Our da bao of the day (DBOTD) is a selection of affordable Japanese food takeaway from the Takashimaya food hall (level B2). It was a break from the usual hawker fare / tze char that we had been having.
Information on Takashimaya COVID (phase 2) procedures
Visiting Takashimaya during the Singapore Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) was an experience for us as we had not been to the Orchard Road mall in a while. As at the time of writing, the Takashimaya department store opening hours are 11am to 8pm. Those entering by car had their trace together scanning and temperature done at the entrance to the carpark. It caused a slight traffic build-up at the Taka drive way, but everything was a breeze once we passed the gantry. The mall was mostly quiet. The busiest place was in B2 (picture above) where people were da baoing food like us, but crowd density was still quite low.
Japanese Food Takeaway Lunch From Takashimaya :
We can see why level B2 is a popular place for takeaway food during the current ban on dining in. The range of food is very wide. There is a food court where local food like chicken rice and chai png is available. Deeper inside the food hall are kiosks which serve Japanese, Italian and Vietnamese cusine. We bought food from three outlets in the Taka B2 food hall: bento lunches from Kimukatsu and Yonehachi and some red bean dessert from Mr Obanyaki. Here is a picture of our Japanese takeaway lunch.
Kimukatsu: Mille Feuille Katsu
According to a sign on the wall, Kimukatsu is the first in the world to create mille-feuille katsu and the only restaurant that offers it in multiple flavours. Chicken or pork katsu are served in very thin slices (said to be 25 layers, but we did not count them}. This mille-feuille style is available in flavours such as cheese, yuzu, garlic and black pepper.
Here are pictures of the Kimukatsu menu at Takashimaya. We selected te Kimukatsu bento ($14.90). For the meat, we could choose from the same katsu options that are available in the set menu. We chose the pork in “original” flavour.
Here are pictures of our Japanese takeaway food bento from Kimukatsu. It is different from the usual tonkatsu in that the pork had been sliced. This made it taste lighter and was easier to handle than a solid piece of meat. The crust was also nice and crisp, surviving the journey home quite well. This is a Japanese tar pow place to consider for future visits.
Japanese Takeaway Food : Yonehachi Takashimaya
Our other choice of food was from Yonehachi Takashimaya. It specialises in Okowa（おこわ), a Japanese glutinous rice dish cooked with different ingredients such as chestnut, salmon, clams or scallops. The various types of okowa were on display and they all looked rather appealing. They can be bought on their own (sold by weight) or as part of a set meal (which was what we did).
Here is a picture of one of the menus available at Yonehachi. Our choice was the grilled saba okawa set ($16.90).
We picked the scallop okowa for our rice. Quite a few scallops were embedded in the rice, giving it a light seafood flavour. The rice itself was sticky glutinous rice which was nice and chewy. The grilled mackerel was not bad but not very memorable. Unlike the food from Kumikatsu which was freshly cooked, the items at Yonehachi appeared to be pre-cooked and were simply assembled when each order is placed. The upside of this is that the buying process was quick and no waiting time was necessary.
We completed our Japanese food takeaway lunch from Takashimaya Food Hall with a couple of snacks from the Mr Obanyaki stall.
The popular Japanese snacks are either round (obanyaki) or in the shape of a fish (taiyaki). They are available in various flavours but we always buy the classic red bean ones. We bought one of each shape.
This is a picture of our dessert. The fish shaped one ($2) has a more appealing look and has a more crusty surface because of its flat shape. The round one is cheaper ($1.80) and seemed to have more substance. We are happy to have either one to eat with a cup of strong black coffee.
Japanese Food Takeaway from Takashimaya Food Hall
Takashimaya Food Hall
391A Orchard Road, Basement 2, Ngee Ann City
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 8pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog