Teppan Kappou Kenji

With kappo-style omakase sets going for under $200 nett, the first thing that might draw people through the doors of Teppan Kappou Kenji, found on Tanjong Pagar’s busy main street, is the value you get. While that is certainly one of its biggest selling points, a visit there will quickly reveal there is more to love about the place.

Foremost, the modern Japanese diner is an izakaya, a teppanyaki place, and an omakase restaurant all at the same time—and in a good way. It ensures that whatever you’re in the mood for (as long as it’s Japanese), there is almost always something you’ll fancy on its vast menu. They’ve got sashimi, appetisers, hotpot, a whole bunch of small and big plates, wagyu, and even rice and noodle dishes to ensure you’ll leave thoroughly satisfied.

The best way to dine if you’re there for the first time though, is to go for the course menus. The highlight dinner omakase ($150) is served kappo-style here, meaning it’s presented more casually but still kept intimate (especially if sitting at one of the ten counter seats). And while you can leave it entirely to head chef Kenji Okumura to decide what goes into your courses, he encourages customisation by having you tell him your likes and dislikes.

A standout dish that’s included in the omakase is the assorted appetizer platter, a large tray that comprises about eight different items. It includes addictive bites like grilled barramundi and slippery white conger eel, as well as interesting creations like sesame tofu and puffer fish kilt. You get premium stuff like A5 Miyazaki wagyu, lobster and oysters in the omakase, but nothing is quite as satisfying as the donabe. Served as the last savoury item, it’s essentially a Japanese claypot rice dish loaded with seasonal seafood and packed with flavour thanks to the rice being cooked in fish bone dashi over 24 hours.

You can have the omakase for lunch too ($50-$80), which is a great option for business meetings while talking shop in one of their small private dining rooms. And for dinner, besides the omakase, they also offer smaller fixed course menus that range from $60-$120, so there’s a good range of price points to suit any budget.