If you’re a fan of authentic Japanese cuisine, SORA (‘sky’ in Japanese) might just be the next place on your to-go list.
This newly opened Japanese gourmet food hall located in the public areas of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 (Level 3), marks the first time that ANA Trading is operating a food hall outside of Japan, and was modeled after an airline lounge.
Here’re some reasons for the social media buzz (especially among foodies) on SORA, and why queues are commonly seen outside this gourmet hall.
#1: The amazing selection of Japanese brands
SORA is the largest restaurant across all four terminals in Changi Airport and houses six Japanese brands, some of which you may have heard of.
Tags for ordering food from any stall
Once you enter the gourmet hall, collect individual tags that will allow you to order at any of the Japanese stalls. Make payment for all your orders only when you’re leaving the gourmet hall. This saves you time – particularly if you’re ordering from various stalls.
Originating from Japan, the six restaurants are:
· Men-ya Takeichi
· Japoli Kitchen (First outlet in Singapore)
· Kuro Maguro
· Tendon Kohaku
· Tokyo Sundubu express
· Fugetsu from Osaka Tsuruhashi (First outlet in Singapore)
Among the outlets new to Singapore, Fugetsu is a well-known chain from Osaka, famous for their piping hot okonomiyaki. This is a grilled savoury pancake filled with cabbage, meat, seafood and topped with Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and bonito flakes. Always a great dish for sharing! Japoli Kitchen provides great variety with their fusion cuisine offerings, with Japanese-influenced pizzas, pastas and risottos.
#2: Brands aside, the range of food is amazing
All six menus boast a refreshing variety of options; here are some highlights for your next visit.
Special Rich Shoyu Ramen from Men-ya Takeichi (S$17.20)
Challenging the popular notion that Tonkatsu (pork) broths are the most flavourful, this top Tokyo chicken ramen chain Men-ya Takeichi serves great ramen dishes in a delicious collagen-rich broth. Take your pick from shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce) or miso broths!
Mentaiko pizza from Japoli Kitchen (S$15.00)
With its pizza dough specially imported from Japan and made fresh in Singapore, this delightful cheesy combination of Mentaiko (salted pollock fish roe) and seafood on a piping hot pizza crust is worth a try.
Toro Butsu Meshi from Kuro Maguro (priced at S$29.80)
With a generous portion of fresh bluefin tuna air-flown daily from Japan, this bowl of Meshi (a Japanese rice dish) is incredibly filling and satisfying.
Opt for the Original or Spicy Kohaku Tendon (S$17.70)
With another popular branch at Suntec City, Kohaku Tendon is a food option not to be missed. With tasty tendon sauce drizzled over a lavish helping of crispy tempura batter coated seafood, vegetables and meat, this dish is not only delicious but also makes for a great Instagram shot!
Health & Beauty Sundubu from Tokyo Sundubu Express (S$19.30)
Looking for something more comforting for the stomach? Tokyo Sundubu Express serves flavourful Sundubu-jjigae (collagen-rich korean stew) loaded with ingredients. Menu options include the Kimchi Sundubu, Japanese Oyster Sundubu, Miso Butter Sundubu, and even a Mentaiko Cheese Sundubu. You get to choose your soup base and even the spiciness level.
Mix Modan from Fugetsu (priced at S$22)
At Fugetsu, choose between an okonomiyaki or yakisoba. If you can’t decide, get the best of both worlds – a ‘mix modan’, where pork and seafood is topped off with noodles on your okonomiyaki. Watch through the glass as the chefs grill the savoury pancakes or noodles on the spot before serving them fresh on a hotplate.
#3: The beautiful and authentic Japanese décor
SORA is definitely more than just a Gourmet Hall, as the interior design is definitely worth taking pictures of. Customers can choose to dine at the couch booths or at the special tatami (mat used in traditional Japanese-style rooms) seating area, against the backdrop of a hand-painted bonsai tree mural.
Comfortable couch booths in close proximity to the stalls
Customers have to remove their shoes before entering the unique tatami seating area
#4: Kids-friendly and work-friendly corners
Single-seated tables are conveniently fitted with charging points, suitable for travellers who may wish to charge up their devices before their flight out.
Charging points for electronic devices
The gourmet hall also features a special corner, SORA KIDS, where children can be entertained. SORA KIDS has a television and a huge interactive touch screen embedded in the table, where children can occupy themselves with educational games and activities.
Christmas décor at the colourful SORA KIDS
Ask along a few friends or your family members the next time you visit, and try out some of these offerings – even if you’re not travelling out of the airport!