Japan is a country that is known and famous for many things, but one thing that the Land of the Rising Sun is really known for worldwide is the cuisine. Wherever you go around the globe, you’re bound to find a Japanese restaurant somewhere nearby, and it’s no different here in Singapore.
If we were to speak honestly, Japanese food is one of the most popular cuisines in Singapore, and the number of options and Japanese restaurants to dine at is endless. Just think of all the sushi places, the yakitori restaurants, and ramen shops we have here, and we’re sure you’ll have a specific place in mind already. It might even be your favourite place, or it might also be on this list already!
As much as we wanted to, we couldn’t list out all the great Japanese places to eat at. But we did narrow down the list to 6 places that we think are great contenders for being top places to eat in Singapore if you have a craving for Japanese food.
Best Japanese Restaurant in Singapore
Check out the list below and tell us what you think!
Nothing beats the divine combo of ambience and good food, and Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore delivers both to you on a silver platter. It’s been lauded to be a dining experience the moment you begin walking towards the 140-seater restaurant. You’ll start at an entrance that doubles as a sheltered walkway surrounded by a koi pond and well-manicured gardens before you reach the restaurant itself. The whole place is inspired by traditional Japanese homes or minka and truly transports you to Japan without having to leave Singapore.
As for the food, every bite you take is a burst of flavours and goodness. Sashimi platters are pretty standard Japanese fare but considering how fresh their tuna sashimi is, getting a sashimi platter makes it worth it. What’s great here is that if you want to splurge, they’ve got just the thing for that with their premium options such as the teppanyaki-style wagyu beef. But if you just want a simple yet delectable offering, Keyaki also delivers on that front.
What we love there though is their weekend brunch offer. It’s a seven-course, kaiseki-style brunch that can be made even better with free-flow beers, champagnes, selected sakes, and wines. Can you say “no” to a boozy brunch affair, Japanese style?
For special celebrations, you can book the Garden Pavilion next door for a truly private dining experience.
If you want to try Japanese food at a place that’s a treat for your senses, look no further than Esora. Brought to you by the Lo & Behold Group, Esora is a dream; the place washed in natural light and a warm glow thanks to a fantastic skylight. Esora is known for its kappo-style cuisine and chef-owner Shigeru Koizumi showcases that right at the counter where all your dreams come true. You’re in for a culinary treat with the chef who has an extensive experience cooking at three-Michelin-starred Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo and Singapore’s very own two-Michelin-starred Odette. At Esora, producing and creating profound dining experiences is what it’s all about.
You never know what you’re going to get at Esora, with the menu changing on an almost weekly basis. What you can decide on though is how many courses you want to go with. There are choices of a five-course lunch menu and a seven or a nine-course dinner menu. Then there’s the premium chef’s menu that is pretty pricey but absolutely worth it.
The GYU Bar
Operating from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 12 PM to 3 PM for lunch service, and 6 PM to 10 PM for dinner, The Gyu Bar is an intimate Japanese restaurant that is both modern and elegant. Known for its modern yakiniku dining and bar concept, you’re set for a memorable dining experience here with friends or loved ones.
Meat-lovers are in for a treat with The Gyu Bar’s dynamic selection and an assortment of meats to choose from. Their pride and joy is their premium Wa-Oh Japanese beef done up in different flavours, textures, and in different rare cuts for you to enjoy and discover.
If you’re not up for the meat, they also offer seafood and several other amazing dishes. One service highlight that many love about this place is that they have their collection of sake glasses meaning, you can drink your sake in your preferred sake glass straight from their collection! That’s service personalised to your fit.
Since it’s an intimate place, seats are limited, but many have said that waiting for a seat is definitely worth it at The Gyu Bar.
For that authentic Japanese dining, Tatsu hits all the right spots and have been doing so since 1996. A former traditional sushi bar, Tatsu now offers food lovers a full-range Japanese cuisine menu as well as a seasonal menu. But you still can’t go wrong with their sushi and sashimi dishes. They use only the freshest catch to craft their dishes, following the traditional Japanese style of crafting recipes together.
They are known for their premium quality seafood, and many love the fact that they actually have a bento delivery service. If you want to get them for a private event outside the restaurant, Tatsu also offers a private catering service. So if you have a private function or special celebration coming up and you sort of want Japanese dishes to be served, remember to call up these guys.
It’s best to make a reservation ahead of time before dining at Tatsu to get sure seats and a table.
It’s a minimalistic and straightforward place, but boy does Fat Cow wow you with their luxurious and modern steak dishes, and expansive menu.
This place is considered to be the fanciest and finest Japanese restaurant in Singapore, and we can’t help but agree with the sentiment. They offer hand-picked Wagyu beef choices which you can choose from and, at the same time, tell them how you want it prepared. The customised preparation method is something that many look forward to, paired with the grand food preparation that is done for you. Did we mention that their chefs not only create fantastic food but are super friendly too? That’s right. In most reviews you’ll see online, aside from positive remarks about their food, you’ll almost always see someone raving about the friendly staff, and the chefs who not only cook for you but entertain you as well.
Fat Cow offers a lunch menu, a dinner menu, an ala carte one, and of course, a dessert menu.
If you want to try one of the best omakase places in Singapore, then you have to head on over to Hashida Sushi on Mohamed Sultan Road. Prepare to be wowed as you enter the restaurant as you are greeted by a sake bar that can be found right at the entrance. Within the restaurant, you can see three main dining areas. Two of those can be converted into a private dining room while the second level of Hashida Sushi can be booked for special events. That’s just the shop itself, and we haven’t even gotten down to talking about the food.
Singapore offers a lot in terms of omakase places, but Hashida Sushi’s excellent omakase menu and distinct flavours make it a good one that needs to be mentioned. Headed by chef and owner Kenjiro Hashida, the course at Hashida Sushi follows a format that is traditional and familiar. Yet, it doesn’t mean that chef Hashida won’t play it up a little.
Plans to open overseas branches are already in plans, and we’re excited for what the future hold for this amazing place.
You know what they say; don’t knock it until you try it!
Be Bold and Explore
Singapore is a foodie’s haven, and the love for Japanese cuisine cannot be overstated. There’s a Japanese place for everyone, from affordable yet delicious ramen shops to the more expensive teppanyaki places.
As much as we want to be experiencing an authentic Japanese meal in Kyoto, sometimes we just can’t, and that’s okay because with what Singapore has to offer, there’s no need to pack your bags to get that great Japanese food.
We’re pretty sure that if you start in your own neighbourhood, you’re bound to find a gem of a restaurant that will tickle your taste bud and have you sighing in delight.