HIFUMI Japanese Restaurant is a small casual dining restaurant located on the second floor of Marina Square. They serve a small section of dishes and for their locality are pretty value for money. Let’s check out this little gem of an eating place I always see myself coming back to.
Casual Japanese dining
The restaurant ambience is chill, especially if you visit later in the evening from 8pm. Notably, previously, the restaurant used to have an hour seating time-limit, especially when full-house. But the restaurant do not really enforce that if there are no queues, or at least on weekdays when the restaurant is not full. You be invited to access the salad bar after placing your order.
Good food at a good price
Moreover, HIFUMI offers a few choices of popular Japanese dishes on their ala carte menu. Also, their selection includes an array of hot plate dishes, such as Toji, Teppans, as well as soupy mini hot pot dishes. Their entire menu selection is surprisingly affordably priced under $20, making it ideal for meals on a budget or with students. Their hotpots choices ranges from Sukiyaki, to even Shabu-shabu choices.
A favorite of mine will be the Ishikari Miso hotpot. For $19.99, you get a large potpourri comprising of Hokkaido ishikari miso with generous servings of salmon, scallops, prawns, corn and vegetables. You pot more often is seen overflowing with ingredients.
Moreover, if you desire a Nabe fix, their Yuzu Collagen Hotpot at $17.99 is also recommended. It comes loaded with the collagen goodness. Their Kaisen Nabe seafood hotpot equivalent is topped up with prawns, salmon, scallops, clams, assorted vegetables, mushrooms and paired with Udon or Sticky Rice also at an affordable $17.99.
Topping up with stew offerings will be their Beef Sukiyaki Hotpot at $17.99, it is served with thinly sliced Shabu-shabu beef, loaded with mushrooms and assorted vegetables.
The food quality is good for what you expect for the price. The stew ingredients were well cooked. The mini wok has a flame which keeps your food warm throughout your meal. Their Miso is clear without being too over salty, however, tastes are subjective, so it pays to try it out for yourself.
Hotplate and Teppan dishes
Moreover, I was surprised HIFUMI offers quite an extensive selection of Japanese dishes, instead of specialising which most Japanese food store would. In addition to hotpots are their hotplate dishes. This includes Toji, served on a flat Teppan plate topped with cooked beaten egg. Here, we have their Chicken Oyakoni at $14.99 and Katsuni $15.99. It is a battered Pork or Chicken Katsu cutlet dressed in light Shoyu broth with onions.
This additionally compliments their Teppan plates (priced $15.99 to $16.99) selections. Their range of Salmon and Chicken teppan, as well Omurice (egg rice) and Beef Demi-glace Omurice with tops up their hotplate selections.
Their hotplate is worthy of a try, in addition to their hotpots. The dishes itself are pretty filling by itself, not forgetting you have a buffet bar at your disposal too. Their meats are cooked well, not burnt or overly dry and tasty.
Lastly, Tonkatsu, they can be rather filling with a choice of Pork or Chicken cutlet with plum Tonkatsu sauce. More adventurous ones will go for more exotic flavors such as the Salsa and cheese or demo-glace Tonkatsu priced at $16.99. On Ramen choices, there are Tonkotsu and Chicken ramen choices. These are the cheapest items on their menu with prices starting from $15.99. They make good quick meals and really value for money.
Buffet bar, a delightful bonus
In addition to their menu options, their buffet offerings are very wholesome. It includes a choice of Japanese steamed foods such as Chawanmushi, and Goyza dumplings.
Their buffet fried food selection includes sweet potato strips, potatoes and occasionally, chicken. If fried foods are not much to your liking, there is a small salad and greens section comprising of broccoli, lettuce and cherry tomatoes. In addition, there is a cold fruit platter, as well as a cold soba counter.
Hot and cold water are provided complimentary as part of your main course via the self-help buffet. However, if you wish to access the free-flow selection of soda soft drinks and the ice cream machine for an extra $2.90 on top on your bill. I personally do not find a need nor recommend to up size this extra as the basic offerings are more than good enough.
Furthermore, HIFUMI service is good and the staff are approachable and friendly. Food comes out very quickly, on average less than 5 minutes on my visits. You might not even have time to finish your buffet appetiser before having to tend to your main course. Not a problem with more food.
Comparisons to the competition
What makes HIFUMI extremely value for money is the side buffet offerings which is made available to any patron who orders a main course from their menu, you get similar offerings in Astons, as well as Earle Swensens.
Looking at what is offered on the market, you get similar priced offerings at competing restaurants such as Sushi Tei or Ajisen for instance with similar menu offerings around the $20 range for a mini wok or hot plate.
HIFUMI dishes are well-prepared, with portions adequate for the sub $20 price tag. Though they may not offer the total best in terms of food quality you expect from other casual Japanese food offerings in the competition. However, throw in a buffet offering in this price segment coupled with sizable portions just by itself as a meal, it puts HIFUMI in a very different market segment which is difficult to beat dollar-to-dollar.
All in all, for the variety and price segment, HIFUMI gets my pick for good budget Japanese food at a very reasonable price. I never once left the restaurant feeling unsatisfied or ripped off for something not meeting my expectations. For a nice quick happy meal with a cozy ambience, HIFUMI ticks my boxes.
Must Go! | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
HIFUMI Japanese Restaurant Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-106A
Weekdays: 11:30am–3pm, 5–10pm (Split shift)