Pompompurin Cafe, Big Street, Sen of Japan, 555 Villa Thai, Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen

Pompompurin’s banana and caramel pancake
Pompompurin’s banana and caramel pancake PHOTO: POMPOMPURIN CAFE
Signature chilli crab in a “prata bag” (seasonal price,$80 to $128 for 1kg)
Signature chilli crab in a “prata bag” (seasonal price,$80 to $128 for 1kg)PHOTO: BIG STREET
Black cod soy ($24.50, add $8.50 for foie gras)
Black cod soy ($24.50, add $8.50 for foie gras) PHOTO: SEN OF JAPAN
Mookata (from $45 for two)
Mookata (from $45 for two) PHOTO: 555 VILLA THAI
Premium pork loin tonkatsu ($19.90)
Premium pork loin tonkatsu ($19.90) PHOTO: HAJIME TONKATSU & RAMEN

1. POMPOMPURIN CAFE

Ahead of the first Hello Kitty the med cafe’s opening next month at Changi Airport, fellow Sanrio character Pompompurin opens its first cafe in South-east Asia tomorrow at Orchard Central. The 1,900 sq ft restaurant seats 78 diners and features the adorable golden retriever character in everything from food to drinks to merchandise.

The menu includes Taco Rice In A Cup Of Friendship ($19.99), inspired by Mexican tacos with sculpted rice in the shape of Pompompurin,with meat sauce and vegetables; Coconut Milk Chicken Curry ($17.99), with chicken chunks in mild coconut curry, topped with Pompompurin head-shaped rice; and mushroom and bacon carbonara ($26.99).

Desserts include Pompompurin’s banana and caramel pancake ($16.99), with caramel flavoured Pompompurin-shaped pancakes and sliced bananas; and Pompompurin’s mango parfait ($19.99). Complete the meal with Pompompurin drinks– a cookies and cream caramel latte ($11.99); mango soda and ice cream float ($11.99) and hot marshmallow latte ($12.99).

Where:181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, 04-08

Open: 11am to 10.30pm daily

Info: Call 6509-8672

2. BIG STREET

Go local at Big Street, a heritage styled restaurant in Jalan Besar. Menu offerings include Hainanese chicken rice ($10), Hokkien mee ($16.80), char kway teow ($16.80), fish head curry ($28.80), satay ($9.80 for six sticks), and nasi briyani ($15.80). Do not miss the signature chilli crab in a “prata bag” (seasonal price,$80 to $128 for 1kg), where you can mop up the gravy with the roti prata.

Drink options include coffee, tea, cocktails, mocktails and wine. The second floor and mezzanine level of the conservation shop house can be booked for private functions.

The restaurant is accredited by the Ministry of Social&Family Development as a pro-family and handicap-friendly establishment. Guide dogs are welcome too.

Where:104/106 Jalan Besar

Open:5pm to 5am(Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday

Info: Call 6100-2661 or go to facebook.com/bigstreetsg

3. SEN OF JAPAN

Fans of Japanese cuisine can head to the 75-seat Sen of Japan for their fix. The menu is designed by chef Nakano Hiromi,who used to helm Japanese restaurant Nobuat the Hard Rock Hotel &Casino Las Vegas.

Lunch sets start from $17.95, while a la carte items are priced from $9.50.

Highlights include black cod soy ($24.50, add $8.50 for foie gras); salmon aburi maki roll ($17.50) filled with creamy avocado, cucumber and crispy tempura flakes topped with torched salmon and house-special cheese sauce; Kagoshima wagyu steak ($98 for 150g) served with asparagus and fried garlic chips; filet mignon tataki ($12.50); and premium sashimi platter ($56).

Chef Hiromi will be in town from Friday toMay12 to present his signature dishes, as well as anewChef’s Table six-course menu available only during his visit.

Where:Sen of Japan, 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at MarinaBay Sands, 01-86

Open: 11.30am to 11pm daily

Info: Call 6688-7426

4. 555 VILLA THAI

Journey to the east and chill out at the new 555 Villa Thai for mookata, drinks and live music. The 37,000 sq ft space is a collaboration between Hood Bar at Bugis+ and Tom Yum Kungfu, which specialises in mookata eateries in Serangoon Garden and Boat Quay.

So expect mookata (from $45 for two) –moo means pork in Thai and kata is skillet – which refers to a dome-shaped grill with a soup trough that is placed over charcoal embers, along with live seafood and drinks.

If the live music– a mix of English, Mandarin and Thai music –is not your thing, head indoors to the karaoke bar.

Where: 30 Cosford Road (off Upper Changi North Road)

Open: 5pm to 1am (Sunday to Thursday),5pm to 2am (Friday and Saturday)

Info: facebook.com/555villathai

5. HAJIME TONKATSU & RAMEN

With more than 25 years of experience, chef Tan-San– formerly from tonkatsu restaurant Tonkichi and ramen brand Tampopo– has set up Hajime at myVillage.

The restaurant specialises in tonkatsu sets as well as ramen. Signatures include premium pork loin ($19.90, photo 5); miso fillet ($17.90); tonkatsu ramen ($14.90); and shabu shabu ramen ($14.90). Donburi options are also available, including salmon don ($16.90), chicken teriyaki don ($15.90), and pork fillet katsu curry ($15.90). Side dishes include gyoza ($6.90), agedashi tofu ($3.90) and tori karaage ($4.90).

Where: myVillage @ Serangoon Garden, 1 Maju Avenue, 02-07

Open: 11.30am to 3pm, 6 to 10pm daily

Info: hajime.com.sg

Eunice Quek

  • Opening a new restaurant? Send the details to stlife@sph. com.sg
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 17, 2016, with the headline 'Open For Business'. Print Edition | Subscribe