Photo: Sushi Tei Facebook page
Dependable joints that roll out food we like, irrespective of which outlet we step into. We bring you the best Japanese chain restaurants - conveyor belt and la carte.
Best sushi rice in town
The menu is a little difficult to navigate, and with the multiple order chits, the entire process can get a little frustrating. But once you get past that, you’re in sushi heaven. There are at least 100 varieties of sushi and sashimi for selection. A must-try is the salmon with soy sauce sushi. At 40 cents a piece, it is one of the best deals in town though these are limited to two pieces per person. The shari (sushi rice) is among the best we have tried, moist but not too starchy. The grilled fish also has a subtle smoky flavour that works well. We also recommend the silky smooth steamed egg, or chawanmushi, with crab ($4.20). The restaurant at Bugis is often full, so if you are determined to get a seat, try the outlets at Ion Orchard or JCube.
Itacho Sushi | Address: 200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction #B1-05; also at Ion Orchard, JCube and Plaza Singapura │ Tel: 63378911 │ Opening hours: Mon–Thu 11am–10pm; Fri-Sat 11am–11pm; Sun 11am–10pm
Colourful and inventive sushi that children will enjoy
One of Singapore’s most popular homegrown brands has recently turned its gaze back to the community after a period of overseas expansion. It is venturing into the heartlands, with newly opened outlets in Serangoon, Bedok and Katong. You might hear the occasional crying child at this family-friendly restaurant, but as a consolation, the prices here are a little kinder to your wallet. Keep children happy with the Dragon Roll ($14) that is shaped like a dragon. Ebi tempura is wrapped in shari and topped with a delectable avocado sauce. We trust they’ll love the Golden Roll ($16) too. This one is drizzled with a tangy mango sauce.
Sushi Tei | Address: 112 East Coast Road, #02-03; also at various other locations │ Tel: 66363833 │ Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–10pm
Good for signature ramen and tonkatsu
Located at hot spots Liang Court and Takashimaya, Tampopo’s winning formula is undoubtedly its black pig shabu ramen ($14.30) and the tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet, $16.80) – two items on which it has made its name. Its sushi does not fare too badly either. We recommend the salmon and kani roll ($14.80) ― think lightly torched fish with crisp cucumbers, balanced with the creamy avocado, soft rice and sweet crab meat. Another all-time favourite is the generous California roll ($9.80) that's large enough to share.
Tampopo| Address: 177 River Valley Road, Liang Court #01-23/24; also at Takashimaya│Tel: 63383186 │ Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–10pm
Authentic handrolls and sushi rice
This Japanese restaurant dates back to the 1950s in Niigata. It started its first restaurant outside Japan in Singapore (Parco Marina Bay in 2010). The secret to its success is its highly-prized Koshihikari rice, which is grown with water from melting ice caps on mountains. This gives plump grains of rice that feature in its sushi and temaki (handrolls). Make a special order for the meaty ebi tempura temaki ($10, it is not on the menu) or deep-fried battered prawn handroll. Got some extra cash to spare? Go for the Tokujyo nigiri sushi set ($59) which includes the top-of-the-range maguro otoro (fatty tuna belly) sushi that will simply melt in your mouth.
Tomi Sushi | Address: 238 Thomson Road, Velocity @ Novena Square, #02-76/77; also at Millenia Walk │Tel: 62552355 │ Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–10.30pm