Shokudo was the first and only Japanese food bazaar that I knew of and used to frequent in S’pore. I never sampled other food outlets of its kind for a number of reasons; I didn’t feel a need to look for alternatives because it provided everything I ever wanted. Long story short, the Shokudo at Raffles City that I dearly loved ceased its operation – the bitter fact I came to realize one-half years ago. Settling back to hometown since early 2011, I didn’t know what, when, why it happened or where it could’ve possible moved to. Food is however one main reason to squeeze in ‘revisit Singapore’ to our yearly timetable, so Shokudo’s disappearance left a big gaping hole in my gourmet list.
Gotta be content with what you have. The forage for scrumptious yet affordable Japanese delicacies in town has thenceforth begun. To elucidate: Japanese food is one of countless Asian goodies that I savor and tend to devour. I hitherto have found preferred eateries for ramen, sushi, or fusion pasta. But discovering great one-stop-eating (if such phrase exists) place remains a top quest to conquer. As it turns out, Japanese food bazaar dining concept isn’t that hard to find. I‘ve visited a couple – Tokio Kitchen at Central Park and Ikuze at Epicentrum Walk. Burning question is how they score against Shokudo’s quality, fine taste and food selections range?
As the name ‘bazaar’ implies, the eateries line up the kitchen in traditional wooden food stalls shape according to categories like pizza, pasta, drinks, robatayaki, or teppanyaki. Patrons get to wander from kiosk to kiosk, drooling over the selections and foods being cooked before the eyes before making a purchase. Tokio, like Shokudo, uses food-card method – swiped by vendors when orders placed – whereas Ikuze employs contemporary approach – order from menu on the table. Ikuze goes after convenience, but palls experience and curbs excitement.
To answer the question above, Shokudo’s size and quality is unrivaled. Tokio’s taste wasn’t to our liking; some of Ikuze’s were decent; but we will revisit neither of them. Oh, the latter charges 7% for its service – based on experience, the higher the percentage is, the less satisfying the service quality is. Presumption that is yet to be proved the otherwise.
The search for scrumptious Japanese delicacies in town continues…