Established in November 2008 in Singapore, the time when I was sitting for my A-Level papers, Watami has grown to 8 outlets across the island. Offering a multitude of food and drinks in its huge menu, the restaurant actively whips up seasonal dishes every now and then.
I happened to visit the branch at The Central, which have seats overlooking the Singapore River. Pika's advice: You may want to come during lunch hours for their seemingly value-for-money Lunch Menu, comprising a main dish, salad and a beverage of choice.
Carpaccio Moriawase S$19.30
The fact that the opening dish appeared to be half as attractive as what's shown on the menu was pretty disappointing, but it was even more so after finding out that the raw fish slices were of borderline freshness. I guess ponzu (Japanese citrus-based sauce) was one of the key ingredients of the sauce.
Kani Tappuri Cream Croquette S$9.80
Till this very day, I still can't get over the delicious crab cream croquette I had at Hyousetsu no Mon in Hokkaido, Japan. A good attempt was put up by Watami, for their croquettes were nicely crunchy.
There was an adequate amount of crab meat inside. The filling was appetisingly sweet, but it could be creamier. Worchestershire sauce was provided on the side.
Hotate Butter Yaki S$9.80
The grilled scallops were alright, smeared with butter that gave them a pleasant aroma and a savoury taste. The acidity from the lemon wedge provided a nice contrast, further moisturising the scallops at the same time. The mushrooms were dry though.
Tokyo Gyudon S$11.80
The beef rice bowl was the winner of the day. Despite the somewhat disheartening fact that it didn't feature Japanese rice, the beef slices were well-marinated, tender and had an adequate amount of fat. Everything was nicely bound with the poached egg, together with the pickled ginger that lent a fresh accent to the dish.
Ishiyaki Curry Udon S$15.30
Whenever I step into The Central, I'm always reminded of an appetising curry udon (Japanese wheat-flour noodle), but the restaurant serving it has closed down long time ago. The one served at Watami was no match to that. The noodle was of average chewiness, and the curry broth wasn't thick enough. I enjoyed the deep-fried onsen tamago (lit. hot spring egg) though.
Matcha Pudding S$5.30
For dessert, I tried the matcha (Japanese green tea) pudding, which tea powder was said to be flown from Uji in Kyoto, Japan. The fragrance was there, although I'd rather have a slightly more solid texture of the pudding. It was topped with matcha syrup, red bean paste and whipped cream.
Purple Sweet Potato Vanilla Shake S$5.80
A blend of purple sweet potatoes and vanilla ice cream, the thick beverage was adequately sweet. It certainly didn't cause brain freeze, and in fact, I'd prefer to have less ice. Similar to the dessert, it was topped with red bean paste and whipped cream, sans the syrup, of course.
Service was a tad slow, even though my BFF and I came before the dinner crowd stepped in. Nevertheless, the part-time servers were pretty friendly.
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#03-82/83/85/102/108/109 The Central
(Daily: 11.30am - 10.00pm)
(Daily: 11.30am - 10.00pm)
*Prices quoted are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.
Have a nice meal,