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10 affordable Japanese restaurants that serve food under $15

One of the many perks of living in Singapore is access to great international food options, such as Japanese cuisine. We're home to a plethora of award-winning Japanese restaurants run by highly-skilled chefs. Some come with a hefty price tag - they boast recipes passed on from one generation to the next and the use of premium and hard-to-find ingredients.

Thankfully, there are also affordable Japanese restaurants in town that don't compromise on ingredients or flavour. Here are 10 in Singapore that serve delectable Japanese fare at wallet-friendly prices - that means $15 or less per pax. Itadakimasu!

 

1. District Sushi

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Nestled inside Sunshine Plaza is a quaint little restaurant offering budget-friendly and tasty Japanese cuisine. Their most popular dish is Bara Chirashi Don ($13) comprising a liberal amount of octopus, tuna, salmon, prawn, and ikura (salmon roe). Another notable dish is their Tamago Mentaiyaki Sushi ($6) which is served with torched mentaiko sauce (a creamy sauce of pollock roe and mayonnaise) atop a fluffy egg that adds flavour without detracting from the other ingredients. Furthermore, they have a great variety of sashimi, nigiri sushi and a la carte sides that are below $15. Bonus? There's no GST or service charge!

District Sushi is located at #01-15, Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street, S189652

 

2. Shirokane Tori-Tama

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Yakitori restaurant Shirokane Tori-Tama was featured on Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand list in 2017 - and with good reason! With more than 20 types of skewered chicken bits to choose from, there's definitely something for every palate. Try their Chochin ($6.50), which are underdeveloped eggs attached to the fallopian tube of the chicken. Sounds like something for the adventurous, but if you're going for it, pop the whole bit into your mouth and bite down. The result? An explosion of warm gooey yolk and succulent chicken meat - definitely a must-try. 

For those with an appreciation for offal, have your pick of their skewered organs, such as chicken heart, windpipe, liver, spleen and more, all priced at $3.50 per stick. And for those looking for something more wholesome, try their Toritama Don ($13), which is served with liberal amounts of minced meat, grilled chicken and a poached egg atop a glorious bed of rice. Definitely worth visiting with friends!

Shirokane Tori-Tama is located at #01-02 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street, S237995. Tel: 6386 5680

 

3. The Public Izakaya

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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An Izakaya can be described as an informal Japanese pub for after-work drinking and casual dining. Although alcoholic beverages are their mainstay, Izakayas often pair their drinks with pretty awesome bar grub at affordable prices. The Public Izakaya is one such option – it serves some delicious skewers and Japanese light bites that have been a hit amongst many office workers.

Try their Tori Karaage ($12), where chicken pieces are marinated in soya sauce and deep fried to perfection. With a crispy exterior housing soft and juicy flesh within, this is one of their faves. Squeeze the lemon wedge provided for an additional zesty tang!

The Public Izakaya is located at #01-09 100AM Shopping Mall, 100 Tras Street, S079027. Tel: 6604 9622

 

4. Kanshoku Ramen

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Founded by Singaporeans Melvin Ang and Brendon Leung, Kanshoku Ramen Bar offers really good Japanese Ramn bowls at seriously affordable prices. Their Signature Kanshoku Ramen ($13.90) comes highly recommended by both staff and patrons.

The dish boasts a creamy and medium bodied broth with its ramen cooked just right – not too chewy or soft! If you love Japanese side dishes, try their Gyoza ($6) comprising pork and vegetables, served slightly charred, giving it a crisp texture.

Kanshoku Ramen has several outlets, such as #01-06 Orchard Gateway, 227 Orchard Rd, S238858. Tel: 6384 4770

 

5. Tamoya Udon

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tamoya Udon was founded in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1996 and gained popularity after clinching the title of "Best Udon Maker of Kagawa Prefecture" on a Japanese television show. Here, you'll find an assortment of udon dishes that are not only delicious, but also affordable – all udon dishes are $12.80 and below!

One of the unique selling points of Tamoya is that its udon dishes are made to order, with fresh ingredients imported from Japan. The Ooh-mami Udon ($10.80) is a crowd favourite comprising handmade udon bathed in a rich XO suace and shrimp oil, and is served with Kake soup (a mildly flavoured broth).

Tamoya Udon is located at #01-32 Liang Court, 177 River Valley Rd, S179030. Tel: 6337 0301

 

6. Kanpai Izakaya & Bar

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Nestled within the Lorong Mambong stretch of shophouses at Holland Village, Kanpai Izakaya is popular for its lunch menu and happy hour promotions.

They offer a good variety of popular Japanese dishes from various sushi to Kushiyaki (grilled skewers, from $4.50) to Donburi (rice bowls, from $14), ensuring that there's something for everyone at every budget. Go during lunch from 12pm to 2pm to enjoy 30% off a la carte items!

Kanpai Izakaya & Bar is located at 40 Lorong Mambong, S277695. Tel" 6314 2368

 

7. The Sushi Bar

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Head over to The Sushi Bar for some mouthwatering sushi made with fresh ingredients! Try their made-to-order Soft Shell Crab Roll ($9.90) or their California Maki ($9.90). Both are satisfyingly good and hit the spot. Or take your pick from their selection of sashimi – they serve generous and firm chunks that melt in your mouth!

The Sushi Bar has several outlets, such as $04-28, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd, S228213. Tel: 9653 6464 (SMS reservations only)

 

8. Tanuki Raw

 

No list of affordable Japanese restaurants in Singapore would be complete without mentioning Tanuki Raw. Its outlet at Kapok in National Design Centre is a popular dining spot amongst students from nearby schools! We recommend heading there for lunch, when prices on their most popular dishes are at its lowest.

Our favourite? The Spicy Miso Char Siew Donburi ($13), served with sliced flame-seared spicy miso char siew over Tanuki Raw's mixed rice with sauteed mushroom and onions and topped off with a wobbly onsen egg. 

Tanuki Raw is located at #01-05 National Design Centre, 111 Middle Rd, S188969. Tel: 9035 9398

 

9. Cafe & Meal MUJI

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Intimate and quiet, Cafe & Meal Muji is a great place to dine on healthy and wholesome meals that are pretty and flavourful! We recommend trying their Three-Deli Set ($14.90) where you get to choose two cold deli dishes and one hot deli dish (availability of options vary) paired with a bowl of 16 Grain Rice or White Rice. You can also add a bowl of miso soup or cumin carrot soup!

Cafe & Meal MUJI is located at selected MUJI outlets.

 

10. Sushi Airways

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Quietly tucked away in Baghdad street is Sushi Airways - a quaint airplane-themed Japanese restaurant with great value-for-money lunch sets. Their Salmon Teriyaki Set ($14) features a prototypical bowl of Japanese white rice and salmon dressed in teriyaki sauce - but don't be fooled by its simplicity. The flavours are spot on and complement one another perfectly!

Sushi Airways is located at 20A Baghdad Street, S199659. Tel: 6291 1151

 

Written by Navin Pillay.

 

 

 

 

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