Last Updated: June 19, 2018
Everyone knows Clarke Quay as home to Singapore’s top nightlife establishments, but what you may not know is that it’s actually also a treasure trove of fantastic Japanese eateries.
Ramen, sushi, nabe hotpot and even Japanese desserts — you name it, Clarke Quay’s got it. So before the ewah-ewah starts, here are 10 Japanese restaurants in Clarke Quay to grab dinner at. Trust me, this won’t be one of your club night ragrets!
Using French rock lobsters imported from France, Ramen Keisuke Lobster King manages to create a ramen broth with a complex flavour profile that tastes like French lobster bisque.
There are two versions for the Lobster Broth Ramen — Clear Soup ($13.90++) and Rich Soup ($14.90++) — but I strongly recommend the Rich Soup for its more distinct lobster taste and creamier consistency.
While the lobster ramen is imaginative, you can bet that Keisuke still perfects the essential ramen components. Each bowl comes with indulgent char siu and thin curly noodles perfect for soaking up the lobster broth.
But here’s the best part: Ramen Keisuke Lobster King stays open through the night till 5am, making it the perfect place for you to grab a supper bite after partying the night away!
Can I just declare my love for tonkatsu? If you relate, head down to Tampopo located at Liang Court, one of the best places in Singapore to get these delicious deep-fried pork cutlets.
Their USA Pork Loin Tonkatsu ($15 for A La Carte, $19 for Set) was fried to a glorious golden-brown. The coating was thin and crisp, and believe me when I say that I heard a heavenly crackle in every bite.
The ratio of batter to loin meat was also perfect and the huge chunk of meat was able to satiate my carnivorous appetite.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can indulge in Tampopo’s signature Black Pig Loin Tonkatsu ($22.80++ for A La Carte, $26.80++ for Set), which is a fattier cut. But with their lip-smacking tonkatsu formula, the cheaper USA Pork Loin Tonkatsu is more than adequate.
Tampopo: 177 River Valley Road, Liang Court, #01-23/24, Singapore 179030 | Tel:+65 6338 3186 | Opening Hours: (Mon to Thurs) 11.30am – 10pm, (Fri & Sat) 11.30am – 10.30pm, (Sun) 11am – 10pm | Outlets | Website | Facebook
Pigging out over hotpot while improving your complexion just sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Thankfully, this fantasy is now a reality at Tsukada Nojo in Liang Court.
The creamy Bijin Nabe ($25++ per pax, minimum two pax) is full of collagen, the magic ingredient that’s apparently a beauty miracle. Each pot comes with the signature Golden Jidori Chicken Soup, served together with a wide spread of fresh vegetables, seafood and chicken for you to flavour your pot.
Fans of shabu shabu can also try the new Bijin “Shabu Shabu” ($32++ per pax, minimum two pax) hotpot that comes with delectable Iberico pork slices instead of chicken.
I don’t know about you, but a yummy and youth-promising hotpot sounds perfect before a big night out.
This ramen joint is so good, it actually has not one, but two outlets in Clarke Quay. At both The Central and Liang Court, Marutama Ramen offers Singapore’s first ramen with chicken paitan soup.
Their signature Marutama Ramen ($13++) features homemade Hakata-style noodles that are thin and springy. Unlike the usual pork bone broth served in most ramen places in Singapore, the chicken paitan soup had a unique creamy and milky taste that was to die for.
Do top up for the Ajitsuke Tamago (additional $1.50++), which was nailed perfectly with a golden gooey yolk. What really secured the win, however, was the char siu. The sliced roast pork was fatty and so impossibly soft, it literally fell apart when I picked it up!
I’d happily line my stomach with this dish before a boozy all-nighter.
If you’re looking for something different, Clarke Quay is also home to this famous kushikatsu brand from Japan. At Kushikatsu Tanaka, you can indulge in an authentic kushikatsu experience, comprising delicious deep-fried skewered meat and vegetables.
The kushikatsu is coated in panko breadcrumbs and fried in an oil blend which includes beef fat, creating a crispy coating that was pleasantly not too greasy. The skewers are also very wallet-friendly, including the best-sellers Beef ($2), Pork ($1.50), Shrimp ($2), Oyster ($2.50) and Asparagus ($2.50).
There’s even an intriguing Cookies and Cream ($1.50) skewer made up of two Oreo cookies battered and deep-fried! If you don’t want to feel too full before your clubbing adventures, this selection is ideal.
Kushikatsu Tanaka: 3A River Valley Road, Merchants’ Court Clarke Quay Block A, #01-01B, Singapore 179020 | Tel: +65 6258 3789 | Opening Hours: (Mon to Fri) 5pm – 12am, (Sat & Sun) 11am – 12am | Facebook
While the ramen versus udon debate rages on, Tamoya Udon in Liang Court may just be able to sway you over to Team Udon. Arguably one of Singapore’s best udon places, I’m still amazed at how they manage to keep costs low at around $10 a bowl.
Tamoya Udon prides itself on homemade wheat flour noodles, which are bouncy with a bit of chew. The broth is also rather hearty, perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.
Do also look out for their seasonal menu offerings, such as these intriguing zero-calorie noodles launched in March 2018.
Hard to believe, but the bijin noodles have zero carbs and were actually quite tasty. They worked well in the Oooh-Mami Udon ($10.80), a dry udon dish served with umami XO sauce and shrimp oil.
Want your waistline to stay on-point for the night out? Zero-calorie noodles sound like a great idea.
If you feel like bulking up before you hit the clubs, Mitsuba Japanese Restaurant has just the thing for you. Located in The Central, gorge yourself on the Japanese Alacarte Buffet ($38.90++) with over 130 dishes to choose from!
With an authentic selection of fresh sashimi, agemono (deep-fried) and yakimono (grilled) dishes, this buffet isn’t one to compromise on quality of ingredients. The sashimi, in particular, is famous for its premium quality and thick cuts.
If you’re worried about feeling too full to party, just slowly dance the fatigue away later!
Located just by the Singapore River, Katanashi offers a unique take on Japanese food. Unlike the other restaurants, it serves exotic Japanese fusion tapas.
We tried the signature Roast Beef Katanashi Style ($9.80++) cold appetiser. Served in a special onion sauce, the beef was a balance of sweetness and a mild sour tang that whet my appetite.
The beef slices were also cooked a consistent medium rare throughout, although they could have been a little more tender. Get your clubbing kakis together, order some tapas to share and start pre-ing on sake here!
Katanashi: 77 Boat Quay, Singapore 049865 | Tel: +65 6533 0490 | Opening Hours: (Mon to Fri) 11.45am – 2pm, 5pm – 11pm (Fri) 11.45am – 2pm, 5pm – 12am, (Sat) 5pm – 10.30pm, Closed on Sundays | Facebook
Everyone likes a fancy night out once in awhile; for those yearning for a more atas meal beforehand, head over to Shinzo Japanese Cuisine. This Japanese restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy omakase brought to you by Chef Lawrence Chia, served in traditional Japanese hospitality.
The Shinzo Omakase Course ($150++) may be a bit of a stretch, but if you don’t mind eating dinner a little earlier, there’s a slightly cheaper way to pamper yourself – with the new Early Bird Omakase ($68++).
The only condition? You’ve got to eat before the clock strikes 7.30pm! The promotion begins at 6pm every night so come and delve into the exquisite meal, and head somewhere else after for drinks.
If you’re the kind who likes to take your time getting ready and would rather eat dinner at home, treat yourself before a heavy night to dessert instead! Indulge your sweet tooth at Mazazu Crepe.
The menu features over 30 kinds of Japanese-style crepes, but we chose this eye-catching Double Strawberry Cheesecake ($6.10) crepe. The crepe is rolled up into a gorgeous bouquet, before being topped with strawberries, fresh cream and actual cheesecake bits!
A delicious crepe before hitting the clubs should really become more of a thing.
Each of these 10 Japanese restaurants has their own niche, so you know Clarke Quay has something to match everyone’s Japanese food cravings.
With Japanese food this good, you may just choose to forgo the clubbing night completely and party with your chopsticks instead! Ikimasho (Let’s go)!