21 authentic Japanese food places that are not chains to get you into the Nihon spirit

by Vera

So perhaps you’ve already seen our list of authentic Korean restaurants, and probably loved it, which is why you’re back for more. I’ve got you, bestie β€” this time, we’ve rounded up 21 places for authentic Japanese food for those gearing up to jet off as soon as possible, as well as to tide those who are waiting it out through this season.

1. Keria Authentic Japanese Restaurant Cuppage

Photo: Keria Japanese Restaurant/facebook

Keria Authentic Japanese Restaurant is one of the OGs located in Cuppage Plaza, which many Japanese cuisine buffs will know by now, is home to some of Singapore’s best Japanese places. It’s also one of the rare places in Singapore you can get shirako, fish sperm, if you’re up for a new dining experience.

Photo: Keria Japanese Restaurant/facebook

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πŸ“ 5 Koek Rd, Cuppage Plaza, 228796
πŸ•’ 12–1am, 6pm–1am (Mon), 6pm–1am (Tue to Thu), 6pm–3am (Fri), 5pm–12am (Sat), 5pm–11pm (Sun)

2. Orihara Shoten

Photo: @oriharashouten/facebook

Wholly Japanese-owned, Orihara Shoten boasts a quaint, nostalgic shopfront that’s reminiscent of traditional Japanese bars. Here, you can get premium boutique sake β€œJisake” and other exclusive Japanese alcohols and spirits that are hard to reach outside of Japan.

Photo: @oriharashouten/facebook

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πŸ“ 5 Koek Rd, Cuppage Plaza, 228796
πŸ•’ 12–1am, 6pm–1am (Mon), 6pm–1am (Tue to Thu), 6pm–3am (Fri), 5pm–12am (Sat), 5pm–11pm (Sun)

3. Shinzo Japanese Cuisine

Photo: @shinzosingapore/facebook

Shinzo’s menu is split into various curated sets named after quintessential Japanese ingredients and are designed for budgets of all sizes. The Tempura (S$38), Chirashi (S$45), Nigiri (S$68), as well as omakase sets like Take (S$118). But there’s one thing that’s constant β€” the standard is always consistently good.

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πŸ“ 17 Carpenter St, Singapore 059906
πŸ•’ 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

4. Aburiya

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Those looking for quality wagyu beef have come to the right place, because Aburiya can be considered as the authority in Singapore where the premium cuts of beef are concerned. Sourced from a myriad of farmers across Japan, the cuts here are curated and hand-picked to a tee.

Photo: @aburiyasg/instagram

Indulge in wagyu platters starting from as low as S$28, or opt for the a la carte offerings like Gyutoro Don (S$15).

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Robertson Quay Outlet:
πŸ“ 60 Robertson Quay, #01-03 The Quayside, Singapore 238252
πŸ•’ 6pm–11pm (Daily)
Boat Quay Outlet:
πŸ“ 79 Boat Quay, Singapore 049867
πŸ•’ 6pm–11pm (Daily)

5. ShinnSato Japanese Cuisine

Photo: @shinnsatojap.sg/facebook

Backed by resounding reviews, ShinnSato Japanese Cuisine offers an authentic taste of in an unpretentious setting so you’re promised a great time with even better fare.

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πŸ“ 150 Orchard Road, Orchard Plaza, 03-52/53/54, Singapore 238841
πŸ•’ 5pm–10.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

6. Aoki Restaurant

Photo: @aokirestaurantsg/instagram

As part of the Les Amis group, the precedent is already set for Aoki Restaurant‘s standards to be through the roof. At the helm is Owner Chef Kunio Aoki, where this 36-seat restaurant will offer as exquisite fine dining experience in Japanese haute cuisine.

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πŸ“ 1 Scotts Rd, #01-19, Singapore 228208
πŸ•’ 11.30am–1.30pm, 6pm–7.30pm (Tues & Weds, Fri to Sun), 11.30am–1.30pm, 6pm–11pm (Thurs), Closed on Mon

7. Izakaya Nijumaru

Photo: @izakayanijumaruSg/facebook

This cosy izakaya setting at Izakaya Nijumaru can be attributed to the fact that they’re a family-owned restaurant serving hearty bentos and yakitori since 1987. Get an authentic taste of Japan, knock back some wallet-friendly sake, and look out for their daily lunch specials that refresh every week.

Photo: @jlfoodiesg/instagram

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πŸ“ 5 Koek Rd, #02-10/12 Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
πŸ•’ 12pm–2.30pm, 6pm–9.30pm (Mon to Sat), 6pm–9.30pm (Sun)

8. Hanashizuku Japanese Cuisine

Photo: @hanashizukujapcuisne/facebook

You’re in good hands when you dine with the folks at Hanashizuku Japanese Cuisine β€” get great quality fare at reasonable prices in the heart of Japanese food greats.

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πŸ“ 5 Koek Rd, #02-01, Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
πŸ•’ 11.5am–2.30pm, 5.30pm–10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 5.30pm–10.30pm (Sat & Sun)

9. Oishii Ristorante

Photo: Oishii Ristorante/facebook

If you’re not feeling like a whole heavy meal today, you can also get small bites and sharing plates at Oishii Ristorante for a fetching time with friends, colleagues, or family.

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πŸ“ 182 Cecil St, #01-05 Frasers Tower, Singapore 069547
πŸ•’ 11.30am–10.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

10. Seiwaa Okonomiyaki & Teppanyaki Restaurant

Photo: @seiwaa_okonomiyaki_teppanyaki/instagram

Seiwaa Okonomiyaki & Teppanyaki Restaurant is your dependable go-to for when those okonomiyaki cravings hit, and is meant to be eaten straight from the grill so that your meal is still pipping hot as you enjoy it.

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πŸ“ 72 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209400
πŸ•’ 11am–3pm, 5pm–11pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

11. Kappo Shunsui

Photo: @kapposhunsui/facebook

Tucked behind a secret entrance, you probably might not even realise Kappo Shunsui‘s existence unless you’re actually looking for it. But isn’t that what all great places behold β€” a kiss of secrecy and exclusivity to boot.

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πŸ“ 5 Koek Rd, #04-02 Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
πŸ•’ 7pm–11pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon

12. Izakaya Hikari

Photo: Izakaya Hikari/facebook

If you’re here for a good time and not necessarily a fancy one, this homely izakaya lets you wind down at Fortune Centre. Izakaya Hikari promises only the most authentic, hearty, no-frills fare.

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πŸ“ 190 Middle Road, Fortune Centre, #03-01, 188979
πŸ•’ 12pm–2.30pm, 5.30pm–10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 5pm–10.30pm (Sat), Closed on Sun

13. Nogawa Japanese Restaurant

Photo: @nogawasushi/instagram

Lauded as Singapore’s first sushi restaurant since 1978, Nogawa Japanese Restaurant can be thought of as the OG and standard bearer where sushi is concerned in the +65. Chef Yoshio Nogawa has been dubbed the most influential chef in Singapore, and has hosted the likes of late MM Lee Kuan Yew in his restaurant.

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πŸ“ 100 Orchard Rd, #03-25 Concorde Hotel Singapore, Singapore 238840
πŸ•’ 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

14. Shinjuku Restaurant

Photo: @shinjuku.sg/facebook

With 33 years of heritage under their belt, it doesn’t get more authentic than a place that’s literally named after one of Tokyo’s most popular regions. Shinjuku Restaurant‘s menu boasts a diverse selection of sashimi, grilled meats, deep-fried dishes, noodles, rice, dessert, and you can even enjoy them altogether in set meals.

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πŸ“ 5 Koek Rd, #01-01/02 Cuppage Plaza, Singapore 228796
πŸ•’ 11.45am–2.30pm, 5.45pm–11pm (Daily)

15. Chikuyotei Japanese Restaurant

Photo: @chikuyoteisingapore.facebook

Specialising in unagi, Chikuyotei Japanese Restaurant also offers the quintessential Japanese fare kurobuta, tonkatsu, and kaisen. It was also the first unagi restaurant in Japan to receive a Michelin star.

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πŸ“ 207 River Valley Rd, #01-61 UE Square River Wing, Singapore 238275
πŸ•’ 12pm–2.30pm, 6pm–10.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

16. Sushi Ayumu by Masa Ishibashi

Photo: @sushiayumusg/instagram

As Chef Masa’s second outpost outside of Tokyo, Sushi Ayumu is an ode to his years of expertise, and a demonstration of his experience as the executive chef of Ginza Sushi Ichi Tokyo, Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore.

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πŸ“ 333A Orchard Road #04-16 Mandarin Gallery, 238897
πŸ•’ 12pm–3pm, 6.30pm–10.30pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon

17. Kyoaji Dining

Photo: @KyoajiSG/facebook

Kyoaji Dining serves up bentos and set menus that promise satiated diners while at the same time offering a good variety so you’ll get to have a taste of a little bit of everything. They are also running a 1-for-1 omakase set for all DBS/POSB cardholders until the end of the year.

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πŸ“ 111 Somerset Road, 02-05/06, Singapore 238164
πŸ•’ 11.30am–3pm (lunch), 5.30pm–10.30pm (dinner) (Daily)

18. Shinji by Kanesaka

Photo: @shinji_bykanesaka/instagram

Backed by a long list of accolades, Shinji by Kanesaka obtained a Michelin star last year in 2020, and has since managed to defend their title again this year. It features premium quality omakase menus that range across different budgets and offerings.

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St. Regis outlet:
πŸ“ 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
πŸ•’ 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun
Carlton Hotel outlet:
πŸ“ 76 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189558
πŸ•’ 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10.30pm (Mon to Sat), Closed on Sun

19. Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar

Photo: @KappouJapanesesushitapasbar/facebook

Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar is helmed by Chef Aeron Choo, one of Singapore’s youngest female chefs, and is also he first Singaporean who graduated from the prestigious Japan Sushi Instructors Association in Tokyo, Japan. The restaurant only seats 12 diners at the counter, and its menu is a curated omakase that marries traditional Japanese techniques with a touch of modernity.

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πŸ“ 190 Middle Road, 02-10A Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979
πŸ•’ 7pm–11pm (Tue to Sat), Closed on Mon & Sun

20. Shoukouwa Restaurant

Photo: @Shoukouwa/facebook

Here’s another Michelin-approved entry on the list. Shoukouwa Restaurant has retained its two Michelin stars this year and for good reason β€” fare that’s unparalleled and premium.

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πŸ“ 1 Fullerton Road, #02-02A, One Fullerton, Singapore 049213
πŸ•’ 12.15pm–3pm (lunch, Tue to Sat), 6pm–8pm / 8.30pm–10.30pm (dinner, Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon

21. Hashida

Photo: @hashidasingapore/facebook

Hashida by celebrity chef Kenjiro Hashida takes you on a gastronomic journey with fresh, high quality ingredients that have been carefully sourced and curated, and displays great depth of expertise.

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πŸ“ 77 Amoy St, #01-01, Singapore 069896
πŸ•’ 7pm–10.30pm (Tues), 12pm–3pm, 7pm–10.30pm (Wed to Sun)

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