Amanda Tan: Founder of Zairyo

Zairyo - Amanda Tan2

Amanda Tan, Founder of Zairyo

Eating out in an increasingly congested city such as ours is proving to be quite a chore, with one having to contend with incessant queuing, compromised service standards and ever increasing prices. Enter niche fresh food suppliers such as Zairyo, who aim to persuade Singaporeans that transporting the restaurant experience back home ain’t too difficult.


Zairyo connects the everyday Singaporean with fresh Japanese produce and accompanying pantry basics and tableware. Some of their bestsellers include sashimi grade uni (sea urchin) and a delectable Kyoto matcha (green tea) jam. Working with trusted Japanese partners, Zairyo purchases top quality Japanese seafoods directly from beloved institutions such as Tsukiji fish market, flash-freeze the products before flying them back to Singapore right to our doorsteps.


Shiok! interviews Amanda Tan, founder of Zairyo to find out what inspired her to start this business venture.


Making Quality More Accessible
Amanda describes how the concept for Zairyo grew from a simple desire of making quality Japanese food products more accessible to everyday consumers who could appreciate and do justice to these ingredients. “There is a growing group of

Tray of Sea Urchin

Uni (Sea Urchin) is one of Zairyo’s bestsellers

Singaporeans, usually well-travelled and having tasted fresh produce from grocers overseas, who are clamouring for such food products to be made more easily available to them in Singapore.” Amanda explains.


Having hailed from a family that was in the business of supplying Japanese produce to local Japanese restaurants big and small, Amanda had the requisite contacts and was itching to get something going. After securing a business partner who would settle the finance and technology side of the house, Zairyo was launched as a web portal for online shopping of fresh, high quality Japanese produce.


A Love for Food and Cooking
Chirashi in handle bowl - bowl & ingredients from Zairyo

Zairyo can help you with a chirashi party

Since then, Zairyo has become quite a hit with both locals and Japanese expatriates, and Shiok! believes that this success lies paradoxically in how Amanda’s business decisions have been guided by her love for food rather than on a focus on wanting to rake in the big bucks. “People would send me emails asking for help to create a chirashi dinner party for 6 and I would work with them to finalise a list of ingredients within their budget and also give advise on how to maintain the freshness of the produce.” Amanda recounts amicably. Such comprehensive customer service support takes effort, and also reflects Amanda’s passion toward food and cooking.


Likewise, to promote her products and establish Zairyo’s presence, Amanda chose to work with friends and foodies who shared a similar passion and appreciation for good food, such as Lennard Yeong (@lennardy) and Natalie Eng (@engnatalie). Instagram became the medium for gorgeous food imagery using Zairyo’s food products, off the kitchen tables of these popular food Instagrammers. “I wanted to propagate the idea that it isn’t difficult to prepare delicious, high quality dishes that appealed to all senses, right from your own kitchen.” Amanda remarked.


What’s Next
Going ahead, Amanda mentions that Zairyo has been generating a fair bit of interest overseas, from countries like Australia, Hong Kong and the US. That being said, she would still want to stay true to her roots and consolidate Zairyo’s business in Singapore. “I would love to grow a community of food lovers who appreciate fresh quality produce and share great recipes right here in Singapore.” Amanda declares.


Itching to join in this community and try your hands at whipping up some great dishes? Visit for more information or send your enquiries to

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