The hype: JW360—or Japan Way 360—brings a bit of Japan to you when an escape outside Singapore isn’t possible. It has three main segments: retail, restaurant and cafe that combine to allow patrons access to a complete Japanese lifestyle all under one roof.

The vibe: A genuine, life-sized cherry blossom tree towers over the concierge by the entrance, an expression of how JW360 takes its decor and theming extremely seriously. The theme is ever-changing too, evolving along as the seasons advance.

Serenity and zen are key. Dimmed, warm lights cast a soft glow upon tabletops, where tableware from Japan are selected to present the dishes and complement the homely yet minimalist aura. The finest seats in the restaurant are located in the back, against the backdrop of the roaring Rain Vortex in the distance. This view, coupled with the wood and foliage running throughout the space, truly drives the dining-in-nature concept home.

The food: Unlike most uptight Japanese restaurants that solely focus on Japanese cuisine, JW360 incorporates Western tastes into its menu. The Chicken Saute Cream ($28) for instance offers soft chicken pieces slick with smooth cream, while slightly charred undertones cut through the creamy sauce for an added dimension. Such milky, creamy accents are not conventional in Japanese eateries.

, JW360

Or just try the Beef Steak ($42), where a semi-tender cut is cooked with a tinge of mahogany in the middle. Sweet onion sauce douses and pimps the steak out, tilting the flavour scale to a balanced sweet-savory ratio.

, JW360

If a more authentic taste is what you seek, consider having the Mixed Katsu ($34) sampler plate. The deep fried assortment consists of pork, chicken breast and thigh cutlets as well as shrimp-embedded croquette; all thoroughly coated in fine breadcrumbs and delicately fried without an ounce of excessive oil. Served with a side of small age-mono sampler of lotus root and baby corn, this dish is reminiscent of the street-side food stands that dot the pavements of Osaka.

Be sure to pick up some sweet treats from the conjoined cafe too, where a plethora of Kyoto-based matcha and sakura-infused pastries and cakes line the display. The Japanese gelato stand captures the attention of many with flavours that are not found in your neighbourhood parlour. Noteworthy offerings include Soba-Cha, Japanese Single Malt Whiskey and Black Sesame and Honey. Scoops run at $7.50 per cup and are topped with sweet potatoes for that extra oomph.

, JW360

The drinks: Though the cherry blossom season is so fleeting, the Souryu Japan Sakura Wine ($33.20 per bottle) here offers a taste of spring all year round. The floral rice wine is gentle on the tongue as it is on the nose and eyes. At just 12.5% ABV, you’ll be getting your money’s worth without getting too tipsy. There’s also a full bar, stocked mostly with Japanese spirits, offering your usual concoctions.

, JW360

For something non-alcoholic, a good selection of teas and coffees are available in-store, including a rich matcha latte.

Why you’ll be back: JW360 shapes up to be a little piece of Japanese serenity; this triple threat concept store is the perfect gateway to Japanese culture and lifestyle through food and retail. Whether you’re waiting for a flight or just there for a meal, JW360 is a short trip into contemporary Japan.