Food Review: Tokachi Tontaro at Downtown Gallery, Tanjong Pagar | Hokkaido-styled Buta Don from S$11.80++ in CBD
The Place Located at OUE Downtown Gallery right opposite Sama Curry & Cafe, the 2 months old Tokachi Tontaro is a Buta Don concept inspired by the famous rice bowl in Obihiro, Hokkaido. The setting of Tokachi Tontaro is casual with predominantly wooden finishings. The recipe of the Buta Don here is developed by its Head Chef Junko, who is from Obihiro.
The Food The pork slices here are coated in a signature blend tare sauce before being grilled at 185 degrees celsius for the best flavours and texture. There are 3 main Buta Don options – Premium Buta Don (S$22.80/Regular), Regular Buta Don (S$11.80/Small), Spicy Tomato Buta Don (S$11.80/Small) and Miso Buta Don (S$12.80/Small). All rice bowl come with miso soup and pickles, with an option to upsize (additional S$2.95) for extra onsen egg and tofu salad.
My favourite of the lot is the Premium Buta Don, which uses Japanese Kagoshima Pork. The pork here is tender and flavourful, which uses pork collar for the optimal mix of lean and fatty meat. A noteworthy mention is the fragrant rice used here, the Yumepirika rice which is one of the best Hokkaido rice around.
Alternatively, the Spicy Tomato Buta Don and Miso Buta use US Pork which is less flavourful for me, though it may well be more value for money considering the significant price differences as opposed to the Premium Buta Don. The pork slices of the former is spicy on its own even without dipping into the accompanying spicy sauce, so go easy on it.
Conversely, the Miso Buta came across as too peppery for our liking.
In addition, there is an option to customise the amount of tare sauce, the amount of Hokkaido rice, the size of meat slices and the amount of spring onions and black pepper for each bowl.
Rants Expect queues on weekday lunch hours as the restaurant doesn’t take reservations.
Will I Return Again? For a casual meal, Tokachi Tontaro is a decent option in CBD area due to its competitive price point. The Buta Don is sinful but should be satisfying enough for an indulgent midday lunch.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
6A Shenton Way
OUE Downtown Gallery, #03-20
Tel: +65 6224 1470
Monday to Saturday: 11am to 9.30pm
Closed on Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter