Seafood is the star at wallet-friendly Japanese restaurant Sen-ryo
Sen-ryo originated from Tochigi, Japan, cemented its popularity in Hong Kong, and it has now opened its first Singapore outlet at Ion Orchard.
The focus is on seafood, which is imported twice weekly from the renowned Toyosu fish market in the Bay of Tokyo.
There are other ingredients that also come from Japan - koshihikari rice from Aomori, artisanal vinegar fermented in Gifu and shoyu from Igagoe.
But Sen-ryo's angle is affordability, so prices are friendly and this should be at the back of your mind when you dine there. You get what you pay for.
Go with an open mind and it is very likely that you will enjoy the food and have a wonderful time in sleek surroundings.
The star item at the restaurant is the DIY Hokkaido Uni ($58).
The value is incredible, and imagine the number of TikTok videos you can make from this dish.
Think of it as uni popiah and you are on the right track. The uni may not be top grade - not for the price you pay - but you probably will not care too much.
My favourite item is the Tamagoyaki with Mentaiko Sauce ($2.80).
Again, for this price, do not expect top-notch mentaiko, but what you are served works - and you should order a few. It is a savoury bite that ends with an umami note.
Another visual dish is the Kaisen Soy Nabe ($32).
The milky soup is made with Japanese soya milk and dashi. There are ingredients such as king snow crab legs and scallops in it.
The taste is gentle and almost creamy, punctuated by the sweetness of the seafood.
The Grilled Chicken Thigh in Charcoal-style Sauce ($7.80) is a flavourful dish.
The specially imported charcoal-infused sukiyaki sauce adds colour but little else.
There will be diners who will always want chicken and this will satisfy them, even if they may forget about it an hour later.
The Grilled US Beef Tenderloin and Foie Gras ($28) is a Singapore exclusive.
The beef and foie gras come on a bed of onions, with a sauce made with the juices of the meat, mirin and black pepper.
It is an easy dish because the ingredients are not too unusual, but there is a sense of mystery to it because you cannot see what you are actually eating.
Sen-ryo is so generous with the sauce that until I popped a bite into my mouth, I did not know that it was foie gras on my fork. I found the meat itself not exciting though, as it was a tad too dry.
But seafood is the star at Sen-ryo, so this slip should not distract from the overall appeal.
Ion Orchard, #03-14
Opens 11.30am to 10.30pm