Nanbantei Yakitori At Far East Plaza


This blog was faced with a dilemma of finding an interesting restaurant that served good food that is light on both the wallet and stomach on Scotts Road, a place better known for its small but quaint hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and lunch places.

Not much of a dinner place until I remembered my friend Seow Yin recommending “this Japanese restaurant on the top floor of Far East Plaza but I can’t remember the name now”.

“But the food is cheap and good,” she opined.

Indeed, it seems that almost everyone remembers that there is this small Japanese restaurant on the top floor of Far East Plaza but the name sort of evades them. The reason could be due to the faint smell of stale urine and hair chemicals that assaults your senses as you ascend to the fifth floor of Far East Plaza. It’s all you can think about as you head for the restaurant door.

Fortunately Nanbantei is close to the escalator and a quick sprint to the entrance minimizes prolonged contact with the noisome miasma. Upon entry, the first thing you notice is the cramped space filled with people and the second thing you notice is the ratio of service staff to customer is almost 50% which is huge for such a small place. In fact, this blog was served by 3 service staff upon sitting down at the counter: one to set the place settings, one to put my bags in a safe corner and one to pour the tea and serve the crisp vegetable appetizers.


In fact, the place is so cramped that there is no privacy – they do have a small private room for bigger groups of people in the back – and what you (try to) whisper gets heard by everyone including the service staff hovering behind you. This is handy if you are unsure of what to order because as you are discussing the matter with your partner, they will chime in from behind with their recommendations. 🙂

I also wanted to try out my recently purchased 60mm Micro-Nikkor lens but I almost gave up because of the cramped conditions, but curiosity won out in the end. I must say that I am quite pleased with it.





It’s superb for tight and cramped situations. I would have preferred if it came with some form of vibration reduction, but we just have to deal with what life offers us.

In fact, I was so busy snapping away that the senior Chef whispered to a waitress to ask me to stop, which I complied, not wanting to cause further offense. My dinner date was furious at this treatment and wanted me to write this as a bad experience, but, really, I didn’t think it was all that bad.

At the end of the dinner, I approached and apologized to the Chef, who apologized back (very Japanese, no?) for being so strict.


Nanbantei Yakitori is a simple restaurant that serves mainly Yakitori and it is very good Yakitori where I can taste the smoky charcoal and almost ethereal salt flavors mingling with the meats. Despite all that salted grilling and even with a basting of teriyaki sauce, the Yakitori remained light and very very tasty. The menu offers sets as well as a la carte. Service is good, knowledgeable and efficient.

Definitely a great place to return to for a light lunch or dinner; just leave the big-ass camera at home.

Nanbantei Yakitori is at 14 Scotts Road, #05-132, Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213, Tel: 67335666.


Posted on 6th Mar 2008 in Japanese


There Are 9 Comments


umami commented on March 6, 2008 at 4:02 am

Is their Obento lunch set still $12.50. A long time ago when CW was not yet a fan of Japanese food, I took him to this place and just like that he crossed to our side!


Ivan commented on March 6, 2008 at 7:58 am

@umami: Not sure because we were there for dinner. We shared the $34+++ Yakitori set.


LiquidShaDow commented on March 6, 2008 at 10:23 am

As of the end of last December when I went for lunch, it still is.


ivan commented on March 6, 2008 at 10:57 am

@LiquidShaDow: Oh cool, thanks!


TTC commented on March 6, 2008 at 10:32 pm

If the $34 Yakitori set fed you and your dining partner well and full, I am going to run there soon. 😀


ivan commented on March 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm

@TTC: We added the Salmon Sashimi Salad as well as some a la carte. Total bill was less than $100, about $90+ if I remember correctly. This was in December. 😉


TTC commented on March 7, 2008 at 4:55 pm

I guessed as much. 😀 😀


sandra commented on March 12, 2008 at 6:04 pm

i heard that the chef headed over to Kazu in Cuppage which is why while the yakitori is still pretty good, can’t compare to the quality before. However, 12.50 obento cannot be beat. Still love the yummy bean sauce to dip the tsukune in.


ivan commented on March 17, 2008 at 9:43 am

@sandra: Yup, Kazu is always very crowded.

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