“Hajime is the Japanese word for “beginning” (初め) and the short form for “Hajimemashite”, which means “Nice to meet you”. It represents our philosophy of going back to food’s beginning and our warm welcome to all patrons.” – http://hajime.com.sg/
Meet Chef Tan-San, whom is often mistaken as a Japanese due to his signature mustache. He is Singapore’s First Tonkatsu Chef. He brings along with him some 25 years of experience as a chef, from his early days working in the kitchen of Tonikichi, Singapore’s first Tonkatsu specialty restaurant under the Pokka Group. He was also the pioneer chef who started the popular Tampopo Japanese restaurant chain.
Expect tip-top good quality food at reasonable and affordable prices without service charges. Despite that, you can see that they put it every effort to make every dish the same standard in terms of taste, appearance and quality.
Our appetizer arrived with the Roasted Edamame $3.90. Notice that the edamame is not the usual boiled types but these are air flown in from Japan, slightly charred from its roasting and sprinkled with salt to enhance its flavor. One can never stop snacking on these and I think they make good guilt-free and healthy snacks.
I used to snack on this because I think they’re healthier than potato chips!
Next, we were presented with the Gyoza $6.90. I personally thought these Gyoza tasted quite ordinary but tasty nevertheless.
Ebi Fry x3, $6.90 was super crispy on the outside and tasted really good unlike the usual tempura which tasted thick with batter and flour. The bread crumbs which they used for coating the prawn is breaded and fried upon order so you can be assured they are the freshest.
At only $19.90, you get to enjoy a full set meal with the Premium Pork Loin Tonkatsu. I was quite happy that at nothing more than $20, I can get such high quality, Japanese air flown pork. Special cuts of pork loin meat was selected because of the balance of the fat and marbling so that customers enjoys only the best Tonkatsu from the combination of the tenderised meat which is freshly breaded fried to crispness and perfection.
The crispiness last throughout the meal even after the Tonkatsu was left aside and almost forgotten with the rest of the upcoming dishes that we were presented with.
The rice that you eat here is not normal Japanese pearl rice, they are flown in from Niigata, grown from the pristine waters from melting snow. Not only that, efforts were put in to create the in-house pickles so that you can eat them with your rice.
Even the soup is not ordinary Miso soup, you get a bowl of deliciously cooked overnight tonijiru broth which has been simmered for 12hours using Japanese pork, radish, carrots, burdock and added with a hint of Yuzu.
These sesame seeds are lightly roasted to bring out their fragrance, for your personal grinding experience, blended with their Tonkatsu sauce and used as a dipping sauce. They tasted great.
If you prefer the Fillet version, try the Miso Fillet $17.90 which as little bits of pink in the centre, juicy and tender with the red wine miso sauce which seemed to be a fan with ladies. Order this set and you’ll get the rice, soup and watermelon as well.
There are different dressings and sauce meant for everything so go ahead and pick your favourite to go with your dish.
Unlike the usual cooking method of having the Pork Katsu and the egg cooked with the gravy, Chef Tan improvises this by having the Katsu Don $12.90 cooked in a different way. In order to preserve the Katsu’s crispness, the Pork katsu and Niigata rice is separated by a slice of seaweed, the home made donburi sauce with caramelised onion is laid over the katsu. Order this set, and you’ll get the rice, soup and watermelon as well.
If rice is just not your thing, try the Tonkatsu Ramen $14.90 made of Nama noodles with a beautifully simmered for 12 hours broth. There is no MSG added to it so feel free to savor up to the last drop.
With Farrah, Kenneth, Soon Hui, Chef Tan and my hubby
Overall I love how the food was presented with attention given to both the plating and the diner’s taste buds. The price is reasonable and the food is of great quality. We enjoyed all the dishes and the company. Thanks Chef-Tan for being so particular on ensuring that every dish send out is of equal quality, looks good and taste the same every single time.
Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen
myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens
1 Maju Avenue, #02-07/8/9
Mon to Fri:
11:30am to 3:00pm
6:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat, Sun & PH:
11.30am to 3:00pm
5:00pm to 10:00pm
Last order at 9:30pm
Disclaimer: This article is made possible because of the food tasting invitation extended by Kenneth, myVillage and Soon Hui. Thank you so much for having us.