Akane is a Japanese restaurant situated in the Japanese Association in Singapore and I have to say that the food is possibly some of the best Japanese food that I’ve tried so far in Singapore but the only thing is that this restaurant is not open to the general public and you have to either be a member of the Japanese Association or go with a member in order to be able to dine there. I was fortunate enough to be invited there by one of my Japanese friends who is a member earlier this year for a New Year’s lunch.
We took the free shuttle bus from outside the Marriott hotel on Orchard Road which runs daily every half an hour to the Japanese Association near the Botanic Gardens. Akane is located on the 2nd floor of the Japanese Association and on entering the restaurant it brought back feelings of nostalgia of the years I spent living in Japan. The décor of the restaurant is typically Japanese, with bamboo poles and lamps lining the hallway to the main dining area, a small Japanese garden and private tatami rooms tucked away to the side and wooden furnishings. The restaurant is very spacious with tables spaced comfortably apart for more privacy as well as a counter where you can sit in front of an open kitchen and watch the chefs in action.
The lunch menu at Akane consists of several different set lunches as well as a good variety of a la carte options. We both decided to go for the tempura set lunch ($36++) which included an appetiser, 6 different types of tempura, rice or cold soba with tempura and dessert. As it was near the beginning of the year when we went, the appetiser we were given was something typically eaten around New Year’s in Japan. It consisted of a sweet Japanese omelette, Japanese fish cake, sweet red beans and sweet chestnut paste with a sweet chestnut. All of it was delicious and was great for whetting my appetite for what was to come.
The tempura is fried in a blend of cottonseed oil and sesame oil. As we requested to sit at the counter in front of the kitchen, the chefs served us each type of tempura one at a time freshly cooked straight from the hot oil. We started off with 2 tempura prawns with the heads fried separately, followed by asparagus and pumpkin tempura, red pepper and shitake mushroom tempura and then finished off with a piece of tempura fish.
All the tempura vegetables and seafood were cooked perfectly, the batter was very light and crispy and was very tasty dipped in the sweet and salty dipping sauce. Salt and lemon was also provided to eat with the tempura too.
Next we were given a small bowl of cold soba (since we’d both opted for soba instead of rice) topped with 2 pieces of vegetable and cherry shrimp kakiage (mixture of vegetable strips and/or seafood fried in tempura batter as small round fritters ). The kakiage was also light and crispy and not too oily and the cold soba was chewy and delicious with the dipping sauce, seaweed and spring onions that accompanied it.
For dessert, we had fresh fruit pieces with jelly, something that is commonly served after a Japanese meal. It was sweet and refreshing, great to end the meal with and cleanse the palate after all the tempura.
I had a really enjoyable lunch in Akane, the food was all very good, the kind of standard you would find in Japan and the service was efficient and polite. The food was served quickly and the waitresses were always on hand to top up our complimentary houjicha tea (roasted Japanese green tea). They’re a little bit strict with the time as when we were eating our soba we were reminded that the restaurant closes at 2.30pm but otherwise we had a very relaxing, laid-back meal. They also have a variety of set menus for dinner as well as drink deals so I would highly recommend this restaurant if you get the chance to go there!
Address: The Japanese Association, 120 Adam Road, Singapore 289899 (Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens)
Tel: 6591 7624
Opening Hours: Daily: 11:30am – 2:30pm (last order 2pm), 6pm – 10:30pm (last order 10pm)
Hope you’ve enjoyed my Akane review, please feel free to leave a comment below with your own review of the restaurant or if you have any questions!