Located right in the midst of Raffles Place, Republic Plaza is one of the tallest buildings in Singapore. Right at the top of the tower block is the exclusive Tower Club and in its basement there is a food hall with a diverse offering for ordinary patrons. You can get salad, sandwiches, healthy soups, noodles and more at food and beverage outlets like The Herbal Bar, Owl Café, Subway and Asian Kitchen. We were at the Republic Plaza basement food hall during lunch time and the place was filling up very quickly. We noticed the Isshin Japanese Restaurant which was relatively spacious and not crowded and decided to give it a try.
The name Isshin sounded somewhat familiar and I was quite sure that we had visited another of their branches before. However, we were told that the only Isshin restaurant in Singapore was the one we were at. Now that I have checked our own food blog to see where we had dined before, it could be that my mind had commingled Ippin and Tenshin 天信 to conjure up Isshin. How our heads can play little tricks like this on us.
Isshin Japanese Restaurant is simply decorated in a style fairly typical of an average Japanese restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu. When we looked at the prices of the items on the menu we began to understand why the restaurant was not crowded when most of the other outlets in the food hall was full. The most basic rice bowl in Isshin would cost about $16 and the bentos were around the $30 mark.
We ordered a Tonkatsu Set ($18.50), a Salmon Salad ($16.50) and a Salmon Belly Miso Soup ($7.50). Macha green tea was $1.50 per person. Service charge and GST were added to the bill.
The Tonkatsu Set was served within about 10 minutes. The portion was generous. There was a large bowl of rice, miso soup, vegetables and sushi which came with the breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. The salad that came with the tonkatsu was fresh and crunchy and the dressing made the salad most enjoyable. Otherwise, the Tonkatsu Set was quite average.
Even though there were not too many patrons in the restaurant and there seemed to be an adequate number of chefs and staff, we had a very long wait for our salmon salad and salmon belly miso soup. They eventually came after we reminded the staff twice to check on our orders.
The salad came with a generous amount of salmon sashimi and large slices of avocado. Again, the salad dressing was nice making the salmon salad quite delicious. The salmon in the salmon belly miso soup was melt in the mouth tender and well balanced by bits of seaweed. We thought the miso broth was a trifle too salty.
The prices at Isshin Japanese Restaurant are quite high for a food outlet in a food hall but they actually do give quite good value because the portions are quite generous. On the whole the food is not bad. It will not be the best place for a quick budget lunch and neither will it be among the top picks for more upscale restaurants in the area. Perhaps it is the place to go for a decent Japanese meal if you have children with huge appetites.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Isshin Japanese Restaurant
Republic Plaza, #B1-02
9 Raffles Place
Tel :+65 65360818
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 9.30pm
Sat: 12noon – 3p
Closed on Sundays and PH
Nearby Stations: Telok Ayer, Raffles Place
The Ordinary Patrons
a Singapore food blog by ordinary people looking for places to eat