’twas the night before Christmas when Foodie A asked Foodie B if she’d like to go have Christmas makan, and so they made reservations.

Violet Oon only had buffet at a staggering price of $65 per pax (what?) so it Foodie A had to find another solution.

Me: “How about Japanese food? If they are open, that is.”

Casey “Japanese restaurants don’t close on Christmas!”

*calls restaurant*

“Hello? Hi! Are you open tomorrow (25th)?”

Very Japanese Sounding Man: “Yes we are!”

“Are your lunch sets available?”

VJSM: “Yes!”

“Can I make a reservation please? For 4 pax. My name is Evonne.”

VJSM: “E…”

“E-vonne”

VJSM: “E…bo…”

“EEEEEEE-VON”

VJSM: “Okay, E-BON!”

And that’s how I knew we were definitely in for a good meal. Japanese restaurant + japanese waitstaff = 90% of the time, good food!

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The Very Japanese Sounding Man, who is really Japanese lah.

The Very Japanese Sounding Man, who is really Japanese lah.

{ Takumi Tokyo @ Keppel Bay }

#02-01 Marina @ Keppel Bay
Open Daily, Lunch: 12 – 230pm (last order 2pm) | Dinner: 6 – 1030pm (last order 10pm)
Website | Hungrygowhere | Tripadvisor 

Takumi Tokyo offers robatayaki (炉端焼き, slow grilled over hot charcoal), teppanyaki (鉄板焼き, cooked on an iron griddle) and ala carte menu items.

But the draw for this place, would be the express lunch sets which are super value-for-money, and definitely the reason why we were there.

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Located on the 2nd floor of Marina @ Keppel Bay, it offers a view of the waters and yachts but you'll have to sit pretty near the Teppanyaki area for that.

Located on the 2nd floor of Marina @ Keppel Bay, it offers a view of the waters and yachts but you’ll have to sit pretty near the Teppanyaki area for that.

We were seated in a cozy corner, away from the view and smell of the Teppanyaki. The place is well ventilated and you do not leave with a cooked food scent, which I personally dislike.

We were seated in a cozy corner, away from the view and smell of the Teppanyaki. The place is well ventilated and you do not leave with a cooked food scent, which I personally dislike.

The service was prompt and courteous (very typical Japanese) and most of the patrons and waitstaff were Japanese on the day I visited. Tables were swiftly cleaned and disinfected after the departure of every table.

Their set lunches come with a serving of Chawanmushi for you to start with – it was smooth, not too salty and contained bamboo shoots, chicken, ginko nuts and mushroom!

One of the most value for money sets - the Tempura Soba set gives you a good serving of noodles, tempura and even Inari sushi (rice in beancurd skin)!

One of the most value for money sets – the Tempura Soba set at $18 gives you a good serving of noodles, tempura and even Inari sushi (rice in beancurd skin)! A standard Tempura ala carte would already set you back $28, so yes, this was definitely hands down the best lunch set!

Noodles were cooked just nicely, and springy! The waitress was very nice and offered us 2 more dipping bowls when they realized that we were sharing this. That's so nice of them!

Noodles were cooked just nicely, and springy! The waitress was very nice and offered us 2 more dipping bowls when they realized that we were sharing this. That’s so nice of them!

All sets come with Miso soup as well, which had large pieces of wakame <3

All sets come with Miso soup as well, which had large pieces of wakame <3

Pork with Ginger set, $15  (comes with rice on the side) was one of the dishes I was going for - i LOVE PORK! The pork belly slices wasn't overcooked nor was the ginger taste too strong - and also the serving was pretty huge actually!

Teppanyaki Pork with Ginger set, $15 (comes with rice on the side) was one of the dishes I was going for – i LOVE PORK! The pork belly slices wasn’t overcooked nor was the ginger taste too strong – and also the serving was pretty huge actually!

Japanese beef with garlic fried rice, $18. Didn't try this but the other couple finished every single morsel of it.

Japanese beef with garlic fried rice, $18. Didn’t try this but the other couple finished every single morsel of it.

The other couple. Hahaha.

The other couple. Hahaha.

Japanese Beef Steak set, $48. This one belonged to a different section on the menu - it was in the standard lunch menu list, which saw prices between $35 - $55 instead of the $15 sets.   There was another menu with sashimi as well, but that was $80!  The beef was quite nice and well cooked, although it wasn't melt in your mouth spectacular. Size was good for a lady hahaha and OMG there was a slice of SWEET POTATO!

Japanese Beef Steak set, $48.
This one belonged to a different section on the menu – it was in the standard lunch menu list, which saw prices between $35 – $55 instead of the $15 sets.
There was another menu with sashimi as well, but that was $80!
The beef was quite nice and well cooked, although it wasn’t melt in your mouth spectacular. Size was good for a lady hahaha and OMG there was a slice of SWEET POTATO!

All lunch sets came with dessert as well - for the express lunch set, it was fruits, but for my standard lunch set, it was the cutest miniature trio of creme brûlée, a tiny slice of sponge cheesecake and a mini scoop of matcha ice cream! And I forgot to snap a pic before I popped the cheesecake into my mouth.

All lunch sets came with dessert as well – for the express lunch set, it was fruits, but for my standard lunch set, it was the cutest miniature trio of creme brûlée, a tiny slice of sponge cheesecake and a mini scoop of matcha ice cream!
And I forgot to snap a pic before I popped the cheesecake into my mouth.

Had a fantastic time at Takumi, and we'll definitely return again!

Had a fantastic time at Takumi, and we’ll definitely return again!

The Marina @ Keppel Bay also had a nice view and nice blue-green waters.

The Marina @ Keppel Bay also had a nice view and nice blue-green waters.

Le husband <3

Le husband <3

And why would I give up a chance to take an OOTD with this amazing backdrop? ; p Thanks Trish!  GAP Shirt, ZARA shorts & Proenza Schouler bag.

And why would I give up a chance to take an OOTD with this amazing backdrop? ; p Thanks Trish!
GAP Shirt, ZARA shorts & Proenza Schouler bag.

We were almost done with lunch when the boys started asking us what’s for dinner -_-|

We decided on Marusaya, a place in Robertson Quay which serves authentic dashi ramen! Yes, japanese again. Can never get sick of Japanese food!

And we knew this place was authentic because like my experience with Takumi, lol the server couldn’t pronounce Casey’s name again while he was making a reservation. He had to pronounce it 3 times like I did, hahaha! I think we all need Japanese names. 

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{ Marusaya }

86 Robertson Quay | Tel: 6732 0383 | Facebook
Opening hours: Weekdays: 5 to 11pm | Weekends: 11.30am to midnight

 

If you like Japanese food, you might have heard “dashi” thrown here and there – but here, I was better educated on what dashi is, and the essence of dashi!

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You see, Marusaya IS an authentic Japanese restaurant, but unlike others, they do not have an existing shop in Japan before they decided to set up store here. Marusaya’s main business is actually in the making and the export of dashi / bonito and they decided to set up store in Singapore because the founder likes Singapore!

They actually set up a stall previously ago at Lau Pa Sat, but it has since closed down and the Robertson Quay store is the only Marusaya store around – it’s about 2 months old, which explains why I didn’t see it around previously!

Marusaya at Robertson Quay  is located 2 doors away from the more famous Toby's Estate and parking is difficult to find (or you have to walk very far). The best recommendation would be to park at either 1) Miramar hotel which is directly opposite it, 2) Martin Road (where Bochinche is), or 3) public parking outside M Hotel which is about 5 mins walk away.

Marusaya at Robertson Quay is located 2 doors away from the more famous Toby’s Estate and parking is difficult to find (or you have to walk very far). The best recommendation would be to park at either 1) Miramar hotel which is directly opposite it, 2) Martin Road (where Bochinche is), or 3) public parking outside M Hotel which is about 5 mins walk away.

They offer both indoor and outdoor seating

They offer both indoor and outdoor seating (if you really want to look at the brown river water…) and about 5 of their staff are Japanese the day I visited! So expect very polite service, and also some Japlish, hehe.

Dashi is typically made of kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (skipjack tuna), and commonly used as soup stock – over here in Marusaya, they make their food with their very own dashi (not those instant ones!), and noodles are ALL handmade!  What an apt time to be trying Marusaya too, because the hot, MSG-free soup was really welcomed during this cold + rainy season!

They actually slice the bonito into flakes FRESHLY for you - then it is added into your soup after it's been served! Such attention to detail. Only the more traditional and older eateries do this.  Their bonito have been aged for at least 2 years - and they are selling it at $28 for a 3 year old one. Of cos er, you have to purchase the slicer box set for you to actually slice it so thinly. And that costs a whooping $200!

They actually slice the bonito into flakes FRESHLY for you – then it is added into your soup after it’s been served! Such attention to detail. Only the more traditional and older eateries do this.
Their bonito have been aged for at least 2 years – and they are selling it at $28 for a 3 year old one. Of cos er, you have to purchase the slicer box set for you to actually slice it so thinly. And that costs a whooping $200!

Frozen beer for you? The froth is like, always there. XD according to Casey, the texture is interesting!

Frozen beer for you? The froth is like, always there. XD according to Casey, the texture is interesting!

Started with some dashi maki tamago, $12! DA YUMS.

Started with some dashi maki tamago, $12! DA YUMS.

See the bottle on the right? We all thought it was soy sauce. IT ISN'T soya sauce! Okay crap I cannot remember what it is by now (maybe I should take notes next time) but it's also very flavorful and you are supposed to pour this into the daikon (radish), and...

See the bottle on the right? We all thought it was soy sauce. IT ISN’T soya sauce!
Okay crap I cannot remember what it is by now (maybe I should take notes next time) but it’s also very flavorful and you are supposed to pour this into the daikon (radish), and…

eat it like this!  The dashi maki tamago is made with a high concentration of dashi - would have probably been nicer if sweeter, but it tastes really good still!

eat it like this! The dashi maki tamago is made with a high concentration of dashi – would have probably been nicer if sweeter, but it tastes really good still!

Next up on the menu, Gyusuji Dote Ni (japanese braised beef), $18.  It's a really small bowl, but filled with so much meat and Konnyaku bits as well, which I loved!

Next up on the menu, Gyusuji Dote Ni (japanese braised beef), $18.
It’s a really small bowl, but filled with so much meat and Konnyaku bits as well, which I loved!

See how small it is? Hahaha. But the serving size was just nice!

See how small it is? Hahaha. But the serving size was just nice!

Next - Furo Fuki Daikon, $14.  Simmered daikon with minced chicken bits AND some yuzu in the soup.  Did you know that I'm mad about daikon?  I LOVE THIS DISH SO MUCH1

Next – Furo Fuki Daikon, $14.
Simmered daikon with minced chicken bits AND some yuzu in the soup.
Did you know that I’m mad about daikon?
I LOVE THIS DISH SO MUCH!

This is the, uh, Bukkake Udon ($23/$16/$14).  It's grated Yam Root, with half boiled egg and topped off with bonito flakes!

This is the, uh, Bukkake Udon ($23/$16/$14).
It’s grated Yam Root, with half boiled egg and topped off with bonito flakes!

They actually slice the bonito into flakes FRESHLY for you - then it is added into your soup after it's been served! Such attention to detail. Only the more traditional and older eateries do this.  There is a drawer on the bottom, which is where they pull out and serve atop your noodles!

They actually slice the bonito into flakes FRESHLY for you – then it is added into your soup after it’s been served! Such attention to detail. Only the more traditional and older eateries do this.
There is a drawer on the bottom, which is where they pull out and serve atop your noodles!

Tempura Zaru Udon ($28/$20/$17)

Tempura Zaru Udon ($28/$20/$17)

Ramen!

Ramen!

All their noodles come in different sizes – which is great for ladies, isn’t it? Or those who do not want a full lunch!

The menu is still in the midst of fine-tuning, but I did wish that I’d ordered the Pasta instead! That one looks really goooood. I’m definitely going to order that and there will be a next time even though I have to walk quite a bit to get there! (I’m ultimate when it comes to being lazy in walking haha so you know that this is good stuff for me to want to walk there!)

When the tencho (manager!) briefed me about how this store came about and their core business, I was keen to purchase bonito and kelp for making soup – and they do offer that!

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Kombu, Bonito shavings, 4 ingredient powder (kelp, bonito, and I cannot remember what), dashi sauce (for adding flavor to soup, etc). The prices aren’t as incredible as the ones below…

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That, my friend, is the bonito shaving box (box cover, shaving blade, drawer etc) which costs $200. WHAT! In comparison, the bonito is rather reasonable at $28 for a 3-year dried one. *sweatdrops* haha.

The cups in the basket you see – is a set for a Japanese drinking game, as my friend has uncovered!

#BeKuHai – #Japanese #drinking #game. The dice at the bottom dictates which of the cups you drink from. #DrinkingGames #sake #Marusaya

A photo posted by James Tan (@fotomaniac) on

Thank god I found a noodle loving friend, hahahaha!

Thank god I found a noodle loving friend, hahahaha!

Experienced so much good food and good service that it put me in a GREAT mood! And also belly very happy, haha. I’ll definitely be back at these places again, and if you love Japanese food, you really should check these places out! In fact, I’m headed back to Takumi in less than 12 hours at time of writing, with my dad and bro : p

Thank you all for reading, nope this wasn’t a sponsored post and I hope everyone had a great Christmas! <3

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