Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nanbantei

C says:

After a previous experience where we tried in vain to get a table here without any reservations, we wised up and called up on Sunday itself for a table at lunchtime. Good thing we did – when we got there at 12.30 the tiny restaurant in Far East Plaza was almost full.

This restaurant is apparently the first restaurant to introduce yakitori dining to Singapore over 20 years ago. The ambience is unpretentious, and on Sunday afternoon it was just full of families or couples enjoying a yakitori meal. The yakitori menu itself isn’t quite as varied as Kazu, where there seem to be over a hundred different varieties. The choice here is more limited, with the standard chicken parts (including the pantat, heh), some bacon/belly pork-wrapped selections, and a few other meat and seafood skewers.

We ordered the following skewers:

- asparagus wrapped with pork belly
- eggplant with shiso leaf
- chicken liver
- duck with leek
- chicken wing
- beef with bean paste
- salmon wrapped with bacon


We also ordered a deep fried tofu, a garlic rice and the cold Cha Soba. The tofu was a bit of a letdown – it was quite generic-tasting, like a slightly jazzed-up agedashi tofu. The garlic rice was yummy and a perfect companion to the grilled items. The Cha Soba was really good – very old school with the quail’s egg. In fact, it’s probably the place that still serves a quail’s egg with their cold soba. The dipping sauce was quite intensely flavoured and the egg made it nice and smooth and rich, but as for noodle taste/texture, I think the noodles at Shimbashi Soba are just a little bit better.



Actually, that’s the general impression that I have of Nanbantei. I won’t hesitate to come back here again if I feel like Japanese in the area, but if I really had a serious yakitori craving, I would probably still go to Kazu instead.

A says:

I prefer the garlic rice and asparagus wrapped in pork belly here, but overall, I think Kazu is better.

Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant
14 Scotts Road
#05-132, Far East Plaza
Tel: 6733-5666 / 6738-7470
Open daily – Lunch: 12 noon to 2.30 pm; Dinner: 6 pm to 10.30 pm

4 comments:

Y & B said...

We LOVE nanbantei!!! They have a set lunch (probably on weekdays only) that is ridiculously cheap. And service is good. Love to watch the chefs at work.

But agree wholeheartedly that if I'm looking for yakitori, it's Kazu all the way.

buffy said...

Another item that I find they do better than Kazu is their salmon belly.

atetoomuch said...

A told me that he saw some lunch menu with bento boxes and stuff. (He tells me this after we've left, not while we're there...) Is that the set lunch you're referring to?

Argh, I ordered the salmon belly, but they were out of it that day! Never mind, next time.

y said...

It must be that. I think there's only one set lunch. It's cheap, like $12. It's a bento box with rice and pickles. They flatten the rice in one of the compartments and cover it with various yummy things. (Poor description; and that is why I'm not a food blogger).

Then they have an assortment of yakitori sticks, and a simple dessert.

It's really value for money, and yummy too.