Nanbantei is one yakitori place that has lasted years – claiming to be the first of its kind in Singapore. Hailing from Tokyo, this is possibly as authentic as it can get. Especially more so with bloggers ravaing about it. Reservations are highly necessary in this hole in wall eatery that seats 30 at maximum with the majority counter seats. Even when we stepped in at 7pm, the place was two thirds filled.
Vegetable sticks and bean paste sauce
The cabbage was tired looking but was a great tum filler with decently crunchy vegetables and a delicious bean sauce.
I’m guessing Chef Luke Mangan had his inspiration from the Japanese tapas. These crisp fried crustaceans are lighter in bite and taste really great with beer but I wish they were more flavourful.
Chicken with Leek
The sticky sauce was a familiar one used throughout the meal. I prefer pork to chicken though.
Garlic Pork ($6.10)
Nanban Yaki ($7)
Grilled beef but these chunks were more like what I’d find in a beef stew than pan seared. Ordinary beef with the same bean paste sauce.
Sasami Wasabi $6.90
Chicken Fillet with Horseradish
One bland flattened chunk of chicken smeared with horseradish which did little to lift the flavour of the skewer.
Sasami Umeshiso ($6.90)
Chicken Fillet with Plum and Shiso Leaves
The plum and shiso leaves were an acquired combination, same grouse with the chicken fillet.
Kaki Maki (1 Stick) ($7.90)
Oysters wrapped with Pork
All good things come in scarce quantities and this had to be my favourite of the night. Plump juicy oyster with salted pork – yummeh max!
Saba Shioyaki ($10)
Smelt too fishy for me to attempt but the fish lover cleaned it out.
Miso Shiru $3.50
Almost like instant miso soup, this was run of the mill.
Parmesan cheese was barely discernible and topped with salsa, would have preferred if they kept things simple
They claim the “ venerable Chef Tanaka” seasons and grills a variety of meats and vegetables but when I was there, the grill was managed by two Singaporean chefs if not Malaysians. A common sight these days where it is hard to find a Japanese chef in a Japanese hole in wall eatery. Order all at once instead of drips and draps and have to wait eternity for the re-orders. The place reeks of smoke simply because of poor ventilation. Over priced yakitori Nanbantei serves up and seriously not worth the hype. It probably falls in the category of a “has been”. For the same price, Satsuma offers so much more and in a more refined way too!
NanbanteiLevel 5, Far East Plaza