Fujiwara Tofu Shop: Japanese anime Initial D concept shop with tasty Asian-influenced dishes at Geylang
When the news of the iconic Fujiwara Tofu Shop came about, car enthusiasts zoomed across town to see their dreams of seeing the stall physically come to life. One of the owners of Fujiwara Tofu Shop saw their childhood dreams come to fruition when the couple decided to make it happen.
Well, I’m definitely no car nor anime person, but seeing almost the whole of Singapore hyped over the opening definitely means it’s worthy of something. Initial D fans, now’s your time to play the main character in the anime at this iconic shop. Wait no, it’s a bistro! They serve drinks as well, but they are no advocates for drinking and driving, so be safe.
Located in Geylang, many cars drive past for a peek. I mean, its whole aesthetic stands out from the old-school buildings that stretch along the whole of Geylang. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Takumi’s Toyota Sprinter Trueno is parked right in front of the stall. How cool is that?!
Inside, you have a display of racing related materials, ranging from merchandise to Initial D comic books. The television on the wall even displays actual races, which I absolutely adore, as it’s clear how passionate the owners are in creating the whole in-store experience.
Yet, this level of dedication is totally expected as its owner, Charwin, used to rush to buy every single one of Initial D’s DVDs.
What I tried at Fujiwara Tofu Shop
For starters, I had a selection of their cold appetisers— the Mala Scallop Lips (S$8.90) and Clam with Korean Chilli Sauce (S$8.90).
If I’m being completely honest, when I heard they were only serving snacks, I was very sceptical. My whole idea of snacks are ingredients that are coated in a thick layer of batter-filled protection, but their version of snacks were delicious.
The Mala Scallop Lips wasn’t too spicy, despite having a warning of “mala” in its name. It had a subtle spice that made it perfect as an appetiser. The Clam with Korean Chilli Sauce also surprised me rather pleasantly. I was afraid that the dish might be too fishy for my liking, but I actually found the Korean chilli sauce to be incredibly addictive! I kept going for it; it was the particular tanginess that got me hooked.
Onto the hot food! I asked Charwin for some recommendations and he suggested the Satsume Age (S$9.90), as it was their best-selling item since its opening. This is a fishcake that originated from Kagoshima, and is mixed with potatoes, cheese and features a mountain of bonito flakes as a topping.
Easily, the Satsume Age was one of my favourite dishes that I tried at the Fujiwara Tofu Shop. Albeit its ordinary looks, it has a unique texture that is slightly tougher than a typical fishcake. If a fishcake and a tteokbokki made a baby, this would probably be the product. It has a nice savoury marinade that the fishcake is dipped into, masking the original greasiness.
Next, we have the Fried Wagyu Gyoza with Truffle Sauce (S$14.90). The filling was very tender from the nature of the wagyu, but I would’ve have very much preferred it without the dumpling skin. The fried dumpling skin results in a longer chew time, which renders the luxurious cut like wagyu meaningless.
However, I still enjoyed this regardless. It could be a personal preference as to how I enjoy my meat!
How can we claim to be at Fujiwara Tofu Shop without having tofu? I am glad to confirm that the stall does not only sell tofu, and the signature Fujiwara Tofu (S$7.90) is a great option to have.
Stray away from the usual french fries and nuggets and try out their creations of snacks! The tofu had a similar texture to fishcake, and as it was topped with peppers and spices, it tasted like a dish out of a Chinese restaurant.
By now, I’m sure you can see how Japanese-inspired the menu is. The other owner, Suwen, shared with me that as a picky eater, she found it difficult to find items that she truly liked. So she invented her own!
One of the lovely inventions includes the Spicy Mentaiko Tamago (S$8.90)— a combination that most of us should be familiar with. The steamed egg is served cold while the filling on top is blow-torched upon order. This creates a beautiful cohesion of hot and cold textures in your mouth!
The next dish might be one that raises the eyebrows. Ever heard of lychee wrapped in bacon? Nope? Me too.
The Bacon Wrapped Lychee (S$8.90) was another one of my favourites over here. It is as literal as it sounds— the caramelised bacon is wrapped around a juicy piece of lychee. Albeit unusual, the fruit took away the greasiness from the bacon, creating a lovely cohesion of sweet and savoury flavours in my mouth. These lychees were real juicy.
For a concept shop, this was of high standards. I came in keeping my expectations low only to leave pleasantly surprised. That goes to show that we should never judge anything before we try it for ourselves.
Throughout my experience, I was also easily enticed by how adorable they kept to the theme. Even their cups included stickers of the Takumi Challenge where Bunta tests Takumi’s driving skills through a cup filled with water.
Look… they even have the cup inside the car that mimics what happens in the anime! I felt like I was in a museum.
Whether its car enthusiasts or anime lovers, this is definitely a place without exclusivity. If you’re nearby for drinks and you’re heading for round 2, this could also be a bistro of choice. I can assure you that the food differs from the norm!
Expected damage: S$8.90 – S$20 per pax
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