When Zhongshan Mall at Balestier opened for business, I was delighted because I thought I had more choices for lunch.
Normally I do not patronize chain Japanese restaurants at all because they are not known to provide real Japanese food and are substandard. Such restaurants normally are prevalent in shopping malls all over Singapore.
Initially I was skeptical about the quality at Kotobuki because it sounded like one of those non authentic Japanese restaurants. However, I was just being too quick to judge because it wasn’t! Somehow the restaurant did have a Japanese feel to it, with TV sets broadcasting Japanese TV, Japanese menus..
Tonkatsu Set – $12.00++
I do appreciate good tonkatsu and while this doesn’t use kurobuta or any fancy meat, it was decent for the price. The portion was big and the deep fried batter was good enough.
Himawari – $16.00++
The above are daily lunch sets which are fixed and changes daily. However, they do not have it anymore. So far the standard never disappointed me, and in fact, surpassed by expectations! The food was not anything like instant or mass produced quality.
Sashimi Don – $24.00++
I see myself ordering this item pretty often nowadays. The sashimi selection at Kotobuki seems limited but it’s understandable as this restaurant has more cooked food than raw food. Still, the standard of the sashimi here wasn’t that bad! In fact, for the price, I think it’s worth it. The best fish was the Hamachi (yellowtail), because the cut they used has good marbling of fats.
During lunch and from 5pm – 7pm, they offer 20% off everything on the Ala Carte menu which I find to be quite an attractive offer.
The kind of food served here is nothing like horribly localized ‘Japanese’ restaurants so I really like it. Dining here gives me a true Japanese feel somehow.
Overall: Simple, unpretentious Japanese food.
ZhongShan Mall Singapore 329984
Open Daily (Include Chinese New Year)
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm (Last Order: 2.00pm)
Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:30pm (Last Order: 10.00pm