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Hokkaido Marche is a Japanese gourmet hall located beside Don Don Donki. Initially, I was expecting a hole in my wallet considering its location and the gimmick. It was literally a Little Japan. But surprisingly, the damage was less than S$20. One of the more affordable options in Somerset given its quality.

Donburi Maruya – Japanese Rice Bowls

Donburi Maruya is a famous donburi restaurant from Hokkaido.

My favourite dish out of the entire Hokkaido Marche, the Tamago Don (S$7.5) was a simple dish. Comprising few ingredients- egg, onion and rice- but skillfully executed, it resulted in an umami flavour profile that keeps you on edge with every bite.

However, the Pork Katsu Don (S$11.5) was a letdown. Not only was the pork tough, but there was also a subtle fridge odour.

Yakitori Tsuyoshi – Japanese Rice Bowls with Lunch Promotion

A second rice bowl stall, Yakitori Tsuyoshi, is also famous for their yakitori. They have a lunch set discount which comes with their signature Buta-don Oomori and Fried Chicken Skin.

It was slightly tough to chew on but the flavour compensated. The sauce was light and refreshing which contrasted my expectations of it being a rich and decadent sauce.

The Fried Chicken Skin (S$2.8) is a must-try. Reminiscent of IRVIN’s texture, light and airy, but with a gentler seasoning.

Ajisai – Ramen in Singapore

What Japanese experience is comprehensive without a hot, steamy bowl of ramen. We chose Ajisai, famous for its shio (salt) ramen. The ramens weren’t particularly mindblowing like one would expect from Hokkaido Marche. But for the price, it was passable.

We got the Se’abura (S$13) which is a soy sauce and seafood broth, cooked in pork back fat for a richer flavour. We also got their signature KARA Hakodate Ramen (S$13), which had a mild spice to it.

Their Gyoza (S$6) had consistency issues. The first was decent. Hot and crispy… It was a little too charred but it didn’t affect the taste much. But the second time, it was soggy, lukewarm, drenched in oil.

Their Hokkaido Fried Chicken (S$2.5) had a milkier taste compared to American-style fried chicken. They serve it with a spoon of mayonnaise which I feel like you can just do without because the chicken already had that creamy component to it in the skin. The disappointing part was the soggy skin.

Location: 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, B2 Unit 11 – 29, 44 to 4
Tel: +65 6509 9383
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm


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