Best Mentaiko Dishes In Singapore

 

I love Japanese food, and mentaiko has always topped my list of favourite Japanese ingredients. Yet, whenever I’d excitedly rave on and on about my love for mentaiko, I’m always met with… a blank stare.

Some people have not heard of mentaiko – what is it exactly? This bizarre-sounding ingredient is the marinated roe of pollock and cod. When combined with mayonnaise and butter, it makes an excellent dish of mentaiko pasta. 

If you were wondering what mentaiko tastes like, it’s salty and savoury at the same time. And once you get hooked on the taste, there’s no turning back. Here is a list of 16 mentaiko dishes in Singapore for you to tantalise your taste buds.

 

1. Sakura Ebi Pasta ($17)

 

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Store: Grub
Address: Bishan Park 1, 510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569983
Telephone: +65 64595743
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun, PH- 9am – 4pm, 530pm – 1030pm (closed on Mon and last Tue of every month)

If you’ve been going to Grub, walking all the way through Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in the sweltering heat, just for the churros … There are other hidden gems on their menu, such as the Sakura Ebi Pasta  – sweet, plump prawns tossed with crispy sakura ebi and mentaiko, and served with linguine. 

With a hint of mentaiko, this dish is a refreshing change from your standard tomato or carbonara pasta. Do note that the Sakura Ebi Pasta is only available on the lunch and dinner menus. 

 

2. Mentaiko Fries ($9)

 

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Store: Grub
Address: Bishan Park 1, 510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569983
Telephone: +65 64595743
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun, PH- 9am – 4pm, 530pm – 1030pm (closed on Mon and last Tue of every month)

Take a break from the usual, mainstream truffle fries and check out Grub’s innovative version of Mentaiko Fries instead. Shoestring fries drizzled with mentaiko sauce and topped with nori seaweed, this dish is addictive. Certainly a great start to your meal. And if you dare, try adding the mentaiko sauce into your other dishes as well. 

 

3. Cheese Baked Mentaiko King Prawns

 

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Store: Singapore Seafood Republic
Address: Singapore Seafood Republic, 26 Sentosa Gateway #01-292, Waterfront, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore 098138
Telephone: 6265 6777
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm / 6pm to 11.30pm (Mon – Fri), 5.30pm to 11.30pm (Sat, Sun & PH)

A Japanese take on prawns, these Cheese Baked Mentaiko King Prawns are decadent – succulent king prawns baked with Japanese sea-salted mentaiko and balanced with a cheese blend. Fresh, juicy, and delicious!

 

4. Hae Bee Hiam Mentaiko Capellini ($25.90)

 

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Store: Ujong@Raffles
Address: 328 North Bridge Road,Raffles Hotel Arcade, #01-10, Singapore 188719
Telephone: +65 6635 6502
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm

Hae bee hiam, also known as chilli-fried dried shrimp, takes a mentaiko dish to the next level. With enough spiciness for all chilli fans out there, angel hair pasta is tossed with cream, mentaiko, bacon and hae bee hiam, and topped with sakura ebi-infused butter and crispy lard. Definitely a dish that stands out from the crowd of mentaiko pastas. 

 

5. Mentaiko Pasta ($18)

 

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Store: Five & Dime
Address: 297 River Valley Road. Singapore 238338
Telephone: 9236 5002
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 12pm – 10pm, Friday 12pm – 12am, Saturday 10am – 12am, Sunday 10am – 10pm

Five & Dime restaurant, a two-storey shophouse located along River Valley Road, is most famous for its Mentaiko Pasta. The al-dente pasta is tossed in mentaiko sauce and dolloped with a generous amount of fish cod roe, resulting in a dish which is creamy and bursting with umami, yet not too heavy on the stomach.

As Five & Dime is very popular among the younger crowd, be sure to make reservations or come during off-peak periods!

 

6. Cold Japanese Pasta Tossed with Mentaiko

 

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Store: Kerbside Gourmet
Telephone: 9298 4888
Facebook: facebook.com/kerbsidegourmet

Remember those milo vans back in school? Kerbside Gourmet is Singapore’s very first gourmet food truck which also doubles up as a social enterprise – besides selling restaurant-standard take-away food to the public, every meal sold is matched with free meals for under-privileged children, prepared by retired seniors looking for employment. Plus, a portion of their profits goes to charity! b2ap3_thumbnail_kerbside-gourmet.jpgSource

Kerbside Gourmet believes in fresh, local produce, with large amounts of herbs are used in their cooking for maximum nutrients and antioxidants – and there’s even an “edible garden” on board the cabin! The food varies according to the type of produce available on that day, but Cold Japanese Pasta Tossed with Mentaiko is on their sample menu. Check out their Facebook page to see where they’re headed to next!

 

7. Mentaiko Carbonara Pasta (From $13.90)

 

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Store: Kabe no Ana
Address: Nex, #B1-80, 23 Serangoon Central, Singapore 556083 / Jurong Point, #B1-55, 1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 648886
Telephone: 6634 8024 (Nex) / 6397 0435 (Jurong Point)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm

Did you know that Kabe no Ana means “hole in the wall” in Japanese? Kabe no Ana prides itself as the creator of Japanese-style spaghetti, or wafu. Back when the first Kabe no Ana restaurant opened in Japan in 1953, spaghetti was an unfamiliar dish. Driven to create a cuisine palatable by the locals, founder Takayasu Narimatsu experimented using ingredients such as uni (sea urchin roe). 

Today, Kabe no Ana serves different variations of the standard Mentaiko Pasta, such as Mentaiko Carbonara, Mentaiko with Shrimp & Mushrooms, and Mentaiko Wasabi with Shirasu. Creamy and filling – the servings are huge – their pasta will satisfy any mentaiko fan. 

 

8. Scallop, Squid and Broccoli Mentaiko Pasta (From $5.60)

 

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Store: Tokyo Pasta Mario
Address: Tokyo Pasta Mario, Stall 11, Wisma Atria, Food Republic, 435 Orchard Road
Telephone: 6235 0136
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm

Tokyo Pasta Mario has a rather unexpected location – a food court – yet it’s perfect for the times when you have a group of friends who just can’t make up their minds on where to eat. With seats specially for its patrons, Tokyo Pasta Mario serves a variety of Japanese-style pasta at wallet-friendly prices. 

Their Scallop, Squid and Broccoli Mentaiko Pasta is cooked al-dente, and given a healthy twist with the addition of broccoli.

 

9. Kaki Mentai Mayo Roll ($9.60)

 

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Store: Sushi Tei
Address: 290 Orchard Road #05-04/05 Paragon, Singapore 238859 (and other outlets)
Telephone: 62351771
Opening Hours: 11.30am-10pm

I must admit, this was the very sushi which made me fall head over heels in love with mentaiko. The Kaki Mentai Roll consists of crumbly deep-fried oyster, wrapped in rice and seaweed and generously slathered with mentaiko on top. The contrast between the crispy batter, soft oyster and creamy mentaiko worked wonderfully; whenever I visit Sushi Tei, this is the dish I’d order.

Besides the Kaki Mentai Roll, Sushi Tei serves other mentaiko dishes, such as the Salmon Mentaiyaki (salmon topped with mentaiko) and Ebi Mentai (cooked prawn with mentaiko). Sushi Tei is now my favourite place to satisfy my mentaiko cravings. 

 

10. Scallop Mentaiyaki ($13.90)

 

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Store: The Sushi Bar
Address: 14 Scotts Road ,Far East Plaza #04-28
Telephone: +65 96536464
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 12:30pm – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9pm / Sat 12:30pm – 9pm

Far East Plaza’s hidden gem, The Sushi Bar, has been gaining popularity lately – I’ve even heard of the restaurant being named as ‘the Tim Ho Wan of Japanese cuisine’! If you’re here to satisfy your mentaiko cravings, try the Scallop Mentaiyaki – thinly sliced carpaccio of scallop, dressed lightly in soy sauce and drizzled with mentaiko.The Sushi Bar also whips up other mentaiko dishes, such as the Wafu Spaghetti and Aburi Salmon Roll.

 

11. Melty Mentaiko & Seafood Ragout Vols-au-vents ($12.80)

 

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Store: The Connoisseur Concerto
Telephone: 6737 3317
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday & PH – 8am to 11pm / Friday, Saturday & Eve of PH – 8am to 1.30am

If you’re not in the mood for mentaiko pasta, this show-stopping appetizer of Melty Mentaiko & Seafood Ragout Vols-au-vents will not let your tastebuds down. Crisp and creamy, mentaiko is pipped onto hot seafood ragout in delicate, buttery, puffy pastries, resulting in an explosion of flavours in your mouth.

You can find a list of their outlets here.

 

12. Mentaiko France ($2.40)

 

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Store: Donq
Address: #B2-03, Takashimaya Food Hall, 391 Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872
Opening Hours: 10 am – 9.30pm

Unlike those jaw-breaking, baseball bat-like French baguettes which can actually act as a weapon, Donq’s Mentaiko France is a crusty baguette which is kind to your jaw. The mentaiko is spread in the middle, as well as on the surface of the bread, resulting in a delightful saltiness. Fresh, crispy, and buttery, this is one baguette that you should not shy away from.

 

13. Salmon Mentai Yaki Wazen ($25.90)

 

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Store: Ichiban Sushi
Address: 53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, #02-01 AMK Hub
Telephone: (65) 6555 1617
Opening Hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm

Ichiban Sushi’s Salmon Mentai Yaki Wazen consists of four generous and thick slices of salmon sushi, salmon steak, and a bowl of chawanmushi – yet what distinguishes it from the usual salmon sashimi is the generous mentaiko dressing. With the addition of mentaiko, the salmon and its crispy skin is transformed into a very addictive dish!

 

14. Grilled Scallops with Mentaiko Cheese Sauce ($12.80)

 

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Store: Tampopo
Address: 391B Orchard Road, #B2-33, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Singapore 238872
Telephone: 6235 2318
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm

This dish is dangerously cheesy (literally) – grilled scallops covered with liberal amounts of mentaiko cheese sauce, it is definitely comfort food for any cheese-lover. 

 

15. Mentai Kamo Sushi (From $6.40)

 

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Store: Sakae Sushi
Address: Square 2, #02-85/86/89, 10 Sinaran Drive, Singapore 307506
Telephone: (+65) 63976107
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10:00pm daily

Part of the Mentai Combo, the Mentai Kamo Sushi consists of smoked duck, slathered generously with mentaiko. Bursting with flavour and juicy, this dish is one of a kind. Sakae Sushi also offers other mentai-topped sushi on its menu, such as the Salmon Mentai Sushi.

 

16. Shiok Maki ($16.80)

 

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Store: Koh Grill & Sushi Bar
Address: Wisma Atrium 435 Orchard Road #04-02 Singapore 238877
Telephone: +65 6836 0609
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm daily

Here’s a dish that definitely lives up to its name – one bite, and the only word that’ll manage to escape from your mouth is: “shiok!” Shiok Maki is made up of avocado, aburi salmon and unagi, drizzled with generous amounts of mayonnaise and mentai, and finished off with tobiko. Highly raved about, this dish has been making its rounds on social media, and if you’ve yet to try it, get out of your cave now!

 

More Mentaiko Please!

 

Besides these 16 mentaiko dishes listed here, there are other mentaiko pastas and mentaiko-topped sushi out there – this ingredient is slowly gaining recognition and popularity.

However, if you’re keen on creating your own version of mentaiko pasta, mentaiko itself is not commonly found in supermarkets; an alternative would be to buy mentaiko sauce from NTUC. I’ve not tried it myself, but I’ve heard that spreading mentaiko on toast is delicious. Give it a try!

 

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