Many years ago, when the Japanese craze was exploding into Singapore and I had discovered my love for Japanese food, mom brought me to Nanbantei at Far East Plaza to indulge my jap food craving. We went for lunch because it was way cheaper than dinner and I remember the decor was very unimpressive then – dimly lit with equally dark tables and chairs.
Today, having had to drag myself down to town to run an errand, I ended up hungry and starving at 1.30pm and hence decided to visit the restaurant again since it’s been a very long time since I last ate there.
Boy has it changed… I walked into a buzz of noise, activity and light! The restaurant has been remodeled and the first thing I saw was a huge bar counter where customers can sit around to enjoy their meals while watching the staff prepare the yakitori sticks in front of them. I suspect that there are more tables or private rooms to the back as I saw some people coming out of a corner corridor later on.
Being solo, I was (happily) seated at the bar counter and got the yakitori bento set, which is the restaurant special, and possibly what got them into review books in the first place. From where I was, I had the perfect view of watching the yakitori being grilled and surprisingly, there was no issue of being bothered by the smoke… there was definitely some good ventilation going on there.
For $13.50 (excluding GST and service charge), this bento is really very very value for money. Before I go on to comment about the yakitori, it should be noted that the stewed mushrooms were one of the highlights for me as well. They were very very tasty and went very well with the rice.
On to the yakitori – for the bento, you get chicken with leek, quail eggs, meatballs, asparagus wrapped with bacon and pork rolls. I enjoyed every single one, though I felt that the pork roll yakitori will a bit on the dry side. If I had to pick a favourite, it would definitely be the meatballs.
The set also comes with a miso soup and at the end of it all, you also get served a chilled red bean paste with mochi. Great to find that Nanbantei is still serving good food at very affordable prices. I left a very full and satisfied customer.