Singapore is known for it’s multicultural society and has showcased that through her ethnic districts such as Chinatown and Little Indian. After 53 years of independence, I’m proud to say that we finally have our very own Little Japan. Hokkaido Marche is a Japanese gourmet hall which is beside the very overhyped Don Don Donki. Initially I thought that I was going to spend over $20 on my meal since it was at Orchard and that it was beside Don Don Donki (yes it’s a ripoff) but I was surprised that I could get a meal for as cheap as $3.
So the first stall I’ll be talking about is Donburi Maruya which is a famous donburi restaurant in Hokkaido.
Tamago Don | $7.50
This is my favorite dish out of the entire Hokkaido Marche. It’s a plain dish with very few ingredients- egg, onion and rice that is prepared with such delicacy. I really don’t know how to describe it because it’s such a simple dish but it was so so good. Really love the sweetness of the onions with the umami taste from the sauce.
Pork Katsu Don | $12
Instant regret after taking a bite out of it. I didn’t really like the pork. It was slightly rough and there was that taste to it that made it seem kinda unfresh in my opinion. And really the star of the dish are the tamago so like I don’t see the point in spending $4.50 on the meat.
The second stall that I tried was kinda different from my expectations, not in a bad way though. I ate at Yakitori Tsuyoshi, which is famous for their yakitori and rice bowls. They have a lunch set discount which comes with their signature buta-don oomori which is a pork bowl and their fried chicken skin.
Lunch Set Offer – Buta-Don Oomori & Fried Chicken Skin |
What I was hoping for the sukiyaki kind of thinly sliced pork; the kind streaked with fats, but instead I got not-so-thinly sliced pork slices. To me, it was slightly tough to chew on but the overall experience was amazing. The sauce was very light and refreshing which was different from my expectations of it being overly decadent.
The Fried Chicken Skin oh my god this is a must to try. You know that super trendy salted egg yolk chips. It’s of a very similar texture and taste wise it was slightly salted. I know the idea of eating fried chicken skin may seem a bit detesting to the health-conscious and not gonna lie I was kinda skeptical about it. But let me assure you, it really just feels like you’re eating a bag of chips; no it doesn’t feel like chugging a bottle of oil. Irvin sells a bag of their chips for $10 (insanely expensive imo) but really I feel that the this is so much more worth it. It’s $2.80 for a small and it says that it’s recommended for one person but for me I feel like it’s a bit too much to finish myself.
Of course I had to try their ramen and I chose Ajisai which is famous for their shio (salt) ramen. Personally, I felt like the ramen wasn’t up to standards. Not that it was bad, but compared to what I’ve eaten at Hokkaido Marche, it just wasn’t as good and sadly it was the most expensive out of everything I’ve eaten. There is, however, a lunch promotion which gets you one ramen for $10 (exclusive of add-ons)
Se’abura Ramen | $13
Se’abura is a soy sauce and seafood broth, cooked in pork back fat for a richer flavor. I ordered the squid ink flavor and I regretted it so much. I really didn’t like the smell of it but it was ok once I put it in my mouth.
KARA Hakodate Ramen | $13
This is what they’re most famous for – Hakodate Ramen. We got the spicy one instead of the original one and it has a very mild spicy level to it. Personally I’d like it to be spicier but it’s the perfect dish for someone with a low spice tolerance level.
Gyoza | $6
Their gyoza is their best and worst dish, because I’ve tried it on two separate occasion and the standard of both dishes were on each end of the chart. The first time I tried it, it was hot, crispy and had a subtle char taste to it which I really enjoyed. But when I got it again a week later, it was room temperature, soggy with oil. The taste was still there though but it just felt like eating second-day gyozas. On its own, it is $6 for 6 pieces but if you were to get it with the lunch promotion it is $3 for 3 pieces.
Hokkaido Fried Chicken | $2.50
I liked the milkier taste this has compared to American-style fried chicken. They serve it with a spoon of mayonnaise which I feel like you can just do without because the chicken already has that creamy component to it in the skin. The disappointing part of this is that the skin was slightly soggy. I actually went to google to check if it’s a hokkaido thing but couldn’t find any answers. Nonetheless I felt like it would’ve tasted so much better with a crispier texture.
At the intro I mentioned about getting a meal for $3 and I am not kidding!! Beside the Hokkaido Marche is a Japanese supermarket which sells microwaved bento. No no no don’t give me that disgusted face because I’ve tried microwaved pasta in Japan before and it is so much better than restaurants like Pastamania which is rumored to microwave their pasta. I didn’t try the ones here but I have a friend who did and she told me that it was the BOMB.
There are so many other things that I wanted to try like their soba and poke bowl and of course their microwaved food (oh i am drooling) so get ready for a part 2 of Hokkaido Marche!
Hokkaido Marche (in Basement 2)
Address: 181 Orchard Road,
B2 Unit 11 – 29, 44 to 48
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Last order at 10 pm )
Contact Us: +65 65099383