It was the first time I’ve heard of this mall called myVillage @ Serangoon Garden and in this place has a hidden gem – Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen.
Just a little background of the chef: Chef Tan-San is actually a Singaporean who worked his way up to the chef he is today. In summary, he first started his culinary journey in Singapore, followed by in China where he left his wife and child back in Singapore, and subsequently to Japan where he learned all his tricks that he uses today. After coming back to Singapore from Japan, he actually put everything he had to open the restaurant he has today which has garnered many fans.
For starters, I know some of you might skip it but trust me, you might want to actually start your meal with these. I had the best ever Roasted Edamame which was so different from the usual boiled ones. It was packed with a smoky flavour and sprinkled with salt, it was just the perfect way to stir up an appetite.
Another appetiser you might want to try was the Tori Karaage as the marinate on this karaage was so on point. The fry on the skin was so crispy and yet the meat was still so tender. You can even pair it with Tonkatsu sauce that comes free flow at the side!
The breading on the Potato Korokke was flown in all the way from Japan and the potatoes are only breaded and fried upon order. So much effort goes into this one appetiser – the potatoes are mashed and mixed with Japanese pork bits which were seasoned and cooked separately.Price: $4.50
Hajime has a wide selection of Ramens but this particular ramen was brought to our attention – the Ebi Fry Ramen ($16.90) is the 1st in Singapore created by the chef and wait till you hear about the effort put into this one bowl.
Firstly, the Tonkatsu base broth is simmered for 12 hours and even infused with a sakura ebi paste that gives it an extra kick of spice. Plus, there is no MSG added at all.
Next, Chef uses Nama Noodles which is produced by a Japanese company in Singapore, using flour from Japan.
The Ebi is also only breaded and fried upon order, same as the potato korokke, with fresh bread crumbs in the batter for an extra crunch.
The Loin Rib Char Siew, for me, was the star of this dish. Marinated using a special in-house sauce, the special cut of this pork loin is sourced by Chef himself and is easily one of the best porks I’ve ever eaten.
Lastly, it is finished with Menma (bamboo shoots) from Japan, Moyashi (bean sprouts), a dash of Japenese La-Yu (chilli oil) and sprinkles of crispy sakura ebi.
This dish sounds like a handful, but trust me, everything went so well together.
Moving onto the Tonkatsu mains, all of them generously come with free flow rice and cabbage! The rice is actually from Niigata, a place known for growing rice in waters from melting snow (felt so atas eating this).
Also, the Tonjiru Soup that comes with the sets are prepared using the 12 hour-simmered Tonkatsu Broth and inside are bits of Japanese Pork, carrots, radish, burdock roots, konnyaku (Japanese yam jelly) and yuzu.
The thinly sliced, crunchy cabbage is dressed with Wafu dressing that is light, healthy and hence more refreshing. My friend, Claudia, loved it so much she ate 2 portions of this cabbage.
We tried the Premium Pork Loin ($21.90) which is a Japanese air flown Sangenton Pork chosen by Chef for its tender and juicy nature. This premium cut is desired for its great balance of marbling and fat.
Same as the korokke and ebi, the pork loin is breaded and fried upon every order. Also, the pork katsu had minimal oil on it as a special technique is used to drain off the oil.
Personally, I loved my pork with the sauce I created using ground, roasted goma (sesame) seeds and a lot of the sweet tonkatsu sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even dip a little bit of mustard for a slight kick.
FYI: The piece that is faced up is actually the best cut of the whole fillet served because it has the most amount of fat in it.
If you think that can’t get any better, wait till you try the Nagoya Miso Fillet which was my favourite dish. I’m telling you, that Miso sauce they created with red wine and tonkatsu broth has been perfected, I can’t even get around to explain how good it was. It had the consistency of Japanese curry, and a sweet and savoury taste which complimented the fillet so well. I loved this sauce so much I dipped my pork loin into this because I refused to waste it.Price: $19.50
1 Maju Avenue
myVillage @ Serangoon Garden
Monday to Friday
11.30am – 3.00pm
6.00pm – 10pm
Saturday, Sunday & PH
11.30am – 3.00pm
5.00pm – 10pm
+65 6509 9952