Manzoku, Singapore

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Category: Japanese – Smart Casual – Chirashi Sushi Bento, Grilled Items

Yoi Group’s Manzoku on Purvis Street is the new sister to Chikuwa Tei at Mohamed Sultan. While I’ve yet to go to Chikuwa Tei, I’ve heard many good things about it and figured Manzoku would be more of the same. Both restaurants have a pretty similar menu, so I’m not quite sure why they were given different identities, but Manzoku fared well enough to prime me for a visit to Chikuwa Tei.

18 Purvis Street, Singapore 188597, Tel: +65 6734 4436

In January when they first opened their doors, it was a difficult find – the restaurant’s signboard was a plain A4 paper plastered onto its doors reading “MANZOKU” – and many customers got lost en route. It’s almost just opposite from Jai Thai, and when I went in late February, I found that Manzoku had settled in quite well – it now has a beautiful sans serif black lettering above its set of tall wooden doors, and its signature Chinese character running vertically down the middle in a bold, auspicious red.

Damage: $$ – $$$

In spite of its wilfully unfinished interior, Manzoku is in no way a budget or casual eat. The Chirashi Don ($25), however, is of very good value and featured some typically costlier cuts of sashimi. The grilled items are distinctly pricier, and if anything is going to derail the budget, it’ll be these. Our add-on of Unagi was $24, bringing the total to around $43 per person.

To go: Yes, it’s worth trying

Many of us have an undying love for sashimi and chirashi don, and Manzoku is a good place to get your fix, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for a more personal, intimate setting for special occasions. It’s great for a night out with friends and like Chikuwa Tei, it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time as Manzoku is often full.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

We arrived at 7pm in time for our booking and the place was 80% full, with the last few vacant seats under reservation. Stepping in, the ambience was a little unexpected after the polished impression created by the strong (and heavy) double front doors, slightly minimalistic in design. The floor and walls were plain, bare cement. Simple pendant lights dangled from the high ceiling, and the counter was on the right, towards the rear, creating some sort of a cafeteria-but-not-quite setting. By estimate, Manzoku has a seating capacity of about 50.

Having read about the chirashi sushi bento, we homed in on it in the menu, and added on a grilled Unagi as a side dish.

Manzuko Chikuwatei Singapore Japanese Restaurant Food Review Blog Chirashi Don Best SashimiThe Chirashi Sushi  bento featured Salmon, Maguro (tuna), Mekajiki (swordfish, my favorite), and Hamachi (yellowtail) sashimi slices atop Japanese sushi rice. The sashimi was sliced thick, and the swordfish was especially fresh and tasty. The salmon was sliced a bit thinly and the tuna was a bit stringy (perhaps specific to the cut I’d happened to receive), and I very much preferred the taste of the sashimi pieces I’d had on my Mix Bara Kaisen Don at Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya. The little appetiser of cold tofu with cucumber slices and the miso soup which were served with the Chirashi bento were tasty.

The unagi was deliciously prepared. Grilled to perfection with just a slight charring to bring out the smokey flavours and giving rise to a little caramelisation, the unagi was generously lathered in a thick (arguably too thick), sweet-savory teriyaki sauce. I thought the portion was decent for the price of $24, and is something well worth trying if you should visit Manzuko.

Manzuko Chikuwa tei Singapore Japanese Restaurant Food Review Blog Chirashi Best Sashimi Grilled Unagi

Aeon Supermarket, Hokkaido, Japan

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Category: Japanese – Takeout (Everything from sushi to yakitori to bento boxes)

EVERYWHERE

Yeah, I know – who in the world takes a note about a supermarket? But if it’s a Japanese supermarket, I’m going to take note and that’s because there’s usually a food hall, and in that food hall, the food is likely to be Super Awesome.

Damage: Really varies depending on how much you buy because I know you’ll want to try everything, but a meal typically costs $

You can easily get a bento meal with hotate (scallops) or teriyaki salmon at around $6 or $7, or a box of karaage (fried chicken pieces) for maybe $3. They often have bakeries near the entrance too, selling all sorts of little pastries, japanese pancakes (including my favorite dorayaki; a red bean filling stuffed between two small pancakes), etc. At the first Aeon stop, they even had a melon-filled taiyaki, which is a sort of waffle that’s cooked on grill (sometimes in a fish-shape) until golden brown (featured picture).

To go: Yes! Whenever I spot one! 😀

It’s full of delicious treats and the product offerings are never the same at different branches. After that first Aeon stop, I’d gone to each subsequent Aeon eagerly looking for the melon-filled taiyaki but alas, there weren’t any. My advice is if you want to try something, just do it, because you might not be able to find it at another branch.

It’s a great way to go if you don’t have time for a sit-down meal or just want something convenient, or even if you’re looking for a more affordable meal. The standards are high – the Japanese supermarkets are truly like no other – and each time I go into one, I could easily spend hours just browsing the wide selection. I’m not a fan of getting food off the shelf but I’ve had countless good meals just having Supermarket takeout because Japan is just… Japan.

Matcha pancake with azuki red bean hokkaido japan