There are no words to describe how much I like Appare, which doesn’t sell clothes. Square 2 has terrible design. Shops are cramped together, but this works well for Appare, because anyone who has been to Tokyo knows how scarce space is.
Appare is a tempura and udon Japanese restaurant. And they were both terrific, they were on par or even better than the ones I had in Tokyo. The 5 piece assorted tempura ($12) was crispy even after it stood for some time. The crust was tasty but not oily, the fresh prawn had such a bouncy bite. The chicken breast tempura was so smooth, tender, and well marinated it was even better than KFC and Boon Tong Kee combined.
The udon came in a humongous bowl that passersby kept whispering behind our backs: “Wah, the noodles so big.” I think this is one of the few times the food was bigger than my pig face.
The two recommended udon are prawn tempura udon ($18, above) and beef udon ($16, below). The udon was very smooth, not doughy but chewy, and had a mild saltiness. The broth was also excellent: at first sip, it might come across as salty but its saltiness had layers of complexity, so it got addictive.
Between the prawn tempura and beef udon, the beef might have a slight advantage because tempura should be eaten crispy. The beef was super tasty, with a butteriness. Very win.
Appare also serves sashimi and the cutest sushi, which tasted as good as it looked. The brown lines on bear inari sushi ($8.50) were chocolate, the “ears” barley, the “nose” a kind of crunchy candy: it was overall sweet and rather delicious.
The panda roll sushi ($8) was just made of rice of two different colors and a tamago “nose.” Not bad too.
The servers and cooks are mostly Japanese, and there were many Japanese customers. All around us were people chattering in Japanese, we didn’t feel like it was Singapore. Needless to say, the service was tiptop. We paid $74 for two persons, but we over-ordered. Come on, the sushi was cute! Without the sushi, two persons, who order 2 udons and a tempura to share, would spend about $55. Rather good value. This is one of the best restaurants I ate this year, the 5th restaurant to receive 4/5 from me.
10 Sinaran Drive, Square 2 #02-65 Singapore 307506
T: 6397 6780
Rating: 4/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.