not just won hearts, but awards too! Also take on the kings – Black King ($15.90) for that blackened garlic and squid ink combo, Red King ($15.90) for that fiery kick, and the Green King ($15.90) for a refreshing pesto take on ramen with a marriage of fresh basil and olive oil.
We know how hard it is to find affordable wagyu donburi bowls that are actually delicious. But Waa Cow! never goes wrong. Smoked, charred yet juicy slices of tender wagyu laying on a bed of Japanese rice, topped with a scrumptious sauce, that too under $30! What else can you ask for? And for all mentaiko fanatics, we’re pleased to share that you will be able to find some breathtaking Mentaiko Wagyu Beef Bowl (S$23.90) here as well! All wagyu is flame-torched to smoky perfection as well!
What makes Waa Cow! even more perfect is that they have three outlets for you to dine in at:
5 Straits View, #01-09, Marina One The Heart West Tower, Singapore 018935;
30 Raffles Place, #01-23/24, Changi Alley Mall, Singapore 048622;
2 College Ave West, #01-06, Stephen Riady Centre, NUS University Town, Singapore 138607
MAN MAN JAPANESE UNAGI RESTAURANT
Cue Ross’ iconic ‘Unagi’ scene for this beloved seafood! Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant is Singapore’s first unagi speciality restaurant. It’s notorious for its long queues as everyone waits with patience (hopefully) for that prized bowl. Imported specially from the Mikawa Isshiki region, you just know that this will be perfection. After it has been charred for 15 minutes, the eel is coated with a top-secret sauce. All we know about it is that it’s to die for!
Hitsumabushi (from S$34) is always a hot recommendation of those that hit Man Man. Raved about for the crisp on the outside and the moistness and tender deliciousness on the inside with a coat of their secret sauce that has stolen hearts!
Get a taste of this deliciousness right here:
6 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central, B1-52, Singapore, 059817
Calling all sushi fanatics! Get your dose of delectable sushi and fresh sashimi right here, at Sushi Jiro. Whether you go in for a starter-to-dessert Sushi Course (S$80) or Sushi and Sashimi Course (S$100) during lunch, assorted sushi and sashimi sets, or even à la carte dishes to devour over dinner, everything is fresh with beautiful cuts that you won’t be able to resist eating right away! But their menu is so much more extensive than what their name suggests. You can also get some don. The Japanese Premium Wagyu A5 Beef Don (S$68) is an easy crowd favourite. Udon and Saba are also on the menu at just S$12! To top it all off, you can enjoy some Japanese sake with your meal and also end it with ice cream with Japanese flavours!
Enjoy Sushi Jiro at two convenient locations:
Fat Cow has got to be one of the most well-known restaurants when it comes to premium-quality wagyu. With the kitchen being helmed by Chef Shigeru Kasajima, his top-notch skills speak for themselves when you are served your dish, especially during the Chef’s Table Omakase (starting at S$128++ per person). Eating here can be heavy on the pocket, so the set lunches might be the more pocket-friendly alternative, with prices starting at S$36. But at a steakhouse, if you don’t get steak, then where’s the fun? So be sure to check out the wide array of steak selections, with prices starting from S$128. Indulge in some Shabu-Shabu or Sukiyaki too (starting at S$108). Make reservations to stay ahead of the queue!
Try out Fat Cow in the heart of Singapore:
1 Orchard Blvd, #01-01/02 Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649
Another beloved facet of Japanese cuisine is its wonderful buffet. Mitsuba leaves you absolutely spoilt for choice with over 150 menu items. Priced at S$41.90++ for adults and S$24.90++ for children, their high-quality ingredients scream freshness that brings you right to the ocean! You can find your typical buffet menu options like fresh sashimi, sushi, maki rolls and tempura. But you can also get some donburis or udon to fill your tummy.
At the wondrous location of Clarke Quay, you can enjoy a pretty sunset as you munch down your seafood.
6 Eu Tong Sen St, #03-88, Clarke Quay Central, Singapore 059817
Don’t you love how all-rounded the Japanese cuisine is? It’s amazing how you can have a full taste of Japan through a magical thing called: bento. Your eyes are greeted with colour that fills your plate. Sen-ryo is one of the most lux bento joints in Singapore (and in Japan and Hong Kong), but the quality of the food you’re served and the ambience make up for the price tag. While set lunches start from S$15.90, the Premium Bento is at S$23.90 consisting of nine assorted items – sashimi, crispy ebi, grilled unagi, grilled saba, tempura, sen-ryo tamagoyaki, and croquette! There’s much more to anticipate from their à la carte menu options. The exclusive Soft Shell Crab and Mango Haru Nami Maki ($16.80++) is a highly-raved dish from Sen-ryo that you should not miss out on!
Catch these rainbow bentos at ION Orchard (2 Orchard Turn, #03-14, Singapore 238801)!
Another omakase joint joins the list! Ryo Sushi is helmed by Chef Roy who promises good food as long as you trust him. According to their reservation website, starting 1 March 2022, each seat booked entails a $128 18-course sea urchin menu, with no GST or service charge. You can also find some amazing à la carte dishes that will tickle your belly! From seafood appetisers like assorted sashimi (S$7.95) and jalapenos sashimi (S$14.95) to sushi, rolls and hand-rolls, and lunch options (11 AM to 3.30 PM) starting at S$10.95. There are also many vegetarian options (rolls and sushi) which make this place vegetarian-friendly as well!
Enjoy your unique experience with Chef Roy at:
1 Tras Link, #01-06 Orchid Hotel, 078867
THE SUSHI BAR
The Sushi Bar is the place to go to for Chirashi Don and Aburi Salmon Roll! Priced at S$16.90, the Salmon Aburi Roll is torched and comes with delicious mentaiko (all mentaiko fans, rejoice!). The Aburi Chirashi Don comes at a slightly heavier cost of S$26.90, but is promised to be heavenly! You will find stunning cuts of salmon, tuna, scallop, swordfish and more which give you a unique taste of the beautiful ocean. While walk-ins are always welcome, beware of snaking long queues and make a reservation in advance to secure your spot.
You can enjoy The Sushi Bar at the following three locations. If you’re making a reservation, do SMS or WhatsApp at the corresponding numbers listed below at least 2-3 days in advance. They do not accept reservations on weekends, on the eve of public holidays or on public holidays.
14 Scotts Road #04-28, Far East Plaza (9653 6464);
391B Orchard Road #05-35, Ngee Ann City (8818 3535)
10 Tampines Central 1, #04-09, Tampines 1 (8877-3535).
Are you craving the richness of the soup in ramen too? Maybe the freshness of the sea in your sushi and sashimi? But for sure the smokiness of wagyu? Whatever it is, you know where some of the best Japanese restaurants are at. So gather your troop and go!
For more ideas on what to eat, do also check out our recommendations on the Top 5 Best Laksa in Singapore!