Hifumi Japanese Restaurant Hot
Hifumi Japanese Restaurant serves authentic, traditional Japanese cuisine in a chic, contemporary setting. The restaurant's signature dishes include a variety of tonkatsu selections and udon dishes.
#04-68, Plaza Singapura
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User rating summary from: 11 user(s)
Too much value for money
Hifumi was a gem that I uncovered at Plaza Singapura's new extension. I say gem, because from that moment, I knew that it was one of the restaurants that I would keep coming back to (due to my insistence on eating only at places with "value").
Evidently, the value-for-money factor here is high. With an order of any main course, one has access to an all-you-can-eat appetiser bar. What it contains varies from time to time, but throughout my visits, it has consistently had:
1) Sweet Potato Fries => good if your'e a fan of sweet potato
2) Cheese Fondue Vegetables => really quite cheesy, one can't take too much of this.
3) Matcha Dessert => which was more of a Matcha drink but for Matcha/Green Tea lovers, this is a dealbreaker.
4) Chawanmushi => A staple of Japanese food, though over here a bit light on ingredients and heavy on the egg. Did not stop me from eating a lot of it however - my record stands at 8 Chawanmushis in a single sitting.
As with all buffets/semi-buffets, the value of the experience is what you choose to gain out of it. The food can indeed satisfy one's Japanese cravings, particularly if one is very hungry (which happens to be all the time for some, including me), but don't expect a top-quality meal from Hifumi. None of the individual dishes (or those that I have tried) are worthy of the price tag (around $10~), but collectively, with the presences of the appetiser bar, it is a thoroughly worthwhile experience indeed.
However, a note of caution: don't eat here if you
1) have a very small appetite
2) hate Japanese food
3) are notoriously picky over the quality of the food.
Additionally, I wouldn't advise opting for the all-you-can-drink beverages bar. Although it has coffee/tea/soft drinks, it costs $2.99++ per person and only serves to fill you up more. Not very value-for money, in my opinion.
Otherwise, this place is a sure recommend.
Affordable appetizer buffet
Hifumi got us attracted to their premises thanks to their eat all you can appetizer table. Each main course ordered is entitled to have a go at the appetizer station. The appetizer station consisted of a huge variety of appetizers ranging from soups to salads to chawanmushi and desserts. Free flow drinks (hot/cold) could be added for an additional price.
I took a bit of everything that they had on the appetizer table. The chawanmushi was not bad as it was smooth but slightly diluted. I enjoyed the fried sweet potato crisps that tasted like potato chips. There was a pot of liquid cheese that could be used as a dipping sauce for vegetables like carrots. broccoli etc.
My main course was chicken on hot plate, which was pretty decent too..
Overall, I feel that the eat all you can appetizer station added a huge incentive for diners to dine at Hifumi. They change their spread for the appetizer station occasionally too.
Within the moderate range
I've recently visited Hifumi's outlet at Marina Square in a recent class outing, where we decided to take our lunch. As far as Japanese cuisine in Singapore goes, I have to acknowledge that there is a certain level of standard in this outlet and the fare that it provides.
With main courses going at $10 - $15 which includes access to the appetizer bar, one can further choose to upgrade the set by a few dollars to enjoy the full range of Hifumi's services. I find that though, cold water is enough, and if you are lucky, you could get a tinge of lemon with it from the dispenser.
The appetizer bar though, is the main focus. I remembered taking one of everything, especially the fried tapioca and the warm beancurd dessert available. It is simply much more delightful, in my opinion, as compared to the main course (I ordered a dish of pork with omelete rice, the Japanese name still eludes me), which I do not find as tasty. However, what I have to concede that a meal at Hifumi's is definitely filling and enriching, not to say relatively well worth the money spent.
Worth to go!
The nearest MRT to locate HiFuMi for those living at the northeast region would be Dhoby Ghaut.
Initially, I thought the meals were going to cost a bomb, judging from the setting of the restaurant. To my amazement, the course of meals were approximately $15 only. The menu was clear-cut to the various prices and you can easily reach for an assistant nearby for help in this regard.
Apart from that, there will be free flow of drinks. Also, there is a mini buffet set near the entrance of the restaurant. The food was delicious and not to mention, the service was excellent.
I would definitely re-visit HiFuMi again!
$13-16 for a main course which includes an all-you-can-eat appetisers bar, Hifumi was an attractive option when I first chanced upon it at Marina Square. I did not even have to think twice before settling for it.
Together with my girlfriend, we ordered a pork katsu set and beef sukiyaki set. When our food came, I was kinda disappointed with the portion of the rice. I finished it within a few spoonfuls. My pork katsu was decent; meat was tender and the skin was crispy while her beef sukiyaki's broth was sweet but a little lacking in richness. Overall, the quality of the main course was good, but not fantastic.
Moving on to the appetiser, there wasn't much variety. It had around 8 side dishes for you to choose from, which includes chawan-mushi, red bean soup, rice crackers, potato salad and etc. My favourite would be the chawan- mushi though. Just think about it. Unlimited chawan-mushi! On top of that, there is an add option of free flow drinks which costs around $3. Variety of drinks was sufficient, but I settled for several cups of Ginger Ale-my favourite drink of all time.
At the end of our dinner, I felt 'shiok'. Although the food could have been better, I walked away full and happy. Guess it's what free flow stuff does to people. Overall, I was satisfied with Hifumi. Decent Japanese food with good service, cheap prices and free-flow food makes it a place I will come back to.
Average appetizer bar but substandard mains
I tried Hi Fu Mi at the newly launched part of Marina Sqaure a few days back. There was no queue, although there was quite a large number of customers in the restaurant. My friend suggested we tried it out as response seemed to be good.
I ordered a dish consisting of egg with onion and chicken (13.99++), my friend ordered steak, and a few others in my group ordered tonkatsu. Steak was unappetizing and extremely oily, beware! It came with 2 broccoli, 2 baby carrots, I'm not joking- so you can imagine how small the portion would be. My egg dish was very jelat too. The only positive side was that the appetizer bar was free flow and the soba and chawanmushi garnered a positive response from us.
Overall, an expensive meal that is further unjustified by the substandard and unhealthy mains. I'd advise you to eat somewhere else.
Satisfying and delicious
My first visit to Hifumi was on a Saturday evening with two friends, and we had to queue for about 20 minutes before getting a table. We were really excited to try the all-you-can-eat appetiser bar and immediately went for it once we took our orders. The appetiser buffet was definitely the highlight of the meal, with a huge array of delectable dishes such as soba noodles, fried sweet potato, grilled vegetables, pickled radish with yuzu, root vegetables soup, sweet potato and apple salad, soybeans and the best thing - chawanmushi! Imagine my delight when I saw the tray of steaming hot chawanmushi on display, all there for us to grab as many as we liked.
My friends and I unabashedly had several servings of it! Also, I loved how the pickled radish was well complemented with the zesty taste of the yuzu, making it very refreshing. The grilled pumpkin and eggplant were really and appetising too!
As for the mains, we ordered grilled saba with miso, chicken curry soup and pork ribs in a spicy hotpot. The miso sauce on the saba was a bit too salty for my liking, but the chicken thigh and pork ribs were very tender and all three mains were delicious.
Hifumi is now one of my favourite Japanese restaurants, as it's perfect for big eaters and veggie lovers like me with a buffet of appetisers that filled me up tremendously.
Cheap mains & an appetizer buffet spread!
If I had to sum up my experience at Hifumi in 3 words, they would be wallet-friendly, satisfying, but mediocre. You get what you pay for, so for the fairly cheap bentos & mains that come at $10-$15 with a free flow of appetizers, the food was decently tasty. My friends found the Pork Katsudon/Curry Pork Katsudon awesome though, and one even got a Salmon Don that had generous portions of raw salmon on top of greenish looking rice, which we guessed was seasoned with seaweed and all. I'll probably get this if I go back again next time since it looks the next fairly healthy alternative. I had an oyako don which was alright, although the egg was slightly too salty for my liking!
Now, for the appetizer buffet spread that everyone goes for. Don't expect exceptional items like sashimi and all. Keep your expectations reasonably low and you will be delighted by some of the pretty novel items they had. I pretty much liked the glazed sweet potato sticks! The gyozas they had were alright (you can't exactly go wrong with typically simple gyozas since they were the boiled versions), and of course there was the chawanmushi staple available too! If you're the safe type who doesn't like trying new stuff, just settle with your fav chawanmushi to keep yourself happy :D Other appetizers included a broccoli cheese fondue, pumpkin salad and the like. Green tea soba was available the day we went as well, and my friends went straight for the kill with the soba. Even I who seldom orders soba at Jap places thought it was good.
A place I would recommend if you're realllyyy hungry and looking for something that wouldn't burn a mega huge hole in your wallet! There is always a queue though, so do go early if you can.
Good inexpensive spread
It was a random visit by my friend and I as there was not a single person in queue to the restaurant. Perfect for people like us who really hate queuing. The restaurant had a warm and cozy ambience, and I have to say we were impressed by the spread at the appetizer buffet. Items like chawanmushi, deep-fried sweet potato, cold soba with sesame sauce (reminded me of salsa), fried toufu, rice cracker with gravy, mini potatoes with cheese sauce etc were free-flowing.
The Chicken Oyakoni Set which I ordered tasted homely and perfect for my starving tummy. The Paper Chicken set which we shared wasn't very much to both our liking as the chicken was overcooked and the herb taste was overwhelming. My poor friend who ordered the Katsu Curry Set was close to tears as the dish was surprisingly hot for Japanese curry.
Our total bill came up to $50 odd but we found it to be rather worthwhile!
For low budget goers who want affordable and filling Japanese food!
"Welcome to Hifumi Japanese Restaurant!"
... was what I wanted to hear but instead it was..
"You can only eat for 90 minutes, you okay?"
Hifumi is a wallet-friendly Japanese Restaurants that offers all-you-can-eat appetizer bar when you order any of their set menu.. (kinda reminds me of Ponderosa and Sizzler which have ceased their operations in Singapore..)
Also, you can just pay an additional $2 for free flow of drinks that ranges from soft drinks such as Gingle Ale and Mirinda, to hot beverages such as Mocha, Latte and Green Tea. (See more in the menu on Hifumi's FB page.)
I had Salmon Oyako-jyu Set ($17.99) which was pleasant visually.. the generous portion of salmon and salmon roe had totally covered the box of rice.. I took the first mouthful without any wasabi and soy sauce to find that.. (-_-) the salmon was of room temperature.. the rice does not taste like what I usually have in Japanese restaurants..
The appetizer bar was definitely more star-worthy than the main sets.. Takoyaki and Onion Steak were the latest items introduced about 5 weeks ago.. I don't eat onions so no comments..
- Takoyaki was passable.. alternative meaning that you can really pass on it..
- I really wanted to tabao (take away) Sweet Potato Fries soooo much.. It was fried to crisp and then stirred in sugar syrup and glazed with brown sugar powder.. This dish was super powerful! I could snack on this for 90 minutes..
- Rice Cracker was to be eaten with vegetable gravy.. but the vegetable gravy is not in the picture.. the gravy was cooked with onions, cabbage and carrots.. thickened with starch.. good to have with a bowl of rice.. (^o^)
- Vegetable with Cheese Fondue has vegetables such as broccoli and potatoes.. I took potatoes only.. hahaha.. I'm not an "avid" vegetable lover.. but as all of us know.. anything with cheese just won't go wrong (most of the time)..
- Chawanmushi was nicely done.. to the extent that it surprised me a little.. the silken egg was soft and smooth.. it was so nice that I had 3 of this! besides a cube of mushroom and crabstick.. there was.. a SHRIMP!
- My number one dish: Pumpkin with Walnut Salad.. This was super delicious! The mayonnaise / salad sauce was not too creamy and thick.. so it was just nice.. This was another dish that I want to tabao too!!
- Soba with Sesame dipping sauce was a pretty generous dish to have on an appetiser bar.. especially if it's all-you-can-eat.. I didn't have this but I heard that it was refreshing and nice.. and of course filling too..
- Radish with Minced Chicken tasted healthy.. hahahahaa.. in other words, bland.. like hospital food.. gosh..
- While rubbing the full full tummy, finish the meal with something sweet like Fruit Cocktail! or have a cup of warm Mocha.. *happy*
Now.. for the moment of truth..
Service: BAD! No greetings, no smiles, no courtesy.. The first Japanese restaurant that does not say "Irasshaimase" (Welcome/Please come in).. When I went to pay.. the staff did not talk to me at all.. she was talking to the waiter.. pointed at the amount I had to pay and put her hand out, asking for my payment.. after I handed her my credit card, she left! and asked the other staff to print out the receipt for my signature.. Omg..
Ambience: Spacious.. which was really an important point because there were a lot of space for you to move around to get your food and drinks!
Hygiene: FAIL BIG TIME! They do not use disinfectant spray to wipe the table.. I saw the waiter wiped the table with a cloth and swept the bits of food to the floor and some flew onto the chair.. he did not bother to clean the chair.. it was like that when I was there watching him clearing the tables..
Verdict: Though the service was bad, the hygiene was not up to standard.. I will be back for second visit! because I only spent about $20 per pax and I felt like I had eaten an ala-carte buffet.. Hence, in a way or another.. I don't mind going back again..