A new train operator has set up shop in Singapore, but SMRT and SBS Transit are not getting a new competitor. Japanese train operator The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has opened a Japan-bound tourism theme cafe in Tanjong Pagar Centre. At Japan Rail Cafe, you can buy Japan rail tickets, get tour information as well as enjoy cafe food based on various F&B recipes developed by JR East Food Business, which has more than 50 brands of F&B outlets in Tokyo.
Japan Rail Cafe is on level one of Tanjong Pagar Centre in the part of the development known as City Room – a public space set among lush greenery for special events and outdoor performances and al fresco dining. Japan Rail Cafe has an al fresco dining space as well as an air-conditioned area inside a glass structure.
Retail & Takeaway
Inside Japan Rail Cafe there is a JTB rail pass counter. All Japan rail passes are available, not just JR EAST Pass. There is a travel consultant on duty to help with questions you may have. You can even make hotel reservation there.
There is a small retail section which is like one of the small shops commonly found at Japanese train stations. Various Japanese products including souvenirs and cute toys are on display. Some sauces and cooking products used in the cafe are also on sale.
Japan Rail Cafe has a take-away counter for coffee, juices and other beverages. You can also buy bread, cakes and pastries for take-away.
The dine-in menu is a fairly simple affair. There are burgers, sandwiches, salad and rice on the menu. There are monthly specials which feature food from different regions of Japan. In the evenings, special Japanese craft beers are available. Again, the selection of beers will change monthly. A picture of the current Main Food & Beverages Menu is below.
Lunch at Japan Rail Cafe
We had the Watashino Curry Rice ($18), which consisted of beef curry rice and salad plus a choice of an additional main dish item and a side dish. We opted for Fried Oysters and the Stir-fired Butter Scallops.
The Japanese style curry, made from black pepper base & a blend of various spices, was of the expected standard. It was thick and quite rich. The breaded fried oysters were deliciously flaky. The fusion scallops were juicy and had a sweet-salty combination which was very agreeable to the palate.
The other dish we ordered was the Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($18). It came with a choice of 2 side dishes. We chose fries and salad. The sandwich of crispy chicken cutlet with a generous dollop of spicy Namban sauce and tartar sauce in between soft buns was tasty. The thin fries were crispy and not oily. The portion of salad was quite generous. The sesame dressing was delicious.
Plain water was served and regularly topped up during our meal. We also ordered their signature hand drip coffee ($4.50) and cold Uji-Maccha Latte ($6.20). The cold tea had a nice green tea scent and was smooth and refreshing. The hot coffee took a while to come but it was well worth the wait. It was a good cup of coffee with a light clean taste.
Japan Rail Cafe in Tanjong Pagar Centre is a great spot for drinks or a simple meal. The brightly lit cafe has a simple but interesting and pleasant decor. The dining area is compact so expect the spacing between tables to be minimal. The service was good – attentive, prompt and courteous. The food was better than expected. This is one theme cafe which we will be happy to visit again and again.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Japan Rail Cafe
Tanjong Pagar Centre #01-20
5 Wallich Street
Opening Hours: 11 am – 9 pm
Nearby MRT Station : Tanjong Pagar