Maki-San @ The Cathay


Sushi on conveyor belts. Sushi on naked models. And now, sushi in designer boxes.

Wait, what?

Yup, you heard me right. The world’s favourite food from the Land of the Rising Sun just got a funky makeover at Maki-San, a Japanese-inspired sushi joint that’s riding on Singapore’s newfound love for customisable, DIY bites! 😉


Tucked away in the basement level of The Cathay, Maki-san is an upbeat place that screams “have it your way” from the moment you step in, from the animation that shows customers how to design their, quote unquote, perfect sushi roll or salad, to the step-by-step order forms at the entrance.


As with other DIY Japanese food joints I’ve been to, ordering is a fuss-free affair: one simply has to pick up a pen and order form from the counter, choose their preferred ingredients (depending on the size of the sushi or salad), before paying to get a number card.

Easy as ABC? You bet!

That, and the fact that every roll of sushi or bowl of salad is made fresh on the spot, so that anyone who’s ever dreamed seeing their idea of a perfect sushi or salad come to life doesn’t have to go through the hassle of assembling the ingredients themselves. Who says that fantasies have to be completely unattainable? 😀


For sushi lovers, Maki-san offers two options for customised sushi rolls, namely:

Little San (S$6.90) which has 3 essentials, 1 sprinkle and 1 house sauce

Mega San (S$9.90) which has 5 essentials, 1 special, 1 sprinkle and 1 house sauce.

Essentials are simply the basic ingredients that go into sushi, hence the name! These include plant and animal produce. Sprinkles are tinier bits of ingredients that go into your sushi. House sauces include concoctions like Sweet Thai Chilli and Honey Mustard which give your sushi that extra oomph.

And for those who pick Mega San, there’s that added bonus of a special, an exclusive serving of meat or fish that is not included in the essentials menu. Sweet! 😀

Maki-san also takes customisation to the fullest extent, as their sushi comes with either white or brown rice, and seaweed or modern soy with sesame wrap.

If you’re REALLY hungry, you can always top up extra ingredients from any menu for an added price. Though I’ll be pretty amazed at the amount of ingredients Maki-san can squeeze into one roll! :O

Here’s a closer peek at my very own Melissa-san! 😀


For my Mega San, I picked: sweet corn, avocado, silken tofu, tobiko, tempura enoki mushroom, salmon sushi, bonito, topped with extra virgin olive oil. 😉

I’m surprised at how well the ingredients blended together, and thankfully, no weird looks from the counter staff at my choices! Maybe I’ll be more adventurous on my future tries. 😀

What I’m really excited about, though, was the customised salad that I shared with a friend; I mean, look at the colours!!


Like its sushi, Maki-san offers three options for customised salads:

Little San ($7.90) which has 1 base, 4 essentials, 1 sprinkle and 1 house dressing

Big San ($9.90) which has 1 base, 4 essentials, 2 additionals, 1 sprinkle and 1 house dressing

Mega San (S$11.90) which has 1 base, 4 essentials, 2 additionals, 1 special, 1 sprinkle and 1 house dressing 

Our salad was a safe mixture of carmelized Japanese sweet potato (which are the purple bits), sweet corn, asparagus, silken tofu, avocado, tobiko, salmon sashimi, croutons topped with wasabi mayo.


As you can see, picking the right ingredients means getting an incredible visual orgasm. Our salad resembled a little garden in a bowl and I almost couldn’t bear to break apart that salmon sashimi rose to toss our salad!

Oh, and did I mention that you can choose whether to have your salads tossed for you? 😀Maki-San

Salad lovers can choose from 3 different bases, including mixed  veggie, cold pasta, and healthy brown rice. If you’ve already had a Mega San sushi roll, I’d suggest getting mixed veggie for the base, as the ingredients alone are very filling. 😉 Maki-San


Salad that my other friend had, complete with cold pasta, salmon sashimi and other fried goodies. And yes, salmon sashimi is a definite favourite among the three of us. 😀 Maki-San

With over 80 ingredients to choose from, diners would be especially spoilt for choice. Luckily, diners who can’t bear the pain of having choose between one ingredient and another can always opt for Maki-san’s set menu; just look at the wall decor if you’re curious about what goes into your sushi! (available for salads too)


With its pop art decor and customisable menu, Maki-san stands out from the Japanese food scene that’s long been rendered cliche by the appearance of several similar chains in Singapore.

It might not boast the most premium morsels around, but Maki-san does a pretty sweet job of offering yummy, yet affordable and healthy meals in town. 😀 Pop by and share your dream sushi and salad (#makisan on Instagram) at:


2 Handy Road, #B1-17/18, Singapore 229233

Contact: 6737 8772/

Operating Hours: 

Mon-Thur: 11:30 – 21:30

Fri – Sat: 12:00 – 22:00

Sun: 11:30 – 21:30

2 thoughts on “Maki-San @ The Cathay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s