Omotenashi Sake Bar & Dining Gosso, Singapore

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Category: Japanese – Casual – Yakitori

We were strolling along Boat Quay looking for a place to have dinner before a concert when Omotenashi Sake Bar & Dining Gosso restaurant caught our eye. We were particularly intrigued by the number of Japanese clientele they had and figured that that said a thing or two about it’s authenticity, and decided to give it a try. Omotenashi Dining is quite the new kid on the block, having been around from only around September or October last year, but seems to already have picked up a good number of regulars.

No.64 Boat Quay Singapore 049852, Tel: 6533 5152, Opens 11.30am – 2.30pm and 5.30pm – 12am on Mon-Fri (Opens for dinner on Sat)

Nestled along the shophouses on the main stretch of Boat Quay by the Singapore River, Omotenashi Dining is situated right opposite the Parliament of Singapore, across the SIngapore River. Its decor theme is primarily black, with non-fuss wooden tables and white words printed on its canopy, with a yakitori grill is by the entrance on the left. There are several Japanese restaurants along Boat Quay, but among the yakitori places, Omotenashi had the largest Japanese clientele as far as I could tell.

Damage: $$

Omotenashi Dining is quite reasonably priced, with dishes priced at around $3-4 per stick (min. order of 2 per dish). It might seem little, but since most yakitori dishes comprise of meats, I find that we often underestimate how filling they can be. Beer is also popular at Omotenashi, especially among the Japanese businessmen – I saw a beer tower or two go by in the short while that I was there.

To Go: A good hangout place for meatloving friends

Omotenashi  was reasonably priced and the food was fine – some dishes being more standout than others. Indoor-seating (air-conditioned) is rather limited and it can get rather warm if you’re seated outside, so if you have more than one layer on I suggest to go somewhere else or begin stripping unless you want to be a waterfall. Service at Omotenashi was quick and the staff were attentive and eager to be of help, and the restaurant has an old Japanese feel. Overall, a possible place to hang out with friends after executing mission: escape from the office.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

A uniformed waitress came out to greet us at the front, nodded and politely invited us to come in in a slight Japanese accent. Several tables were already taken by the riverside and the indoors was full so we were seated by the entrance and presented with the menu which contained an array of yakitori, from skewered meats to tsukune (minced meat patty/ball), in different renditions – with mustard, with cheese, etc. I asked the waitress for a recommendation between the two versions of tsukune, and she pointed at one and said, “I would recommend this… and this”, and pointed at the other version. We looked at each other and tried not to laugh.

In the end we ended up ordering the Kinoko Salad, and several kinds of yakitori, a onigiri (rice ball), and an egg dish called Dashimaki. From there, the orders were sent to the grill, and soon after, began hitting our table in rapid succession.

Omotenashi Authentic Japanese Yakitori Singapore New 2015 Food Review Blog Boat Quay Mushroom Salad

The Kinoko Salad ($9.80) which the waitress said was very good and “popular” had a generous portion of stir fried mushrooms, beyond which I found to be pretty ordinary. You can give this a miss if you’re fine with having a mostly carnivorous meal.

The Isobe-yaki (chicken fillet wrapped with seaweed; $5 for 2 sticks) and Negima (chicken thigh with leek; $6 for 2 sticks) (featured picture, from left to right) were ordinary as well. They were a good piping hot, but the chicken was way too dry, which was surprising for the Negima since chicken thigh is typically fattier and retains juice better.
Omotenashi Authentic Japanese Yakitori Singapore New 2015 Food Review Blog Boat Quay Tsukune

The tsukune ($6 for 2 sticks) was great – the outside was charred perfectly, caramelising slightly the semi-sweet glaze, and the inside was piping hot and extremely juicy. They were very generous with the meat – I think this also contributed to its robust flavors and texture, making it more satisfying to have than the usual thinner tsukune patties, including the one I practically grew up on from MOS Burger.Omotenashi Authentic Japanese Yakitori Singapore New 2015 Food Review Blog Boat Quay Signature Egg

The waitress explained that the Dashimaki ($6.80) was gently cooked in a dashi stock for some time and whisked or something to give it it’s fluffy texture. To be honest I couldn’t internalise her description of the entire process because I zoned out halfway, and told myself that bottom line was that this egg was going to be more awesome than it looked. It was light but ordinary and rather lacking in seasoning, I’d happily swap this out for another yakitori.

Omotenashi Authentic Japanese Yakitori Singapore New 2015 Food Review Blog Boat Quay Yakitori Pork Asparagus LeekIt would do you good to have this – Butamaki Shimeji (Shimeji Mushrooms wrapped in Pork Belly; $6 for 2 sticks)This is one of my all-time barbecue favorites. Whenever I host or attend a barbecue, this is a dish that needs to be present to elevate the session to barbecue stardom. Ever a crowd pleaser, this yakitori was no different; mushroom juices galore, soaking up and adding to the natural saltiness of the bacon, with cheese atop. Omg, yes!

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Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, Singapore

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Category: Western/Tuscan – Steakhouse

I’d heard many good things about Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse and had been meaning to go for some time. When we arranged to have dinner, I was having a steak craving and since my companion was indifferent to the various dining options I provided, we agreed that it would be a good time to give Bistecca a try.

25 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 238969, Tel: 6735 6739, Opens 12 – 2pm and 6 – 10pm

Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse is among the row of shophouses next to the Temple on the main road. Most people visiting the area would park at UE Square, from which you could cut through UE or walk along Unity Road and then make a right down Mohamed Sultan Road. The restaurant will be opposite with a steep flight of steps leading to a dimly lit rustic setting with a retractable deep red outdoor shade above the entrance with the words “Bistecca”.

Damage: $$$-$$$$

Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse is more of an occasions kind of place. The prices are steep, but the food is lovely and service is great. If you’re going to shell out for a steak at Bistecca (and if you didn’t go alone), I suggest the Fiorentina steak ($188) – it’s the best steak I’ve tasted in Singapore thus far, and I’ve been on the hunt for the best for a while now. I might just say it’s better than Cut by Wolfgang Puck, and for a comparable price point, is on par with Wooloomooloo Steakhouse (although a direct comparison can’t be drawn since they were different cuts) and trumps Bedrock Bar & Grill.

To go: Yes, whenever the occasion calls for steak

As long as you have a team of 2 or 3, take to Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse for the Fiorentina. Good service, fantastic steak – I’ve not had a meatier, juicier, more perfectly done steak elsewhere. The 2 of us could barely finish the Fiorentina and were majorly stuffed, so if your team is a group of eaters with moderately-sized appetites, you should do just nicely. Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Singapore Fiorentina Best Steak Bedrock Wooloomooloo

The steak is a organic-fed wagyu-cross which is dry aged. It is then grilled over a wood-fire grill which intensifies the flavour with a slightly smoky touch. On medium, the steak was tender and still a deep pinkish red on the inside, perfectly seared on the outside without crusting, and the juices flowed out readily with each slice. Steak is challenging to photograph, and the dimly lighted interiors didn’t help my mission, so go- see (and taste) for yourself. The side dishes were good too, although quite pricey. For dessert, we had a Panna Cotta which was soft and creamy, but you could probably find similar desserts elsewhere.

Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Singapore Fiorentina Best Steak Bedrock Wooloomooloo dessert panna cotta

Bedrock Bar & Grill, Singapore

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Wanting to have a good steak, a friend asked if we should go to Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse and Restaurant or Bedrock Bar & Grill. Since I’ve been to Bistecca and not the latter, we decided to give Bedrock a shot and met up for dinner there on a Tuesday night.

96 Somerset Road, #01-05 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore 238163

The entrance to Bedrock Bar & Grill is along the alley right outside the glass doors of Somerset 313, right next to Marché, and will be the first restaurant to your left.

Damage: $$$-$$$$

Steak with prices in the region of Bistecca’s (ex. the Fiorentina steak, $188) and just a tier under Morton’s and Cut by Wolfgang Puck, it is needless to say that I was expecting a really good steak. With a starter and side dish to share, the meal came up to about $120 per head. Prepare for about $160 if you throw in a glass of red and a dessert as well.

To go: For this price, perhaps we should try elsewhere

It was good but for the price, I was not sufficiently wowed. Service was great – attentive and pro-active with the recommendations – and the ambience is cosy and romantic with comfortable booth seating at the periphery, with just the right amount of space to lend a comfortable level of chatter from guests and yet maintain privacy. There are two private dining rooms at the back as well, which can seat about 8 persons each, at which you can host a small private dinner if you so wish. In my opinion, Wooloomooloo Steakhouse is better value, equally cosy, and with equally fantastic service.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

I visited Bedrock Bar & Grill on a Tuesday evening after work. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much – the front of the restaurant is modest with a narrow reception and entrance. Following the front of house down a softly lit corridor, I found that it opened up into a comfortable space with a cosy setting of lacquer and dark brown wood, kept slightly more relaxed with the filament lamps suspended over the bar in an intentionally unintentional manner, like a man rolling up the sleeves of his carefully ironed shirt. When we entered at around 7.30pm, it was about 30% full, but by the time we left at around 9.30pm, it was packed to about 75%. Heading back out again, I noticed that the high stools which were unoccupied when we entered now had a few groups of people enjoying a drink or two.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Singapore Steakhouse Steak Food Review BlogIt is a steakhouse, so steak is what we had. I had the Bedrock Pepper Steak (300gm ribeye, $79; featured picture) which our host mentioned was Bedrock’s signature steak and had been very well received by guests on the whole. I asked for it on medium and instead of going with the default black peppercorn sauce, chose the wholegrain whiskey mustard sauce to go with. My dining companion had the same, except on rare and with the classic béarnaise. The steaks all come with a single sauce, and if you’d like, you could swap the default sauce for another or add on any of the available sauces at $4.

To begin, we shared the Caesar Salad ($22) which was one of two recommendations for starters, the other being the Bedrock Smoked Tomato Soup ($16). This, to be honest, I wasn’t at all impressed with. The baby cos was fresh, as was to be expected, but the egg was ordinary and the bacon was too hard and its presence, sparse. I couldn’t find the white anchovies which the dish’s description made mention of, except for the single good-sized one atop.

The steak was served in a typical old-fashion style on a sizzling iron hotplate. My steak was cooked to a good medium, was rather tender and kept its juices. However, for some reason, I was just not quite blown away. It was good steak and cooked well, no doubt, but in terms of flavour, there was nothing very special about it, even when supported by the special sauces – both of which I tasted. In my mind I just couldn’t help but compare it to Bistecca – which I’ll readily admit wasn’t the fairest comparison given that I’d only tried their $188 Fiorentina made from a Wagyu F1 t-bone (serves 2-3 persons), although they also have steak options in the $70 – $90 range of a comparable portion size – which had a finer grain and smoother texture than the one at Bedrock. Bedrock Bar & Grill Singapore Steakhouse Steak Food Review Blog I’ve heard many good things about duck fat, and I once had a friend aspiring to be a chef who’d asked me to hand-carry a jar of it back for her from London, and so when we were looking at the sides, the duck fat potatoes ($16) were really calling out to me. I’m not sure what exactly it’s supposed to taste like, but I knew the duck fat flavour when I tasted it and was trace. We both agreed that the potatoes tasted somewhat ordinary, so I would advise to go with perhaps the creamed spinach ($18) as a side should you visit. Or, if you’re dying to have some potatoes, I’d think the Ash roasted sweet potato with bacon & blue cheese ($16) is going to be a little more special.

Pince & Pints, Singapore

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Category: Mixed – Lobster

We headed to Pince & Pints for Dinner on the recommendation of a friend who’d been there at least three times since it’s opening, and she joined us yet again for our initiation. Singapore doesn’t have many lobster-roll-serving places, the other being Platypus Kitchen which I’d tried and thought to be subpar, so it made sense that as one of the few, people are bound to hear of it.

32/33 Duxton Road, Singapore 089497

Situated along a row of shophouses, Pince & Pints occupies two adjacent units near the most popular open-air carpark in the area, which is flanked on the other side by Sabio Tapas Bar & Restaurant and Buyan Russian Restaurant.

Damage: $$$

I didn’t think it was worth the money. Their menu consists of three kinds of lobster dishes (whole lobster either steamed or grilled, lobster roll, chilli lobster) all going at $48++, and often, a seasonal special. When we went, they had an XO lobster with rice for Chinese New Year. While lobsters are expensive, I just didn’t feel very satisfied on the small portion of lobster meat and ordinary fries on the side.

To go: Not really – I think I’ll head to a seafood restaurant for a lobster fix

The food was pretty average in my opinion, and with a waiting time of about 45 minutes to an hour on most days, it just doesn’t make much sense to me. My friends who’ve tried the lobsters in Boston say it’s nothing but an echo of what they have over there, so I guess I’ll have to wait till I finally visit the States to get a truly legit lobster roll fix.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

Admittedly, the Grilled lobster looked a lot more spectacular than the lobster rolls. The lobster meat was fresh, moist, and well-seasoned but the lobster was rather small and so wasn’t very fleshy. The butter sauce was a bit too loose and oily-tasting for my liking and lacked the depth of flavour which I expected from something based on butter, which is often used in french cuisine to give sauces added dimension and creaminess. All the dishes were accompanied by a cup of ordinary thick fries plainly seasoned with salt. The salad went unnoticed – some of the leaves were wilted, and the sauce was a thin, bare basic.

Pince & Pints Singapore Food Review Blog Grilled Lobster

The lobster roll was almost tiny – which I guess was to be expected since the lobsters didn’t have much meat to begin with. When we were served the rolls though, I could see the disappointment in the faces of my dining companions; one of whom promptly announced damn, I should’ve totally gone for the whole lobster instead. 

I’ve found that most of us receive lobster rolls expecting them to be served hot. On the contrary, at both Pince & Pints as well as Platypus Kitchen, they’re served out-of-the-fridge cold. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s done elsewhere, but that’s how it seems to be done here possibly because a steaming mayonnaise just wouldn’t make sense, and just a heads-up that this should be avoided if you’re in the mood for a hot dish instead.

Pince & Pints Lobster Roll Food Review Singapore Food BlogI guess it’s worth trying once, but I don’t think I’d return again. With the added service and GST, it comes up to about $57 for a bistro-kind of meal, and I think I’d prefer to be spending it elsewhere – like maybe at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant digging into a wok of chilli crab and going at the sauce with a little man tou (fried bun).

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya, Singapore

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Category: Japanese

I have a feeling that one day I’m really going to regret having posted this. Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya has been around for a while but I don’t think many people have discovered it yet – which is why I have feelings of both fear and excitement (which, I know, sounds a little extreme for feelings towards a restaurant but legit nonetheless); fear for when it gets popular, I’m not going to be able to get a seat for a long time to come, and yet, excitement, at how much potential Sumiya has.

181 Orchard Road, #12-02 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896, opens daily 12-3pm and 6.30-10.30pm

Sumiya is located right at the top most floor of Orchard Central – the rooftop, to be exact. I’m not even sure many people are aware that there’s this top floor because the lifts only go up to level 11, where Tung Lok Seafood Restaurant is situated, and from there you’d have to turn left and walk all the way to the end. Go around the corner and you’ll find a set of escalators that are otherwise pretty obscure, and that will lead you right to Sumiya‘s doorstep.

Damage: $$-$$$

I think Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya possibly has one of the most ridiculous (in a good way) lunch sets in Singapore. The lunch sets are served daily (including weekends), and range from $15.80 for a Chicken Teriyaki Don to $58 for a King Kaisen Don which has a ridiculous amount of sashimi. The sets we had were about the $20 price range, and were of fantastic value, and just thinking about it is making me salivate. The grilled items, which are served based on a skewer count, are very popular and will spike your bill a little but are still competitively priced when compared with other charcoal grill places such as the ones at Cuppage Plaza.

To go: YES!!! (And soon…)

The food is incredible – sashimi slices were thick and fabulously fresh (just read on for the detailed review below), the tempura was also delicious, and everything was just- fantastic. Service was impeccable as well – they were friendly, attentive, and polite. Plus, there’s the great birds-eye view of Orchard and Somerset if you take a stroll on the balcony. Note to self: Go back ASAP.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review

Sumiya has the feel of a laidback slight old-world market-style charm with wooden tables on unfinished metal legs and high chairs, which were surprisingly comfortable. The charcoal grill was being worked to our right as we came in through the entrance, and the staff nodded politely in welcome.

The Fish of the day Charcoal Grill Set ($16.80) was made from mackerel, and was fresh, coming off in flakes. The outside was grilled to a golden brown with the lightest crisp, and was cleanly seasoned with sea salt which supported the natural flavours through.

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review Blog

Assorted Tempura at Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review Blog

The Assorted Tempura set ($17.80) was a generous serving of five prawns and vegetable tempura in the loveliest batter. It was served piping hot and held it’s crisp to the end of the meal, and was well complemented by the light but flavourful dipping sauce and a generous serving of freshly grated radish. They definitely didn’t stinge on the ingredients – the vegetable tempura was made from asparagus.

My dish was the Mix Bara Kaisen Don ($18.80) and when I saw it, I went wow, and the waitress couldn’t help but break into a smile at my enthusiasm for the dish. I mean, seriously, look at it-

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review Blog Mix Bara Kaisen Don

BAM! Heaps and heaps of thick juicy sashimi which were so fresh, with generous bits of avocado (!) and a mountain of ikura and roe. It tasted absolutely divine! Each set came with a salad, an appetiser, chawanmushi, japanese pickles, soup, and a green tea mochi (which I totally fell in love with). OMG is all I can say, my tastebuds were absolutely singing afterwards – to the top of my list!

Bincho at Hua Bee, Singapore

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Category: Japanese

I guess we should’ve known. With a 45% rating and a price range of $$$$ on HungryGoWhere, we should’ve seen the signs.

My friend, an up-and-coming culinary superstar in his own right, was back from London for a short while and suggested we give it a go. Coming from someone who has helmed the kitchen at some of the world’s finest michelin star restaurants, I wasn’t going to object – and so we went.

78 Moh Guan Terrace, Singapore 162078

The restaurant is situated in a quiet corner of a block of low-rise residences, just before the turn into an open air carpark. With an entrance that looked entirely unassuming, the restaurant would not be found unless you were specifically looking for it. Either that, or if you’d googled and seen pictures posted by the visitors who’d gone before you who, like you, also thought they’d finally stumbled upon the “hidden” find.

Damage: $$$$

In short, it costed a bomb. Almost 2 hours later, we were left slightly dazed at what just happened.

Full? Nope. Amazed? Nope. Mind-blown? Yea, I think so, and it’s not exactly contradictory. After all, we did get served up a $300 check just for us two.

To go: Uhh… no :/

I’m not going back, sorry.


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

Bincho Singapore Old School Interior

Bincho has a small seating capacity of 25 seats. In the day, Hua Bee is a kopitiam that serves up bak chor mee (a Chinese dish made with yellow noodles and accompanied by minced pork and sliced mushrooms). At nightfall however, the lights are dimmed, the tables are set, and the charcoal is ignited under the yakitori grill. The vibe is one that is unexpected, yet quite pleasant and cosy when combined with the marbled tables and plastic chairs.

We weren’t very hungry so we ordered a Bincho set ($120) and a few add-on a la carte dishes of Spice Cod Roe Wings ($15), Grilled Squid ($20), and Grilled Beef Tongue ($25).
19-bincho2

Our first dish to arrive was the grilled squid. It looked pretty nice, but taste-wise I thought there was really nothing special about the dish. I wanted to like the dish because I usually like grilled squid, but the flavour was lacking. I looked at him and he simply chewed, delaying his verdict on it having been overcooked.19-bincho3

As part of the Bincho menu, we were served up Angler Fish Liver. The dishes that came before it were an Assorted Appetiser and Assorted Sashimi – both pretty standard restaurant dishes in my opinion, and not enough to incite a reaction of sorts. I kind of expected the liver to taste like a form of foie gras -Perhaps I was wrong to have that kind of expectation, but this was pasty, lacked flavour, and had a far firmer texture that came away in pieces rather than melted in my mouth. The sauce, I felt, was a bit misplaced and separate from the liver.

Then, 2 dishes later, we were served up a plate of tempura. I absolutely love tempura, so when I saw this, I picked up my chopsticks and immediately fished up a piece and popped the entire thing into my mouth. It was super hot from being freshly battered, so I was hurriedly fanning my mouth and blowing out the heat, but once that was through and I actually bit through the tempura, I turned to him and made a face just as he put his piece back on the plate after just a nibble.

I don’t like this, he told me, just as a hot liquid mess filled my mouth from the broken tempura. The tempura itself was unusual – it was less weighty and crispy than most. The inside of the tempura was creamy but not quite, and tasted like… wow, I don’t even know how to describe. Slightly like a tasteless hot mess, with… a tinge of fishiness? I hated it.

He made a face back, laughed at my expression and said, it’s a cod fish’s sperm sack.

Damn.

The Tsukune with egg yolk was possibly my favourite dish of the entire Bincho degustation menu. Anything with yolk is usually good with me, and the sauce on this had far more depth than all the other dishes. I most closely associated it with the Tsukune burger at MOS which, as a kid growing up, I ate every Saturday after ballet class because it was so yummy.

While, this far into the meal, I’d become rather cautious of what I might be served, I must say the grilled beef tongue (featured picture) was good too. I’d never tried beef tongue before and was rather hesitant about it, but it was tender, full of juice, and the sauce of chopped garlic went perfect with it.

19-bincho5The chefs tell me it’s hard to impress with chicken and they were right. Although the chicken of the Yakitori Platter was pretty tasty, I probably wouldn’t be blown away no matter how many parts of the chicken they separated out and cooked for me. Some of it was actually quite dry, and while I like creative dining, I might just prefer the chicken wings on the the long metal skewers which the uncle fans with a wicker fan down the street.

Pancho Buta-don Restaurant ぱんちょう豚丼, Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan

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Category: Japanese

Nishi 1-jo Minami 11-19, Obihiro 080-0011, Hokkaido 

We were early for Pancho Buta-don, and yet we knew the restaurant from a few blocks down because of the queue that had formed even before it was open. Buta-don is actually quite a simple dish – rice topped with strips of barbequed pork, quite commonly found on restaurant menus across Hokkaido. Obihiro was a relatively quiet town with not a whole lot to see, so I was surprised to realize on hindsight that the best buta-don I’d taste on the entire trip would still be my first buta-don encounter – and that would be at Pancho Buta-don.

Damage: $

Honestly I don’t recall exactly how much it was, but there were two sizes available – regular or large. Large was actually the same amount of rice but with more meat; and if I were to go back, this would definitely be what I’d go for without a seconds hesitation. We couldn’t read the Japanese menu, so we ordered the signature Buta-don and probably spent around $10 per person, or slightly more.

To go: Yes! If ever we are in Obihiro 😀

The place is pretty compact and isn’t that big – I’m guessing it can take up to around 35 people. I’d make a note to get there early before it even opens, but anyhow, it’s definitely worth the wait.


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

Queue at Pancho Butadon

I spotted the queue outside Pancho as I walked across from the JR station. Most of the people who were waiting were locals, which checked off the “authentic” box in my mind – I’m not sure about you but whenever I see hordes of tourists arrive at a restaurant or any establishment for that matter, I immediately think of “tourist trap”, “rip off prices”, and the conclusion that whatever it is they have is “probably not authentic”.

In Japan, the dining places always have a bamboo rod with the shop’s banner hanging from it going across the entrance, which they put up when they’re open for business and take down when they close for the day. A neat little lady came out and put the rod was up as everyone watched, and we were invited inside to our seats shortly after.

Pancho Butadon entrance

The interior was simple and mostly wood, with the menu in calligraphy on parchment framed up on the wall, simple rectangular tables and straight-backed chairs. It was very compact, and with our coats, there was barely any space between the chairs. The Japanese are incredibly efficient and within minutes of ordering, our food was served, along with yellow pickles and our add-on mushroom soups.

The buta-don (featured picture) was extremely fragrant. It was served covered with a bone china lid which could barely conceal the beautiful textured pork slices beneath. There were random green peas in the buta-don; they didn’t add to the dish but I didn’t mind because they did add colour and constituted greens of sorts. The sauce was a very tasty sauce which I believe was soy-based – it reminded me of the dark soya sauce most Chinese families would have at home, except it was thinner and had greater depth of flavour. The barbecue process had successfully infused the sauce into the pork slices, intensifying the flavours. We ate enthusiastically, and to my right, a little child with cheeks flushed pink reached out for one more slice of buta.