Niigata, Japan – An Unforgettable 5D4N Road Trip Filled With Magnificent Scenery & Food

Niigata 2018

Japan astounds in more ways than just its food and its people and wherever you choose to embark on your next adventure, we’re almost certain that you will not be disappointed. Our wanderlust brought us to Niigata, a coastal prefecture located north of bustling Tokyo. A lovely place untouched by time, and one that proves excellent for road trips.

Boasting the highest concentration of rice plantations and accounting for a majority of the country’s rice exports, there really is no wondering why Niigata is well-known for their excellent quality rice, rice wine (sake) and other rice-based products. Located close to the Japan Sea, fresh fish and seafood are often in abundance and of exceptional quality too.

Yet, as far as gastronomy goes, Niigata’s vast array of food choices come second only to the prefecture’s rich culture and a plethora of scenic views. Like lines in a sketch, the terraced rice paddies littered all over present a view like no place else. Each season brings with it a different ambience and having visited in Autumn, we were treated to stunning spectacles of technicoloured leaves and marvellous views wherever we were brought.

Brimming with breathtaking scenery, awesome food and inherently kind yet down-to-earth locals, you best believe us when we tell you that Niigata is a destination to consider if you crave adventure and new experiences. We’ve broken it all down for you, listing down how you can go about renting a car, where you should visit and what you should eat—you’re welcome.
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Menya Kokoro - Popular Japanese Mazesoba Chain Is Finally Here In Singapore

menya kokoroPhoto Credit: Menya Kokoro 

In Singapore, many of us love a good bowl of Japanese ramen soup and udon. However, there aren’t many places here that serve up Maze-soba.

Maze-soba, when directly translated to English, literally means “mixed noodles”. It is essentially dry, broth-less ramen topped with an abundance of goodies. When mixed together, it creates a unique blend of flavours that you’ll keep craving for even after you’ve polished off the entire bowl.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? And that is why we were so excited to hear that Japan’s most popular Maze-soba chain, Menya Kokoro, has finally landed in Singapore, and they have opened their first outlet at Suntec City Level 3.

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Katsuya – Tonkatsu Restaurant In The East Of Singapore That Is Worth The Drive

Katsuya Collage

For the love of all things, breaded, fried and golden, few come close to the taste and textural satisfaction we get from Japanese tonkatsu. What’s to hate? It’s everything you could ever want on a plate from the crispiness of its breaded exterior to the moist, meaty flavour that hides within.

While East Coast Road may seem a tad far off for tonkatsu—given that you can easily find it everywhere nowadays—Katsuya is one tonkatsu-focused restaurant worth making a trip down for.

The restaurant—helmed by Chef Kervin who has several years of experience cooking Japanese cuisine and even a Japan-issued chef license to boot—ensures that everything is done properly. They do not use MSG and lard in their cooking and the sheer deliciousness of their food is solely dependant on the technique and freshness of each individual ingredient.
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ToriYard – New Yakitori Joint In Bishan Park That Hits All The Right Spots

ToriYard Opening Collage

A yakitori restaurant is not something that you would typically imagine popping up around neighbourhood areas let alone in the middle of a park, but ToriYard is perhaps the first exception.

Taking over the premise of the now-defunct The Cornerstone in Bishan Park, this newly-opened yakitori joint by actress-turned-business owner Jazreel Low is where your best pals, a round of wind-down drinks and an array of masterfully grilled meat skewers go hand-in-hand.

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Uni Gallery: Fulfil Your Uni Dreams At This Uni Specialty Restaurant + 1-for-1 Uni

Uni Gallery Food

Uni (sea urchin) is a highly prized Japanese delicacy that can be enjoyed in many forms—raw as sashimi or prepared as a topping on sushi. Highly valued for its sweet and briny flavours, uni has an exquisite creamy consistency that melts almost immediately in your mouth.

It’s as if our prayers have been answered! A restaurant in Singapore dedicated to uni-everything is a legit dream come true. We don’t know about you but we are truly ecstatic about Uni Gallery—a uni-centric restaurant set within The Plaza at Beach Road.

And if you have never had uni before, you ought to visit this hidden gem because you have been missing out. Aside from the large selection of uni specialities, this is also the place where diners are treated to seasonal sashimi and other classic Japanese dishes such as Chirashi Don and Donburi.

From now until 30 April 2018, enjoy 1-for-1 uni sashimi (30g per portion). Uni Gallery has several types of uni sashimi on their menus and prices range from S$28 to S$62. The complimentary item must be of the same value or of a lower price.

To redeem this promotion, simply like Uni Gallery on Facebook and quote ‘ladyironchef’ to enjoy this 1-for-1 promotion.

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10 Affordable Sushi Places In Singapore To Eat Japanese Food Without Breaking The Bank

Sushi Bars Singapore

Sushi is a very big part of Japanese food culture and in Singapore, we are blessed with many great Japanese restaurants that are able to satisfy our sushi cravings. These Japanese restaurants range from affordable to mid-tier and right up to the fanciest restaurants that will cost you an arm and a leg when you dine there.

We have heard of sushi dishes that come with exorbitant price tags but not all of us are able to afford that kind of luxury on a daily basis. Then again, who says that good sushi has to be expensive?

If you are looking for good sushi bars in Singapore serving sushi at wallet-friendly prices, carry on reading this guide to find out more.  READ ON

Sushi Jiro – Luxurious Wagyu Don Lunch Set At S$50++ & 20% Off Japanese Sake

Sushi Jiro Lunch

Originally located at East Coast, Sushi Jiro is an established Japanese restaurant in Singapore with over 20 years of history. Today, the prestigious restaurant nestles within Marina Mandarin Singapore and still continues to provide top-notch Japanese cuisine, using only traditional Japanese culinary preparation methods and execution.

Having been to Sushi Jiro countless times, the restaurant is now one of our top choices when it comes to Japanese fine dining. And this time around, we’d like to share with you some very amazing lunch promotions that would be for a nice lunch with your colleagues or simply some quality me-time during your lunch break.

For the entire month of March, Sushi Jiro is having an enticing lunch promotion where you get to enjoy a Wagyu Don Set for S$50++ (U.P. S$68++), Una Don for S$48++ (U.P. S$58++) and their signature Sushi Course Lunch Set for S$80++ (U.P. S$100++). Additionally, there is also a 20% discount on all Japanese sake and wine across lunch and dinner—this applies every day of the week so you have no reason to not drink up.

Simply quote ‘ladyironchef’ to enjoy these deals that are valid for the entire month of March 2018. READ ON

10 Izakaya Bars In Singapore To Drown Out Your Work Sorrows

Izakaya Bars In Singapore

The rising popularity of izakayas in Singapore is no surprise, especially with Singapore’s growing bar scene that sees drinking holes in all forms and themes.

An Izakaya is essentially Japan’s equivalent to a Spanish tapas bar where you get to dine and drink under one roof. The answer to the woes of the Japanese working class, Izakayas are seen as a haven where people can go to after work to enjoy a tipple, snack on some food and unwind with their mates.

Whether it is an ice-cold beer you crave or something a little more punchy, here are 10 Izakaya bars in Singapore for you to unwind, get fed or simply to drown out your sorrows.
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