Aside from McDonald’s Nasi Lemak Burger, perhaps another thing fellow Singaporeans commonly love is Japanese cuisine. While there is an abundance of choice in Orchard, most restaurants are not wallet-friendly, especially if you are someone like me who can go Japanese for every meal, 7 days a week. Fortunately, the recently opened Fry Pan Shokudo Express offers authentic mouth-watering Katsu concept meals at affordable prices ($6 to $40).
Located within the Japan Foods Garden, Fry Pan Shokudo (which means Fry Pan Canteen), is the newest addition to join the enclave of Japanese eateries tucked in a cosy corner of Isetan Scotts Food Republic. It serves variations of Pork, Chicken, and Salmon Katsu set meals. We tried the Jumbo Tendon, Miso Pork Katsu set meal, Salmon Katsu-Ni set meal, and the Salmon Head Miso soup during our visit.
As Katsu set meals are a staple on their menu, it was surprising that the Jumbo Tendon, a Tempura main course, was listed as one of their signature dishes. After taking a first bite of the Tempura prawn, it was indeed a standout from the menu. The prawns were sweet and springy with a light batter that was crispy without having too much flour. The portion was also generous with 2 whole Tempura prawns along with Tempura carrots, long beans, and pumpkin over a large bowl of Japanese rice. As Tempura is generally dry, more teriyaki sauce drizzled over would have completed the job.
Being branded as a Katsu-concept eatery, we had quite high expectations of Fry Pan Shokudo’s Katsu set meals. However, the Miso Pork Katsu was slightly disappointing as the pork was not only hard, but dry as well. The fry pan was also seemingly cool and wasn’t sizzling or smoking at least like one would expect with “Fry Pan” in their name, causing the Katsu to be cold fast. The meal was redeemed slightly with the mildly spicy miso sauce which enhanced the taste of the pork katsu. Each set meal also comes with tofu, salad, and a bowl of miso soup that was commendable as it was tasty yet light, smooth and not too salty and powdery.
Similar to an Oyako Don, the Salmon Katsu-Ni was served with eggs, onion, and scallions with teriyaki sauce drizzled over. The Salmon Katsu was sweet, crispy, and surprisingly not overcooked, which in my opinion, is the most important aspect of any Salmon dish. There were however, quite a lot of bones in the fish, which was quite an inconvenience.
Finally, we tried the Salmon Head Miso soup as it caught our eyes from the menu. Although not the most aesthetic dish, the soup was an enhanced version of the miso soup served with the set meals – flavourful, well-balanced, and perhaps more suitable for those with a lighter palate. Likewise, the portion was generous and good for 2 persons. As hardcore salmon fans, we were delighted with the amount of fatty flesh in its head.
Overall, Fry Pan Shokudo is pretty value for money and well worth the visit whenever you are in town and wish to satisfy your endless cravings of Japanese cuisine.
Fry Pan Shokudo Location Address:
Japan Foods Garden
1 Scotts Road Shaw Centre #B1-01