ION Orchard #B3-23
2 Orchard Turn
Open from : 10am – 10pm
Tel : 6509 9366
Good & Sumptuous casual Japanese cuisine served at affordable prices in the Singaporean Prime Shopping District.
Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant launched its first Singapore flagship restaurant in ION Orchard and with over 600 outlets in Japan alone, I reckoned that it must be a buzz worth visiting. Being termed a Japanese Casual Restaurant, prices were generally affordable and while some were a little pricey, the quality of food I tasted were exceptional and worth it.
For starters, I ordered the Sashimi Supreme with 5 varieties of the exquisite fresh goodness from the sea. Consisting of Sweet Shrimp, Tuna, Salmon, Scallops and Surf Clams, the dish was presented in a huge bowl with an icy bottom.
J2K3 Award Winner : Hotate Sashimi
I was left the most impressed with the scallops for its very soft, juicy and sweet texture. It was delicate and refreshing giving rise to a melt in the mouth feeling. Simply Gorgeous.
The Tuna was also not to be trifled with. It arrived firm and slightly translucent with its flesh sparkling in the light and it went very well with the freshly grated Wasabi and soy sauce. For a price at $19.80 for the Sashimi Supreme, it was quality at a price well worth it.
I was also tempted by the menu to order the Irodori Sushi Grandeur ($10.80). The variety of Scallop, Seafood Salmon and Eel was a feast and I was not disappointed when the dish arrived. Beautifully presented and decorated, it was a work of art almost a shame to be eaten.
Irodori Sushi Grandeur : Eel, Scallop and Seafood Salmon
Each sushi was uniquely presented in a good contrast of colours and taste to whet anyone’s appetite. I found that each bite revealed the juicy and refreshing topping of the seafood be it either the eel, lightly grilled scallops or salmon. And pair it off with the crunchy and sweet cucumbers wrapped within the rice together with the light garnish of sesame seed, it was sushi with a delightful experience.
The Kaisen Cream Pizza came and it wowed my eyes. One thing I like about Japanese Pizza is its thin crust which is enough to give you that crunch while accompanying the toppings and not leaving you feeling stuffed.
Arriving hot, each slice was creamy to the bite. I literally could not hold the ingredients of scallops and prawns on the pizza though. They kept dropping onto my plate – a plausible sign of a generous spread of toppings.
Priced at $9.80, it is enough for at least 3 people. A very good choice to order with a crowd.
Wanting to be fair to the poultry addicts out there (namely me myself as well), I ordered the Crispy Teba Karage (Crispy Chicken Wings). For $3.80, out came 3 pieces which was perfectly deep fried to a crispy golden brown and smothered lightly on the top with sauce and a garnish of spring onions. I must say, a definite favourite for kids and the young at heart.
The Saba Hiraki (Grilled Mackerel) was recommended to me by the outlet’s manager and it was good! The flesh was firm and left with enough juiciness to give an outburst of mackerel flavour.
I typically enjoyed this dish without feeling too much of being an indulgent at the end. Very nicely done and at $9.80 though a little pricey, it was lovely.
The Ika Kori Yaki (Grilled Crunchy Squid Soft Bone : $5.80) is a new Japanese dish for me. The squid as the name suggest was crunchy with a reminiscence of the soft cartilage from poultries. Dip it with the seasoned mayonnaise and it reveal the excellent combination. Though one thing for certain, a little more flavour would have been better.
The Tompeiyaki, or Omelette with Sliced Pork and Cabbage, looked very attractive on the menu. Being a featured specialty, I knew I had to order it. For $6.80, a large portion was served up and with regards to presentation, I felt that the dish stood on the border of Japanese fusion cuisine with the drizzle of mayonnaise, mustard and terriyaki sauce on the egg itself.
Taste wise, the Tompeiyaki was good but definitely not something for a person to finish alone. Break into the omelette shell and reveal the generous amount of cabbage and pork slices. However, personally, I felt that the pork slices had a deep meaty flavour and fragrance to it so it may not appeal to everyone.
I remember this dish well – the Mentai Cheese Tamago Yaki. This took the longest to arrive and when it did, it failed to impress. For $5.80 it looked like an ordinary omelette stuffed with cheese and bits of cod roe. Nothing special for such an ordinary dish.
Dessert time! And I ordered the Mango and Ichigo Daifuku (Mango & Strawberry Rice Cake). Very exquisite and a sweet savoury combination of flavours! The layer of rice skin which bound the textures in was also soft to the bite and it felt like I was biting into a snowy dessert. $3.80? I simply must order you to have 2 servings and not share =)
The Strawberry Parfait ($5.80) came looking like an ordinary Strawberry sundae and it tasted almost like one if not for the choice of cream and a cornflake base at the bottom. Not too bad but it is definitely an order for those with a sweet tooth.
Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant may yet be the upcoming Japanese foodie kid on the block. Though it serves a limited range of dishes, each one is exquisite in its own way and beautifully crafted. Better still, the prices are also affordable and for a casual yet chic dining experience in the city, it is a restaurant worth a visit or two.