International Sushi Day might be over, but indulge in fresh sushi from our favourite best kept secret sushi joints!
Prepared with vinegared rice and topped with a select variety of ingredients, the beloved sushi’s exquisite taste is what gives the Japanese dish a permanent spot on almost everyone’s list of favourite food. But apart from being the popular dish that it is, sushi’s practical yet lavish qualities serve a double capacity — it’s suited for a quick and easy fix for lunch or an indulgent dinner for a night out. While most price tags for a good sushi meal tend to be pricey, affordable but quality sushi is not that hard to find. With International Sushi Day coming round, this might be the perfect time for you to give these sushi places a try.
Hidden away in the streets of Nankin Row at Outram, the hip sushi joint features a menu that focuses on delivering quality fresh seafood, adding speed and affordability to the mix to accommodate the daily office crowd. Go for its value-for-money Nigiri Sushi sets which come with five pieces of sushi. Prices range from $9++ for a basic but comforting salmon, tuna, sea bream, swordfish and sweet prawn, to $23++, which includes fatty tuna, scallop and striped jack. There’s ala carte sashimi and sushi, sashimi sets and donburi bowls as well.
In the evening, the place transitions into a more relaxed dining space, serving an eight to 10 course omakase (and that means letting the chef decide your dishes) set that includes appetisers, sashimi, teppan, nabe, sushi and dessert, along with a good selection of sake and sochu, if you are in the mood for a more indulgent dinner on your night out. Accommodating to those who want to splurge as well as those who are on a tighter budget all in a single menu, this place has something for everyone at every price range!
At 3 Pickering Street, #01-42,Nankin Row, 048660; tel: 6225 6387. Visit www.kojisushi.com.sg
Affordable, healthy and good quality sushi is served at the Standing Sushi Bar, which has three outlets in Singapore. Inspired by the beloved standing sushi bars in Tokyo, this Japanese restaurant offers great lunch and dinner set meals on top of staple sushi plates one would expect at a typical sushi bar. To start, try the restaurant’s speciality rolls! The All Salmon All the Time ($18) features six salmon sashimi rolls, bundled with cucumber and avocado and seared with salmon and tobiko (flying fish roe) and topped with yuzu mayo to tie in the flavours together. But if you are up for a more interesting combination, the Puff the Dragon ($20) rolls combines prawn tempura with cucumber, grilled eel and tobiko. Their standard sushi rolls are priced from $9 onwards, with flavours such as Salmon Avocado and Softshell Crab.
While it might be akin to a lunch spot for a fuss-free and quick meal, the place prides itself in making the meal an enjoyable one with quality ingredients. One of their newer branches lies in the labyrinth of the Raffles Place area, offering customers a great dining experience in the day and a full bar in the evenings. If you are looking for a good deal, keep an eye out for their daily promotions. Just a heads up, on ‘Traditional Tuesday’, Nigiri Sushi and Sashimi dishes are at 50 per cent off, and sake and beer are priced at $2 and $5 each for lunch and dinner. Now that’s the kind of deals we are talking about!
At 331 North Bridge Road, 01-04 Odeon Towers Singapore, 188720; tel: 6333 1335, and two other outlets. Visit https://standingsushibar.com
It started out as a small sushi place in the obscure depths of Far East Plaza, but The Sushi Bar has found success since, with the opening of two other outlets at Ngee Ann City and Tampines 1. What’s inspiring is back when the budding joint was still a newly opened restaurant, Chef Eugene Heng’s family members juggled between their full-time jobs and helping out at the restaurant after work to keep the restaurant going. Today, the restaurant attracts crowds for lunch and dinner as they serve well-loved dishes such as fresh sushi, sashimi and donburi bowls.
Try the Salmon Aburi sushi roll ($17.90) and Ebi Fry Salmon Aburi sushi roll ($16.90), which are one of the restaurant’s recommended items. Their hand rolls are also served at affordable prices, with options from $3.20 onwards (Far East outlet). Sushis are from $1.80 while a Bara Chirashi Don is $19.90. If you are looking for a place to binge on your favourite sushi dishes without spending a ton, this place might be your best bet!
At 14 Scotts Rd, #04-28, Far East Plaza, 228213; tel: 9653 6464, and two other outlets. Visit https://thesushibar.com.sg
While it might not be the most affordable sushi place on the list, Tomi Sushi features well-curated dishes in lunch bentos sets from $17 onwards. First opened in Niigata in Japan, the restaurant takes pride in serving you genuine Japanese food with their authentic Nigrizushi (Nigri Sushi) course meals, a select variety of à la carte dishes as well as good sake straight from Niigata.
Their Nigiri Sakura lunch set meal includes a platter of Nigri Sushi, accompanied by Tori Karage, a side of salad, Chawanmushi and Miso Soup, all for the price of $28. If you are looking for a place to get a tummy’s worth of good quality sushi, Tomi Sushi might just be your ultimate spot.
At 9 Raffles Blvd, #02-12/13, Millenia Walk, 039596; tel: 62381123, and three other outlets. Visit www.tmisushi.asia/index.html
Photo: Lauren Ong
Tucked away in the basement of Orchard Central, Don Don Donki retails Japanese grocery goods at discounted prices. Amidst the crowded aisles and plethora of signs calling for your attention, the store features some of the best sushi at reasonable prices. With prepacked sets displayed conveniently for you to browse, the place has sushi catered for different desires and preferences, whether you want it seared or raw.
Its best seller is its very own Salmon Nigri Aburi ($9.90), seared with its chef’s very own special terimayo sauce, topped with sesame seeds for heightened fragrance and slightly torched for that extra smoky taste. You can easily make a meal out of your visit to Don Don Donki. Just grab a box of sushi, a bottle of beverage from their fridge and some sweet treats from their dessert aisle and you are good to go.
Don Don Donki is at 181 Orchard Road, B1 & B2, Orchard Central, 238896; tel: 6444 2422, and three other outlets. Visit www.dondondonki.sg/info
Founded in 1996 with over 400 global outlets across Asia, Sushi Express offers more than 80 different selections of sushi — from nigiri to gunkan to sashimi and more — for an affordable price of $1.50++ per plate. They also have limited specials, yummy side dishes and desserts (try its Daifuku mochi, you won’t regret it).
Unique to the Sushi Express chain is its take-out outlets, an extension of its traditional conveyor belt restaurants that are located strategically at transport interchanges and hubs for your convenience. Featuring bento sets of assorted sushi, maki and more, some favourites include the Salmon Duo and the Duo Seafood Special Bento, priced $6 and below.
Sushi Express has several outlets. Visit www.sushiexpress.com.sg/locations
Located at the basement of Liang Court on River Valley Road, this sushi restaurant is one of the more affordable sushi restaurants around the Clarke Quay area. The Japanese joint offers a vast selection of sushi, priced from $1.80 to $6.80 per plate, accompanied by more filling options such as Tempura Udon ($9.60) and Salmon Avocado Salad ($7.60).
While you can’t expect the kind of quality sushi you get from famed Japanese restaurants, you can rely on its reasonably good quality at pocket-friendly prices. The crowds gathering at the sushi joint during lunch hour is a testament to that.
At Basement 1, Liang Court, 177 River Valley Road, 179030; tel: 6337 1022. Visit www.facebook.com/ikeikemaru.sg
A key quality of good sushi is exceptional produce and that is where Tsukiji Sushi Takewaka takes the crown. First opened about three decades ago in the famed Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s biggest wholesale fish and seafood market, the cosy restaurant has close ties to its suppliers, providing you with the freshest seafood you can sink your teeth in. For lunch, their nine-piece Aburi Sushi set ($24.10) comes with assorted seared sushi, featuring seafood wonders such as the Salted Whitefish, Foie Gras and even Horse Mackerel on its well-prepared vinegared sushi rice base.
Better yet, the restaurant offers 50 per cent off their selected sushi sets frequently, allowing you to indulge in, for instance, a $64 Assorted Maguro Sushi Set for just $32, or its Special 11-piece Aburi Sushi set at $24.40 instead of $48.80. To stay in the loop for more discounted deals, check out their Facebook page.
At 435 Orchard Rd #04-43 Wisma Atria, 238877; tel: 6262 3247. Visit www.facebook.com/sushi.takewaka
While it might seem like an unassuming Kopitiam stall upon first impression, the Yokozuna Stall is helmed by Chef Francies Lee of Yokozuna Japanese Restaurant that used to sit at the Bugis area. Francies has almost 18 years of experience in fine Japanese cuisine so you can be sure you’re getting exquisitely made Japanese food under the guise of hawker fare.
Located in the Toa Payoh suburban area, the stall offers budget-friendly sushi platters that are not lacking in taste. Word has it that the Tataki Salmon Roll ($6) is a customer favourite. Topped with smoky slices of salmon on vinegared rice with mayonnaise and sesame seeds sprinkled on top, the dextrously made sushi gives off a myriad of flavours when popped into your mouth. The shop also offers set meals, featuring bento sets such as Beef Curry Bento ($6.80), that comes with beefs skewers atop a classic Japanese curry bowl, and Butter Yakki Seabass Bento ($6.80), that comes with a tasty seabass accompanied by a mix of rice and mashed potatoes sprinkled with flying fish roe. The Yokozuna Stall seems to offer the best of both worlds, giving you bang for your buck with exceptional culinary expertise while offering good value.
At Blk 211 Lor 8 Toa Payoh #01-01, 310211; tel: 9732 8813. Visit www.facebook.com/YokozunaStall
By Lauren Ong, June 2019
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