The Modern Izakaya, Chijmes, Singapore

I tried The Modern Izakaya previously – it didn’t set my world on fire and I said at the time that I wouldn’t return but I thought I’d give them a second chance to see if they’d improved.

I trundled in around 6:30pm and was shown to a small table. While the place wasn’t busy at the moment, there were a good number of people already eating.

I ordered a glass of Asahi for an eye watering $16 while I perused the menu.

I ordered some tsukune (chicken meatballs) and momo (chicken thigh). Freshly cooked the dishes came out with the traditional tare (a salty sweet sauce). While tasty there was a different taste than you’ll get in Japan.

I decided to try a second round but this time I asked for no sauce but just salt and pepper which was delivered within about 10 minutes. Again, it wasn’t what you would get in Japan, it seemed a bit bland to me.

The prices of the yakitori were reasonable at $3 to $4 a piece.

If you’re looking for some Japanese-like food then you’ll get an OK feed here.

But if you’re looking for yakitori similar to what you would eat in Japan I think you’d be disappointed to eat here.

By the time I left the restaurant was busier with most of the outside tables taken, so despite this not being real Japanese in my view it must resonate with Singaporeans.


Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten, Omote-sando, Tokyo, Japan

My final day in Japan had arrived and I jumped on the train and headed out towards Meiji Jingu.

I wandered up the slight hill from Meiji-jingumae Station towards Omote-sando Station with no firm intention other than to have one final great meal.

A quick recon of my map app showed me there was a highly recommended tonkatsu restaurant up in the side streets behind the Omotesando Hills shopping centre.

I took a leisurely stroll through the back streets past a number of upmarket shops and finally found Tonkatsu Maisen. I actually walked past it at first but soon the GPS had me doubling back.

The restaurant was busy when I arrived with most of the seats at the counter already taken. I was offered one of the spare seats. By the time I left there was queue of people waiting.

I ordered a beer while I looked through the menu.

If you like pork you will love this place. As the name suggests Tonkatsu is the house specialty.

I ordered a crumbed and deep fried Black Pork loin with rice, miso and cabbage.

It took about 15 minutes for my meal to be ready and it was worth the wait. It was one of the best tonkatsu dishes, and most memorable meals, that I’d had during my trip.

And with that final, splendid lunch my eating adventures for this Japan trip, apart from some small snacks and a couple of drinks in the JAL First Class Lounge at Narita Airport, are over for another year.

Rigoletto Bar and Grill, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

During my 3 trips to Tokyo I still had not been able to see Mt Fuji from the city. It’s at always been to mirky or cloudy to see much.

On my last evening in Japan for this trip I decided to head down to Roppongi Hills where there is an observation deck on the 52nd floor offering panoramic views of Tokyo. For an extra ¥500 you can go upto the rooftop and the most magnificent views. I was hoping to finally see Mt Fuji!

I finally got to see Mt Fuji from Tokyo… albeit a hazy view as the sun was setting.

After sunset I headed downstairs to find dinner and came across Rigoletto Bar and Grill. I found some standing room by the bar and had a dinner of Chicken Wings accompanied by a Kirin Hearland and a Premium Malts.

Certainly not the best meal I’d had in Japan but the beer was the right price!

Craft Tap Beer, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

For my 2nd lunch after the yakitori at Kanoya I went upto the restaurant floor at Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara and headed for Craft Tap Beer. I’ve been here once before and I thought it was overpriced that time… that’s now been confirmed.

I shouldn’t have gone back, but I knew they had a decent, yet very overpriced, selection of beers on tap.

I ordered the days special which was a quite decent ribs dish. It took about 30 minutes for my meal to be cooked – atleast I knew it was fresh!

The beers were OK but at ¥1250 for 330ml it’s highway robbery!

Much better, and economical, places to spend your hard earned cash on beer in Tokyo.

Kanoya, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan

I was in Ueno after visiting Asakusa and started feeling peckish. I stumbled across a yakitori restaurant and had what would turn out to be my last yakitori meal in Japan this trip, and what would also turn out to be my first of two lunches today.

Ueno is a very touristy area. Being touristy it was easy to find places with an English menu. It wasn’t that busy as I was walking though about midday – probably because it was blisteringly hot.

Again I was seated at the counter overlooking the kitchen area so I could see all the action.

I quickly ordered a selection of chicken, pork and leek yakitori and the requisite beer to quench my thirst.

I watched my meal being cooked and soon I had my piping hot food which I devoured quite quickly.

Decent tasting meal and extremely reasonably priced.