Clarke Quay on a weekday afternoon and Clarke Quay at night is completely different. On weekday afternoons, it's like a ghost town, which is perfect for a romantic lunchtime getaway for busy working executives (or colleagues carrying on a torrid affair). But come sunset time, Clarke Quay springs to life, and almost every restaurant is a roaring business.
I'm not that huge a fan of bento boxes, so I got the Shoyu Ramen ($14), after making CC and Mr J promise to eat the other bowl of ramen (it's a 1-for-1 promotion, and contrary to popular belief, I cannot finish TWO bowls of ramen). I paired it with the Nitamago (boiled seasoned egg) and Buta Karuni (stewed pork belly). The egg wasn't the half-runny type that I love so much, and it had that stale grey ring around the yolk. But, the soy seasoning had permeated the egg throughly, so the soy flavour came through every bite. I liked the decadently fatty stewed pork belly, it was a thick slab of tender meat.
CC had the Salmon Teriyaki Bento Box ($15), which included salmon and tuna sashimi, gyoza (fried dumpling), pickles, and an egg salad. CC's very averse to MSG, so he started scrapping the teriyaki sauce off the salmon. Otherwise, the dish was a hit. The salmon teriyaki was moist and sweet. The sashimi was fresh and fleshy (tongue-twister, this one!). The perfectly done Japanese short-grained rice was soft, sticky and fragrant. The gyoza, while meaty and robust, was a little too spicy for him though.
Mr J got the chicken version, Tori Nanban Bento Box ($15), which was served with the same sides. Don't you love how the Japanese make everything they eat look so pretty?
We also ordered Ebi Tempura ($12), which was surprisingly well done. The batter was light, the prawn was juicy and sweet, and the frying oil was very hot, so the prawn was amazingly crispy.
Extremely value-for-money $15 lunchtime promotion, if you've got a car and/or work around the area, you should try going to Clarke Quay for lunch.
3A River Valley Road #01-04
Tel: 6333 0100
Open Sundays to Thursdays from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch and 6pm to 1am for dinner;
Fridays, Saturdays and Eve of Public holidays from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch and 6pm to 3am for dinner.