We opened some doors

A few more months have flown by and it's brought a raft of openings for us! For our Japanese-influenced salad bar, Shinkansen, we opened in two more locations: United Square in Novena and 100 AM mall in Tanjong Pagar. Since Shinkansen is a new concept for us, I felt that the faster we could put it in front of people, the quicker we would gain market recognition. The salad and healthy food area is a tough battleground though! I need to be clearer with what Shinkansen offers (create-your-own salad, rice, quinoa, or soba bowls using a mixture of Japanese and Western ingredients).

Japanese salad bar Shinkansen at 100 AM in Singapore's Tanjong Pagar. Additional locations in Raffles Place and Novena.

On October 13 we also opened another branch of Standing Sushi Bar. It's located at Income @ Raffles, which is the building formerly known as Hitachi Tower. I suppose one could view it as a return to Raffles Place as the first branch of Standing Sushi Bar was at One Raffles Place (formerly known as OUB Centre... I guess with all the development there's lots of 'formerly known' places). The new SSB is located at:

16 Collyer Quay
02-02 Income at Raffles
Singapore 049318

It's the first time I've used a designer for Standing Sushi Bar, and it definitely looks better than the other branches. I suppose my background in information technology and Microsoft Excel didn't translate into gorgeous restaurants! So it's definitely great that Wynk Collaborative applied their design chops to SSB. (See their site for more photos of the new Standing Sushi Bar).

Standing Sushi Bar at Income at Raffles. Located right by Raffles Place MRT.

Now that these places have opened, it's time to buckle down and commence the real work! We need to make sure that people are aware we exist and when they come that they will have a delicious and positive experience. For the latest Standing Sushi Bar, we're making it more of an izakaya and bar at night with a few Japanese cocktails, a good selection of sake, shochu, and umeshu, and also Japanese craft beer and $5 Asahi to wet your whistle. Food-wise we have a big menu of $5 bites at night and also will be introducing an awesome omakase soon.

I'll have to dedicate a different entry for the new Standing Sushi Bar!

Menu: Pictures or No Pictures?

We're in the midst of refreshing our menu at Standing Sushi Bar Queen Street.  Photos of all the items have been taken, pricing has been determined, and the main thing left to do is layout the menu and then print it.

We've been having a lot of discussions about whether or not the menu should contain pictures for every food item.  I vote against having pictures in menus.  In my opinion it makes a menu unwieldy because of the number of pages and it also looks cheesy and messy.  Of course the flip side of the argument is that people won't have to ask service crew as many questions as they can just assume that the item ordered will correspond with the photo.  Some people also believe that seeing pictures of the food make people hungrier or want to "eat with their eyes."

I've decided to forego pictures on our main menu this time for a few reasons, the primary one being speed (trying to adjust the layout with pictures meant starting over a bunch of times) and trying to make the overall presentation look "cleaner."  I also like the idea of having people be pleasantly surprised by ordering the food (in text) and being happy with the visual presentation of the food once it gets to their table.

What's your opinion?  Do you prefer pictures on a menu or you're fine without it?  Does it make a huge difference to you?  Why do you think Western restaurants get away without having pictures on the menu compared to Japanese restaurants?

Beat the Clock at Marina Bay!

Recently an assistant / intern joined our team and it has been great having him help out on a myriad of tasks.  One of the things he came up with was the "Beat the Clock" promotion.  In order to stimulate a little appetite and drinking we have introduced this at our Marina Bay Link Mall branch.  So if you're hankering for some sake, beer, and snacks in the Raffles Place area, come down to Standing Sushi Bar Marina Bay Link Mall!

Beat the Clock snack menu at Marina Bay Link Mall. Onigiri, sushi, temaki, salmon skin, and more!

Tuesday - Friday from 6 PM - 8 PM we are offering our snack menu + a glass of sake for a price of whatever time it is you order.  So if it's 7:15 PM then it's 7.15 SGD for a glass of sake and the snack!  Add 3 SGD to it for an Asahi beer or Heineken too!

My personal favorite is the kawa ebi.  Deep-fried shrimp which goes really well with beer.

Visit the Museum!

It's time to get a little culture!  The powers-that-be running the museums in Singapore have provided free entry to Singapore citizens and permanent residents during the month of August.  On certain days (August 24, 25, 31, and September 1) admission is free for everyone including tourists!

On those special August 24, 25, 31, and September 1 dates, the Night Festival will be going on.  The museums (including the Singapore Art Museum wing at 8 Queen Street) will be open until 2 AM.  We don't want to miss out on the fun so Standing Sushi Bar at 8 Queen Street will also be open until that late hour!

As part of the celebration we will be offering a special menu as well as some fun deals on sake ($4 for a biiiiiiig big glass) and more!  We've also created a special "Night Owl" sushi which will definitely be one-of-a-kind.  We figure people staying up that late are definitely a little edgy so we've come up with a sushi roll that contains Red Bull.  Ready to power you through until morning!

Night Owl sushi roll.  Contains a few special ingredients as well as Red Bull.  Only available for a limited time at Standing Sushi Bar 8 Queen Street

Night Watch exhibit (SAM at 8Q)

From past experience, the Night Festival brings out a ton of people, so reservations are recommended!  It's a great time, so get it on your calendar!