Food Review: Boruto Singapore at South Bridge Road | Modern Japanese Izakaya and Sake Bar in CBD
The Place Just over a year old, Boruto Singapore along South Bridge Road dishes out modern Japanese Izakaya fares with European-inspired elements in tapas sized portions. Located between Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, and spread over two floors, Bōruto occupies what was once a bank of sorts. In fact, Bōruto is the Japanese word for “Vault”, with a safe vault located on its upper floor and old remnants of metal gates now part of its decor.
First level’s centrepiece is undoubtedly the tapas bar, giving diners a full glimpse of the busy kitchen, with the second level focusing itself as a sake bar. The sleek decor, coupled with warmth lighting, gave us the right mood for a good meal at this dinner-only restaurant. The restaurant is established by the same owner behind Tamashii Robataya at Boat Quay, Chef Patrick Tan.
The Food Expect Japanese-European food served in tapas portion, with Head Chef Angus Chow leading the team at Boruto. With past experiences working on both Japanese and European cuisine, the concept here is to bring to diners a modern take on Japanese Izakaya selections.
As part of the restaurant’s constant update of its menu based on the fresh ingredients the kitchen gathers, this new Sashimi Salad has been introduced as with their recent menu update. It was interesting that the chef mixed the salad and sashimi with citrus jus and orange slices, giving this salad a very refreshing bite and of course, starting our dinner right.
Make sure you have this while at Boruto, the Saga Gyu Tataki (S$28.80), which was done simply by searing the Saga beef and topping it off with saffron. This dish was very easy on the palate, served cold, while the beef was made better when enjoyed with some Japanese sake.
Hotate to Cauliflower no Grill (S$15.80) should be taken literally as these are the main components of this hot tapas dish. Grilled Scallop complete with curried cauliflower florets and cauliflower puree, this dish was influenced by North Indian cuisine. The mild curry hit off well with the neutral cauliflower taste, giving the grilled fresh scallop that much needed depth in its flavours. It has been awhile since I enjoyed my grilled scallop this much, this dish is a must-have here.
Another hot tapas, the Surume-ika (S$18.80) is a grilled Japanese squid topped with onions and spicy chilli vinaigrette. This dish is inspired by local influences, with the vinaigrette done by mixing both chilli and sesame oil. The squid was done well, retaining the chewy texture, yet charred enough for us to enjoy that light burnt taste.
This might sound like something you will only enjoy at a French restaurant, but the Braised Beef Cheeks (new) at Bōruto is prepared over 4 hours with orange, miso and of course, beef stock. This was cooked with traditional French techniques with touches of Japanese influence, especially with the miso, giving the stew a slightly more intense salty undertone – which we liked.
We were told diners returned for this, Bōruto’s Truffle Hiyashi Somen (S$15.80) has been raved by many and we were glad we finally got to enjoy this. The cold noodles was simply tossed with soyed seaweed and egg yolk, complete with ebi and truffles molecules. Appetisingly good, but a cold noodle may just not be the ideal carb to end the meal.
While at Bōruto, make very sure you give their wide range of sake a try. While many of us may be unfamiliar with the sake choices, there is an in-house sake sommelier to cater to your taste preferences.
Rants The desserts here definitely ain’t their strength, and we applaud the chef for being honest about it. That said, the desserts we tried wasn’t horrible, just that it paled in comparison to the savoury items.
Will I return again? Nothing is quite what we expected here initially at Bōruto. We like that there is always an element that the chef seeks to accentuate in his dishes, with many of the standard izakaya fares being served and cooked differently here, with almost all turning out good. This is a perfect excuse to return to try the other dishes we didn’t manage to.
Make your reservation instantly at Bōruto Singapore here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
80 South Bridge Road
#01-01 Golden Castle Building
Tel: +65 6532 0418
Monday to Saturday 430pm to 12midnight
Ranted by the Rantee