The Place Saying that Japanese food is my favorite cuisine is no exaggeration at all, especially after my recent Japan trip. I can’t think of a good Japanese restaurant along Orchard Road, until I stumbled upon Tburu recently. In the strictest sense, it is quite impossible to walk into Tburu by chance given its rather elusive location within Orchard Gateway. To find the restaurant, I made my way to level three of Crate & Barrel, then took a lift to level five and was greeted by a very zen-like entrance of Tburu.
When I saw pictures of Tburu on their facebook page, I knew instantly that I have to check out this space. What is there not to love about its bright natural light space, wooden furnishings and utensils? The draw of the minimalist and zen furnishings probably explain the name of the restaurant as well, as Tburu means table in Japanese.
The Food The lunch sets at Tburu are great value for money, which includes salad and chawamushi as well. Most of the ingredients such as the seafood and sashimi are air flown from Kyushu region and Tsukiji market in Tokyo, so I expected some good quality and authentic Japanese food.
As part of its opening celebration, Tburu is offering 50% off their signature 8-course omakase menu from now till the end of June, at $50+ (Usual price at $100+). Reservations are required, and only reservations for 7.30pm and before are applicable to enjoy this promotion.
I am taking note of the Omakase promotion and will probably be back for it soon. As for my recent impromptu meetup with my good friends Hannie and XX, I had the Sake Sake Don ($20) as I could not resist salmon, and was greeted by a generous portion of salmon aburi and sashimi. The salmon was thickly sliced, and I love its freshness.
Alternatively, the Bara Chirashi Don ($28) and Unagi Donburi ($26) were highly raved by Hannie and XX as well, my dining companions.
For something to share, go for the Kanpachi Carpaccio with Truffle Oil ($22), freshly sliced sashimi topped with Ikura. I love how the truffle aroma was unmistakable, as I am quite used to ordering a truffle dish with no hints of truffle at all. The Ikura itself is very addictive as well, quite a good compliment to the sashimi.
How about some Chawanmushi as well? The Hotate Chawanmushi ($12) is served in a bigger cup than usual, considering the rather hefty price for chawanmushi with a sliced of fresh Hotate. For something more exotic, there is also the Uni Chawanmushi ($16) from the menu for Uni lovers.
The grills are apparently the highlight at Tburu, so we knew we just have to pick at least one to share. The interesting choice which caught my eye on the menu is the Iberico Buta Jaw ($18), which did not disappoint. It was my first time trying pork jaw, which is quite a rare choice on the grills menu in restaurants. The taste is slightly chewy and flavourful, yet it does not feel as fatty as its other counterparts. Worth a try.
Beef lovers will not miss trying the grilled A4 Japanese Wagyu from Gunma Japan ($22), so succulent that I wish the serving was more generous.
The best way to end the awesome meal? Go for a cup of Japanese Siphon Coffee or the Matcha Tea. My way of keeping zen after a meal.
It was interesting to order the Matcha Tea after our meal, as we get to see how they whisk the tea right in front of us. Tea whisking is quite a traditional Japanese way of making tea.
Within 5 minutes, the Matcha Tea is ready to be served in the big bowl, where we drink it directly from there.
Rants My friends and I reckoned that the service needs to be more polished. We were asked repeatedly by the service staff if our utensils need to be cleared when we were clearly not done eating.
Will I return again? It was an overall very pleasant experience at Tburu. This is currently my favourite Japanese restaurant along Orchard Road, which is so conveniently located yet feels like a hideaway at the same time. The lunch set is something I will be back for.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Level 5, Orchard Gateway @ Emerald
218 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6221 0004
Mon to Sat: 11.30am – 2:30pm, 5.30 – 10.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter