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Nanbantei @ Far East Plaza

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nanbantei

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.

oven


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.

kawaebi

Kawaebi ($10)

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.

pork belly

Negima   ($5.40)
Chicken with Leek

The sticky sauce was a familiar one used throughout the meal. I prefer pork to chicken though. 

pork belly x spring onion

Garlic Pork    ($6.10)

Pork belly was used – the fatty slices went well with the leeks. Double portions of this!

beef

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.

Tsukune    $5.40

These chicken balls were a tad dry though.

chicken wasabi

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.

plum chicken

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.

oyster

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!

fish

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.

garlic

Nin-niku   ($5.20)
Garlic

Over burnt with a sour after finish, not a fan of this unfortunately.

mushrooms

Shiitake ($6.00)

Juicy unflavoured mushrooms and that is about it.

zucchini

Zucchini    ($5.20)

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!

Nanbantei
Level 5, Far East Plaza

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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