Makino: Switch Up Your Hotpot Game With Mentaiko Shabu-Shabu At Paya Lebar

Akashi owns a number of brands under their restaurant group, but have you checked out their first Japanese shabu-shabu restaurant?

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Introducing Makino, a Japanese shabu-shabu restaurant under Akashi’s belt. Opened on the third floor of Paya Lebar Quarter, Makino made its debut in the last week of September, ringing in a new hotpot option for those who are craving hotpot when in the area.

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I decided to head down to Makino to check out for myself; what was so interesting about Akashi’s latest installation?

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Makino boasted a wide seating area with an open sauce bar. Do note that condiments are priced at S$3 per pax. I prepared two separate dips—one with sesame sauce, sesame oil, chilli padi, and garlic, and the other with sesame oil, coriander, garlic, and chilli oil. I loved the addition of spice when having hotpot just to provide an extra kick of flavour.

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I began my meal with a Royal Milk Tea With Azuki Beans (S$5.80). Switch up your usual bubble milk tea with this drink, and indulge in the sweetness that this drink offers. 

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The menu offered a plethora of dishes, including a very unique dish—Mentaiko Supu (S$11.80). Essentially translated to mentaiko soup, it is a unique fish roe soup base that is given as an option when ordering shabu-shabu

I had to get that, alongside one of my favourite soup base, Tonkotsu Supu (S$9.80). Loaded with an intense pork bone flavour, this was a must-get when having shabu-shabu.

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A mandatory ingredient to get at any hotpot place, regardless of whether it’s Chinese or Japanese hotpot, is pork belly. I ordered a platter of Butabara (S$8.80), which was Kurobuta pork belly.

Delicate and full of fat, the pork belly cooked instantaneously the moment it made contact with the boiling soup broth. If you prefer a protein with less fat content, opt for the Kurobuta Rosu (S$12.80), which is pork loin. 

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I ordered a portion of Butakara (S$12), which was Kurobuta pork collar. I personally enjoyed the pork collar over the pork belly. I felt like the texture melted in my mouth like butter, and had a slight resemblance to beef given the fast cooking time. 

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Continuing with the pork dishes, I had Buta Menchi (S$8.80)—freshly minced Kurobuta pork delivered on a lush green bamboo stick. I was given a spatula made from a part of the bamboo and scooped out small portions of pork, essentially creating a meatball. 

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To switch things up a little, I ordered Ebi Shinjo (S$10), a Makino special minced prawn. I loved the prawn-based ball a lot more than the pork meatball as it had a more compact texture and well-rounded flavour as compared to the pork meatball. I recommend having this with the tonkatsu soup to get the optimal flavour of surf and turf in your mouth. 

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It may seem like a protein overload, hence I ordered a portion of Soba (S$6.80), which was green buckwheat noodles, and Ramen (S$6.80). The Ramen noodles went extremely well with the tonkotsu broth and it undoubtedly curbed any ramen cravings that I had.

Pair the Ramen noodles with the tonkotsu broth and a slice of pork collar and there you have it, a delectable mouthful of ramen

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The meal inched towards the savoury side, thus I decided to wrap up the shabu-shabu with a serving of dessert. I had a Goma Monaka (S$6.20) and Macha Monaka (S$6.20). Both desserts had a waffle ice cream coupled with azuki beans. As a green tea lover, my favourite was definitely the macha monaka, but that was just my personal preference.

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Time to break down my thoughts on the whole meal!

I am being brutally honest when I say, the tonkotsu soup trumped the mentaiko soup. The fishy aftertaste of the mentaiko was too overpowering, and it overshadowed the natural sweetness of each ingredient. If you are not a fan of strong, pungent fish smell, skip out on the mentaiko option. In fact, I was told by the staff that the tonkotsu option was more well-liked.

Expected Damage: S$50 – S$65 per pax


Price: $ $ $

Our Rating: 2 / 5


10 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Quarter, #03-28/29, Singapore 409057

Our Rating 2/5


10 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Quarter, #03-28/29, Singapore 409057

Telephone: +65 6972 2770
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 10pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6972 2770

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 10pm (Daily)