Bōruto | Japanese Tapas & Sake Bar
Three years ago, I blogged about one of my most memorable Robata experiences which was forged at Tamashii Robataya. Three years later, the same people behind the quaint Japanese establishment along North Canal Road have since opened a new dining concept a street away serving up Japanese-fusion tapas and sake.
The name Bōruto, which translates to “vault” in English, pays tribute to its former occupants of the space- which was formerly a bank. The gated safe that was once used to keep locked safety deposit boxes, now stores the restaurant’s most valuable sake bottles which can easily cost up to several thousands each.
Notwithstanding the hype surrounding all the alcohol that is served in this bar however, Bōruto does also serve up some fancy fare that has both looks and substance. While Spanish tapas has already made a name for itself here in Singapore, Japanese tapas on the hand, is a novel idea that has not quite been explored yet.
Helmed by Head Chef Angus Chow, who has a fairly extensive culinary background in both Japanese and Spanish cuisine, we knew we were in good hands as we watched him deftly and skilfully plate each dish, from our front row seats at the bar counter.
We started with a Otoro Ceviche $35.80 whose vibrant colour palette was matched so effortlessly with the burst of flavour we experienced at the first bite. The tuna belly, superbly fresh and fatty, was dressed elegantly with a pomelo chilli salsa for a refreshing touch. Complete with drops of guacamole for that creamy finish, this was one textually exciting appetizer that was simply winsome.
Moving on to the Omi Gyu Tataki $28.80, which featured chunks of premium wagyu beef smoked till medium rare for that rich meatiness and succulent marbling. Could not help raving over the meltingly tender and undeniably luxurious experience as we polished off this plate clean.
The Potato Cheese Mentai $9.80 was the perfect example of bar grub or comfort food made fancy. Think deep fried potatoes that were hollowed to encapsulate a filling made of mentaiko and cheese. Tastes as good as its description. We guarantee that popping these scrumptious spheres into your mouth will be extremely satisfying. Best paired with a swig of beer from the pint.
For a touch of Oriental, the Tori-Take Roll $15.80 comes highly recommended. Moist chicken roulade stuffed with shiitake jam for an element of earthiness and finished with a Chinese-inspired sauce made up of some parts sesame oil for that delightful nuttiness. The crispy chicken skin too, which held it all together so delicately, was rightfully on point.
Having heard so much about the Truffle Hiyashi Somen $15.80, it was the first thing that caught my eye on the menu and I just had to order it. Cold somen cooked till al dente and soaked in cold water after to retain that perfect texture, the noodles were then tossed in a confit egg yolk before being topped with truffle molecules for a splash of decadence. Truly deserving of all the hype it had created.
We were about to move towards desserts when we had a serious case of food envy after this plate of Crispy Rice Cracker Tacos $12.80 arrived for the couple next to us. No prizes for guessing but yes, despite our almost filled tummies, we ordered a portion to share. Lucky for us, the base was made of rice crackers instead of rice grains and was a lovely crunchy compliment to the juicy strips of pulled pork crowned with guacamole and chilli salsa.
Head Chef Angus treated us to an off the menu item- Spanish Pain Perdu $12.80, made up of deep-fried brioche coated with cinnamon sugar whose sweetness was balanced with a tart passionfruit drizzle. Sadly though, this dessert paled in comparison to the other dishes we had earlier, that had set the bar rather high with their charm and spunk. Not bad, just not as good.
Overall, Chef and Owner Patrick Tan of Tamashii Robataya has done it again. His gamble of introducing an original concept with Bōruto has proved to be a success and we definitely left the restaurant extremely impressed and satisfied. While I came here initially thinking that the food were only but the supporting players to the sake and alcohol at the bar, I left, certain that the food were instead the main stars of the evening. I am sure that this would not be my last visit to Bōruto.
80 South Bridge Road
Tel: +65 65320418
Monday to Saturday: 4.30pm to 12am