Japanese restaurant arrives at ION Orchard with lunch sets & value-for-money proposition

New option in town.

Karen Lui | April 21, 2021, 11:18 AM

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Being tucked away in a quiet corner on the third floor of ION Orchard has not stopped sen-ryo from gaining popularity since its opening on Apr. 1, 2021.

When we arrived at the Japanese restaurant at around 12:25pm on a Monday, there was already a queue forming outside.

The restaurant itself was not too crowded though. Photo by Karen Lui.

Sen-ryo was established in Japan in 1999, and has since expanded to Hong Kong and now, Singapore as its first Southeast Asian stop.

Set lunch from S$15.90

A reason for the queue is perhaps their set lunches, which is relatively affordable for a restaurant at Level 3 of ION Orchard.

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These include the:

  • Tori-Nanben set (S$15.90)

    • Fried chicken with homemade tartar sauce
    • Served with Japanese rice, chawanmushi, tomato salad, miso soup and pickles

  • Tendon set (S$17.50)

    • Assorted tempura on Japanese rice
    • Served with chawanmushi, tomato salad, miso soup and pickles

  • Unajyu set (S$18.80)

    • Grilled unagi on Japanese rice with special unagi sauce
    • Served with chawanmushi, tomato salad, miso soup and pickles

Unajyu set. Photo by Kenneth Chan on Facebook.

They also have sushi sets starting at S$18.80 for the Aburi Sushi with Udon Set.

On the other hand, Premium Bento (S$23.80) consists of assorted sashimi, grilled saba, grilled unagi, ebi and vegetable tempura, sen-ryo tamagoyaki, ebi fry maki, and croquette.

It comes with miso soup, tomato salad and warabi mochi.

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If you have the budget to spare, set lunches can go up to S$42 for a Deluxe Sashimi Set.

A la carte menu

Besides set lunches, sen-ryo's menu boasts a variety of Japanese food such as sushi, sashimi, grilled skewers, tempura, soups, and dessert.

Sushi prices range from S$1.80 for a Salmon sushi to S$13.80 for a Hokkaido Uni sushi, but most tend to fall within the S$3 to S$6 range.

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We got to try some other dishes at a media session as well β€” here are the highlights.

Japanese omelette with mentaiko sauce

A Singapore-exclusive, it's easy to brush off the sen-ryo Tamagoyaki with Mentaiko Sauce (S$2.80 per piece) as just egg drizzled with mentaiko, but it was surprisingly satisfying.

The hand-made traditional Japanese omelette is fluffy and moist with a hint of sweetness.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Some may protest at the amount of mentaiko, but a little goes a long way with the strength of its flavour, making it a good, salty balance to the sweet tamago.

Japanese seafood broth in teapot

The Kaisen Dobin Mushi (S$6.80) is a traditional Japanese seafood broth made of red snapper dashi served in a teapot.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Lime to go with the soup.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Don't forget to scoop out the prawn, scallops, clams, and shimeji mushrooms from the teapot as you sip on the soup.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Karen Lui.

We found the soup light and tasty, and decently value-for-money.

Soft shell crab and mango wrap

If you don't mind shelling out a bit more, we'd recommend the Soft Shell Crab and Mango Nama Haru Maki ($16.80).

Photo by Karen Lui.

Another dish that is exclusive to the Singapore outlet, it consists of crispy deep-fried soft shell crab, mango slices, onion strips, and lettuce wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper.

The spicy, sweet and tangy dip made with mango puree adds a kick that elevates the flavour of the soft shell crab wrap.

Sea urchin

Uni is available at sen-ryo as well, but don't expect it to fall within the price range of the cheaper a la carte items (you're having uni, after all).

Photo by Karen Lui.

The DIY Hokkaido Uni (S$58) comes with half-board of uni from Hokkaido with sushi rice, ikura (salmon roe), cucumber strips, and sheets of roasted seaweed.

It allows you to create a maki (roll) to your preferences, so you won't have to complain about having too little uni or too much rice.

Raindrop cake

It may be five years since the raindrop cake trend but you can still get the Mizu Warabi Mochi (S$5.80) at sen-ryo.

Photo by Karen Lui.

This jiggly clear jelly β€˜mochi’ is served with roasted soybean powder and black sugar syrup.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Cream Catalana with Mixed Berries

Another dessert we got to try is the Cream Catalana with Mixed Berries (S$9.80).

Photo by Karen Lui.

While it looks rather unassuming, we enjoyed the smooth creaminess of the dessert, complemented with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and chopped strawberries.

The closest thing to describe it with would be dense creme brulee.

Stylish interior

Sen-ryo boasts a variety of dining settings that can seat a capacity of 60 with safe distancing measures in place.

Photo by Sen-ryo.

There three types of sitting arrangements:

  • Two strips of tables along the bar/grill
  • Normal dining tables in rooms
  • Private rooms that require a minimum spending of S$400 for lunch and S$800 for dinner

You are first greeted by the sake bar upon entering the restaurant.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Sen-ryo.

On your left, you will find yourself at the sushi and grill counter where you can watch the chefs prepare the food in front of you.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Sen-ryo.

There are also two dining areas behind the sushi and grill counter, for those who prefer to sit face-to-face.

Resembling a sort of cave or tunnel, the first room has two rows of booth seats separated by a spacious aisle.

Photo by Karen Lui.

Photo by Sen-ryo.

The second room is marked by a floating ball of light in the middle of the room.

Photo by Karen Lui.

The private dining rooms are in another corner of the restaurant, away from the dining areas.

From now till Apr. 30, 2021, flash the promotional post on sen-ryo’s Facebook or Instagram pages to get five per cent off your total nett bill.

sen-ryo

Address: ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #03-14, Singapore 238801

Opening hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm, daily

Top images by sen-ryo and Karen Lui.