Last Updated: August 19, 2019
I tried to come up with all types of egg puns for Tamago-EN‘s review, but I figured out I should stop yolk-ing around in case you guys get egg-xasperated. (Ha ha ha.)
This little quaint cafe, located on the second floor of NEX, opened in June 2019. All of its dishes feature eggs in some way or another.
It serves up eggs benedict sets, Japanese egg dishes like omelette skewers, okayo dons, tamago kake gohan or hashimaki dishes, and even soufflé pancakes!
All of Tamago-EN’s eggs come directly from Okinawa, Japan, and the eggs are soooo fresh that you can actually eat it raw.
Its eggs go through a thorough nine-stage process before landing in your dish. First, the chickens are fed with corn, seaweed and yomogi, which results in beautiful orange yolks. The eggs are checked, washed, dried, and then sterilised with UV light to get rid of any germs. There’s even a tester inspection stage before it’s directly air-flown for five hours to Singapore.
Apart from using these fresh eggs in all its dishes, Tamago-EN also sells it at the front of its store. You can buy a tray of six eggs (S$5.80) or 10 eggs (S$8.80).
Tamago-EN currently occupies what used to be Pablo Cheese Tart, right next to Starbucks.
From the looks of it, the cafe can sit up to 30 or 40 people. Its seating area is split into booth seats, table seats and counter seats.
When I dropped by at 2pm, I was quite taken aback by the snaking queue that never seemed to stop growing!
To cut down on your waiting time, you can check out the menu and fill in your orders on a paper sheet while queuing.
The 5-Kind Japanese Omelette Skewer (S$8.80) was a really Instagrammable dish because of how bright, colourful and appetising it looked.
The five tamagoyaki skewers came with an assortment of toppings, such as crab meat, cod roe & mayonnaise, salmon flakes and ikura, seaweed paste, and tomato sauce.
I was really impressed by how springy the tamagoyaki skewer was on the outside despite being super soft and fresh on the inside, just like silky-smooth scrambled eggs.
I could taste a hint of sweetness, which I guessed was from mirin or other seasonings. You can taste the individual layers of silky egg, which melded together the more I chewed on it.
Out of the five toppings, my absolute favourite was the one with cod roe & mayonnaise. The mayonnaise added a tinge of savoury creaminess to the tamagoyaki while the cod roe popped in my mouth. It was such a perfect balance of flavour and texture!
Another must-try is Tamago-EN’s Hashimaki with Cheese & Mentaiko (S$4.80/piece).
Hashimaki is essentially okonomiyaki wrapped around a chopstick, and Tamago-EN’s version of this popular Japanese street food is topped with a runny egg and bonito flakes.
The egg was gloriously runny, and added a natural silkiness to each mouthful.
While this dish was pretty hard to eat because of the runny egg which made it hard to lift up, I loved how crispy the hashimaki got closer to the edges of the roll.
The star dish of the entire menu (which was easily my favourite dish) was the Ultimate Egg Rice (S$5.80). This is a traditional Japanese breakfast consisting of white rice, a whipped egg white, and raw egg yolk. In Japan, it’s called tamago kake gohan, which is directly translated to “egg over rice”.
I chose to upgrade my dish with additional toppings, including Negitoro (S$3) and Avocado (half) (S$1.50).
There are three steps to eating this dish: first, pour soy sauce over the dish and add other seasonings like spring onions and furikake. Then, break the egg yolk. Lastly, mix thoroughly and it’s ready to eat!
This dish was an absolute joy to eat. It was naturally sweet and light, with some saltiness from the furikake. The bits of raw minced tuna was fatty and melted in my mouth, the avocado was creamy and buttery, and the pickles added an element of crunch to each mouthful.
The best part about the dish was how fluffy and soft it was because of the whipped egg white. It was like I was eating a cloud! It was almost like porridge, just with whipped egg whites.
I was a tad apprehensive of eating the mixed raw egg yolk and negitoro as it is, but surprisingly, there was zero unpleasant smell nor taste. Super, super yummy!
For mains, Tamago-EN has a variety of classic Japanese egg dishes, such as Beef Stew Rice with Omelette (S$16.80) and Pork/Chicken Katsu & Egg Don (S$13.80).
I got the Tamago-EN Oyako Don (S$12.80), which consisted of chicken, onions and egg served on top of a bed of rice.
I loved how the sweet dashi-based sauce seeped into the rice, making each mouthful of piping hot rice and silky egg comforting and indulgent.
More importantly, I was really impressed by how perfectly cooked the omelette was. It was runny and savoury, and the egg wasn’t cooked completely, resulting in a semi-translucent thin layer of egg. Just the way an oyako don should be.
For dessert, be sure to get Tamago-EN’s Caramel Peach Soufflé Pancake (S$12.80).
Three jiggly soufflé pancakes are served warm and topped with powdered sugar, peaches, walnuts and ice cream.
Each spoonful was sweet, warm and indulgent, and its texture reminded me of bread and butter pudding because of how custard-like and soft it was.
It was more of a soufflé than a pancake, but it was still fantastic for sharing with a group of friends. What a perfect way to end a meal!
Tamago-EN really, really impressed me. There’s something for everyone — tamagoyaki skewers and hashimaki for the kids, caramel soufflé pancakes for dessert lovers, eggs benedict sets for breakfast, and other heavier dishes like omu rice and oyako dons for lunch or dinner.
The one dish that I’d come back again for would definitely be the Ultimate Egg Rice. It was fluffy, sweet and light, with hints of saltiness, creaminess and crunchiness. Every spoonful was refreshing yet satisfying, and certainly left me feeling like I was on cloud nine.
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$30 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 5 / 5
23 Serangoon Central, #02-K5/K6, NEX, Singapore 556083
23 Serangoon Central, #02-K5/K6, NEX, Singapore 556083