My hubby and I are always in a search for good Japanese restaurants in Singapore. We are such fans of the Japanese cuisine. So we jumped at the chance of going to Serangoon Gardens to check out Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen.
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen in myVillage in Serangoon Gardens. My hubby and I were greeted “Hajimemashite” when we came in. I later learned it means, “Nice to meet you” or “beginning”. I realized that is where the restaurant name came from.
The restaurant has a modern and minimalistic decor with subtle lighting and red & black motiff. It is the place for casual dining and has a homey feel like a constant go-to place for family and friends. It was nice to see that the staff knows their regular customers and they are greeted with warm smiles & a quick friendly chats.
The chef of Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen, Chef Tan-san is a Singaporean trained in the art of making the perfect delicious Tonkatsu in Japan. He returned here in Singapore after his intense training in Japan in 1993 and started the first Tonkatsu Specialty Restaurant chain.
My hubby and I were excited to try out what Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen has to offer for us.
Tori Karaage ($4.90)
This made of chicken thigh cut into bite-size chunks. It is marinated for hours in a secret sauce which gives this side dish a very addicting delicious flavour. It is very tender and not oily at all.
This is made from freshly mashed potato with some pork bits. Then it is deep-fried with soft bread-crumbs. This is made from scratch and only made-to-order to ensure its freshness. I really enjoyed this dish a lot since I have been a potato-fiend lately.
Miso Fillet ($17.90)
This is definitely the highlight of our dinner. It is beautifully plated before us. The miso is from Nagoya, Japan. The recipe contains red wine and tonkotsu broth.
Each of the fillet is made upon the specifications of the customers, depending on how tender and breaded they want it to be. To ensure the freshness of the pork, there is no pre-seasoning or marination done. The bread crumbs are fresh to give it a long lasting crunchiness and the fillet is cooked in such a way that it is not overcooked or greasy.
The dish comes with rice, pickles, Tonjiru soup with a hint of Yazu, crunchy cabbage and watermelon for the soothing effect for a wholesome meal.
It also comes with Gomo (Sesame) Seed which you grind yourself with a Goma stick & bowl. It is a nice experience doing the grinding of the sesame seeds. You can scatter the pulverized seeds in your rice or put with your Miso sauce or Tonkatsu sauce. I am loving the Miso sauce because of its sweet & tangy taste while my hubby digs the Tonkatsu sauce. This is a must-try if you are coming to dine in Hajime.
Ebi Fry Ramen ($16.90)
This is the the first ever Ebi Fry Ramen in Singapore created by Chef Tan-san. It has a Tonkotsu Base Broth simmered for 12 hours infused with a Sakura Ebi paste and a loin rib chashu marinated to perfection . I am glad is an all natural ramen with no dash of MSG. The Nama noodles has that right kind of texture. This comes with two large yummy crunchy Ebi Fry. It has its own tartar sauce. The ramen is topped with a generous sprinkle of crispy Sakura Ebi. This is another dish I enjoyed and highly recommend.
Katsu Don ($ 12.90)
This type of Don Buri dish has always been my favorite. It is the ultimate comfort Japanese food. Chef Tan-san made a twist in how this dish is often cooked. Instead of cooking the pork fillet with sauce and egg, the katsu is laid in the rice with seaweed in between. Then the runny eggs, carmelised onions and special Donburi sauce will be placed on top of the fillet allowing the sauce to flow into the rice but still keeping the crunchiness of the fillet. This is also a hit!
I guess all of the dishes we tried was a 5/5. I kid you not. Hajime delivered an excellent selection of Japanese dishes that family and friends would love with affordable & reasonable prices. We are happy to have met Chef Tan-san. He was a wonderfully warm person to chat with which overflows in his mastery of creating a meal that envokes warmth and comfort. We highly recommend our family and friends to visit Hajime Tonkatsu and Ramen. It is definitely worth the visit.
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens
1 Maju Avenue, #02-07/8/9
+65 6509 9952
Nearest MRT: Lorong Chuan
Disclaimer: This was a food tasting invitation in collaboration with Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen. The food tasting was free. No monetary compensation is involved. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.