I’ve always been curious about tampopo, given that it was rather popular quite a few years back, and there are healthy queues when I pop by town on the weekend. it’s the first time I’ve been here after walking pass so often, and I’ve got to say I’ve doubts as to whether there’s any point in coming here, since prices are about the same as sushi tei and ichiban boshi, and the flavours are nowhere as good.
it reminds me of watami quite a lot – both are relatively cheap japanese options with huge laminated menus suited for japanese food plebs. I also retract my “nowhere as good” from before, for I think it’s more that the food is rather rough around the edges, and not quite refined, akin to the sort of japanese food you get at a food court stall.
so while it means there’s absolutely nothing for me rant about, there’s also very little I can say. imagine a pretty satisfying food court meal – you went there because you were hungry and it was cheap and options abound, but you had your heart set on japanese nearly so much anything would do, and then this plate of japanese-looking food arrives – good enough to sate, cheap enough not to complain, and tasty enough to be more than edible.
so I leave you with photos, of a warm omelette that was good without being spectacular, of squid coated with a teriyaki-esque sauce that could have done with actual marinating (as opposed to just being slathered) that wasn’t rubbery,
potato salad topped with tiny sakura prawns, a big bowl of ramen that was accompanied rather perplexingly with tiny fried shrimp (the small cheap sort you see in fried rice),
salmon wrapped in rice paper and salad leaves, or tossed with even more salad and crispy fish skin – fresh, not fishy, but also not really with much flavor –
and an impressively juicy slab of crispy tonkatsu stuffed with ham and cheese, most definitely the most skill-showing and impressive dish on the table that day, and
half a salmon head, grilled a little too dry and rather sparse with meat (the sushi tei one makes a much better meal).
so, really, no complains, but no real recommendation either. it’s cheap for being in town, and an almost mindless option if you’re in one of those moods when food needs to fill rather than sate – but otherwise, cross the road to the sushi tei at paragon (my favorite branch of the chain).
#B2-33 Takashimaya Shopping Centre
391B Orchard Road
tel +65 6235 2318
$$.5: probably about twenty-thirtyish