Everyone probably has heard of this legendary Japanese outfit. It’s tucked away in a tiny space of Orchid Hotel. It’s so small it barely fits 20 diners who are all positioned around the open kitchen, and perhaps a little too close for comfort to the next dinner. You’ve probably also heard about the dinner reservation waiting list that is months long, so it’s a lot easier to decide to head there for lunch on a whim, than it is to head there for dinner.
I loved dining here for lunch! It was such fun. It was raining just before I got there, so it was a breezy day to be queueing, and when you’re chatting with a friend, it isn’t that bad. It’s bustling inside and you’re kept busy the moment you’re seated. We reached out for helpings of salmon stewed in a sweet sauce, together with soft carrots, daikon and root vegetables. The salmon was falling off the bones and made for both a pre- and post- chirashi snack. Oops. Or the other little side dishes on the table work too. Then ice cold green tea was served in a beer mug, which made me feel like I was getting an alcohol fix mid-day. So naughty.
We sat there watching Chef Teppei lovingly assemble each bowl of chirashi, as well as the special bowls of the day. The special consisted of 3 mini bowls – one chirashi, one ikura and negitoro and one whitefish. My friend and I both thought we wouldn’t be full from it, but we watched him heap mountains of toppings atop the small bowl, and were convinced that this was truly bang for one’s buck. I love watching chefs work; I love watching anyone with heart/soul/passion work.
Star of the show – the bara chirashi don! Frankly too salty for me, like my fish had drowned in soy sauce. But the salmon, tuna and scallops were all definitely fresh. And while it was bara-style, they were huge chunks so you could still taste the sashimi quite strongly. The bowl also looks tiny, but both us big eaters were pretty stuffed by the time we got to the end. More than enough sashimi makes for happy tummies. (And maybe we had too much of that salmon appetiser).
The best part of this bowl of chirashi is really the price point. For $17.60 NETT, you’re getting this satisfying sizeable bowl for lunch, all the little side dishes, a drink… and lots of life! I loved the bustle in the place, both from the chefs busy at work and from the diners who all seemed so happy to be there. Even though everyone was cramped up. It’s lively, and a good place to go if you can spare a little more than an hour for lunch.
Teppei Japanese Restaurant
Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11.45am – 3pm / Sat 12.15pm – 3pm / Not available on Sundays
Dinner: 1st seating 6.30pm – 8.20pm / 2nd seating 8.40pm – 11pm / Closed at 11pm everyday and on selected Sundays