Hello Arigato @ Upper Thomson Road – New Japanese-Inspired Cafe with Thicc Japanese Sandos

Japanese sandos seem to be in vogue these days, with cafes and restaurants alike offering their take on the popular convenience store snack. One such place, Hello Arigato, recently opened its doors along Upper Thomson Road

hello-arigato

Opened by the team behind hipster stalwart The Refinery, Hello Arigato is already seeing snaking queues for its thick sandos and Japanese-inspired treats. 

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Dosukoi x Donpachi Sake Bar @ Cuppage Plaza, Somerset – Hole-in-the-Wall Japanese Bar and the New Home of Fuwa Fuwa Kakigori

Every so often, you’ll stumble on a hidden gem that you would want to keep to yourself, as your secret go-to spot for your favourite food or drink. While I was admittedly a little hesitant to put this accidental new find of mine in the spotlight, sharing is caring. 

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my new favourite Japanese izakaya in Singapore: Dosukoi x Donpachi

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Tucked away in the basement of Cuppage Plaza (also affectionately known as Little Japan), away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road, Dosukoi x Donpachi is a cozy hangout spot that looks to be run by a husband-and-wife team. The izakaya is home to an extensive line of homemade umeshu that is prominently displayed at the counter. 

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Konjiki Hototogisu Singapore @ Great World, Kim Seang Promenade – Michellin-Starred Ramen From Tokyo with Exclusive Oyster Ramen

Japanese food lovers are incredibly privileged it seems, with multiple Japan-based food brands setting up overseas outposts in our country. Not that I’m complaining! 

Opened in 2006 by Chef Atsushi, Konjiki Hototogisu has grown tremendously, from a humble eight-seater stall in Shibuya, to a One Michelin Starred brand in 2019 and 2020 after attaining the Tokyo Michelin Bib Gourmand title four years in a row. 

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The Bar Kakure @ Scotts Road, Newton – 5-Course Omakase Dinner at $98++, Curated by Chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto

The Bar Kakure, which was soft-launched a month ago, has a couple of great things going for it. For one, it is helmed by a seasoned Japanese bartender, Kazuhiro Chii of Waku Ghin fame. For another, it is currently offering an exquisite 5-Course Omakase Dinner at an irresistible $95++

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Occupying the upper level of 29 Scotts Road, above omakase fine dining restaurant Ki-Sho, The Bar Kakure is an intimate 15-seater bar that boasts bespoke cocktails and limited edition sakes and brews from Japan. The decor is a flawless blend of East and West. 

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When in Shiga: 7 Local Delicacies to Eat Your Way Around Shiga, Home to Japan’s Largest Inland Lake

We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.

Though overlooked by travellers in favour of her more famous neighbour, Kyoto, Shiga 滋賀県 also has her own undiscovered charms to offer. Aside from being home to Japan’s largest inland lake, Lake Biwa, Shiga also presents a bevy of culinary treasures, many of them exclusive to this humble and peaceful prefecture.

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If you’re taking a trip off the beaten track, here are some of Shiga’s local delicacies to feast on!

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Esora’s Katsu Sandos – Delectable Japanese-Style Sandwiches for Takeaway and Delivery for 1 More Week

Mention the word “katsu”, and the first thing that comes to mind are the delectable, deep-fried pork and beef cutlets slapped between two slabs of bread, sold in trios at Japanese convenience stores and takeaway counters.

Little do most non-Japanese know, that “katsu” is also the Japanese word for “victorious”. A fitting name for Esora’s mission, as it navigates these trying times of no dine-in with a limited-time menu of Japanese-style sandwiches! 

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Kakurega The Lair @ Smith Street, Chinatown – Intimate Izakaya with Delectable Japanese Bar Bites and Premium Sake

In the  mood for some tipple after your visit to ChinatownKakurega The Lair is a new casual Japanese sake bar that opened its doors in December 2020. 

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The 50-seater bar spans three levels in the heart of Chinatown, along Smith Street. Tables are spaced relatively far apart from one another, guaranteeing you a cozy, intimate experience consisting of the twin pleasures of sake and yakitori. The dim lighting and wood-themed furniture adds to its inviting atmosphere. 

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