“Heartland gem with a wide variety of Japanese selections”
It is easy to walk past Shinkei Restaurant due to the plethora of food establishments in the area, but this 168-seater Japanese restaurant has proven itself to be quite a gem in the neighborhood.
Shinkei is located within 600@Toa Payoh building, and even though there’s a huge signage on the building itself, it can be a bit hard to find. Just walk through the front glass door entrance to the end to find this affordable Japanese buffet.
Priced at $32++ for lunch and $38++ for dinner, Shinkei Japanese restaurant takes pride in its wide selection available on the ala-carte buffet menu while remaining affordable for the masses.
The interior is minimalistic, alternating between beige, brown and polished wood. The restaurant also has an open kitchen for diners to see how their sashimi is prepared. Ordering was done through a chit. The dishes arrived promptly and the staff were helpful and polite, efficiently clearing the empty plates so our table wouldn’t be a clutter.
Kikushi no Karakuchi ($22). Sake of Nigata origin, it has a distinctively sharp aftertaste which pairs well with savory foods.
Baked Scallop with Mentaiko Sauce. A monthly Chef creation based on seasonal ingredients. I am a big fan of hotate mentaiyaki – and this is deliciously baked with decent amount of cheese and mentaiko yet not overpowering the sweetness of the scallops.
Sashimi Moriawase (Assorted Sashimi Platter). There are seven types of raw seafood available on the menu, including swordfish and octopus.
They are fresh no doubt. I’ve tasted better sashimi that floods your tastebuds with seafood sweetness but of course a whole lot pressure on the wallet. That being said, I can safely devour my salmon sashimi without feeling guilty.
Yakimono (Grilled dishes). Nothing too fancy but a huge range of them from bacon wrapped asparagus to Yakitori.
Grilled Shitake. It was grilled just right, flavourful yet retaining the slight juiciness.
Grilled chicken heart. The chicken heart at Shinkei’s a bit on the tough side, and has a liver aftertaste. I would give this a miss.
Buta Kimchi Itame (Stir Fried Pork with Kimchi). Not a common dish at a Japanese restaurant. Tangy crunch and flavorful pork slices, a scrumptious dish overall.
Shabu salada. Pork vegetable salad with peanut dressing, a pleasant combination that provides varying textures.
Agemono (Deep fried dishes- Gyoza).
Tako Yaki (Fried Octopus Balls). The outer skin is thin and crisp, with generous filling within. The octopus meat is chewy but not rubbery.
Tempura Moriawase (Assorted Tempura). I preferred the vegetables tempura (enoki, brinjal, sweet potato) as compared to ebi tempura. The tempura batter was good, just that the prawns were not as fresh and a little mushy.
Spider Temaki. Wish they could be more generous with the soft shell crab, the proportion of rice to fillings was unbalanced.
Ninniku Yaki Meshi (Garlic Fried Rice). Rather heavy on the stomach space because it’s rice but I would recommend this. The garlic fragrance wafting through with each mouthful of rice – a bowl of garlic fried rice done right.
Hokkaido gelato ($5 for one scoop). Unfortunately, desserts are not included in the ala-carte buffet menu. The gelato were creamy, not overly sweet, and lychee sorbet was light on the palate and refreshing.
The food is not exactly of premium quality, but considering the wide range of selection and free flow of sashimi. I think $32 per person is pretty worth it. Do stop by Shinkei if you are up for a hearty meal.
Expected damage: $38 – $45 per pax
Shinkei Japanese Restaurant: 600 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #01-06/07/10, Singapore 319515 | Tel: 3158 8609 | Website
Related Guide: Best Japanese Buffets in Singapore for your Sashimi fix