Dad decided that dinner would be at Ootoya (大戸屋) simply because he had a $50 voucher. Japanese is always good and I’ve always wanted to try another one of this Japanese exports.
Ootoya started in Japan in Jan, 1958 (Showa Year 33 for you Japanophiles) and they specialise in set meals (teishoku).
Despite the horrible structure and floor plan of Orchard Central, the queue for Ootoya is surprisingly long! Goes to show that nothing can come between good food and us Singaporeans! After a 30 min wait, we managed to get a table although I must mention that do not expect high class service because we weren’t ‘shown’ to the table but just given a few gestures here and there. My mum and I weren’t even sure that we were supposed to follow the J. Manager (Japo-English…Asst. Manager, perhaps?) into the restaurant!
Above is my set of mini hot soba ($8) and a mini chicken katsu don ($12). Although this is the first photo, it was the last to arrive and the waiter had forgotten my request to NOT have any spring onions in the hot soba. The soba was ok but I think that Shimbashi has much better soba. There was a few strands of udon in my bowl and surprisingly, the udon was much better than the soba.
The chicken katsu was cooked to perfection and the sauce that came was definitely made by the restaurant because it had a more distinctive prune taste. Do note that mini noodles + mini don sets do not come with chawanmushi, unlike other sets. Warning you first because the waiter failed to tell me this when I ordered.
Above is dad’s Hokke fish set ($18) and this was the really impressive set ordered. The fish was grilled to perfection and the pumpkin was delicious! Simple but yet so satisfying. There some tiny bones in the half fish so don’t order this if you dislike picking stray bones but it’s less hazardous than some other small fish. I like that this Hokke fish is like a piece of salmon minus the jerlat-ness (creamy till you feel full and sick).
My brother ordered the Beef Loin Set ($23) and I wasn’t too impressed with the slice of beef that I ‘stole’. It was chewy and wasn’t as tender as I expected it to be. It was flavourful though.
Would I go there again? Only if there was no queue and they improve their service. I know that they’re busy but they’ve been busy for SOOOO long, you’d think that they would have either hired more staff or trained their staff to handle customers better. The staff was friendly…just wished that they weren’t so frazzled so that they could focus and be more attentive.
Ootoya Japanese Restaurant
181 Orchard Road #08-12
Orchard Central Singapore
Tel: +65 6884 8901
PS. Check out their Japanese website http://www.ootoya.com/ if you understand Japanese. Love that they even state the calories for each dish!