Nanjya Monjya is a restaurant I go to whenever I am looking for Japanese comfort food. Established since 30 September 2003, the restaurant has attained a reputation for being one of the best restaurants for okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki literally means ‘grill as you like it’ in Japanese. As the name implies, how it is prepared and the ingredients that go into it is greatly dependent on your preference. Therefore, it is often referred to as Japanese pizza or Japanese pancake. The name of the restaurant is also quite unique. Nanjya refers to a tree in Japan while Monjya means Japanese pan-fried pancake with various ingredients.
The alfresco area
Located at Waterfront Plaza, the restaurant has both indoor and alfresco seating. The ambience is relaxing and casual with a breathtaking view of the Singapore River.
At Nanjya Monjya, you get to make your own okonomiyaki. The restaurant offers over 20 flavours and you get to pick your preferred style. You’ll be given a bowl of raw ingredients and you can mix and grill the ingredients on your own. If you are a first timer, you may get the restaurant staff to assist you. I selected a seafood version as I generally prefer the sweet, succulent flavours of seafood. As I was not familiar with okonomiyaki, I decided to let the restaurant staff prepare it for me. The batter was grilled to just the right degree of crispness and topped with bonito flakes (dried shavings of a type of tuna fish). The mixture of the batter and the seafood oozed goodness in every bite. If you prefer a wetter and more custardy option, go for the monjyayaki (pan-fried batter similar to okonomiyaki but wetter in texture).
Tucking into potato salad
In addition to the signature okonomiyai, the restaurant also offers an extensive selection of appetisers, sushi, sashimi, tempura and other Japanese street food.
Creamy Japanese potato salad
The Japanese potato salad, another chef’s recommendation was very delightful. Unlike the American version, it is flavoured with Japanese mayonnaise which is tangy and salty. The mashed potatoes are a binding ingredient for the other vegetables such as diced carrots and zucchini.
Dashimaki (Japanese rolled omelette)
I like the dashimaki (Japanese rolled omelette). It has a light, sweet taste which goes extremely well with soy sauce.
Mixed green salad
The mixed green salad with corn, carrots, lettuce and tomato was refreshing and cooling, perfect appetiser on a hot and humid day.
Beef curry rice
The beef curry rice was flavourful with just the right consistency, however it would be even better if the chef was more generous with the beef.
Wonderful selection of Japanese liquor
Overall, Nanjya Monjya is a lovely place to chillout and indulge in understated and delicious okonomiyaki and street food. There is also good selection of Japanese sake and beers (As I am not a fan of sake and beers, I did not try any of them). If you are planning to sit indoors, you will have to be prepared to go back with smelly clothes. The restaurant is located at 390A Havelock Road, #01-03/04/05, Waterfront Plaza, Singapore 169663. For reservations, please call 6738 7177. The restaurant is open for dinner only from 5.30pm to 1am.