Had a lovely dinner at this Ootoya branch with friends. We got there early and benefited from the quieter environment and great service. The calm went pretty soon as other customers streamed in, clear indication of the good food we were about to tuck in. Unfortunately, the service promptness dropped a tad as well as the service staff were overwhelmed. Kudos to them to still try to provide a good level of service e.g. unprompted top of tea, service with a smile etc.
The food was great. Not your typical Japanese. Had the torotoroni (steamed clam rice with soft egg tofu soup). Light, healthy but delicious though if you are a big eater, go for something else. Friends had a Katsu Toji (breaded pork katsu stew in a claypot) which was really yummy, though a tad salty if you don't have rice, and a demi korokke (pork croquette) which came with two huge croquettes which were deep fried to perfection.
Each set meal (except the torotoni) came with a choice of rice (5 grain, with seaweed or with sardine flakes), miso soup and two sides. The miso soup and rice were free flow, though, we didn't order a second helping of rice because were saving up space for dessert.
Dessert was a shared helping of their amritsu macha - macha (green tea) ice cream with red beans, mochi and green tea jelly in chilled soy milk. heavenly!
All in, a great place for japanese with a difference.
Had dinner at Ootoya, a casual Japanese restaurant chain with outlets in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, HK, Indonesia and more recently, Singapore. I've seen the outlets in Tokyo, but it never really occurred to me to try them out, especially with no dearth of excellent food options there.
With its discreet and minimalistic frontage, Ootoya could well be mistaken for an upclass Japanese restaurant. But walk in and be greeted by a casual, almost cafe like amostphere complete with shouts of Japanese greeting and a long U shape table (a little like a teppanyaki table except that this one doesn't have a chef standing in front of you preparing food) and small "semi private" rooms for those who have a bigger group (which we were lucky to get).
Charcoal Grilled Pork with Special Sauce ($16) - To be honest, how exciting can grilled pork get? But I was quite taken aback by how well Ootoya grilled its generous pieces of hog - Relatively tender with grilled lines to show for it and a flittering taste of charcoal smokiness. Coupled with plump, mildly sticky rice grains, it made for a wonderful combination.
Banana Parfait ($8) - I am rather skeptical about Japanese desserts as they always seem to prefer form (aesthetics) over substance (might be a misconception). Ootoya's Banana Parfait sought to realign that misconception with a surprisingly good and sweet ending to my meal. The parfait didn't come across as too gelatin and sat on a bed of azuki beans which hinted of coffee. 2 small slices of banana and sponge completed the picture.
Overall I spent about $28 for a wonderful dinner inclusive of free flow green tea. Well worth the money in my humble opinion and definitely worth a revisit.
See all my pictures here.
Was there last night, food was not that bad, but service is really bad. Food took at least an hour to come, and portion is pretty small for some. Like the burger set.
And thing is they dont have this and dont have that. they can run out of white rice(what?) and as for dessert, wanted to try the Banana Pafe but the staff was saying the banana is too hard or something so asked if it can be changed to Tamago pudding, we said yes, and when it came i tried a bit and it was horrendous. Every bit of it. Think they replaced the banana with the pudding but putting it to the same base as the pafe. The whole thing was just plain horrid.
As for service, it was slow, even though it wasnt packed at all. Staff had a small argument in front of us.
Generally, it was a bad experience, only the company of my friends saved it.
The first time i dined in Ootoya was at the Clementi Mall branch. Since then, i discovered that I quite enjoy the meals there. And frankly, I always only eat the same thing. The popular and recommended "Lunch" set which is what its named. Eat it for dinner and its also called "Lunch".
It consists of chicken cutlet & potato croquette served with a sunny side up egg and salad. I like it because 1) im a fried dish fan 2) the chicken cutlet is chicken breast meat which I prefer and the sunny side up egg is always done so just wobbly and i enjoy having some egg yolk with rice.
Its really a very full meal and preferably eat it for Lunch as its going to sit in your stomach all night if you have it for dinner.
The other side dishes are changed all the time - yesterday I had some tofu side dish. The miso soup is also changed each time i visit. Yesterday i changed my white rice for the special Gokuro mixed grain rice. It was quite yummy and supposedly healthier for you too and at no extra charge!
Generally I quite enjoy this set at Ootoya, I believe its the 5th time Im having it. One thing though - I wish they would dry their cabbage salad better. Its always dripping with water. The cabbage salad at Tonkichi should be the way. dry & crisp.
One gripe though is that all the outlets ive been have foreign service staff and Im really apologetic but trying hard to explain myself what I want or trying to understand their thick accented english while trying to just enjoy a simple meal, it not what Im looking for. wish that could be improved. The staff are also always chatting in their native languages, it makes me wonder - am I in Singapore? am I in a Japanese restaurant or did I walk into a Filipino establishment?
I'll be back here again some day. Especially since they are having credit card promotions 10-20% off depending on the card / bank.
Came along for lunch and chose one of my favourite - oyako don. Very pleasant grilled chicken with egg over sushi rice. Nice nourishing flavours it's an enjoyable dish! The set includes a tofu/salmon/broccoli side dish and miso soup ($15.50++). Service/ambience all very good. And 20% discount currently with ANZ cards.