Last Updated: July 12, 2019
Authentic and delicious Japanese cuisine in Singapore is hard to find. It’s not just about sourcing for fresh ingredients or having scrumptious food plated in a gorgeous manner, it’s about providing a legitimate experience that transports you right to Japan.
To me, that’s what being “authentic” is truly about, but unfortunately, it usually comes with a hefty price tag.
However, while scrolling through Quandoo for my next lunch fix, I was surprised to come across these five Japanese restaurants serving authentic & delicious lunch sets. From bara chirashi don sets for S$18++ to a three-course lunch set with Kagoshima A5 Wagyu Diced Steak (S$72), you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice!
Located at the heart of Singapore, at 111 Somerset, Kyoaji Dining is a quaint Japanese restaurant that prides itself on fresh sashimi and seafood, which is flown in directly from Japan.
Its name literally translates to ‘taste of Kyoto’, and I could see that reference even before stepping into the restaurant. With two vertically marked out columns linked by two top posts, its storefront reminded me of traditional Japanese gates that are found at the entrance of Shinto shrines.
Kyoaji Dining offers a total of nine lunch sets, ranging from S$18++ to S$35++. Accompanied by salad, chawanmushi, miso soup and dessert, its lunch sets are available daily from 11.30am – 2.30pm.
The one lunch set I absolutely loved was the Bara Chirashi Don (S$18++). A bowl of fluffy white Japanese rice was topped with an assortment of diced sashimi, such as salmon, tuna and swordfish, and fresh vegetables, like cucumber and egg.
The sashimi, which was served in generous chunks, was deliciously fresh and sweet. They went really well with the white rice, which was topped with seaweed and sesame seeds.
Another dish I really enjoyed was the Tai Mentaiko Yaki Gozen (S$22++). The lunch set comes with sea bream topped with homemade mentaiko and soft shell crab. The sea bream was excellently cooked — it was soft and came apart easily when I probed at it with my chopsticks. And the mentaiko was creamy, rich and salty, with a smoky aftertaste.
For those looking for an indulgent meal, try the Bento (S$35++), which comes with a little bit of everything. It has tempura, eel and sashimi, and like the other lunch sets, it comes with chawanmushi, salad, pickles, rice, miso soup, and dessert.
Kyoaji Dining: 111 Somerset Road, #02-05/06, Singapore 238164 | Tel: +65 6694 4068 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Fri), 11.30am – 10.30pm (Sat – Sun & PH) | Facebook | Website
Miryoku Bistro is a Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant that dishes out high-quality, delicious and affordable food. It ranges from unique dishes like Okonomiyaki Lava Pizza (S$16.90) and Curry Katsu Pasta (S$12.90), to impressive classics like Pan Fried Foie Gras (S$19.90) and Saffron Gnocchi Gratinati (S$13.90).
Tucked away in Kallang Leisure Park, the lunch sets are priced affordably at S$13.90+ and include a salad, main course, and lime juice. Premium items are also available on its lunch set menu and depending on the item, you’d only need to top up about S$2 – S$5.
Do note that the lunch sets are only available on weekdays (11am – 3pm), and its featured main courses are always changing.
The Teriyaki Chicken Don (S$13.90+ together with the lunch set) came with a generous slab of pan-fried chicken that had been drizzled with a sweet teriyaki sauce.
I really loved how well-cooked this dish was — the chicken meat was tender and succulent, and the teriyaki sauce wasn’t too sweet. Each spoonful of fluffy rice, topped with juicy chicken and teriyaki sauce, was absolutely delicious.
Top up S$2 to get the Mentaiko Pasta (S$15.90+) for your lunch set. Sauteéd with spinach, bacon, garlic and butter, the spaghetti came with a large spoonful of mentaiko paste.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well-balanced this dish was, in terms of flavour. It wasn’t overly salty nor creamy, in fact, it was delightfully light and filled with umami flavours.
Because Miryoku Bistro used authentic mentaiko paste, I could taste little beads of roe as I slurped on my pasta. The sauteéd spinach also provided a good burst of colour and rustic freshness to the pasta.
Situated at Dempsey, Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant is a traditional Japanese restaurant that serves authentic and beautifully-presented Japanese cuisine.
Just a look at its extensive menu will tell you how refined and well-executed its dishes are. Take for example its fresh sashimi sets, which range from Sashimi Moriawase Set (S$38) for one pax to Omakaze Sashimi Set (S$80 onwards), where the chef will present a range of recommended sashimi.
If you’re a fan of torched sushi, be sure to try the Lady’s Lunch (S$33), which gives you the luxury of choice between three mains — Ebi w/ Mentaiko Sauce, Grilled Salmon w/ Teriyaki Sauce, or Wagyu Harumaki.
All three Lady’s Lunch sets come with an assortment of aburi sushi, chawanmushi, miso soup, salad and dessert.
The lunch sets, though on the pricier side, are definitely worth it.
The Rakuichi Bento (S$48) not only comes with an appetiser and clear soup in an earthen teapot, but it’s also served with sashimi of the day, an assortment of fresh sushi, seafood tempura and grilled skewers.
Lunch sets at WAKANUI Grill Dining Singapore start from a hefty S$52, but you’re definitely getting the bang for your buck. This famed Japanese steakhouse hails all the way from the stunning Tokyo Tower, and its menu has strong influences from New Zealand.
Nestled in Marina One, WAKANUI’s lunch sets include a starter, a main, a dessert, and your choice of coffee or tea. For starters, pick between appetising and refreshing dishes such as Kikorangi Blue Cheese Caesar Salad and WAKANUI Spring Lamb Loin Tataki.
Pick between seven lavish dishes for your main course, such as the Hot Smoked Salmon (3 pcs) (S$59). This dish features fresh New Zealand Ora King Salmon that has been smoked with cherry wood to give it a delicious roasted and rustic flavour.
For meat lovers, go for the Kagoshima A5 Wagyu Diced Steak (S$72). Gorgeously marbled A5 Wagyu steak is served with seasonal vegetables, wasabi and salt directly imported from Christmas Island.
Finish off your three-course lunch with Pavlova, served with chantilly cream, passion fruit sauce and mixed fruits. The tartness of the passion fruit sauce and the fluffy creaminess of the pavlova balance each other out, promising an indulgent and satisfying dessert.
WAKANUI Grill Dining Singapore: 5 Straits View, #04-02, Marina One West Tower, Singapore 018935 | Tel: +65 6384 2665 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm (Mon – Fri), 5.30pm – 11pm (Mon – Sat) | Facebook | Website
Founded by four lifelong friends who wanted to share their love for Japanese cuisine and culture, Shukuu Izakaya is an authentic and casual izakaya bar that specialises in sake.
Hidden away at Telok Ayer, Shukuu Izakaya even makes its own sake. The bar has about 60 different types of sake from various renowned breweries in Japan at any point in time!
Its lunch menu includes almost a dozen mouth-watering dishes, such as Salmon Torio Don (S$16). This don comes with three variants of salmon — salmon sashimi, spicy mayo salmon tartare and premium ikura.
All set meals come with a complimentary bowl of salad (limited portions daily), and you can top up S$2 for hot ocha.
As someone who actively counts down the minutes until lunch time, I’m always up for new lunch spots, especially if they have affordable lunch sets that feature various different dishes.
It’s even better if I can make my reservations remotely via Quandoo so I don’t have to fight with the lunch crowd and/or rush down immediately to secure my seat.
Plus, use our promo code SETHLUI1000 (valid till 15 Nov 2019, once per user only) to earn 1000 Quandoo loyalty points, which can be redeemed for a S$15 cashback directly into your bank account during your next successful reservation.
Now, is it lunch time yet? I’m hungry!
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Quandoo.