My father sounded so excited when he told me that he and my mother had dinner at a Japanese restaurant in IMM where they serve excellent Japanese set meals that are value-for-money. On a recent trip to IMM, my mother and I had dinner at that Japanese restaurant which I found out was called Saboten.
Saboten was established in 1966 in Tokyo and the restaurant has flourished into one of the largest tonkatsu chains with over 500 in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and their newest venture, Canada.
Saboten’s prided Tonkatsu Sauce is made from over 10 types of spices, fruits and vegetables, simmered into a sweet and slightly sour sauce that perfectly compliments the tender tonkatsu. The best way to enjoy your tonkatsu is to add tonkatsu sauce to ground sesame and dip pieces of tonkatsu in the mixture before eating. The slight tanginess will balance the oiliness perfectly.
Fresh and crispy lettuce is finely-sliced, it is simple and tasty when eaten together with the sesame dressing provided.
I have to say that I rather disappointed with the chawanmushi. The steamed egg itself is silky-smooth but I have come to expect that of any self-deserving Japanese restaurant. What is lacking are ingredients such as mushroom and chicken.
Minced Pork Katsu & Loin Gozen comes with a bowl of steaming 100% Uonuma Koshihukari rice which is the the highest grade of rice in Japan, imported directly from Japan. The breadcrumbs that make the katsu so crispy yet not oily are specially imported from Japan and fresh pork is flown in from Indonesia daily to ensure the quality of the katsu served. Minced Pork Katsu is not normally available but I had the good fortune to try it became they were having a special promotion.
If a full meal is too much for you, you can order light bites such as Tenderloin Katsu Sandwich, which comes with fries and dessert. I don’t like the fat fries but crispy and juicy katsu sandwiched between pieces of soft bread and fresh lettuce won me over.
I can’t say if Saboten is really the best tonkatsu restaurant due to my limited exposure to this Japanese dish, but the friendly staff and value-for-money set meals makes this an ideal restaurant for any occasion.
Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, IMM #01-19
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Saboten Tonkatsu (313@Somerset)
Address: 313 Orchard Road, 313@Somerset #B2-02/03
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
Saboten (Millenia Walk)
Address: 9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk #02-14