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The best chirashi dons under $30

We pick out affordable chirashi dons that will satisfy your raw seafood cravings without breaking the bank

Same same but different, the chirashi don and bara chirashi don are both rice bowls topped with a variety of sashimi, but diverge in their treatment of the fruits de mer. Consider chirashi as the purer, unadulterated form of the two: pristine slices of sashimi daintily laid out over sushi rice. As for the bara chirashi don, the sashimi is diced and marinated, typically with soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. The simplicity of the recipe and presentation of the chirashi don calls for greater attention to the quality of the cut and the freshness of the seafood, which also explains why it’s usually priced a little higher than a bara chirashi don. 

$5 to $15

Bara chirashi, $8.80-$15.80 at The TuckerBox Lunch

Folks in the CBD have it good. The bara chirashi at The TuckerBox Lunch starts at $8.80 for a bento of salmon, shrimp, ikura, tobiko, sweet beancurd skin and shiitake mushrooms over sushi rice. There are more premium options at $12.80 and $15.80, too.

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Telok Ayer

Bara chirashi, $14 at IKKI Izakaya

Opened by local actor Adam Chen, this izakaya over at The Metropolis in Buona Vista brings value-for-money bowls of bara chirashi to the heartlands, packing it in with salmon, tuna, tamago, ikura and pickled cucumbers.

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Buona Vista

$15 to $20

Bara chirashi, $16-$17.60 at Teppei Orchid Hotel, Hana Hana, Teppei Syokudo and Hanare

Say cheap bara chirashi, and this is probably the first name that comes to mind. Seats for their omakase meals are still as elusive as ever, but Teppei's famous kaisen don can be readily had at five locations across town.

The cheapest bowl ($16) can be found at his Syokudo stands at Takashimaya and Millenia Walk, and prices peak at his Hanare buffet joint ($17.60), whose bara chirashi set comes with four all-you-can-eat sides. Either way, there’s no getting enough of the fat chunks of salmon, tuna, swordfish, ark clam and ikura and a gleam of seasoning that bury a small serving of rice beneath.

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Tanjong Pagar

Bara chirashi, $17 at Koji Sushi Bar

This cosy nook at China Square dishes out bowls of bara chirashi ($17) with  minced tuna, salmon, swordfish, yellowtail, tobiko, shrimp roe, ikura and  crunchy tempura crumbs. If you're in the mood for uni, add lobes of them on for $9. Each order is served with a salad and a miso soup.

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Kaisen don, $17.80 at Tanuki Raw

Says who you can’t eat well on the cheap on Orchard Road? Tanuki Raw, owned by the folks behind Standing Sushi Bar, dishes out kaisen dons that are brimming with scallop, striped jack, sea bream, tuna, swordfish, salmon, tamago and ikura. Both the chirashi and bara chirashi are priced at $17.80.

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$20 to $30

Chirashi, $22 at Sushi Kou

This unassuming sushi specialist next to Teppei gets its seafood straight from Tsukiji market twice a week. Knock yourself out with plump cuts of salmon, tuna, swordfish, yellowtail, mackerel, fresh and cooked shrimp and scallop, as well as tamago, tobiko and ikura. Miso soup is part of the deal, too.

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Tanjong Pagar

Chirashi set, $25 at Manzoku

Push past the heavy doors of this Purvis Street shop to fill up on the chirashi set of tuna, swordfish, yellowtail, tamago, unagi, and salmon roe. The serving size is generous, and you’ll be hard-pressed to finish the accompanying miso soup and watermelon wedges.

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City Hall

Chirashi, $24.90 at The Sushi Bar

The queues are long and the tables are too close to one another, but the pay-off is worth it. Your reward, for just $24.90: thick slices of salmon, tuna, scallop, swordfish, yellowtail, seared salmon belly, tamago and ikura.

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