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Saboten @ Changi Airport T1

Special thanks to Adele, Merliza of MNC Group and the hospitable staff at Saboten!


I am a fried food junkie in every sense of the word and as much as I thought we are a nation that embraces fried food heartily, there are not many tonkatsu specialist restaurants around - Tonkichi, Ginza Bairin, Ma Maison and possibly Saboten to complete the picture.

saboten t1

According to Saboten, Japanese tourists have lauded their tonkatsu to be "as good as" Saboten Japan. I have yet to try Saboten in Japan but that was as good an assurance as it can get! Saboten's history goes way back to 1966 and is amongst the largest Tonkatsu chains in Japan. They use only barley-fed mature pigs (180 days of age or older) for a sweeter, juicier and more tender meat.


I had the privilege of trying out the signature items from their ala carte menu. 


Apple and Orange Juice ($3.50) instead of Green Tea to start of the Japanese meal. 

sesame seeds to grind

The theatrics that comes with any tonkatsu meal!

grind em fine!

 Work for your food, quite literally!

plum sauce 

Douse it with plum sauce....


Great dipping sauce for tonkatsu-anything!


Freeflow of shredded cabbage..

sesame x orange peel

We started the meal with shredded cabbage with either orange peel or sesame. I preferred the latter. 

miso soup 

Miso soup that comes with any set ordered, hearty way to start a meal!

saboten special

Saboten Special Set ($25)
Breaded Shrimp, Mini Pork Tenderloin, Half-Sized Pork Loin, Crab Cream Croquette

Recommended as a must try as a showcase of all of Saboten's best. I found the tenderloin more tender than pork loin, possibly the cut that it came in. Loved the crisp breaded crumbs that maintained its crispiness all the way till the end. The sets all came with miso soup, a hearty one I must admit. Crab Cream Croquette was delish, especially so with a squeeze of lemon juice and dipped in their crab tartare sauce.

katsu curry

Tenderloin Katsu Curry ($19)

The curry sauce stood out for both robustness in taste and flavour. Would have preferred some root vegetables to go but this was rather outstanding. 


Loin Katsudon ($20)

Never enough of their famous breaded pork cutlets that go so well with rice! In comparison, the pork cutlets were less crispy but still as delicious coated with a layer of sunny side up egg. Makes a wholesome meal, methinks.



Creamy oysters coated with bread crumbs, truly in heaven by this time. 

chicken katsu

Chicken Katsu Set ($18)

pork with asparagus

Chicken Katsu Variety ($20)
Chicken Katsu, Asparagus Cheese Roll, Crab Cream Croquette

Do order this if you want the best of many worlds, variety always rules for me. In comparison with pork, chicken was less succulent.

green tea icecream

Green Tea icecream was served up as dessert, milky with a mild hint of green tea..just perfect to end off this otherwise indulgent meal!

They have recently introduced a High Tea menu served between 3 - 530pm at a fraction of their already affordable ala carte prices. Diners have a choice of three combo menus at $10++ each. Combo A offers the popular breaded shrimp and chicken, crab cream croquette, cabbage, complete with free flow green tea; Combo B: Sapporo beer and popular Japanese side dish, edamame; or tenderloin katsu sandwich and free flow of coffee from combo C. 


Breakfast anyone?

What is great about their fried items is, even after stuffing outselves with so many varieties of deep fried breaded items, there was nary a moment of jelardness or being over stuffed. Saboten is no newcomer in the tonkatsu scene and certainly does come across as a strong contender for delicious yet affordable tonkatsu. More options for tonkatsu fans too!

Changi Airport Terminal 1

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


  1. You are 'working' the sesame seed? The Chicken Katsu Variety looks appetising!

  2. haha yea i was! :P not too bad! :)