Is Boat Quay the new Little Japan?

Long gone are the days when Boat Quay was the mecca of live seafood restaurants and raucous sports pubs. It’s now home to at least six Japanese restaurants, most of which do barbecue and skewers.

The omakase is not just for sushi

The stretch is now home to Yakiniquest (48 Boat Quay), a sexy but zen yakiniku restaurant. It specializes in omakase-style barbecue where the best cuts of meat are selecte on a daily basis. It includes indulgent cuts like chuck eye and sirloin, but also more adventurous cuts like beef tongue. Down the road is The Hitsuji Club (65 Circular Rd.), a Hokkaido-style barbecue where lamb is the star of the show. It’s got a members-only club vibe with impeccable tableside service. On the menu are choice cuts of lamb like chops and tender cubes of meat.

There’s even more ramen

After Suzuki and Takumen, comes Menya Samurai Zin (64 Boat Quay). It’s easy to miss this wooden corridor-like space but the restaurant specializes in Osaka tonkotsu (pork bone) and spicy Mapo ramen. The broth here is thicker than usual, with varying degrees of spiciness. And while the piquant spice may remind you of Sichuan-style mapo tofu, the bowls come steaming with thick slices of pork and lots of cabbage to sweeten the broth.

And yakitori and teppanyaki 

First off, there’s Gosso Omotenashi (64 Boat Quay) where you can get lots of skewered meats and sake. The cluttered space makes you feel like you’re walking into a tight Japanese yakitori den. It serves up gizzard, liver and hearts accompanied with bottles of sake. If you’re not in the mood for grilled meat, then iron-griddled food may be the solution. Kagawa (80 Boat Quay) is an Osaka-style teppanyaki restaurant that serves cooked-to-order meats, okonomiyaki, or Japanese pizzas, and yakisoba (griddled noodles). The space is pretty small, so counter seats are optimal.

Or you can go classic

The newly-opened Taki (62 Boat Quay) serves up a myriad of classic Japanese dishes, whether you like sushi, rolls or meats. The restaurant does both sushi, sashimi and cooked items like tempura and braised wagyu beef. The place also has options for degustation menus paired with special sakes. If you’re more of a purist, e.pachi (40 Boat Quay) is a predominantly sushi restaurant with proper counter per-piece service. The chef here is known for his omakase approach, but the space also has an upstairs izakaya with dishes like tsukune, or chicken meatballs, for late-night dining.