Kushikatsu Tanaka First Asian Debut in Singapore

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Author: Alex Chua

Regular izakaya patrons here would be elated to hear that Kushikatsu Tanaka, Japan’s No.1 Kushikatsu Chain, is opening its first Asian outlet in Singapore. Boasting over 165 outlets in Japan alone, this Japanese bar has brought its famous Osaka-style fried cutlet skewers and signature special dipping sauce to the little red dot’s clubbing district – Clarke Quay. It would be a fierce fight among other izakaya and Japanese restaurants in this prime area, but Kushikatsu Tanaka is least afraid of competition. Here’s 3 reasons I feel why this izakaya can not only survive but strive against other establishments.


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1) The Signature Golden Kushikatsu

From beef, prawn, asparagus, lotus root to even cookies and cream, there are over 30 variations of skewers to choose from. The great taste of the golden kushikatsu comes from their secret formula and preparation method. Using their own unique blend of oil, with panko flour, batter and sauce directly imported from Japan, ensures that original, authentic flavour are kept consistent.


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That distinctive crisp and light taste are what draws its customers to visit again and again. Paired with the well-balanced savoury sauce with a slight tinge of sweetness, you can realize the painstaking details that the chef has placed into the making of the perfect kushikatsu. Do note that double-dipping into the sauce bowl is prohibited!


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2) Chiritori Hotpan + Risotto

A great dish to warm the heart in the rainy December – early January period. This sizzling hotpan dish features thinly cut beef slices served on a bed of beansprouts, topped with beef offal and chili powder for a spicy and savoury flavour. After finishing the beef, you can throw in curry cheese risotto on the pan with curry powder, egg and rice to soak up the goodness of the remaining rich broth. This lovely dish reminded me of a quaint Japanese bar I had visited in Osaka this November, and it tastes exquisitely.


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3) DIY Onigiri

I am somewhat surprised by the fact that I would fancy this dish. With just plain rice, nori and choice of topping, plus with abit of crafty fingers to roll the onigiri into the desired shape and size, the overall taste is satisfying rich with the rice made al dente. Pure simplicity bliss!


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4) Bonus: Wide variety of Jim Beam Highballs
With over 15 varieties such as Triple Berry Highball, Triple Citrus highball and Aomori Ringo Highball, the restaurant prides itself as carrying the most comprehensive Jim Beam Highballs range in Singapore. Best yet, they are available at an affordable price of $6. Just remember to drink responsibly!

Kushikatsu Tanaka Singapore
3A River Valley Road, Merchant’s Court Clarke Quay
Block A, #01-01B, Singapore 179020
Facebook: Kushikatsu Tanaka SG/ Instagram: @kktanaka.sg

Savour a Mountain of Premium Maguro for Just $9.90 Till 31st December!

Mountain Meshi

Author: Sandra Koh

If you are always on an outlook for pocket friendly and delicious sashimi, then you’re in for a treat this December! For a limited time, Maguro Donya Miuramisakikou Sushi and Dining and Kuro Maguro are offering premium maguro (tuna) at just $9.90.


Shop front


We really got to salute the restaurants culinary team’s dedication on bringing the freshest maguro to every patron. Such that, only meat culled from blue fins and weigh a minimum of 280 kg from Miura Misaki Port (renowed maguro wholesaler in Japan) are used, as this ensures that the maguro have the perfect ratio of fat and lean meat. Both restaurants also practise the “super frozen” (-60 degrees Celsius) technique to freeze the maguro, as soon as they are caught. As such, absolute freshness is a guarantee.


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We were served with both the Maguro Mountain Gunkan, and Mountian Meishi (both priced at $9.90) during our visit. Both of the dishes actually consist of the same ingredients – otoro, akami, ikura toppings and fragrant sushi rice, presented in 2 different ways. The Maguro Mountain Gunkan takes the shape of a sushi and is served on a plate, where the Mountain Meishi comes in a delightful rice bowl filled to the brim with the ingredients. Don’t you just agree that both of the dishes are too beautiful to be eaten regardless of their presentation?


Maguro Mountain Gunkan
Maguro Mountain Gunkan


Mountain Meshi
Maguro Meishi


For less than $10, you get to experience 3 different contrasting sensations all in one bite (buttery & tenderness from otoro, savoury popping texture from ikura, and sour-sweet taste from the sushi rice). Trust us when we say it’s indeed therapeutic.

The orders are limited to 30 orders per day, and limited to 1 serving per person. Do note that the S$9.90 deals are smaller portions and not a complete meal in themselves, but hey you can always go ahead and order other equally delicious maguro dishes if you’re still hungry.

Get your maguro fix from 4th -31st December 2017 at :

MAGURODONYA MIURAMISAKIKOU SUSHI & DINING
(Maguro Mountain Gunkan)
3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall, #03-314
Singapore 038983
66845054

OR

KURO MAGURO (Maguro Meishi)
7 Wallich Street #01-04
Singapore 078884
63868561

For more details, please visit: www.magurodonya.com

Don Don Donki is finally in Singapore!

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IF you have been to Japan before, I am quite sure that you may have stepped into Don Don Donki before!

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I took a media tour today and I must say that I am amazed! Their price points are not a lot higher than the Japanese store itself! You will also feel as though you are stepping into Japan once you step into the store.

Don Don Donki Orchard Central is their first flagship outlet in Asia and they aim to position the store as a “Japanese Brand Specialist” by offering products that are either made or designed in Japan.

The double-storey retail space is also open 24/7 so you can always pop by and do some late night shopping there.

They carry a wide variety of goods including food, household items, cosmetics and novelty goods.

Don Don Donki Meat Selection

Don Don Donki Bar

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My favourite sections have got to be the beauty section and party section!

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It really does feel like an amusement park here! And I swear that I will never come out of the shop empty handed ever. There is simply too many things to buy!

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They are also partnering with Hokkaido Marche for a Hokkaido-themed retail and dine-in space that features unique product offerings and successful tenants from the region.

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“No other Donki store carries such a broad diversity of food choices, and the partnership with Hokkaido Marche will further elevate the dining experience here. We hope this will be a refreshing retail concept that Singaporeans can look forward to and heartily enjoy,” said Mr. Okada.

Don Don Donki will officially open its store to the public on 1st Dec.

For more information, please visit: http://www.dondondonki.sg/

Embark On a Gastronomical Journey with NAMI Omakase Dinner!

NAMI Shop Front

Author: Sandra Koh

After months of rigorous renovation, Shangri-La Hotel’s iconic Tower Wing now features a brand new lobby, lounge and suites, along with various interesting flavours that satisfy even the most pernickety eater. The NAMI Restaurant and Bar situated at Level 24 is certainly one such place.

Helming the restaurant is Head Chef Akiba Shigeo, who culinary experiences include managing restaurants owned by Iron Chef Koumei Nakamura, along with preparing the wedding banquet the wedding banquet of Japan’s Prince Akishinomiya and Princess Kiko.


Sushi Bar
Credit: Shangri-La Hotel


We were presented with the Kitano Daichi Omakase- a 7 course meal dinner on our night of visit. First on the omakase set was the dual appetisers-Hairy Crab with Tosa Vinegar, and Yuba Tofu & Sea Urchin. We really enjoyed the latter, for its half-chewy texture and fragrant soy flavour. We could literally felt the layers slowly opening up and faint soy flavour spreading through our mouths with each bite (it’s really therapeutic). The addition of the creamy uni added a hint of sweetness to the otherwise bland tofu.


Appetisers


Next on the table was the Dashi, a traditional dobin-mushi with Matsutake mushroom, along with pike conger, ginko, homewort and sudachi. Don’t you agree that the presentation is too adorable? We were told to first squeeze the lime in the soup, then drink the soup, and eat the ingredients last. Thankfully, the mushroom flavour was not overwhelming, rather it provided a refreshing aftertaste (thanks to the lime). The soup was really easy on the throat, and comforting to drink.


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The third course is probably every Singaporean’s favourite- a Sashimi platter which included 5 curated selection of premium sashimi (tuna, amberjack, scallop, botan ebi and flounder) that is air flown into Singapore 4 times a week from Tokyo. Be surprised to find wasabi leaf as one of the accompanying condiment! We tasted the sashimi without any condiments, and were amazed by its freshness. They were unexpectedly crunchy, and exploded in our mouths with natural sweetness. We learnt from the chef that the white meat sashimi are best paired with Himalayan salt to bring out the natural flavours.


Sashimi


Fourth on the set was Tempura consisting of capelin fish, pumpkin, kidney beans and lotus root. I was utterly glad that the dish did not carry any rancid smell or cloying oily. Unlike the usual tempura, NAMI’s rendition provided a much lighter and fluffier batter, which was really crispy to bite on.


Tempura


The main dish was none other than the Saga Beef Sirloin Steak with Seasoned Grilled Oita Shiitake. The steak was really tender, and literally melted in our mouths. Each mouthful was accompanied by wonderful waves of sweet and buttery flavour that sent a small but puddle of pleasure through our spines. We felt that the sweet-savoury sauce did a great job in balancing out the fatty flavour of the dish.


Saga Beef


Next, Matsutake Mushroom Rice along with miso soup and pickles were served. The pairing of the steamed rice and mushroom was indeed brilliant, for the latter imparted its sweet nutty notes and transformed the rice into a delicately flavoursome dish. Instead of the usual beige coloured miso soup, NAMI’s version skewed towards the brownish side. We particularly love the soup for its rich toasty malt and caramel flavours, in fact it reminded us of the Misokatsu from Yabaton at Nagoya Station. The Chinese yam might look harmless, yet it’s really spicy, so do take small bites!


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Our dinner was completed with a plate of seasonal fruits made up of melon, crystal pear and grapes. All we could say is, till now we’re still reminiscing the sweet taste of the melon.


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The omakase dinner is only available from 16 November 2017 to 31st January 2018 at a price of $180 ++ per person. Be quick to make your reservations. Click here for the full menu: https://d2jzxcrnybzkkt.cloudfront.net/uploads/2017/10/Kitano_Daichi_Omakase_Dinner_M_1509357066.pdf

NAMI Restaurant & Bar
Shangri-la Hotel Singapore
22 Orange Grove Road
Level 24
Singapore 258350
Tel: 6213 4398
Opening Hours: Daily, Noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm (restaurant), till midnight (balcony)

Tsuta New Duck Ramen Dishes Hit All the Right Spots

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Author: Alex Chua

The famed Michelin-starred ramen restaurant Tsuta has recently launched two brand-new ramen offerings: Kamo Abura Soba (dry – above) and Kamo Paitan Soba (soup – below). Served exclusively in Singapore, these two dishes are the original creations of Chef Yuki Onishi, who are inspired by a widely popular ingredient in Singapore – the duck. Spending a year on R&D, Chef Yuki experimented with various recipes and cooking method just to get the flavours right. This is the sort of dedication only a Michelin-starred chef would expect – perfection from kitchen to table.


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While duck noodles are pretty common in Singapore, the Kamo Paitan Soba is unique in its own ways. Boasting a rich flavourful broth that’s slow-cooked for 5 hours straight under precise temperature control, and is made with shoyu and fresh duck oil. The normal portion comes with handmade noodles, baby leaves and tender poached duck breast slices topped with chopped cashew nuts for that wonderful crunch.

As for my personal favourite, the Kamo Abura Soba which feature well-marinated noodles in the same flavourful premium shoyu and duck oil. Paired with the same premium ingredients as the soup version, it comes with a bowl of clear soup with a slight hint of sea salt, just to balance out the strong umami taste of the noodles.

If you’re thinking of slurping up a bowl of Japanese duck noodles, stop by at Tsuta to indulge in this exclusive, special menu!

Tsuta @ Pacific Plaza
9 Scotts Road, Pacific Plaza, #01-01 Singapore 228210

Game for Yatagarasu Yakitori

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Author: Alex Chua

Strong, juicy and meaty, just the thought of having yakitori never fails to bring up the joy in me. And Yatagarasu Yakitori is no exception in conjuring this gastronomic pleasure. If you’ve dined at this quaint-essential Japanese yakitori restaurant before, you would’ve noticed a common principle behind the skewers – the uncomplicated simplicity of ordering and food presentation with no shortage of flavour. As a lover of barbecued Japanese skewers, especially authentic ones with beer, I can’t wait to join in for a culinary adventure.


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The 36-seat restaurant in Circular Road is helmed by Chef Kota Tanabe, who has over 12 years of experience, including working at a Japanese izakaya (gastropub where after-work professionals dine and drink sake) in Singapore. Chef Kota is friendly and knowledgeable, and he enjoys interacting with diners, surprising them with nuggets of information on the ingredients and preparation methods. The interior exudes the Japanese izakaya vibe, with its red paper lanterns inscribed in Japanese letters, wooden furnishing and lacquered bamboo tracing along the ceiling.


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Yatagarasu has one of the widest pork wrap skewers selection in Singapore, with our 15 types of pork belly wraps to choose from, each skewer is unique in presentation and taste. The ‘lollipop’ Shiso Leaf Pork Wrap is among the many skewers I craved in this establishment. The light, mellow flavour of the shiso leaf complements the meaty, juicy wraps, barbequed to a perfect whitish pink with glistening grill marks. Chef Kota lets me try the shiso leaf itself and I am surprised how a bland ingredient commonly found in Japan can elevates the meat taste.


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Next, the Enoki Mushroom Pork Wrap gives a texturized bite to the meat. The barbequing process also helps to enhance the enoki mushroom flavour, balancing the meat profile. This is a good skewer companion for a glass of cold, chilled beer.


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Perhaps the most creative/ experimental pork wrap skwer of all, the Yakisoba Pork Wrap is also the most visually arresting. With the yakisoba sauce pouch placed on top of the meat, you have to slightly squeeze the pouch end to emit sweet delicious straight into the sauce.


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Besides the unique pork belly wraps, Yakitori also doles out an array of barbecued skewers featuring chicken and vegetables. Try the popular chicken wings, soft bone and the fillet skewers ($2.50 each) with the restaurant home-made yakitori sauce to kick the indulgence up a notch.


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For lunch, the restaurant has a special meu featuring Oyako-Don (chicken and egg rice bowl). Both chicken and egg are summered in a flavourful dashi sauce. Only 50 bowls will be served each afternoon and the lunch service starts from 11.30am.

Yatagarasu Yakitori
72 Circular Road
#01-01 Singapore 049426

FOOD: Eat At Seven’s Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi & Dining collaborates with renowned Japanese Unagi Wholesaler Yamada Suisan

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Author: Alex Chua

Unagi connoisseurs would be pleased to note that Yamada Suisan, the famed Japan’s unagi wholesaler and top eel breeder, is collaborating with a Singapore restaurant: Eat At Seven’s Maguro-Donya Miura-Misaki-Kou Sushi & Dining (Maguro-Donya). These unagis (eels) are bred in clean, fresh underground water that runs to a depth of 70 metres underground, employing a 24-hour monitoring system to ensure that the quality of these eels are not affected.

The collaboration is made possible thanks to the matchmaking efforts of All Nippon Airways Group (ANA). This means that the restaurant can procure premium, top grade unagi at wholesale cost, and offer customers at exceptionally affordable prices!





An extremely popular haunt amongst the Japanese community, this fish specialist is wooing local fans with its prices and attention to taste. Helmed by Chef Takuya Matsumoto and Takayoshi Shishido, the restaurant has its own fleet of fishing trawlers and hence able to curate the freshest maguro and sashimi around the world and fly them directly to Singapore via ANA air freight. Maguro-Donya also imports Hokkaido rice directly from Japan, and each grain of rice served is al dente, moist and simply unforgettable!





The affordable Una Jyu Set (U.P. $35.80) came with grilled Unagi eels and 4 usual side dishes. Presented in a beautifully lacquered wooden box, the unagi, glazed with Teriyaki sauce, is tender, succulent and tasty, and you can literally taste the light, fluffy texture of the rice. One special mention is the green tea kanten, the mild green tea flavour emits gradually in the mouth without being overpowering or too bland.





Top up just $7 and you could enjoy the fresh and thick slices of the Premium Maguro, to be served alongside the Unagi bowl. The Una Jyu Sashimi Set (U.P. $42.80) is ideal for working professionals who wants a taste of quality fish and a wholesome meal.





Ala carte option is also available if you want to order just this delightful fish. Overall, I am sold by the texture, the combination of creamy fall-apart flesh with crisp skin and the interplay of sweet nodes from the Teriyaki sauce. Definitely a must-try for the unagi lovers.

Suntec City Mall
3 Temasek Boulevard #03-314
Singapore 038983

Operating Hours: 11am – 2.40pm
5.30pm – 11.30pm, Monday – Sunday

Website: http://magurodonya.com/
Instagram: @Magurodonya.sg

Japanese Cosmetics – SANA

Sponsored

Do you want long lashes like this? Okay, I cheated here. As you can see, fake eyelashes are sticked on.

But to have it so curvy, you need to curl it after you paste the eyelashes on. Remember to also apply some mascara after the curls.

The two items that I will be review are

– SANA EX-LASH Curl & Volume Mascara ($24.90)

– SANA Powerstyle Eyelash Curler ($17.90)

I like the mascara a lot because it is not as cloggy as the other mascara outside and neither is it hard to remove despite being waterproof.

I hate it when the entire eyelid becomes heavy and black due to the application of some mascara. But for EX-Lash, the fiber are ultra light weight, so you can keep applying them again and again but you can’t feel a single thing. It can lengthens and add volumes to your lashes. I love the lengthening part!

Look at the slim glamour brush. It makes application easier and smoother. Just one brush onto your lashes makes it look more volumized and longer.

 

After the application, remember to curl it up to give your eyes a more dolly look. Because EX-lash contains W-Peptides, the curls can last longer as it firmly keeps the lashes upwards. Just curl it with Powerstyle Eyelash Curler and the curls can last up to an entire day. The curler has a spring that helps the lashes to curl without the need of you applying strength and the silicon rubber is specially molded in a way where it will not hurt the eye.

No lumpy lashes, no heavy lashes, no hard-to-remove mascara!

 

Without application:

 

With application:

With a single stroke, I can see obvious lengthening effect already! Of course, with more strokes, come longer and thicker lashes!

The mascara also contains 2 types on serum – Biotin Tripeptide-1 and Olio Peptide-24 which has repairing and protection properties. By the way, they also provide the lashes moisture and keeps the lashes healthy. What we want last is unhealthy lashes from all the makeup, right?

It is already available in stores if you are interested. SANA EX-Lash Curl & Volume Mascara is exclusively available only at SASA stores but you can find the curler at Tokyu Hands, BHG and John Little as well 🙂

When you spend more than $37 on SANA’s products, you can get the curler at only $3.70!! While stock lasts!

For more information, find them on their Facebook Page!

Japanese Skincare – SANA sheet masks

I was recently introduced to a new brand in my list. When the parcel reached me, I have colleagues telling me “Hey, this is one of the most famous brand in Japan!”

This famous brand is none other than SANA – https://www.facebook.com/Sana.Singapore. I have tried it for 2 weeks and I am loving how easy and instant the effect is. It keeps my skin moisturized and supple. Take a look at the picture below for evidence:

 

My most most most favourite product from them is their SANA NAMERAKAHONPO instant sheet mask!

Top: Anti-aging (Wrinkle) Moist Sheet Mask $24.90
Bottom: Moist Sheet Mask $23.90

Remember, nobody is too early for anti-aging. You can start using anti-aging products as early as mid twenties.

 

I have my reasons to why I love these mask sheets!

1. They are very easy to use and convenient. Take them out like some facial wipes and spread it around the face. So clean and neat!

2. The elasticity of the mask is 188% where other mask stands between 107% to 133% only.

3. They are very affordable and SASA Singapore is currently running a promotion on them where you can get the 2nd buy at 50% off! (So affordable that I stocked up a few packets myself for my mom and James)

 

 

The security seals make sure that the masks are clean. Don’t even put those opened ones on your skin. It’s the face we are talking about yo!!

 

 

When you open the masks, you can see all the goodness inside. Be very very amazed by the amount of essence you can find in each piece of mask.

It contains vegetable collagen, fermented liquor of soybean, Hyaluronic Acid and Derivative of Vitamin C.

As for the Anti-aging Sheet Mask, it contains Fermentated liquor of soybeanxRetinol. People have experienced anti-wrinkle efficacy effect after 4 weeks of application!

You can use them on a daily basis for 5 minutes before bed time, or before your usual make up routine.

 

 

Look at the dear boy enjoying himself. Soaking his face with the essence. But this was taken 10 minutes after the application so the mask was a little drying up already. I tend to mask a little longer than the time stated cause I am a typical Singaporean. Kiasuuuu. Lol

 

 

The Moist Sheet Mast can be found in all SASA, Tokyu Hands, BHG & John Little Stores while the Anti-aging Sheet Mask is new and currently only exclusive to SASA Singapore stores.

Check them out on their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram at @sanasgp for more awesome products ahead! 🙂

 

Saboten Set Menu

World’s largest tonkatsu chain launches brand new dining concept.

The Saboten at IMM now has 18 brand new set menus!

With over 500 brances worldwide, Saboten has become the MUST-GO place for katsu aficionados, doling out heavenly breaded, deep-fried pork and chicken cutlets. Now, it is adding even more verieties such as shabu shabu and teppanyaki items to its katsu set meals to up the indulgence.

However, do take note that the rice and cabbage will no longer be free flow because of it’s unbeatable affordable prices. The lunch menu ranges from $14.90 to $21.90 only!!

Every set (no matter the price), comes with a set of cabbage and chawanmushi.

The chawanmushi is silky smooth omg. I gotta admit that I had 3 cups that night. There are real crab meat in there as well.

This is just one part of a set meal.

Look at the color of the salmon sashimi.

You can literally tell the freshness of it by looking at it.

Ebi Mentai and Scallop Menti were the highlights for me that night (other than the chawanmushi and their white rice). I think I had 5 prawns that night :X

The prawns span the size of a serving plate and they crowned with ebi mayo!!!

Scallops were pillowy and juicy!!

This is my set – Scallop and Aka Ebi Mentai and Mini Tenderloin Katsu Set at $20.90!! (Remember, all set comes with a chawanmushi and a bowl of cabbage)

I wasn’t kidding about the rice. They were so good as every serving of rice is tender and fluffy as the rice were imported from Japan to ensure it’s quality.

Saboten promises you an excellent Tonkatsu experience with the finest and freshest ingredients!

Their tonkatsu are voted number 1 in hungrygowhere!

I seriously have doubts with how they keep the profits rolling in. So much good food and they were priced so low.

Delicious is an understatement -full stop-

I am going to bribe you with pictures of the food.

The soup base of the shabu shabu is good tooo!!

As usual, Nic and me.

They had a promotion on 18 April where some of the sets were 50% off! The most expensive set only cost $10.45! Seriouslllllyyyyyy. I knew I had to go back there. I went with another 14 pax of friendly colleagues for lunch!

There are so so much more promotions. You have to visit their page to check them out!!

Please goooo!! : https://www.facebook.com/saboten.sg