Bōruto – New Japanese Tapas and Sake Bar in CBD
My favourite Japanese restaurant Tamashii Robataya opens a new casual restaurant & sake bar concept called “Bōruto“. Located in Golden Castle building, upon entering the restaurant you will be greeted with a gold painted gate with two Chinese words “金城” which speaks of its history. Chef/owner Patrick Tan has been wanting to do a sake bar since last May and it took them about half a year to find a location. As this place was previously an art gallery, it took them another 5 months to convert it to a F&B space. Now, this 3-weeks-old restaurant serves more than 120 types of sake specially imported from different parts of Japan.
While sake may be the star at Bōruto, the kitchen presents a constellation of tapas dishes that shine in their own right. The menu comprises cold dishes, small bites, small plates, carbs and desserts. Inspired by Chef Patrick’s visits to izakayas and Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan, the dishes are given an innovative or localised twist; eschewing traditional Japanese styling with the authentic Japanese ingredients presented in contemporary fashion instead.
Worth a rave is the Saga Gyu Tataki ($28.80) where saga beef is seared to perfection and served with salted seaweed and saffron. With fine marbling through the pink meat, it literally melts in your mouth. Another one is the Murugai Saka Mushi ($18.80). Bathed in butter, Japanese sake and garlic, the mussels were cooked with tomatoes and minced pork, creating a sensation in the mouth. When you dip the crispy homemade bread into the soup, it felt like I was eating garlic bread.
From the selection of small plates, the Teba-Gyoza ($15.80) is a popular choice featuring grilled chicken wings with the bone removed and in its place, stuffed with gyoza ingredients such as minced pork, wild vegetables (nozawana) and silver fish. The stuffing retains its moisture without being too oily. Squeeze a bit of lemon for that tangy hint.
Besides the Saga Gyu Tataki, another of my favourite is Zuwai Gani Sausage ($30.80). One by one, the chef manually filled the sausage casing with Japanese queen crab meat. The “sausage” is first steamed before pan-fried, and served in reduced crab bisque with homemade bread. Look at the huge and fat “sausage” that’s full of crab meat, they are very creative and generous with the crab meat.
If you prefer to fill up on carbs, the Kamo Tsukemen ($18.80) is a unique and thoroughly delicious option where Japanese somen is served with braised duck soup. Using duck bones and dashi, the clear soup is sweet and flavourful. For tempura fans, go for their Ebi Tempura Donburi ($18.80) which doesn’t work well for me. I very much prefer their Oyako Donburi ($16.80). It looks the simplest and readily available in another restaurant, but Patrick took efforts to create their homemade house sauce instead of the usual dashi broth.
There also have Supearibu ($25.80) that was sous vide for 12 hours before grilling it with just salt and pepper when orders are made. Served on the side is wasabi salt and yuzu pepper. Excellent meat and you can see the different layers of fat and lean meat in each piece. My only small gripe is, the meat was sliced too thick (for a lady perhaps), as I have a hard time chewing the marbled meat.
On the dessert menu, there’s the familiar Truffle Crème Brulee ($6.80) to the more inventive Champagne Soupe with Warabi Mochi ($8.80) and Ooling Cha Nashi with homeade Sakura Ice Cream ($12.80). I can’t really decide which is the one I love most. I like the truffle aroma in the creme brulee, the soft warabi mochi, as well as the poached pear with oolong tea.
Boruto serves a wide range of sake, beer and whiskey which are all cheaper than other restaurants. Their sake ranges from $68 to $2800. I tried their Homemade Strawberry Wine ($10) made using fresh strawberries from Japan. Adding lemon, rock sugar and 12% shoju, the strawberry wine is fermented for 3 months. Alternatively, try the Homemade Plum Wine ($23) which takes more hard work. The chefs need to poke alot of holes on each plum manually to get the flavour and it has to be fermented for 6 months before serving.
Address: 80 South Bridge Road #01-01 Golden Castle Building
Telephone: 6532 0418
Operating hours: Mon – Sat 4:30 pm to 12am, closed on Sundays
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