1. District Sushi
Nestled inside Sunshine Plaza is a quaint little restaurant offering budget-friendly and tasty Japanese cuisine. Their most popular dish is Bara Chirashi Don ($13) comprising a liberal amount of octopus, tuna, salmon, prawn and ikura (salmon roe). Another notable dish is their Tamago Mentaiyaki Sushi ($6) which is served with torched mentaiko sauce (a creamy sauce of pollock roe and mayonnaise) atop a fluffy egg that adds flavour without detracting from the other ingredients. Furthermore, they have a great variety of sashimi, nigiri sushi and à la carte sides that are below $15. Bonus? There’s no GST or service charge.
District Sushi is located at #01-15, Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189652.
2. Shirokane Tori-Tama
Yakitori restaurant Shirokane Tori-Tama was featured on Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list in 2017 — and with good reason. With more than 20 types of skewered chicken bits to choose from, there’s definitely something for every palate. Try their Chochin ($6.50), which are underdeveloped eggs attached to the fallopian tube of the chicken. Sounds like something for the adventurous, but if you’re going for it, pop the whole bit into your mouth and bite down. The result? An explosion of warm gooey yolk and succulent chicken meat—definitely a must-try.
For those with an appreciation for offal, have your pick of their skewered organs, such as chicken heart, windpipe, liver, spleen and more, all priced at $3.50 per stick. And for those looking for something more wholesome, try their Toritama Don ($13) which is served with liberal amounts of minced meat, grilled chicken and a poached egg atop a glorious bed of rice. Definitely worth visiting with friends.
Shirokane Tori-Tama is located at #01-02 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street, Singapore 237995, tel: 6386 5680.
3. The Public Izakaya
An Izakaya can be described as an informal Japanese pub for after-work drinking and casual dining. Although alcoholic beverages are their mainstay, Izakayas often pair their drinks with pretty awesome bar grub at affordable prices. The Public Izakaya is one such option — it serves some delicious skewers and Japanese light bites that have been a hit among many office workers.
Try their Tori Karaage ($12), where chicken pieces are marinated in soya sauce and deep fried to perfection. With a crispy exterior housing soft and juicy flesh within, this is one of our faves. Squeeze the lemon wedge provided for an additional zesty tang. For non-chicken lovers, try their Tempura Moriawase ($15), which is an assortment of deep fried delicacies, or their Satsuma-age ($10), which are deep fried fish cakes.
The Public Izakaya is located at #01-09, 100AM Shopping Mall, 100 Tras Street, Singapore 079027, tel: 6604 9622; and #01-14/15/16, Altez, 16 Enggor Street, Singapore 079717, tel: 6333 9622.
4. Kanshoku Ramen
Founded by Singaporeans Melvin Ang and Brendon Leung, Kanshoku Ramen Bar offers really good Japanese ramen bowls at seriously affordable prices. Their Signature Kanshoku Ramen ($13.90) comes highly recommended by both staff and patrons (psst, it’s also a Weekly team favourite!). The dish boasts a creamy and medium bodied broth with its ramen cooked just right—not too chewy or soft. If you love Japanese side dishes, try their Gyoza ($6) comprising pork and vegetables and is served slightly charred, giving it a crisp texture.
Kanshoku Ramen has several outlets, such as #01-06, Orchard Gateway, 227 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858, tel: 6384 4770.
5. Tamoya Udon
Tamoya Udon was founded in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1996 and gained popularity after clinching the title of “Best Udon Maker of Kagawa Prefecture” on a Japanese television show. Here, you’ll find an assortment of udon dishes that are not only delicious, but affordable too—all udon dishes are $12.80 and below.
One of the unique selling point of Tamoya is that its udon dishes are made to order with fresh ingredients imported from Japan. The Ooh-mami Udon ($10.80) is a crowd favourite comprising handmade udon bathed in a rich XO sauce and shrimp oil, and is served with Kake soup (a mildly flavoured broth). Other notable dishes include their Beef Sanuki Egg Udon ($11.20), comprising 100g of beef and sanuki udon, and topped off with an onsen egg. They also have an array of delectable tempura sides ($0.80 onward).
Tamoya Udon is located at #01-32 Liang Court, 177 River Valley Road, Singapore 179030, tel: 6337 0301. Opens daily from 11am to 9.30pm.
6. Kanpai Izakaya and Bar
Nestled within the Lorong Mambong stretch of shophouses at Holland Village, Kanpai Izakaya is popular for its lunch menu and happy hour promotions. They offer a good variety of popular Japanese dishes from various sushi to Kushiyaki (grilled skewers, $4.50 onwards) to Donburi (rice bowls, $14 onwards), ensuring there’s something for someone at every budget. Go during lunch from 12 to 2pm and enjoy 30 off à la carte items. Good deal!
Kanpai Izakaya and Bar is located at 40 Lorong Mambong, Singapore 277695, tel: 6314 2368. Openings daily for lunch from 12pm to 2pm and dinner from 5pm to 12am.
READ MORE: Delicious Sushi Bars In Singapore You Have To Visit
7. The Sushi Bar
Head over to The Sushi Bar for some mouthwatering sushi made with fresh ingredients. Try their made-to-order Soft Shell Crab Roll ($9.90) or their California Maki ($9.90). Both are satisfyingly good and hit the spot. Or take your pick from their selection of sashimi — The Sushi Bar serves generous and firm chunks that melt in your mouth. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, try their Chicken Katsu Curry with rice ($13.90) that comes with a crispy and succulent chicken katsu (fried chicken cutlet) atop a fluffy bed of rice and topped with a generous scoop of curry.
The Sushi Bar has several outlets, such as #04-28, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213, tel: 9653 6464 (sms reservation only).
READ MORE: Brown Rice Spaghetti & Chicken Katsu Served with Japanese Curry Recipe
8. Tanuki Raw
No list of affordable Japanese restaurants in Singapore would be complete without mentioning Tanuki Raw. Its outlet at Kapok in National Design Centre is a popular dining spot amongst students from nearby schools. We recommend heading there for lunch, when prices on their most popular dishes are at its lowest.
Our favourite? The Spicy Miso Char Siew Donburi ($13), served with sliced flame-seared spicy miso char siew over Tanuki Raw’s mixed rice with sautéed mushroom and onions and topped off with a wobbly onsen egg. Another notable dish is their Garlic Butter Chicken Donburi ($12.80). It’s served with pan-fried chicken cutlet atop Tanuki Raw’s signature rice, with mixed mushrooms, onsen egg and a generous amount of garlic brown butter teriyaki sauce. So good, you’ll go into a food coma. Enjoy their selection of Donburi for only $10 from Monday to Thursday till 3pm.
Tanuki Raw is located at #01-05, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969, tel: 9035 9398; and #04-01, Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896, tel:6636 5949.
READ MORE: Where To Go For Delicious Japanese Rice Bowls In Singapore
9. Cafe & Meal MUJI
Intimate and quiet, Cafe & Meal MUJI is a great place to dine on healthy and wholesome meals that are pretty and flavourful. We recommend trying their Three-Deli Set ($14.90) where you get to choose two cold deli dishes and one hot deli dish (availability of options vary, so check out the outlet for dishes of the day) paired with a bowl of 16 Grain Rice or White Rice. You can add a bowl of Miso Soup or Cumin Carrot Soup.
Another great option is their Chicken Nanban Donburi ($14.90) available only at their Raffles City outlet. The dish consists 16 Grain Rice with Chicken Nanban, served in tartar sauce and topped with avocado, mesclun salad, fresh cherry tomatoes and daikon (winter radish) sprouts. It’s a waist-friendly and wallet-friendly way to enjoy fuss free Japanese cuisine.
Cafe & Meal MUJI is located at selected MUJI outlets. Visit here for more info.
10. Sushi Airways
Quietly tucked away in Baghdad street is Sushi Airways—a quaint airplane-themed Japanese restaurant with great value-for-money lunch sets. Their Salmon Teriyaki Set ($14) features a prototypical bowl of Japanese white rice and salmon dressed in teriyaki sauce—but don’t be fooled but its simplicity, the flavours are spot on and complement one another perfectly. Another notable dish is their Wagyu Beef Yakiniku Set ($15) consisting of grilled beef, onion, carrot, mushroom, generous dollops of yakiniku sauce and served with fluffy Japanese white rice. What’s great is the set includes a fragrant and delicious soup without added cost.
Sushi Airways is located at 20A Baghdad Street, Singapore 199659, tel: 6291 1151.
These Singapore Cafes Will Make You Feel Like You’re Overseas
9 Best Places In Singapore For High Tea Below $25 Per Person
The One Thing Japanese Women Do To Avoid Unhealthy Weight Gain
Text: Navin Pillay