Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Experience Japan Hour at Waraku

51 Cuppage Road, #01-12
StarHub Centre, Singapore 229469
Tel: 6721123

(they have other outlets in East Coast and Katong)

In light of the annual monsoon rain that we have been receiving, I have a good suggestion to fight the wet-grey-day blues. Nothing beats a nice hot pot of soup on a nice cold day. I went to Waraku on a rainy afternoon, and I left the restaurant with the warm tummy and a smile.

one of the variations of their "Japanese Papersteamboat"

Being in Waraku is like experiencing the show Japan Hour. You have the Japanese speaking staff constantly greeting you, “Irasshaimase, welcome to Waaaa-raaaku” and when you leave, there is a chorus to usher you out, “Thank you for coming to Waaaa-raaaaku”. I like it when I go to a Japanese restaurant and I hear people around you speaking in Japanese. It usually an affirmative sign you are in a good place, if the Japanese people like, it has to be authentic. This place is quite Japanese, and it lives up to the standards that they set for themselves.

On their business card it reads:

WARAKU will continue to provide food Traditional Japanese Food and Service at a reasonable price…

Based on that, they get two of thumbs up from me.

How Japanese is this place? Well, the card also reads…

* how to hear thank you from customer
* how to get smile from customer
* how to get appreciation from customer
* we thinking all the way

If anything, they got a big THANK YOU, SMILE and wonderful APPRASIAL from me.

Regarding the more important issue, the food is good. This place’s speciality is its udon, so I decided that I had to give it a try. It was goooooood. It was also interesting because I thought it was only the Italians that had their noodle type things at an al-dente texture, the udon that I had here also had a slight bounce to it that you would never ever get in those packet udon from the supermarket that I’m used to. The soup was also absolutely heavenly. On a cold and wet day, it’s a great place to hide out, with the hotpot in front of you. I had a miso based soup (you can either have a clear soup, miso soup or a spicy soup) with chicken and a load of vegetables and udon which was priced at about S$18 inclusive of taxes. This is also one of the few places in Singapore which serves the ‘Japanese paper-steamboat’, and its reasonable too, they range from about S$9-S$15 for one of those steamboats that would come with a serving of rice and chawarmushi.

I like this place very much. The wide range of choices that they offer you is fantastic, however if you are as indecisive as me, you’ll find yourself in a lot of trouble, because they had to come back for my order 5 minutes after my family had decided. In addition to that, it is not that expensive. Service is quick and attentive too, but the only catch is that, the food comes quick, but if you have a steamboat, you'll have to wait in anticipation for the soup the boil and the food to get cooked. Plus, if you ever find yourself craving for some Japanese after watching Japan Hour, this is the place to come.

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