Located at Tanjong Pagar Centre is the travel-themed Japan Rail Cafe that has unique decor, (mainly) Japanese staff, a new menu every month, and a ticketing counter where you can get JR Passes and even tickets to Sanrio Puroland! As I’m not traveling to Japan anytime soon, I thought the food here would be worth a try. As they’ve just newly opened, do note that their operating hours are a little confusing – I think they need to get the new staff settled – so do check their website and social media pages before you head over. For take-out drinks, retail and rail passes, you can head by between 11am and 8pm. The cafe portion is open from 11am to 5pm today and tomorrow, and closes at either 1pm or 2pm during the weekend.
My pal parked his car at Guoco Tower and paid more than S$14 in parking fees. (We were in the cafe for around 2 hours.) Parking at the Tanjong Pagar area is pricey, no doubt, so take the MRT like I did. The station is ‘connected’ to Tanjong Pagar Centre anyway so you won’t be affected by bad weather. Just head upstairs to level 1 and you’ll see the Japan Rail Cafe.
Two pals and I popped by for lunch this week, and alas, just about everything was sold out when we arrived around 2pm. We ended up ordering the same item: the Ultimate A.B.C burger, with ‘ABC’ representing ‘Avocado, Bacon and Cheddar Cheese’. Thankfully it was a really GOOD burger.
The buns are from the Asanoya bakery in Singapore, which is famous for its Japanese baked goods. And the salad is from Panasonic’s veggie farm right here in Singapore. As for the wagyu beef patty, I honestly have no idea where it’s from, but I do know it was cooked to perfection. As for the sides, take my advice and skip the fries. Pick the potato wedges instead. You’ll really thank me for it later. Both my pals had the fries while I chose the wedges. Tip: You can ask for some chili sauce too. 🙂
This month’s theme is ‘Tohoku’ so the cafe is promoting the Tohoku region, which covers Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Fukushima, Miyagi, Yamagata & Niigata Prefectures. So expect food from this region, alongside travel tips and related products on sale. You’ll find their travel ‘magazine’ on the table (menu’s at the back). Do take a copy home. I sure did. 🙂
As for the drinks, we ordered the lattes and one came with whipped cream on top. We thought it was ice cream cos it just looked so pretty, then as we snapped pictures of our food, I realized the ‘ice cream’ wasn’t melting… and we concluded it was whipped cream. (>_<)
Interestingly enough, when we were done eating our yummy burgers, we were told that the kitchen had replenished their ingredients and we could order the Watashino Curry Rice (which was what I came here for) and the Kaisen Avocado Don (which my pal wanted to try). With our bellies bursting at the seams, we decided to give it a go – YOLO much – and order those two dishes as well, just in case they’re sold out again the next time we come here. And just as well, since the parking fee was hefty already.
Here’s the Watashino Curry Rice with my choice of sides: Crab cream korokke and stir-fry pork in sweet ginger sauce
And that’s one beautiful bowl of Kaisen Avocado Don:
To enjoy this dish, go ahead and eat the avocado, Aomori scallops, salmon sashimi etc on top, then pour the soup (from the teapot) into the bowl and you’ll get something like a rice porridge that is just amazing. It’s like two dishes for the price of one!
The Japan Rail Cafe also has a gifts segment where you can pick up items like snowflake-shaped pasta, soybean biscuits, clothing and even things like woven baskets. There was a really nice Japanese lady handing out samples of the biscuits for us to try, and we filled out a survey form thereafter regarding our feedback.
As for the pricing, let’s just say that for Japanese quality, you pay Japanese prices too, ya? 😀
A number of events and workshops will be happening at the cafe, so do keep a lookout for them and sign up if you’re keen. I most certainly want to be back again, especially when they’re featuring a new theme – I wonder which region’s next! 😀
Japan Rail Cafe is located at 5 Wallich Street, #01-20 Tanjong Pagar Centre S(078883)
*If you have to drive here, do park at the open-air carpark. If you park indoors, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉
[Pic Credit: Bosco from Hearted Moments (Bosco@heartedmoments.com)]