7 Authentic Japanese Restaurants of Singapore: Taste of Traditional Cuisines

For the last many decades, Japanese restaurants have flourished here in Singapore. The prominent reason is their people and culture, which have primarily influenced the life of this small island country.

The main interest of these restaurants was to cater traditional food to professionals and tourists from Japan. But slowly and gradually, Singaporeans fell in love with the fantastic sushi and other cuisines.

We went out on the field to enjoy the trademark cuisine of Japan on our own island, and made a list of the most significant Japanese restaurants in Singapore.

These places strictly follow the legacy of that nation to prepare various dishes using specific seasonal spices with fresh ingredients. Know more about these restaurants in the article below. Visit them to check out the absolute blend of tastes.

1. Himawari Japanese Restaurant
Phone: +65 6272 1110
Website: https://himawarijapaneserestaurant.com/
Location: Alexandra Branch (Alexandra Road), OCC Branch (Orchid Country Club Road)
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 11.30 am – 02.30 pm, 06.00 pm – 09.00 pm,
Mon: Off

This restaurant ranks among the top Japanese restaurants in Singapore, with two branches located in different regions of the country.

Himawari was featured on Open Rice, and sethlui.com, which are famous food and restaurant portals in Singapore. They have proficiently admired the Sashimi dish for its thin, sliced fresh meat that melts in the mouth.

Chef’s Special

  • Makimono – Spider Maki (soft shell crab)
  • Shabu Shabu – Tiger Prawns
  • Donburi – Chicken Katsu Don
  • Robatayaki Vegetarian – Shishi to Peppers
  • Chirashi Sushi Bowl

Other Things to Consider

  • Most of their menu items are available in bento boxes as portable food.
  • You cannot sit there with one order of food for more than two hours.
  • They have a variety of cuisines for both veg and non-vegetarians.
  • You can request them for soft drinks and beer as well.
  • The visitors are well informed by the websites about monthly closure dates.

Customer Feedback

“I love this place for one reason: the tasty Japanese flavor in all the food listings. Apart from the delicacies offered, the hard-working staff treats the customers in a friendly gesture, which makes them visit again.

Han
2. Keyaki Japanese Restaurant
Phone: +65 6826 8240
Website: https://www.panpacific.com/en/hotels-and-resorts/pp-marina/dining/keyaki.html
Location: Raffles Blvd
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11.30am – 02.30 pm, 06.00 pm – 10.00 pm

Keyaki Japanese Restaurant is a part of Pan Pacific Hotels Group, which is one of the most prominent groups in existence in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and Asia (China, Singapore, Japan, etc.)

They use freshly brought, high-quality ingredients to offer authentic Japanese food with an exotic blend of flavors. On the other hand, the tatami or western-style private dining rooms are suitable options for customers to enjoy the meal.

Chef’s Special

  • Sushi Kaiseki
  • Gyuniku Usuyaki Gyokaiyaki Gozen
  • Seared Wagyu Beef on Rice
  • Melange of Vegetables
  • Teppanyaki

Other Things to Consider

  • They have a long list of menu items to satisfy customers from multicultural backgrounds or choices.
  • The restaurant is surrounded by a Japanese-style garden and a Koi fish pond.
  • Their celebration cakes are handmade by a team of specialists and are prevalent in corporate and family parties.
  • They are certified to follow the cleaning protocols and standards according to the World Health Organization.
  • This restaurant has consistently been awarded since 2013 for its food quality and taste.

Customer Feedback

“It is a pleasant Japanese Restaurant in Singapore to organize parties, as the ambiance and the background enhance the mood of the visitors, while the food is just wholesome. I consider the place the most suitable wedding venue since I attended my brother’s marriage ceremony at the Keyaki garden and loved the place.”

Jonathon
3. Kinki
Phone: +65 8363 6697
Website: https://www.kinki.com.sg/
Location: Collyer Quay (Customs House)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12.00 pm – 03.00 pm, 06.00 pm – 10.30 pm,
Sun: Off

Kinki is a new Japanese restaurant plus bar at the Marina Bay of Singapore. It is a beautiful place to dine out with friends and family and be part of their traditional culture with a fusion of urban ethos.

The place is full of vibrancy with a bright and energetic environment, and the unique cuisines are made with their modern signature style.

Chef’s Special

  • Maguro Akami (bluefin tuna)
  • Dragon Chaser (seared foiegras and eel with fried prawns)
  • Salmon and Ikura Don
  • Spicy Nori-Crusted Salmon
  • High Roller Wagyu Don

Other Things to Consider

  • The Geisha culture is an age-old Japanese tradition, enjoyed here with its magnetic personality and dynamic colorful atmosphere.
  • The restaurant gives unforgettable views of Marina Bay.
  • The restaurant has peaceful interiors with art murals created by Sean Dunston, while the roof-top bar has bold graffiti designed by artist ANTZ.
  • Their unique menu, “Bottomless Brunch,” is only offered on Saturdays and public holidays.

Customer Feedback

“The breathtaking view outside, with a dashing inner ambiance, makes Kinki my favorite Japanese restaurant in Singapore. I was born in Japan and stayed there for the first fifteen years. So I consider this my first home away from home. Of course, it is worth the mention that they serve fantastic sushi and sashimi.”

Jim
4. MiamMiam
Phone: +65 6837 0301
Website: https://miammiam.sg/
Location: Victoria Street (Bugis Junction) and Gateway Drive (Westgate)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11.30 am – 09.00 pm

This restaurant has a well-recognized history of 125 years. It was launched in Tokyo as a tearoom, or what they call Kissaten. This was the first of its kind to serve handmade sweets, dark coffee, and tea.

They began to provide other refreshments in the later years. Meanwhile, the relationship between Japan and France strengthened, which led to the growth of the French-Japanese artisanal cooking style.

Chef’s Special

  • Chicken Teriyaki Spaghetti
  • Mentaiko Sea Bass Pasta
  • Seafood Tomato Cream
  • Tender Striploin Donburi with Butter Truffle Pasta
  • Truffle Oil Onsen Egg Mushroom Soup

Other Things to Consider

  • It is famous among Singaporeans as an affordable Japanese restaurant that offers a delicious fusion of French and Japanese cuisines.
  • The chefs are well-trained in French cooking techniques and merge these skills into Japanese cuisine.
  • The best infusion of French dishes is observed in matcha and azuki mixed with souffles.

Customer Feedback

“One thing that fascinates me about this restaurant is its century-old legacy of bringing together the cultures and traditions of two far reaching nations. I love the exquisite mixture of different cooking styles to offer flavorful delights.”

Wayne
5. Teng Bespoke
Phone: +65 6337 7050
Website: https://www.tengbespoke.com.sg/
Location: Bencoolen Street (Sunshine Plaza)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11.30 am – 02.30 pm, 05.00 pm – 08.45 pm

Teng Bespoke grabs a lot of attention from localities for being a vegan Japanese restaurant in Singapore.

It is situated in a mundane area but is nothing less than a modernized food parlor in its classic Zen-style designs.

The composed and serene atmosphere with a specialty in vegetarian Japanese cuisine makes the visitors come again to rejuvenate their memories.

Chef’s Special

  • Avocado Maki
  • Aonori W/ Cheese
  • Grilled Black Cod
  • Deep Fried Gyoza
  • Dumpling W/ 5 Kind Vege

Other Things to Consider

  • They have a vast range of vegan food in a Japanese blend, something which is incredible to experience under one roof.
  • All the menu items are prepared with fresh and high-quality ingredients by following traditional Japanese methods.
  • They also have a specially curated kids meal that offers Mini-Fried Udon Set and is suitable for children below 12 years.

Customer Feedback

“I feel emotionally connected with this place because of the ambiance, which resembles a typical Japanese background. It is a family-friendly restaurant in Singapore that also connects my family, especially my children, with our culture. The vegan meals are marvelous in taste and texture, with undeniable health benefits.”

Haruki
6. Tanoshii
Phone: +65 6219 3482
Website: http://www.tanoshii.sg/
Location: Cairnhill Road
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 06.00 pm – 11.30 pm

Tanoshii is a unique Japanese food restaurant that only opens at dinner time. Most of the recipes are a fusion of cultural Japan and Korea to blend the finest elements in a curated fashion.

They specialize in freshly available seafood prepared by experienced culinary master chefs.

Chef’s Special

  • Truffle Oil Chawanmushi
  • UniIkura Cold Noodles
  • Abalone Porridge
  • Hokkaido Taco Steak
  • Grilled Burikama

Other Things to Consider

  • Along with Japanese cuisine, they also serve desserts and drinks (Sake, Wine, Japanese Whiskey, and other drinks.)
  • They do not have a personal parking space; however, foodies coming in a private vehicle can park them at nearby parking at Anthony Road, Cairnhill Road, and Paragon Shopping Centre.
  • The restaurant is open for dinner, but people can book the place on special occasions at lunchtime.

Customer Feedback

“I visited Tanoshii restaurant last month in Singapore while on a corporate tour. My friends here on this island recommended I should dine here at least once. I can proudly claim that it was an overwhelming experience to visit this Japanese grandeur and enjoy the traditional delicacy. I will definitely come back to this restaurant with my family during vacations.”

Daniel
7. Nanbantei
Phone: +65 6443 5659
Website: https://nanbantei.com.sg/
Location: New Bridge Road (Chinatown Point) and Scotts Road (Far East Plaza)
Opening Hours: Sun-Sat: 11.45 am – 02.30 pm, 05.45 pm – 10.00 pm

Nanbantei was opened in 1983, following the authentic culture of Japan. They claim to persist in Singapore for a long time and as the first Japanese restaurant.

The customers get an option to take the front seat at the counter and view the Yakitori chefs cooking their extraordinary cuisine.

Chef’s Special

  • Aburi Salmon Mentai Maki
  • ButabaraYuzu Kosho
  • GindaraKasuzukeYaki
  • Korokke
  • Hamachi Sashimi

Other Things to Consider

  • They have successfully completed 40 years and have served more than 10k customers.
  • The customers get a wide range of options in A la Carte meats, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Mostly the menu items are fully seasoned and grilled over charcoal.
  • They are deeply rooted in traditions and get the best ingredients to prepare meals from Japan.
  • The chefs keep inventing new tasteful dishes through multiple combinations of the same elements.
  • Food delivery throughout the island is free-of-cost.

Customer Feedback

“It is a great Japanese restaurant near my house, so we frequently visit this place. I have tried many of their dishes while sitting on the counter seat and can claim this place has never disappointed me regarding the essence of the meal.”

Tom

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Singaporeans prefer to eat at a Japanese restaurant?

Japan has ruled this place for a very long time; in fact the older name of Singapore was Syonan Island, which is a Japanese word.

This has an ever-lasting impact on the life and traditions of the local people, who accepted the food and culture of the nation with open hands.

These effects gradually became choices of the generations, especially in terms of diet since Japanese food was healthy and delicious.

It is obvious because the food has a cultural heritage and tradition of using fresh ingredients that are good for human consumption. While the expert chefs bring out the innovative flavor in the dishes without using any greasy cooking methods.

Is there any specific Japanese etiquette for their restaurant?

Japan has a legacy for everything. So, if they have traditional food, it also involves a unique cooking technique. And above all, there is a way to behave while you dine for this food.

If you visit a Japanese restaurant in Singapore, the host expects you to follow specific rules, though it is not compulsive. It is justified, as you expect them to offer historical food.

Here are the vital points to remember about Japanese culture that they follow during lunch or dinner.

  • They sit on a tatami mat in a seiza position, which is on heels with legs tucked inside.
  • Use chopsticks for eating food.
  • Never put them in the bowl.
  • You have to hold the food with a chopstick but not pinch it.
  • Do not raise the food or chopstick above your mouth.
  • Slurping the food is considered good.
  • Put the utensils in the same order as they came.
  • Overuse of soya sauce is not appreciated.

Is there any specific greeting style in these restaurants?

Yes, once you enter a Japanese restaurant, the attendant will say “irasshaimase” to you. It is a Japanese word that means “welcome” in English.

Should you offer tips at these restaurants?

Food tip is casually offered to the servers by the customers when they like the food and services, but it is never taken as a good gesture at Japanese restaurants.

You do not need to worry much about it as they believe you have already paid enough for the meal. But to make the servers feel good, appreciate their service, or to thank the attendants in their own style, you can say a few words.

You can say “itadakimasu” after receiving the food, and “arigato” or “Domo arigato,” to thank them. If the food is nice, you can say “oishii” or “oishikattadesu,” which means “delicious,” to compliment them.

Should You Plan a Visit to a Japanese Restaurant in Singapore

Singapore is a cosmopolitan island and has imbibed multicultural traditions from western and Southeast Asian countries. But Japan has a special place in its DNA, which is evident in its food habits.

Japanese food has numerous health benefits, apart from variations in delicacies.  That is why the island houses a lot of food stalls or restaurants offering these cuisines.

So, while in Singapore, you must try out these legendary cuisines from Japan while keeping in mind certain factors.

  • For Japanese food, only visit an authentic restaurant.
  • Both vegans and non-vegetarians can find a suitable meal at this place.
  • Check the website or customer reviews for more information about the restaurant before visiting.
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