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Nippon indulgence: 7 must-try Japanese restaurants

Whether it’s sushi, ramen or an extravagantly large bowl of chirashi don (rice with raw fish), there’s a lot to like about Japanese food. The cuisine has long been associated with fresh, seasonal ingredients, which are prepared in a smorgasbord of styles including teppanyaki (which entails searing meat and vegetables on a hot iron griddle) and sukiyaki, where beef is cooked in a hot pot and dipped in raw egg.

While food from the Land of the Rising Sun has always been popular in Singapore, recent years have seen an influx of exciting dining options sprouting up around the island. From a restaurant offering whisky-infused sukiyaki sets to a Michelin-starred ramen joint’s first overseas outlet, here are 5 eateries worth visiting.

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Tsuta Singapore

Tokyo-based restaurant Tsuta — which is the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen joint — has opened its first overseas outpost at Pacific Plaza. The 18-seater eatery offers delectable options such as Shio Soba, which features a chicken-seafood broth, and Shoyu Soba — a soy-based soup infused with black truffle.

Tsuta Singapore, #01-01 Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, Singapore 228210, +65 6734 4886, www.tsuta.com

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This posh Japanese restaurant serves up premium, well-marbled cuts of Kobe and Miyazaki beef. Guests can choose to have their meats cooked in a variety of styles such as yakiniku, yakishabu and sukiyaki, or savour recommended dishes such as roasted wagyu smoked over wood chips. The establishment also offers an extensive repertoire of sakes.

Magosaburo, 2 Orchard Turn #04-11A & 05-01 ION Orchard, Singapore 238801, +65 6634 1411, magosaburo.sg

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Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant

Opened by the Teppei Group — which runs popular omakase eatery Teppei Japanese Restaurant in Tanjong Pagar — this establishment specialises in charcoal-grilled unagi. Its eels, which are imported from Japan, are kept in-house in tanks and sliced live in front of diners. Go for the Hitsumabushi set, which comprises unagi with a comforting dashi soup, fresh wasabi root (which diners can grate at the table) and seaweed.

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant, 1 Keong Saik Road, #01-01, Singapore 089109, +65 6222 0678

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Shinji by Kanesaka at Raffles Hotel

Next March, Shinji by Kanesaka will vacate its Raffles Hotel premises for a new space in Carlton Hotel. The one-Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its omakase sets, which include an assortment of sashimi, cooked dishes and sushi. It serves its last meal at its original venue on 4 February, 2017.

Shinji by Kanesaka, Raffles Singapore, #02-20, 1 Beach Road (via Seah Street lobby), Singapore 189673, +65 6338 6131, www.shinjibykanesaka.com


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Tamashii Robataya

This Japanese restaurant along North Canal Road focuses on robatayaki, where food is grilled over charcoal and served to diners on a long, wooden paddle. It recently rolled out a new dinner menu offering Whisky Sukiyaki, where Nikka Whisky Black Clear is poured into the hot pot used to cook beef slices.

Tamashii Robataya, 12 North Canal Road, #02-01, Singapore 048825, +65 6222 0316, www.tamashii.com.sg



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Zipang Japanese Dining Bar

With its velvet curtains, golden walls and interiors clad in granite, marble and wood, this newly opened restaurant is one stylish spot. Its extensive menu spans sushi, sashimi, grilled seafood and deep-fried items, so diners are truly left spoilt for choice. The eatery also offers lunch sets with dishes such as fried chicken and grilled saba.

Zipang Japanese Dining Bar, 28 Cavenagh Road, #01-05, Singapore 229635, +65 6737 0788, www.zipang.com.sg

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Hana Restaurant

This eatery at Forum The Shopping Mall has been making waves on social media, thanks to its Insta-worthy “flying” noodles — which features soba and somen propped up with a chopstick to create the illusion of them floating in mid-air. The noodles are presented in dim sum baskets and come in two tempting flavours: Truffle somen and salted egg udon.

Hana Restaurant, #01-17, Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884, +65 6737 5525, www.facebook.com/HANARest

Sara Yap
Deputy Director, Digital Operations (Asia)
Sara Yap is the Deputy Director of Digital Operations at BurdaLuxury, and a contributing writer to Lifestyle Asia’s dining and jewellery beats. When she’s not on the lookout for exciting new restaurants or bejewelled trinkets, she’s probably buried in a riveting read, or reminiscing the good ol’ days with her favourite playlist of ’90s boyband hits.