For good quality, takeaway sushi, go to Meidi-Ya at Liang Court | Photo: Celine Asril
For good takeaway sushi
We know, this is technically not a sit-down dining venue, but we can’t ignore the plump quality of the takeaway sushi and sashimi from Singapore’s largest Japanese supermarket. Nor can we ignore how these takeaway boxes have saved many hungry but time-strapped office workers and families in the area. The takeaway sushi sets ($2.50 onwards) are preferred over the bento boxes. Sushi sets come with freshly cut fish laid on big beds of rice, with two packets of soy sauce and wasabi. Yes, it’s non-traditional/typical of Japanese sushi, but the aim is to fill you up. We find the ika (squid) to always be the freshest, being smooth and not sticky. And we can never resist picking up side orders of chuka kurage (seasoned jellyfish, at market pric) and extra slices of sashimi.
Meidi-Ya | Address: 177B River Valley Road, #B1-31/50 Liang Court S179032 | Tel: 63391111 | Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Simple Japanese set meals, vibrant atmosphere
The no-frills teishokus (Japanese set meal with rice and miso soup) and no reservations policy are responsible for the long lines here. Arrive for an early lunch or dinner hour and you’ll find that though most dishes are available on the a la carte menu, it’s the set meals that are value-for-money. Even the simplest sets offer variety: the Kurozu pork set ($18.50) and the charcoal grilled chicken with basil sauce ($16.50) set are delicious, as is the beef hamburger set ($19.50). The rice, miso soup and chawanmushi (steam egg) that go with the sets are refillable too. This restaurant in Orchard Central can be quite vibrant and noisy, so put your earplugs on, or go with your noisiest friends and relatives, because no one is going to give you looks.
Ootoya | Address: #08-12, Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road and Suntec City| Tel: 66816653 | Opening hours: Daily noon-9.30pm
For quality lunch sets
It’s okay if you don’t have the dosh for the omakase (chef’s selection, $280 onwards per person) at Tatsuya, the bento sets also of very good quality, and, in our opinion, offer more value for money. Be it the “Ladies Lunch” set ($26.80) or the regular bento set ($35-$50), they typically feature six elements. “Ladies Lunch” will generally include a potato salad, miso soup, six pieces of sushi, tempura, noodles or rice, and fruit. The regular bentos are more filling: the Sushi bento ($30.90), for example, comes with 14 pieces of sushi, tempura, chawanmushi (steam egg) and fresh fruit. The selection changes according to what comes in from Japan’s Tsukiji and Fukuoka markets. .
Tatsuya | Address: Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road | Tel: 68874598 | Opening hours: Daily noon-3pm, 6.30-11pm