I first heard of Teppei because of their elusive omakase dinners that required a waiting list of a couple of months. There was once I even tried to call to get a reservation for myself 2 years ago, but to no avail.
Hence, when I heard that they first opened their take away outlet in the Food Hall of Takashimaya’s basement, I jumped at the opportunity and gregariously joined the queue (omg my first time using this word, is it even right?), because.. It’s TEPPEI leh! And it’s so unbelievably accessible! That, was about 2 years ago. Just look at this..
I cry. IT WAS SO GOOD. SO AMAZING. We would still reminisce about these bowls 2 years on. They still have their outlet at Takashimaya by the way, as well as 4 other outlets in central Singapore, including one at Millenia Walk! So why another outlet in town?
This time, the Teppei Syokudo on B4 of ION Orchard is kinda the same as the one at Taka, BUT you can now DIY your dons with the choice of various toppings as you’d see later (EXCLUSIVE TO THIS OUTLET ONLY), and they also serve curry rice and bento sets here! They even have several tables for you to eat in!
Like I’ve mentioned, this outlet of Teppei has tables for you to dine in, however it can get pretty cramped and noisy. I’d really rather dabao it back to the office (if you’re working nearby) and have it in the comforts of my own table. Haha! Antisocial.
You’d order your food at the cashier and if you’re dining in, they do serve your bowls to you! No service charge one. Haha!
They serve up their best seller, the Kaisendon, alongside with a Kaisen salad, as well as curry rice, bento sides, croquettes and onigiri! The best part of this brand new outlet at ION Orchard is THE DIY Kaisen Don, which is only available here. Perfect for picky eaters like me. Here’s the order form for a DIY bowl. Follow the instructions and choose your favorite fishes! Additional toppings are available with extra charges!
P.S. What you would see in the following pictures might not be what you’d get depending on the type of add-ons you choose and pay for. One of my friends ticked almost every box on the order list so.. Not all dons are made equal. For every selection, you will be able to receive 50g scoop of fish of your choice.
As a food blogger, I know I should’ve also tried the curry rice and bentos to give a more complete review, but as you guys know.. Explodingbelly is as real as she can get. She just wants to eat what she wants, not what she needs to take picture of and talk about. HAHA. HOW CAN I POSSIBLY FORGO THE DIY KAISEN DON WHEN I’M THERE AT ION?!
Disclaimers aside, here are some of the croquettes we had:
We thought the Hokkaido Cheese ($3) fared the best out of the 4. It had this creamy texture with the additional punch of the pleasant cheesiness within the crisp croquette. While their croquettes were all well breaded, we thought the crab and scallop ones were a little of a let down because they were made into cream instead of having some chunks for the bite that we all expected to experience. Go for the Hokkaido Cheese if you’re craving for something fried!
DIY Kaisen Don
The great thing about this outlet at ION is that they have the SALAD version of the kaisen don – Kaisen Salad. Perfect for people like me who are just so used to not having rice in any of our meals, and honestly, I’d rather spend $15.80 on my DIY bowl of salad with FOUR choices of FRESH fish chunks, than to pay $12 at a salad store nearby. But, that’s just me!
From my experience, I’d say this was the freshest and the most delicious bowl of salad I ever had, and I’m glad for the DIY option because I’m really fussy with my sashimi! While the salmon sashimi is a given (it’s super chunky and good), the other items I recommend would be the SCALLOP (so fresh, so juicy), and of course, the poppingly good salmon roe!
I’m not too sure if any of you have had mentaiko on its own, because only the mentaiko roe is usually used as the seasoning and toppings for my food, this was my first time having the whole Mentaiko (the sausage looking, undercover tuna) and I didnt quite like it. It was too salty for our liking, perhaps, the combination of it with rice would do the job!
The other item that didn’t quite suit my tastebuds was the sakura garnish. While it had a nice grainy bite to it, and a sweet-savory flavor, I thought it was slightly too sweet for my liking, and it did not go well at all with my salad! Personal preference though!
The other kaisen dons we DIY-ed are as follows:
They have edamame too! The garlic looking thing is actually tempura bits. This is the bowl which my friend ordered and almost ticked everything off the list. So… When we scraped off the first layer.. This was what followed.
Honestly, to me, I’d think $19.80 is a steal for a large kaisen don with FIVE fish toppings, considering how fresh and chunky those toppings were. If I wanted to pamper myself, and go for an indulgent kaisen don, I could easily tick off several boxes on the premiums list on top of the 5 toppings, and that wouldn’t even set me back as much as what most Japanese restaurants would, for dinner especially. P.S. they’ve made it to my budget cafe list even though they cost more than $15, because.. This is possibly the most affordable don I can find.
If you’re unable to make up your mind, or just love salmon and tuna sashimi, Teppei @ ION do serve their usual Kaisen-don ($16) as well, which comes with salmon, tuna sashimi, and salmon roe, mixed together with their special sauce, wasabi, goma and sprouts!
Saving the BEST for the last, if you’re already salivating and planning your visit to this outlet at ION, I’ve got great news for you! You can now get a 15% discount off your total bill when you quote “ExplodingBellyTeppeiDIY” from now till.. 100 people claims it. I think.. NOBODY WOULD?! SO I’M GOING BACK THERE A HUNDRED TIMES TO CLAIM IT. HAHA!
How to get there?
2 Orchard Turn, #B4-57
Special thanks to Teppei Syokudo for the invite, as well as Rachel and Chew Shian for the company and pigging out!