Watami Japanese Restaurant
Watami’s uniquness lies not only in its food and originality in its dishes, the “Watami way of service”, the dedication towards the provision of a comfortable dining environment to people of all ages is what draws crowds to us. Watami is the original creator of the “Ishokuya” dining concept in Japan, one that features the delights of modern Japanese cuisine, which include Watami’s original dishes and signature beverages.
The food wasn’t cheap either and I paid $20+ for my dinner that night. I won’t recommend the place as the same $20 can get a decent bowl of Japanese Bento/ Don from other restaurants.
The ambience of this restaurant is definitely one I will not forget. The bright red and stylised interoir certainly caught my attention the moment I stepped in, the decorations and design of the place truly feels authentic and sucks you into the atmosphere of Japanese culture. The service crew are all very much polite and cheerful, again something of a Japanese thing which I am not so accustomed with.
What truly stands out in this restaurant is the food and how it is presented. The menu has a variety of japanese dishes and served in odd fashion which I do fancy. Stone pot, cold dishes and raw food are delicacies I enjoyed and will definitely try again. The price is also fairly reasonable considering the amount of items a set provides.
All in all, I have to say I enjoyed the food and ambience Watami provided and I will most certainly visit it again.
Nonetheless, I couldn't resist the temptation to try out a new Japanese restaurant (new to me at least since I've never tried the food there before) and managed to find time to have lunch here on one of the weekends at Orchard Ion with my gf. We ordered the $45 set for 2 and the dish which left the deepest impression in me was actually the salad. Perhaps it was due to me having to finish the whole salad myself (my gf wasn't a fan of salads and doesn't take mayonnaise at all) but I recalled the portion to be really big. Luckily for me, the greens were fresh and crunchy, giving me a reason to stuff myself with that.
While the food is generally good, though I wouldn't deem them as spectacular, the excellent service from the crew won me over. The seating and tables at Watami were rather low and the service staff never failed to bend down to speak to me on equal height, easing me from having to lift me head up everything I needed something. Also, when they do serve the food, they actually take the trouble to kneel and serve the food, much like an authentic restaurant in Japan and something that I find value in.
First of all let's talk about the set meal. They have 2 different set meal for 2, which is priced at $59 and $69, and set meal for 4 at $129. The set meal for 2 is value for money and the serving is enough for 3 persons. You can choose from a varieties of mains, hot pots, side dishes and additional. It comes with french fries, drinks and caesar salad. We all agreed that the french fries are delicious.
I had the salmon sashimi don which is topped with slices of salmon, fish roe and a special sauce. Overall it looks appetizing and is delightful for my palate.
The service staffs are friendly and helpful but short-handed. Maybe the restaurant should consider increasing the number of staff during peak hours.
I like eating their food here which is western-japanese, I feel. I really enjoyed their cheese gratin which was baked mochi. This was really different from the traditional way mochi is served and I must say it is rather good! I also like their hot plate katsu (fried pork chop) which was served with a watery egg, just how I like it. The breaded meat was really tender and crispy, with their special sauce. It is a little salty, but this is alleviated by eating with rice. Their prices are mid-range as well, suitable for students on a day out.
We were spoiled for choices as there was way too many things on the menu. Watami serves Japanese cuisine, ranging from bentos to ramen to sashimi. It took us a long time before we could finally decide what to eat. I must say that their service is top notched. Not only are they well dressed, they are warm, attentive and helpful at the same time. The food wasn't too bad too. The salmon sashimi was fresh, and the portion was just right for 4 girls to share as an appetizer. I ordered a pork katsu with egg which came in a small pot with a fire underneath to keep the food warm. It was delicious!
We now know why people queue to dine at Watami. I am sure we will be back there again!
The tuna sushi was good but the main courses were normal and the tempura actually came much later after my brother had finished the udon - promptness was not there for that although the other dishes came quite quickly. It was about 7pm and thus the restaurant was crowded.
Personally I liked the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream the best. The chocolate brownie exceeded expectations for a Japanese restaurant. Service was good - the staff were friendly. I spent about $60 for the 2 of us which is alright for a Japanese restaurant.
Overall, a normal Japanese restaurant that Singaporeans will visit.
Watami can be on the slightly pricey side, though I guess all Japanese restaurants cost about the same. Their soup base for their ramens is really fragrant, without it being too oily. The Cha Shu was cooked to perfection - the fatty part wasn't too soft, and the leaner part wasn't too dry. The noodles taste homemade, unlike some restaurants' which taste like Maggie Mee. What caught my attention and guarantee my return visit was the dessert I tried, Matcha Azuki Crepe. Soft crepes with Matcha Ice Cream and Whipped Cream, with Azuki Red Beans at the side. It's like a mini Heaven of asian western fusion. The Matcha Ice Cream made the whole dessert come of as refreshing and not too sickeningly sweet, it was essentially perfect.
Watami definitely makes it to the top few of my to-go to places for Japanese food. Not only are the standard ramens delicious, its desserts prove to deliver as well.
We went to the outlet at Ion that normally had a very long queue outside by the evening but that day, we were the first in queue as there were nobody queuing. We ordered a set meal and an ala carte dish because since it is just the 2 of us and 1 set meal has so many dishes, we can try not to embarrass ourselves in front of each other by gouging.
There is bibimbap. In a Japanese restaurant. Bi-bim-bap. I was stun and then surprised followed by happy because that was my first time trying a bibimbap! And the staff serving us was friendly to help us stir the rice and portion it for us. Needless to say, that dinner was one of my happier times for that year. I was fed so full!