Having opened a while ago at Republic Plaza II, Nokkedon is a new pop-up stall serving up Japanese Donburi within the grounds of Bar a Vin opened only during weekday lunch hours.
Targetting the Central Business District office folk as a lunch option, Nokkedon is only opened for limited hours throughout the day only on weekdays. Serving up Japanese Donburi that features fresh Japanese seafood and produce, Nokkedon offers patrons “Selections” as well as “Make Your Own” Donburi options; the former comprising of bowls with pre-defined selection of sashimi and other toppings to be served with rice or salad, while the latter allows patrons to create their own bowls by going for their selected toppings and fishes. Keeping the menu lean, Nokkedon offers patrons a special cooler, water or Japanese Green Tea for beverage options, whilst also serving Miso Soup as a side on the menu.
Going for the item with the most variety, the Subara-Chirashi Don features elements such as Rice, Salmon, Maguro-Zuke (Marinated Tuna), Shiro Maguro, Ebi, Ikura, Kyuri, and Onsen Egg. For all the bowls offered at Nokkedon, patrons can choose to opt for either spicy, original or seasonal sauce (which was sadly unavailable during the day of our visit; we went for the Spicy sauce for our order), whilst also being able to opt for whichever individual elements are to be Aburi-ed (blow-torched). While making our order, the staff advised us that the chef’s recommendation is to go for the Shiro Maguro raw in order to taste it at its best. Digging into the bowl, we noticed how the spicy sauce provided a good punch; not shy on spiciness, the spicy marinade tingles the taste buds for those who are able to tolerate moderate levels of spiciness, which works well with the wasabi which provides a numbing kick to help refresh the tastebuds. The seafood was fresh, carrying their own natural flavours; the Ebi, served cooked, carried its own sweetness whilst carrying a good bite, while the Ikura helped to add a bursting sensation with its umami-ness to the Subara-Chirashi Don. The Salmon and Maguro-Zuke, which we opted for the Aburi treatment, came with a smoky note on the exterior, whilst still retaining their soft texture within for a good bite. The rice was also pearly, whilst portioned nicely with the fish so that there are enough of both for every spoonful. We were not too big a fan of the sous-vide egg, however, which made the whole bowl feel a tad too wet especially when we reached the bottom, though it was definitely well-executed with its oozy yolk that eagerly bursts with the poke of the chopsticks. Overall, we felt that the bowl was of great quality for the price range; that being said, we did feel that we should have left the elements as-is without going for the Aburi treatment though; considering the freshness of the fish and the choice of sauce we went for, perhaps the Subara-Chirashi Don would be best enjoyed as-is.
(Otoko No Don)
We also tried the Otoko No Don, which comes with Rice, Hotate, Saketoro (Salmon Belly), Shiro Maguro, Tobiko and Nitamago. Between the two bowls, we preferred the Otoko No Don; most probably due to fact that we had ordered the Otoko No Don as is without the Aburi option and with the original sauce. The original sauce does feel reminiscent to the same style of marinade used in the Bara Chirashi Dons served at Teppei Syukudo; more towards the savoury note without carrying too much sweetness. Again, the seafood was pretty fresh and plump, creating a good texture whilst also well-portioned with the rice, though the highlight was the Nitamago; the cured onsen egg carried a molten yolk and was immensely flavourful on its own, which we preferred over the sous-vide egg included in the Subara-Chirashi Don. All in all, another well-executed dish pretty worth the price it commands for.
Considering how Nokkedon is just a pop-up, we were pretty impressed by what Nokkedon had served up; the Donburi that they serve up may not be the cheapest, but they do provide the CBD folks with a value-for-money option that is of respectable quality and execution. Living up to their motto of “fresh Japanese seafood and produce daily”, Nokkedon would be a spot that is worth the visit; that is considering if one would be able to head to Bar a Vin during weekday lunch hours from 12:00 noon to 2:30pm. For all the foodies/Bara Chirashi Don fans who are not able to head down to Nokkedon during the said hours, let’s hope that Nokkedon would be able to find their own space after their pop-up stint ends, and hopefully with operating hours that are extended to allow more folks to try out what they have to offer.
Nokkedon (located with Bar a Vin)
Republic Plaza II
9 Raffles Place
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Nokkedon-Singapore-339371366708400/