One of my good friends introduced me to a new eating place today! Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant is hidden away inside Far East Plaza, #05-132. It is said to be "one of the longest standing and possible the first Japanese yakitori restaurants around".
I am not quite a lover for meat and it took me some coaxing of myself to be game for the meat items. I was more interested in the skewered vegetables. Then again, the lovely fragrance of the seasoned meat over the charcoal coaxed me to take the challenge to enjoy various kinds of skewered meat such as asparagus maki (asparagus wrapped with pork), shiso maki (pork with shiso leaf) and more.
I like the idea of having to watch the chefs grilling the various skewered food. I am thankful to my friend for choosing the seats at the counter so that we can watch the chefs demonstrating their showmanship of seasoning and grilling the various kinds of meats and vegetables. My friend brought to my attention that the chefs would sprinkle sea salt over the meat to season the meat. The meat is flavoursome and juicy. I like the skewered shitake (mushroom). The skewered ginko nuts were a little on the bitter side for my taste.
Service wise, it was acceptable except that one of the staff had gotten our orders wrong and insisted that we had ordered wrongly. The conclusion that I came up was that the next time we order at Nanbantei, we ought to just point to the item that we had wanted. Our order of "salmon belly"was misheard as "salmon maki".
On the whole, the place has good ventilation and a homely decor. I would consider visiting Nanbantei again if I have friends who would like watching yakitori being skewered while enjoying a variety of yakitori. On my own, I may not visit it too often since it was the skewered meats that stood out and I am not quite a lover for meat. The skewered vegetables were palatable but they were less outstanding compared to the skewered meat.
Here is a tip, we have learnt that it is quite economical to consider the course dinners which is made up of selected number of skewered items and other food items. An average meal here will cost about $20 - $40 per person.
Many thanks to my friend for the recommendations.
Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant
14 Scotts Road
Far East Plaza
Tel: 6733 5666
Please visit its website
for the operating hours.