The Place Located along Duxton Road, Torii Izakaya is a relatively new Japanese concept in this buzzing enclave. The restaurant takes up half of the previous space of Pince & Pints, and it is quite a efficient way to break up the space into two dining concepts.
The setting of Torii Izakaya is unlike the conventional Japanese Izakaya concept where it looks more like a regular Japanese restaurant. The Japanese art on the wall does add to the Izakaya vibe, though everything else feels incongruent with the concept.
The Food The menu is quite extensive, from appetisers to a huge selections of yakitori, some sushi selections and donburi. As an izakaya, the drinks list is quite extensive where there is no lack of wine, sake or cocktail options.
I started with the Bonded Unagi & Foie Gras (S$16) where the two ingredients are combined together in a small stick. I like the foie gras, though I thought that the unagi taste was too fishy for my liking. The portion is very small for the price, so skip this.
For sushi, I tried the Aburi Salmon Yuzu (S$13/3 pieces) which can’t go very wrong. The torched salmon here is tossed with yuzu mayo, quite a sinful treat which reminded me of the Shiok Maki from Koh Grill & Sushi Bar.
For yakitoris, I had the Wings (S$3), Crispy Skin (S$3), Rack Of Lamb (S$7), all of which are pretty good. The wings is slightly salty though the chicken is tender and flavourful.
For the lamb, the meat is quite tender and not too gamy as well.
For Donburi, I had both the Signature Beef Donburi (S$25) which supposedly has Australian beef, caviar, truffle, foie gras and onsen tamago. This is a very flavourful don, where the tender slices of beef is delicious. The foie gras comes in very small cubes and I could barely taste it after mixing it all up.
Alternatively, the Aburi Mentai Donburi (S$12) is simple Japanese omelette topped with seared mentaiko and seaweed. The flavour of this donburi is much more singular unlike the mix of beef, truffle and onsen egg in the previous dish.
Rants As with most izakayas, the setting at Torii Izakaya is way too cramped for comfort. The table is also too small for two diners and I do find the chair quite uncomfortable as well. Service was sub par.
Will I Return Again? This is quite a safe take of Izakaya and while the dishes are passable, it was slightly underwhelming. I do not see myself returning for any dishes. I left the restaurant feeling like something is amiss in my dinner experience and headed elsewhere for more food.
Make your reservation instantly Torii Izakaya here.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
32 Duxton Road
Tel: +65 6223 0093
Monday to Saturday: 12 to 2:30pm; 5:30pm to 12am
Closed on Sunday
Ranted by The Ranter