Fans of Japanese food, particularly Tonkatsu (deep-fried breaded pork or chicken cutlet), wouldn't be unfamiliar with Saboten, the largest Tonkatsu chain in Japan. In total, it has 500 branches worldwide.
The IMM outlet in Singapore has recently unveiled a brand new dining concept by adding greater varieties to the menu including shabu shabu and teppanyaki set meals, starting from $14.90. A total of 18 new set menus have been introduced which includes Salmon Sashimi and Halibut Katsu set. The variety there is rather overwhelming. It really took me a while to decide what I'd order and I decided that I shall keep to my favourite deep-fried breaded shrimp and pork cutlet (Teriyaki Chicken and Tenderloin Katsu Gozen).
The starter items, chawanmushi (aka tea-cup steam or egg custard) and cabbage salad, was really good. The steamed egg custard was served warm, soft and smooth which tasted like silken bean curd. The cabbage salad was so finely shredded that it didn't feel too thick and raw. A simple yet so delicious dish mainly because of the house concoction of the goma salad dressing too. Goma salad dressing is a mayo based dressing with sesame as it's main ingredients.
Here's my Teriyaki Chicken with Tenderloin Katsu Gozen complete with a piece of deep fried prawn and griddled prawn. The advantage of the Saboten set meals is that you get to savour a variety of dishes. My favourite from this set meal was the deep fried prawn and Katsu. Coated with the house-made bread crumbs, the prawn and katsu was really crispy at the outer layer while the meat remains tender and juicy. The bowl next to the rice comprises fragrant roasted white and black sesame. We are supposed to grind the sesame using the grinding stick provided.
When the sesame has been finely grinded, add in the tonkatsu sauce, made from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Together, this fragrant sauce makes the tonkatsu an amazing dish!
Saboten at IMM is a cosy and contemporary restaurant suitable for business lunch, family and friends gatherings. The service staff are attentive, knowledgeable and polite.
2 Jurong East Street 21 #01-19
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm (Last order at 9.30pm)
Getting there: Take the MRT to Jurong East Station. Exit from the station and go towards the direction of Westgate (shopping mall). Free shuttle buses are available from the pick-up/drop off point at Westgate between 10.30am to 10.30pm daily at 10 to 15-min interval. The ride to IMM from Westgate takes about 5 mins.