Affordable Japanese Restaurants
Image adapted from: @markamura
While excited text messages in WhatsApp groups may be aplenty, meetups with friends can be hard to come by, with “no money” often being the crux of the problem for broke students.
But fret not, below is a list 10 Japanese restaurants that’ll break any stereotype of Japanese food being expensive, with meals available under just $15. Time to hit that group chat for an open jio with full attendance!
Read till the end to find out how you can snag a free trip to any destination of your choice by having a meal at these restaurants!
1. Idaten Udon - matcha and pepper udon with tempura sides
Everyone likes their food prepared differently, and Idaten Udon is great for picky eaters because they let you decide what exactly goes into your slurpy bowl of udon.
Image credit: @kaiei79
From $5.90, you can pick the flavour of your noodles - from Original, Matcha (+$1) and Japanese Pepper Togarashi (+$1) - and choose your soup base. If you’ve got some extra space in that tum, top up a little to have a tempura side to go with your meal - such as Pumpkin Tempura ($1.30) or Deep Fried Mini Crab ($2.80).
Image credit: Idaten Udon
You can also pop by their garnish section and load up on as much radish, seaweed and tempura bits as you like.
Address: CityLink Mall #B1-21, One Raffles Link, Singapore 039393
Opening Hours:11AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6238 7490
Other outlets can be found here.
2. Shabu Sai - buffet from $12.99
For those with an endless pit for a stomach, hit up Shabu Sai with your best buds for an affordable hot pot buffet.
Image credit: @markamura
Decked in traditional Japanese decor - including cute wooden planks as ingredient labels - this restaurant brings you a true Japanese experience, sans the flight tickets.
Image credit: @dreyethereda_music
Prices vary across their 8 outlets islandwide, but for the most wallet-friendly deal, head down to their East Point branch for a lunch buffet from $12.99! You can also top up an additional $1.99 for access to their free-flow soft serve and drinks bar.
Lunch: from $12.99 on weekdays, from $19.99 on weekends
Dinner: from $22.99 on weekdays, from $24.90 on weekends
Address: Eastpoint Mall #03-06, 3 Simei Street 6, 528833
Opening Hours:11.30AM - 5PM (lunch), 5PM - 10PM (dinner), Daily
Telephone: 6636 3121
3. Hifumi - unlimited appetisers with every main ordered
Take all your diet plans and throw them out the window ‘cuz Hifumi gives you an appetiser buffet with purchase of any main dish (from $14.90).
Image credit: Eatbook
There are over 12 free-flow sides available that vary monthly, with the exception of all-time favourites like cheese fondue and takoyaki. Check out their Facebook page for the monthly-updated list of appetisers.
Image credit: @yeastmonster
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-106A, Marina Square, Singapore 039594
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30AM - 3PM, 5PM - 10PM | Saturday – Sunday 11:30AM - 10PM
Telephone: 6337 4721
4. Keisuke Tokyo - crab and fish stock ramen
Ramen is arguably the best part of Japanese cuisine, and when the craving for it hits, make a beeline for Keisuke Tokyo where they serve ramen oh-so-right.
Image credit: @hiroki_kawai1009
Search ‘em up on Instagram and your screen will be filled with the sight of springy yellow noodles, tender cha shu and gooey onsen eggs in various broths. If you can't decide on what to feast on, the crowd favourites here are the Crab Stock Ramen (from $13.90) and Niboshi Ramen, aka Japanese Dried Fish Stock Ramen (from $13.90). The latter is a rare flavour to find in Singapore!
P.S. Keisuke Tokyo is also home to the limited edition Ba Kut Teh Ramen. Keep your eyes peeled on the restaurant’s Facebook page for its return!
Address: #02-391/392 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983
Opening Hours:Monday - Friday 11.30AM - 3PM, 5PM - 10PM | Saturday - Sunday 11.30AM - 10PM
Telephone: 6337 7919
5. Kabe No Ana - the original Japanese pasta restaurant
Kabe No Ana is reportedly the OG Japanese spaghetti restaurant, claiming to be the first-ever eatery to fuse Italian spaghetti with Japanese flavours back in 1953 in Japan. And mentaiko pasta isn’t a recent fad either - they’ve had that cooking since 1967.
Image credit: @kabenoana.sg
Make sure to try their springy wafu pasta, made from mentaiko and natto (fermented soybeans).
Image credit: @niceornotah
While all their menu items are well liked, the most highly raved dish in this restaurant is their thick and creamy Mentaiko Carbonara ($13.90) topped with bacon, spicy cod roe sauce and an irresistible, wobbly poached egg.
Kabe No Ana
Address: NEX #B1-80 (within Shokutsu Ten Japanese Food Street), 23 Serangoon Central, Singapore 556083
Opening Hours: 11AM - 10PM (Daily)
Telephone: 6634 8024
6. Ramen Keisuke Lobster King - lobster bisque-inspired ramen broth
Say konnichiwa to Lobster King, where you’ll get quality fusion ramen at a steal. Taking inspiration from French lobster bisque, founder Keisuke Takeda uses rock lobsters imported all the way from France and simmers them for 6 to 12 hours to create 4 different types of broths.
Image credit: @hungryandalilpoor
To get the full kick, dive straight into their Lobster Broth Ramen (Rich Soup) ($14.90) or their Miso Lobster Broth Ramen ($14.90). Both come with a rich, lip-smacking broth, springy ramen, tender cha shu, and crunchy bamboo shoots.
Located right in the middle of Clarke Quay, Lobster King is a dinner or supper spot that only opens from 6PM-5AM daily. Guess you can say that the broth here adds to the list of things you need to chug, chug, chug at the nightlife location!
Ramen Keisuke Lobster King
Address: Clarke Quay – 3C River Valley Road #01-07 The Cannery, Singapore 179022
Opening Hours: 6PM - 5:00AM, daily
Telephone: 6255 2928
7. Men-ichi Express - Hokkaido soup curry ramen
If your Insta-feed is filled with images of Japan this holiday season, say no to #fomo and take your taste buds on a trip to Hokkaido with Men-ichi Express.
Image credit: @menichi.sg
Japan might have got the art of curry down pat - but Hokkaido is home to the lesser known soup curry variety. If you’d like to give it a try, gobble down a bowl of Curry Char Siew Tonkotsu Ramen ($11.90), which comes topped with corn and a gooey onsen egg.
For those who don’t like spicy food, there’s regular ramen served here as well, priced from $8.90 onwards. Check out their menu here.
Address: Tampines 1 #B1-07 (within Kuriya Japanese Market Yokocho), 10 Tampines Central 1, Singapore 529536
Opening Hours:11AM - 10PM daily
Telephone: 6444 6601
Regular Men-ichi outlets can be found at NEX, Jurong Point and Hillion Mall.
8. Gyoza King - crisp gyozas filled with ramen broth
If you see a small restaurant along Tanjong Pagar with a really long line out front, it’s probably Gyoza King.
Image credit: @wiselywee
Unlike your usual gyozas, each of the 3 types of gyozas here - pork, chicken, and prawn - are filled with different ramen broths for extra flavour.
A gyoza set meal is priced from $13.90 and comprises of 5 juicy, pan-fried gyozas, 2 side dishes, soup, Koshihikari rice and free marinated bean sprouts and pickles.
Address: 1 Tras Link #01-15 Orchid Hotel Singapore 078867
Opening Hours:11.30AM - 2.30PM, 6PM - 10.30PM
Telephone: 6604 6674
9. Tokyo Eater - pop-up restaurant with different menu every 6 months
Heads up North-Easties, here is a little gem especially for you. Located in NEX, Serangoon, Tokyo Eater is a pop-up concept restaurant that brings something fresh to the table every half a year.
Image credit: Tokyo Eater
From now till approximately March next year, they’ll be serving Chicken Karaage set meals at $8.90/4pcs and $10.90/6pcs. Each set comes with a carb, a side, and juicy karaage in original, garlic, or spicy.
Address: 23 Serangoon Central, #B1-80 NEX, Singapore 556083
Opening Hours:11AM - 10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6634 7437
10. Ginzushi - chunky bara chirashi don
For some sashimi action, head to Ginzushi, known for their Bara Chirashi Don ($14.80).
Image credit: @shokutsuten
Although the portion is a tad smaller than usual, the ingredients here are fresh and delectable, comprising of chunky salmon, tuna, amberjack, and sweet tamago.
Address: 1 Jurong West Central 2, #B1-49 Jurong Point, Singapore 648886
Opening Hours:11AM - 10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6255 5469
Eat and win a trip for 2 with NETS IT!
After chowing down on all this good grub, make sure you use NETS to pay in order to stand a chance to win $2,000 worth of travel vouchers that can be used for both flight and accommodation!
Image credit: NETS
The above 10 stores are among more than 80 participating F&B merchants islandwide, and these include your everyday fast food restaurants and food kiosks like McDonalds, Gong Cha, Old Chang Kee and many more. Find the full list of participating merchants here.
From now till 14th January 2019, all you need to do is spend a minimum of $20 or $50 at the above selected F&B merchants with NETS, and you’ll be eligible to participate.
To participate, simply:
- Make your payment with NETS
- SMS a picture of your NETS receipt to 8180 1144 along with the following details: “FnB <space> Transaction Date (DDMMYY) <space> Amount Spent” E.g. FnB 151018 $88
- With each complete submission, you’ll be awarded one chance at the lucky draw. Here’s the best part: there are no limits to the number of submissions you can make - so feast away!
Image credit: NETS
If you aren’t that much of a foodie, there are also other prizes to be won by spending with NETS at minimarts and healthcare providers.
This post was brought to you by NETS.