TacoCat's TrEats #77: Yummy YakiTori! 🍢
I think I've finally finished writing about all our takeout trips! And now that it's been quite a while since Singapore has has been out of lockdown, or what our government has termed "circuit breaker", restaurants have been operating pretty much as usual aside from implementing safe distancing measures. We've also been eating out more and trying new places!
And one of these new places is this Japanese takeout place called Tori-Q!
So we were doing some shopping and running errands at Plaza Singapura the other day and were getting pretty hungry around dinnertime but as always, all the restaurants were packed on a Saturday in town. Tori-Q was pretty much the only place that was affordable and had space so we decided to try it out.
This place is actually pretty special because they typically only operate as a stall/kiosk so most of their outlets don't have any seating areas but thankfully, this particular branch does!
The restaurant itself doesn't have that many seats, and even less with the covid-19 social distancing measures and all but thankfully we manage to get 2 seats at a corner table.
The interior is actually really nice and bright, with natural wooden furniture to contrast the red of the logo and storefront walls. The walls were nicely decorated with some wooden plaques and Japanese-style slated roofs. There was also a nice mural on the wall that resembled traditional Japanese watercolour paintings.
The whole restaurant looked really nice and pleasant, albeit a tad small. But it was cozy and comfortable all the same.
Anyway to order, you have to go to the counter on the right side. Everything is self-service, which is easier and more convenient since the space is small and also minimises people traffic going to and from the kitchen/counter area.
It's also good that they divided the queues for people who are dining in and those who are ordering to-go; who will queue up and order from outside the restaurant.
Tori-Q specialises in a variety of yakitori; which is basically skewered chicken. The sticks of chicken are broiled using a machine, before being dipped into their specially formulated “Tare” (sauce), then hand grilled till they are ready to be served (Cr: Tori Q). But while they have their specialty chicken, chicken fillets, chicken skin, chicken balls and chicken karaage, they also offer different types of pork, eggs, and even prawns!
You can order the skewers on their own, or you can opt for their bento set which comes with Japanese rice topped with seaweed and pickles, which was basically what we ordered!
Sean ordered 3 sticks of their specialty chicken , 3 chicken karaage skewers and 1 chicken ball skewer.
This was the 3 chicken skewers and chicken ball skewer:
And there were the karaage skewers:
We mixed and matched the different skewers so we could try all of them. The portion size was definitely a little smaller than I would've liked. I was so hungry that I even ate the pickles even though I'm not a huge fan of them.
But the food itself actually tasted really good! The rice was fluffy and slightly sticky; truly authentic Japanese rice. The signature chicken skewer was nice and juicy; the sauce was sweet and well seasoned, and the chicken was grilled perfectly, without drying out the meat. The chicken balls were also glazed with the same sweet teriyaki sauce and tasted like a mix of minced meat and some vegetables.
The karaage was crispy but still juicy and had a hint of some spice mixed in with the batter. But it wasn't spicy at all. I would've preferred it to be a little more peppery but I guess they didn't put too much in case it would be too spicy. I understand. It still tasted really yummy regardless.
The chicken karaage bento was on offer at $6.30, while the other bento we got was about 7 bucks. A tad pricey but for authentic ingredients and hand grilled skewers I guess it's alright even though the quantity is a bit lacking. We definitely did need some additional snacks to satisfy us.
I read that Tori-Q has been around for more than 20 years now! They opened their first outlet in October 2000 in Takashimaya and has since successfully opened 20 more outlets covering most of the busiest and trendiest zones of Singapore. They always smell so good but I rarely tried them because I thought they were a tad pricey. I remember some outlets would give out free samples and I always took them regardless of what they were since they always tasted good.
But anyway if you're in a mall and looking for some quick savoury bites, definitely check out Tori-Q! They have over 20 outlets in major malls in each region of Singapore so there's a good chance you'll find them if you're in a mall. It's probably one of the oldest yet authentic Japanese-style foods you can find in Singapore that's also reasonably affordable so do check 'em out if you can!
Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!