Last Updated: November 7, 2016
Located right in the heartlands of Bukit Timah, En Japanese presents a traditional yet modern dining experience of Okinawan cuisine. ‘En’ which means ‘circle’ or ‘fate’ in Japanese is a motto which the restaurant embraces. It is a meeting place for people, making En Japanese Dining Bar a ‘circle of gathering’ for all.
The establishment consists of a main dining area, traditional tatami rooms, and a contemporary sushi and drinks bar. The interior is set with wooden furnishings styled with authentic Ryukyu Bingata (stencil dyed) textiles to give a feel of authentic Japanese dining.
En Japanese introduces its ala-carte premium buffet menu at $68++ per adult (minimum of 2 persons, drinks not included), serving not only the usual Japanese buffet selections but also a free flow ‘Queen Crab & Seafood Hot Pot‘. Not only can you have free flow of sashimi, yakitori but also free flow of premium seafood ingredients to cook in your hotpot. This sure sounds like a pretty good deal.
Starting with appetizers,
Chawanmushi. The best appetizer to start off a Japanese buffet is a good ol’ decent chawanmushi.
Salmon Wafu Carpaccio. Thinly sliced raw salmon with mustard dressing and salmon roe. Fresh salmon that went very well with a savoury, slightly sour dressing with sesame oil after notes.
Beef Carpaccio. Thinly sliced raw beef with ponzu sauce. While the dressing was delicious, I found certain slices of meat slightly tough and veiny, while not having that much natural beef flavour other than the sauce. I would recommend the Salmon Wafu Carpaccio instead.
Beef Teppanyaki. Again suffering from a lack of beef flavour, but having good tenderness and garlic notes. Some pieces as with the beef carpaccio, will tend to have a fair bit of connective tissue, while others just melt in your mouth. Seems purely random.
Grilled Scallops. Served with asparagus and spicy miso sauce.
Sashimi Platter. Consisting of salmon, yellow tail, tuna, red snapper and swordfish. Thick slabs of fresh sashimi brings forth satisfying moans of delight.
Seafood/Shabu Shabu Hotpot. Comes with a standard set of mixed vegetables, and free flow of Australian queen crabs, Hokkaido oysters, Hokkaido scallops and prawns. Raw chicken, pork and beef slices are also available for shabu shabu.
The soup broth is plain but gets tastier with seafood infused sweetness as you cook the ingredients inside. The queen crabs were fresh and the meat was rather sweet, pretty good stuff considering you can have that free flow. The scallops were delicious and plump too.
The prawns and oyster were a tad lackluster though.
Shabu-shabu beef slices. The premium Australian BMS 5 Wagyu beef slices were a slight let down despite the intricate marbling. Same cut as the beef carpaccio earlier. It had an irony aftertaste that was too strong for my liking.
Moving on to deep fried and yakitori dishes.
Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab. Delightfully crisp outer layer and soft aromatic interior, accompanied by a tangy sauce.
Uzura Yaki (Quail Eggs). The quail eggs had a tough exterior skin stuck to it, you could probably give this a miss.
Tori Mentaiko Mayo. Skewers of grilled chicken meat with mentaiko mayonnaise sauce. Just the description itself sounds delicious doesn’t it, and it sure is.
Finally, moving on to the desserts
From left: Macha Panna Cotta, Macha Ice Cream and Macha Tiramisu.
My favourite is probably the velvety, creamy Macha Panna Cotta with a dollop of fresh cream. They also have Black Sesame Pudding and Anmitsu (Japanese style agar jelly). Pretty good dessert range I must say.
The buffet menu definitely has a huge range of selections, and I certainly enjoyed having the option of a seafood hotpot at a buffet. There were many more dishes I would’ve loved to try -Unagi Fried Rice, Mentaiko Spaghetti and many more, not to mention salad selections we missed, but unfortunately there is a limit to my stomach space.
Despite a few misses with some of their dishes, I would still recommend En Japanese for a hearty meal between family, friends or colleagues for their amazing premium variety. It’s not just variety, it’s quality variety. I also love the fact that the restaurant is pretty vacant, and you don’t have to knock elbows here.
The buffet is available on weekday evenings, and the whole day on weekends, and a minimum of 2 guests are required to take up the Queen crab and Seafood A la carte buffet.
Expected Damage: $79.60 per pax
Related Guide: Best Japanese Buffets in Singapore for your Sashimi fix