Food Review: Gyutan-Tan Japanese Restaurant At Tras Street, Tanjong Pagar | Singapore’s First Gyutan Specialty Dining Concept   

The Place Located in Tras Street, Gyutan-Tan is a new Japanese restaurant and Singapore’s first-ever gyutan (ox tongue) specialty restaurant. I checked out the 82-seater restaurant recently and it occupies a shophouse space decked in earthy tones, and exudes a minimalist Japanese-Scandinavian vibes. 

The dining ambience is casual with regular tables and banquette seats, and the space is spruced up by the vibrant wallpapers of original illustrations. 

The Food The menu features gyutan served in different ways, and there are also pork and chicken dishes if you are not into ox tongue per se. 

For a start, I had the Cold Roasted Gyutan Carpaccio (S$15, dinner only) where the thinly sliced cold-roasted gyutan is accompanied by arugula, pickled white radish, parmesan and finished with a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze. 

The lunch sets are quite value for money as each set comes with sides like mugimeshi (a mix of rice and barley), two kinds of Japanese pickles, salad paired with a lemon olive oil dressing, tororo (grated Japanese mountain yam), as well as a choice of oxtail or miso soup. 

I had the Sumiyaki Gyutan Combo Set (S$25, lunch set) that consists of thin (4mm) and thick (10mm) cuts of charcoal-grilled gyutan seasoned with salt and pepper. This is probably my favourite way to enjoy the flavour of the gyutan, as I like the charcoal-grilled flavour of the beef tongue. 

It comes with a series of sauces to go along as well such as Original (homemade soy sauce), Ponzu Oroshi (ponzu sauce and grated radish), Korean (Chef Yoshiyuki’s rendition of the sweet-and-spicy yangnyeom sauce), Negi Shio (a salt-based sauce with chopped leeks and black pepper), and Lemon Pepper (black pepper and lemon juice). My pick is the Korean sauce which complements the taste of the gyutan the best for me. 

Other than sumiyaki-style, there is also the Gyutan Demi-glace Stew (S$20, lunch and dinner) which uses a classic French cooking technique. This dish is made with chunks of 4-hour braised gyutan, along with potato, carrot and asparagus soaked in a roux-based demi-glace. The sauce definitely goes very well with rice here, and you can expect a tender gyutan texture. 

That said, I enjoyed the Pork Kakuni (S$18, lunch and dinner) much more than the Gyutan Demi-glace Stew. The 4-hour braised pork belly is delicious and covered in a flavoursome soy-based sauce, which is a relatively more Chinese-style here. It also comes with boiled egg and onions, where the best way to enjoy the dish is to go generous on the sauce with some rice. I guess I just needed a non-gyutan dish at this juncture to balance my palate. 

Another way to have the gyutan is the Premium Gyutan Shabu-Shabu (S$28, dinner only), which is not commonly found in Japan as well. Cook the gyutan in a kombu dashi broth, along with an assortment of vegetables and mushrooms, as well as kuzukiri noodles and namafu which is a wheat gluten with mochi-like mouthfeel. 

You can have the gyutan with either the Momiji Oroshi Ponzu (with a hint of spiciness); Goma Dressing (sesame sauce); or the Lemon Pepper sauce. 

For desserts, expect the likes of Home-made Egg Pudding (S$4); Japanese Tiramisu Parfait (S$11.50) which is a rum-infused dessert comprising whipped mascarpone and coffee jelly under a layer of nutty kinako, dango and vanilla ice cream. 

Other desserts include Strawberry Zenzai (S$9.50) or Matcha Afo-Guard (S$10.50). My pick for dessert is the Matcha Afo-Guard which comes with freshly whisked matcha poured tableside onto a stack of kuromitsu (black sugar syrup), and served with vanilla ice cream and white chocolate, with warabimochi on the side. 

Rants As obvious as it sounds, this is not a concept for you if you do not take ox tongue even though there are some non-ox tongue dishes like the Pork Kakuni.

Will I Return Again? It is interesting to see a Gyutan specialty restaurant in Singapore, where I do not even recall coming across an ox tongue focused concept in Japan. The prices at Gyutan-Tan are relatively accessible and head here for their lunch sets for the best value. My favourite style of having the gyutan is the Sumiyaki Gyutan. 

This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.

TheRantingPanda says:
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Ambience: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5

Gyutan-Tan 
41 Tras Street 
Singapore 078980 
Tel: +65 8321 3359 

Opening Hours 
Monday to Saturday 
Lunch: 11:30am to 3:30pm (last orders at 2:30pm) 
Dinner: 5:30pm to 10:00pm (last orders at 9:30pm) 
Closed on Sunday 

Ranted by The Ranter 

About theRantingPanda (1948 Articles)
of blacks and whites and everything else | singapore | food reviews, lifestyle & travel

2 Comments on Food Review: Gyutan-Tan Japanese Restaurant At Tras Street, Tanjong Pagar | Singapore’s First Gyutan Specialty Dining Concept   

  1. hi do check out Negishi in Japan. they do actually have gyutan specialty eateries there

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