Sun With Moon

Sun With Moon
501 Orchard Road
#03-15 Wheelock Place

Chirashi Don (SGD $27.80)

Sumptuous, Authentic Japanese Meals

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 9
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 9
Value for Money: 9
Spent about SGD $55 per person.


When I first visited Sun With Moon Japanese Dining & Cafe in May 2008, I remember being wowed by the tasty, authentic Japanese food, though the price for me was considered expensive at the time. Now, 8 years on, Sun With Moon is still going strong, drawing in folks with its consistently high quality food, while still maintaining its standards of Japanese savoir faire. Yet, prices haven't risen much, as compared to more high-end Japanese restaurants in Singapore, making Sun With Moon good value for money for semi fine dining these days.

Ambience at Sun With Moon is modern minimalist zen, well suited to a refined yet casual dining experience, living up to its name of combining 2 disparate elements. The large, spacious interior with clean lines benefits from its window side location of Wheelock Place mall, offering a view of the busy street below, along with natural lighting in the day. Contrast of light and shadows, created by bright, well placed spotlights, create an elegant setting over the dark wooden furniture and booths, while thoughtfully carved out spaces allow guests to pick from large communal group dining, to small intimate alcove dining. They even offer a large selection of magazines for browsing!

Service at Sun With Moon is near fine dining status. The sharply dressed staff move and speak with a quiet, professional air, working quickly and efficiently, be it clearing tables, taking orders, or presenting the bill. There is the customary Japanese courtesy and hospitality, I notice staff bow slightly when speaking with guests, and exude a sense of personalised attention. However, I note that not all staff have the same level of product knowledge, especially if questioned about the rather extensive menu. Still, the level of service provided here exceeds that of many other restaurants.

Food at Sun With Moon is all about authentic, traditional Japanese dishes, with several modern Japanese items. The extensive menu even has items which you won't be able to get in other Japanese restaurants in Singapore! Executive Chef Mr. Toshio Sawai heads up the kitchen, bringing to the table over 30 years of experience in Japanese culinary arts, offering dishes that are of high quality, and presented beautifully. Generally, I find each dish to be tasty, with an emphasis on flavour and freshness. Portion sizes are designed for individuals, though set meals are the norm here, and are incredibly filling! Prices are similar to other restaurants, budget about SGD $55 per person for a full meal here.


Sun With Moon Signage

Sun With Moon Exterior

Sun With Moon Interior


The complimentary Green Tea served at lunch has a more floral, grassy taste as compared to other green teas I've had elsewhere, which normally has a milder taste. Guess they might be using a higher grade of green tea leaf here.

Green Tea

Loved the zesty, sour sweet Yuzu Umeshu (SGD $9)! A blend of plum sake, with juice from yuzu fruit harvested in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, this light, chilled beverage is refreshing and thirst quenching. Good!

Yuzu Umeshu (SGD $9)

The Kuromaru Shochu (SGD $9) is made with Kogane Sengan sweet potatoes and 100% Japanese black rice malt, both harvested in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It has a clean, refreshing flavor with a subtle, elegant sweet potato aroma, a sharp, bitter alcohol finish, and pairs well with white meat or seafood.

Kuromaru Shochu (SGD $9)

The Beer Suntory The Premium Malt's Pilsner (SGD $7) has a golden straw colour with high carbonation, aroma of wheat, grain, and malt, with a taste of straw, biscuit, and corn. Body is light, refreshing, and crisp, with a dry, quick, clean finish and a mineral note.

Beer Suntory The Premium Malt's Pilsner (SGD $7)

Once considered an exclusive food of the Samurai, ozoni, also known as zoni, has since become widely available, and today, is strongly associated with the Japanese New Year. Considered the most auspicious dish of the New Year, this soup / broth differs in preparation and style across the various regions in Japan. Essentially, ozoni / zoni is a flavoured soup that contains mochi rice cakes, along with meat, seafood, and leafy vegetables.

Served in Sun With Moon from 01 - 03 January 2016 as part of their New Year celebrations, the Ozoni / Zoni (SGD $12) here closely resembles the style in Tokyo, Kanto region. It features a soup made with dashi (seaweed stock), with a signature square mochi rice cake that has been lightly grilled. Other ingredients add depth of flavour and body to this soup, including chicken chunks, straw mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, spinach, kamaboko (fish cake), taro root, burdock root, and parsley. This light soup is a great appetizer, savoury sweet, with a warm, comforting sensation.

Ozoni / Zoni (SGD $12)

Ozoni / Zoni

Ozoni / Zoni

I find the lunch set meals here to be good value for money, as it's quite filling! You normally get 1 main and 1 side dish, along with complimentary green tea and miso soup, such as this Kamameshi Unagi & Yakiniku Set Meal (SGD $31.80 Set Meal).

Kamameshi Unagi & Yakiniku Set Meal (SGD $31.80 Set Meal)

The Miso Soup looks cloudy, yet this soup / broth is earthy and savoury without being overly salty. The taste of miso is present, layered over the more floral taste of dashi (seaweed stock), and the flecks of soft seaweed and chewy straw mushrooms within lend texture.

Miso Soup

Miso Soup

Loved the silky smooth, eggy custard of the Chawanmushi Mini (SGD $3), which is available as an add-on for the lunch set meal. The soft and warm egg, topped with peas, hides a large chunks of tender chicken within, along with several ginkgo nuts. I feel it's worth getting, as the quality is much higher than elsewhere!

Chawanmushi Mini (SGD $3)

A kamameshi is best described as a Japanese claypot rice, except that it's cooked in an iron pot, instead of a claypot. Similar to the Chinese claypot, kamameshi consists of white rice flavoured with a light soy sauce, and various other ingredients, steamed till the rice at the edges of the iron pot becomes slightly burnt and crisp!

The Kamameshi Unagi & Yakiniku (SGD $31.80 Set Meal) here consists of an individual pot, where Japanese white rice is steamed together with a light katsuobushi (bonito fish flakes) and dashi (seaweed stock), along with aromatics such as straw mushrooms, carrots, lotus roots, chestnuts, konjac (elephant yam), and shredded egg. The rice absorbs all the flavour, making it incredibly fragrant and delicious! Mix it with the toppings of sweet unagi (grilled freshwater eel in teriyaki sauce), savoury thin strips of yakiniku (sauteed beef and onions), crunchy edamame, earthy seaweed strips, and a yummy soft boiled egg! Highly recommended!

Kamameshi Unagi & Yakiniku (SGD $31.80 Set Meal)

Kamameshi Unagi & Yakiniku

Kamameshi Unagi & Yakiniku

The yanagawa nabe is a dish of sliced fish, cooked in a hot, shallow pan along with burdock root and egg, and is considered a working class dish. Here, they've made it a premium side dish in the Kurobuta Yanagawa (SGD $31.80 Set Meal), substituting fish with thinly sliced, premium kurobuta pork instead. This combination of savoury fatty pork, tender burdock root, and yummy egg is surprisingly light on the palate for a side dish, and pairs well with the deeper, more intense flavours of the main course.

Kurobuta Yanagawa (SGD $31.80 Set Meal)

The beautiful Chirashi Don (SGD $27.80) is a showcase for Chef's skill in preserving the freshness of sashimi, and in the art of slicing and serving different cuts. This luxurious bowl has a base of delicious, quality vinegared sushi rice, sweet with a hint of sour, sticky in texture without being mushy. Overlaid with 10 different types of sashimi and toppings, served in large, thick slices, all incredibly fresh. It includes;
sweet, clean tasting tamago (egg omelette cake),
fresh, thick slice of sake (salmon fish),
silky smooth and fatty shake harasu (salmon belly),
fresh, thick slice of maguro (tuna fish),
luxurious medium fatty chutoro (tuna belly),
sweet and meaty unagi (grilled freshwater eel in teriyaki sauce),
sweet, clean, and fresh deshelled hotate (scallops),
firm and bright kanpachi (greater yellowtail amberjack fish),
firm, oily, and rich aji (horse mackerel fish),
and sweet deshelled ama ebi (boiled cold water northern prawn).
Definitely among the best chirashi don (mixed seafood rice bowl) I've had in Singapore. Highly recommended!

Chirashi Don (SGD $27.80)

Chirashi Don

They also have dinner set meals here, like this Sukiyaki & Soft Shell Crab Tempura Set Meal (SGD $27.80 Set Meal), though the variety of menu options is less as compared to the lunch set meals. Their dinner is mostly focused on ala-carte orders.

Sukiyaki & Soft Shell Crab Tempura Set Meal (SGD $27.80 Set Meal)

Loved the deep, savoury sweet broth of the Sukiyaki Beef (SGD $27.80 Set Meal)! Packed with thin, tender strips of beef and onions, soft tofu, earthy shiitake mushrooms, crunchy leeks, fresh spinach leaves, and yummy egg, this is a rich, satisfiying dish. Delicious enough on its own, great when paired with rice. However, you don't get to cook the beef on your own, unlike other sukiyaki elsewhere.

Sukiyaki Beef (SGD $27.80 Set Meal)

Sukiyaki Beef

The Soft Shell Crab Tempura (SGD $27.80 Set Meal) is possibly the weakest dish I had here. The crab is meaty, but the batter coating is too thick, stiff, and oily. Among the worst tempura I've eaten, which surprised me because everything else here is done to such a high quality. Skip this.

Soft Shell Crab Tempura (SGD $27.80 Set Meal)

Soft Shell Crab Tempura

Presented within a beautiful wooden cage, the home made Tofu Cheesecake (SGD $6.80) will set hearts aflutter. The texture of the tofu cheesecake is smooth, soft, and moist, while the buttery biscuit crumble base yields easily. Feels really light, carries decent flavour, and is great for sharing. I feel it's above average as a dessert, and is worth ordering.

Tofu Cheesecake (SGD $6.80)

Tofu Cheesecake

Tofu Cheesecake

The taste of the fragrant and soft Goma Pudding (SGD $5.80) will be familiar to those who have eaten the Chinese black sesame paste dessert, as it tastes exactly the same, being sweet, nutty, and creamy. Garnished with white sesame seeds, it's the texture of this chilled pudding dessert which takes some getting used to. Personally, I liked the taste, but not the texture, as I couldn't reconcile it mentally. In my opinion, I didn't like it, although it's still a well executed dessert.

Goma Pudding (SGD $5.80)

Goma Pudding

Goma Pudding


Update Dec-2018: Sun With Moon is an established bastion of mid-range Japanese dining now, having been around for more than 10 years. Following my last visit to Sun With Moon 2 years ago, I've returned for more.

The ambience here remains modern minimalist zen, with a casual refined feel. The service maintains its near fine dining status, with staff actually identifying and remembering my name (along with other customers). The food is still focused on authentic, traditional Japanese dishes, and with Executive Chef Mr. Toshio Sawai still heading up the kitchen, the quality of dishes is just as good as before. Prices have risen slightly to keep pace with the rising cost of living, but it still remains mid-range.

On this visit, there was an exclusive showcase of fresh seasonal ingredients from Aomori prefecture, in the Tohoku region of Japan. The region is known for being a major producer of red apples. The Drops Of Hope Aomori Apple Juice (SGD $20 per bottle) is made with a blend of Fuji, Jona Gold, and O Rin apples. Because this apple juice is not clarified, it contains more polyphenols and pectins than usual, making it slightly healthier. It has a rich, milky texture, with a fruity sweet flavour, very refreshing.

Drops Of Hope Aomori Apple Juice
Drops Of Hope Aomori Apple Juice (SGD $20 per bottle)

The Sushi Aomori Shoga Inari (SGD $6.80) is given a twist, taking inspiration from the Aomori prefecture, in the Tohoku region of Japan. The inari / tofu puff pocket is slightly larger, with a spongy texture and fresh sweet flavour. The filling consists of sticky fluffy vinegared sushi white rice, and shreds of crunchy pickled red ginger, giving this a delicate sour sweet flavour. Good!

Sushi Aomori Shoga Inari (SGD $6.80)

Sushi Aomori Shoga Inari
Sushi Aomori Shoga Inari

The Shasimi Salmon 3-Kinds (SGD $26.70) features a trio of fresh salmon fish cuts - the loin, the belly, and flame-seared belly. These are medium thick slices, with a tender succulent bite to texture, and clean sweet savoury flavours. The belly, in particular, just melts delicately in the mouth!

Shasimi Salmon 3-Kinds (SGD $26.70)

Shasimi Salmon 3-Kinds
Shasimi Salmon 3-Kinds

Tried the Unagi Don And Pork Yanagawa Nabe Set (SGD $29.80). The Unadon / Unagi Donburi / Grilled Fresh Water Eel Rice Bowl has fluffy sticky Japanese white rice, covered with shredded egg omelette, pickled ginger, and tender fresh water eel slices, which have a robust salty savoury sweet flavour, with a delicate hint of smoky aroma.

The Miso Soup remains nicely earthy savoury in flavour from the quality miso paste and dashi / seaweed stock, and is filled with flecks of soft seaweed, chewy straw mushrooms, and silky soft tofu beancurd cubes. Likewise, the Chawanmushi Mini remains wobbly soft and warm, the smooth silky egg custard still garnished with bouncy green peas, tender chicken chunks, and chewy ginkgo nuts. The Shake Nanbanzuke / Chilled Fried Salmon Fish Marinated In Nanban Rice Vinegar is interesting, the soft tender moist slices of chilled fried salmon fish fillets are drenched in a sweet rice vinegar, lending a sharp sweet sour flavour to the natural sweet savoury flavour of the salmon fish.

The Pork Yanagawa Nabe / Pork & Burdock Root With Egg Stew remains decent enough. The thinly sliced, premium kurobuta pork is simmered in a light soup / broth, along with tender burdock root and soft eggs. Has an eggy sweet savoury herbal flavour. Overall, a decent choice for a set meal.

Unagi Don And Pork Yanagawa Nabe Set
Unagi Don And Pork Yanagawa Nabe Set (SGD $29.80)

Unadon / Unagi Donburi / Grilled Fresh Water Eel Rice Bowl
Unadon / Unagi Donburi / Grilled Fresh Water Eel Rice Bowl

Miso Soup
Miso Soup

Chawanmushi Mini
Chawanmushi Mini

Shake Nanbanzuke / Chilled Fried Salmon Fish Marinated In Nanban Rice Vinegar
Shake Nanbanzuke / Chilled Fried Salmon Fish Marinated In Nanban Rice Vinegar

Pork Yanagawa Nabe / Pork & Burdock Root With Egg Stew
Pork Yanagawa Nabe / Pork & Burdock Root With Egg Stew