Its been a very long time since I went back to Himawari Japanese Buffet Restaurant. Back then the restaurants were at its Neil Road and Mt Faber locations catering an excellent spread of Japanese a-la-carte dishes in its buffet. The sashimi, fresh and thick, and the tempura which I remember vividly for having a good crisp batter with a light yet deep savoury taste within. Its all good food, and the simple Japanese restaurant setting simply sets the scene.
The restaurants have since moved to Alexandra Road and Changi Business Park, and having recently discovered the place again a few months back, I was keen to make a return trip to one of my favourite Japanese buffets since my first adventure into the place. This post is also me saying goodbye Singapore for a week, as I’ll be heading to Tohoku, Japan for a Cultural Exchange Immersion under the Youth Ambassadors for Tohoku Programme organised by the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) and Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry(Singapore). It’ll be an 8 day affair where 100 university students will witness the recovery efforts on the ground, and also experience that many of Japan’s popular places to visit are back in action.
Me with the rest of the Students from Group A Team 3. Photo Credits : Ngo Bang Lin
It will be an exchange of cultures as all the students will get to interact with students from the Tohoku and Tokyo University, as well as partaking in the Tanabata festival (Japanese Star Festival) in Sendai. I believe that there will be many experiences to be gained, and through the short trip, I’ll try my best to post some pictures online for all to share with.
But for a Japan experience in Singapore, I think the closest one can get to is its food. After all, Japanese food really is a culture by itself, and one that many will I believe, love to appreciate.
Himawari’s main show in addition to its spread of a la carte dishes on the buffet menu is the inclusion of a Shabu Shabu. The Japanese Hot Pot is served as a bubbling soup base of varied vegetables with sides of thinly sliced beef to cook with.
The beef, fresh and good, is just marvelous to cook with. Pick it up, give a 5-6 second swirl in the hot soup, and then dip it with the sauces for a full explosion of flavours. Mmmm.
The sauces of sesame, chilli, and soy (If I am not wrong). Still, if the clear tasting Shabu Shabu is not your cup of soup, one can also opt for the Sukiyaki Base (which is much sweeter than the savoury shabu shabu).
For the spread of Sashimi Moriwase, the sashimi is sliced thickly allowing guests to enjoy the meatiness and sometimes oiliness of the fish in each bite. I really appreciated the Yellowtail and Salmon cuts as its texture is like butter on a hot pan, with minimal bite required to enjoy the delicacy.
And for the A La Carte dishes to come, I’ll let the pictures do the talking of tickling your stomach.
Agedashi Tofu, Teriyaki Cod
Deep Fried Soft Sheel Crab, Unagi Tomoji Hot Plate
Tempura Moriwase (Prawn, Pumpkin, Eggplant, Mushroom)
Shishamo, Grilled Salmon Head
And yes!!! A Japanese Buffet that actually has Maguro Natto!!. Maybe i’ve yet to come across one, but I greatly enjoyed this. I think I ordered 4 servings. Of course its acquired, but you should really try it.
Handrolls, Grilled Sanma
Teba Karage (Superb), Ebi Tempura
Over the counter dining is available for a la carte guests
Himawari Japanese Restaurant is still a great place to visit, though I think the shine from its previous past outlet at Neil Road might have lost its lustre a little bit. The spread is there, the dishes are good, but I still feel it could be better. Maybe its because I didn’t get to see the charming smile of the director Mr Yoichi Nakaoka as I heard he is at the Alexandra branch, who somehow seems to be able to place a warm personal touch into the food he serves. Its locality at Changi Business Park is also seclusive, making up for its exclusivity, but for the lengths to revisit a memorable Japanese restaurant, I’ll do it! And maybe this time round, to Alexandra I go!
|Himawari Japanese Restaurant
1 Changi Business Park Crescnet
Tel : 6834 3313
Alexandra Branch :
Sun – Wed & PH Lunch: $34.80++