If you haven’t been living under a rock, you would have heard about the hype over Mentaiko. It is a Japanese delicacy where Pollock roe is marinated to form this beautiful orange or sometimes pinkish sauce-like texture.
Mentaiko’s unique salty and spicy taste and its soft, jelly-like texture make plain food outstanding. It is usually used as toppings for sushi, but it can also be eaten on its own. In recent years, mentaiko dishes have been gaining popularity quickly and many restaurants have harnessed the umami-rich nature that is this Japanese ingredient into their dishes.
If you have not tried this wonderful dish, then you really ought to. Here is a list of 7 stunningly good Mentaiko Dishes that you can find in Singapore.
Nestled in the corner of Blk 126 Toa Payoh Lorong 1’s coffee shop, Donya Japanese Cuisine was opened with the idea of bringing premium Japanese rice bowls to people in the neighbourhood. A casual and simple place to grab some quality Japanese eats, Donya Japanese Cuisine focuses on donburi with prices starting from a mere S$5.80.
This place serves a few mentaiko dishes like Salmon Mentai Don (S$8.80) and Mentai Maki (S$5.80), which are the chef’s recommendation. Drizzled with a generous amount of torched Mentaiko sauce, every mouth of the Mentai Maki was bursting with flavour. For the price of only S$5.80, this wonderful dish is really worth it.
Donya Japanese Cuisine
Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Blk 126 #01-577 Stall 1
Tel: +65 8866 2126
*Daily: 11 am – 2.30pm
5pm – 8.45pm
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh
(Donya Japanese Cuisine has multiple outlets)
Photo Credit: GRUB
Surrounded by lush greenery, having a meal with a gorgeous view is what makes dining at GRUB a pleasant affair. Located at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, GRUB serves one of the best mentaiko fries and pasta with a view. It is great for families as little children can play around the park while parents have their meal.
A must-have at this café is definitely the Mentaiko Fries (S$9.50). Deep fried till golden brown, the soft but crunchy fries are drizzled with silky smooth mentaiko sauce and they even have a mentaiko dip by the side in case it was not enough. This appetiser is enough to make us go back just for it.
510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park
Tel: +65 64595743
Mon to Fri: 11am – 3pm
5.30pm – 10.30pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Bishan
ICE EDGE CAFE
Located in Kovan—just a stone’s throw away from Kovan MRT Station—is Ice Edge Cafe. The cafe has been around for a decade and has gained a huge following over the past years with its hearty savouries and stellar sweets. From mains to deserts, its extensive menu is reflective of the cafe’s efforts to cater to every palate.
Now, the Pizza Prawn Mentaiko (S$16.80++) is something you don’t usually see for mentaiko dishes. The pizza comes with a thin crust, with herbs, prawns and mozzarella cheese scattered all over it before the mentaiko sauce is drizzled on top. What a perfect dish to share among you and your family and friends!
Ice Edge Cafe
2 Kovan Road
Simon Plaza, #01-10
Tel: +65 6858 5729
Daily: 11.30am – 11.30pm
Nearest Station: Kovan
Koh Grill & Sushi Bar sits within Wisma’s Food Republic, and they serve Japanese food at affordable prices. Most people have already heard about this place because of the famous Shiok Maki. There are 2 variations of the Shiok Maki and the difference is that one is with grilled unagi and the other is with fried prawn.
The Original Shiok maki is made up of avocado, unagi and aburi salmon–drenched in an admirably addictive creamy sauce that tasted like a mixture of mayo and mentai, then topped with a generous amount of tobiko. The creamy and savoury sauce is what makes it addictive and a crowd favourite!
Koh Grill & Sushi Bar
435 Orchard Road
#04-21 Wisma Atria Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 9180 3805
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Somerset
Situated at the bustling Upper Thomson Road, Maneko Japanese Restaurant is a new eatery that serves quick, fuss-free Japanese delights ranging from donburi, udon to a huge selection of sides. Specialising in dons and sushi, Maneko is proud to serve you delicious bowls of freshness without burning a hole in your pocket.
Their Mentaiko Udon (S$11.90) is one of their signatures and it was definitely one of the best mentaiko dishes we have ever tried. With the light and creamy mentaiko sauce latched onto the chewy udon noodles, every bite we took was just filled with savoury and refreshing mentaiko goodness. For what it’s worth, we were completely blown away by how simple yet addictive this dish was.
Maneko Japanese Restaurant
227 Upper Thomson Road
Tel: +65 6909 5401
Daily: 11am – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Marymount
Miam Miam serves affordable French Artisanal Cuisine with a Japanese twist. What we love about this place is that the food is prepared upon ordering and they take pride in ensuring that their customers have a wonderful dining experience.
Their Mentaiko King Crab Aglio Olio (S$20.90) is a little bit different from the usual mentaiko dishes. As their pasta was made Aglio Oilo style, don’t expect the dish to be covered with lots of mentaiko sauce, instead, what you get is a hint of the umami-rich mentaiko that does well to complement its host ingredient—the pasta.
#02-14 Bugis Junction
200 Victoria Street
Tel: +65 6837 0301
*Mon to Thurs: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Fri: 11.30am – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Bugis
(Miam Miam has multiple outlets)
A spot for salmon lovers, Salmon Samurai offers a variety of customisable salmon donburi, udon, and salad, all for only S$9.90. Opened by the guys behind Tanuki Raw and Standing Sushi Bar, Salmon Samurai caters to those working adults who are constantly in a rush but still want to have a healthy grab-and-go meal.
This place serves their salmon lightly seared and their torched mentaiko cream had this smoky aftertaste that we really love. However, we wished they gave more servings of the seared salmon so that we can enjoy the richness of the mentaiko cream that comes with it.
100 Tras Street, #01-11
Tel: +65 6543 6823
*Daily: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Tanjong Pagar
(Salmon Samurai has multiple outlets)