As more and more new shopping malls are sprouting out as mushrooms were to after a heavy rain, the number of Japanese restaurants have increase in an exponentially rate over the pass few months. The hoards of Japanese restaurant reviews flood the net, but none are as well recommended as Ootaya. I've finally tried it and no joke. Ootaya comes extremely recommended for a simple and no frills home style Japanese cooking.

What I love about this place is that the food is close to the typical food of most Japanese households. All meals are prepared by Japanese chefs, who are very passionate about their food. From taste to presentation all are carefully planned to the smallest detail. Surprisingly even their waithering staff are made up of Japanese. Though they may struggle a bit with their command of English, making it "Lost in Translation". They make it up with their polite and prompt service. Too top it all up, the menu items very affordable. Making this one of my highly recommended Japanese cuisine spots.

Kyoto Uji Matcha Green Tea (Hot)

Kyoto Uji Matcha Green Tea (Cold)

The green tea here is really different compared to the usual watered down complimentary green tea that is served in other Japanese places. Its neither diluted to dull boring drink or overall sweeten. Ootoya's Kyoto Uji Matcha Green Tea instead has a rather smokey and dense taste. Very different from the conventional green tea we are use to get. You can see from the imagines above, the tea is very thick. I recommend the cold version, over the hot one. Taste better and more aromatic somehow.

Varies condiments and seasoning to compliment the dishes

Here are different condiments like coarse salt and sesame, Shichimi Togarashi meant for sprinkling over hot noodles in soup & light soya.

Japanese Pickles

Amazing. Apparently these aren't the same sour and lumpy pickles that we normally get. I think Ootoya pickle their own pickles. These pickles are really refreshing and still have much crunch in them. As they are lightly pickled, the resulting product is slightly sour and sweet. Million times better then those you normally get.

Boiled Spinach Seasoned

This appetizer is simple yet so good. The spinach is boiled till its soft and sits above a canopy of mushrooms with bits of silverfish on the top. Even though the ingredients are fairly simple, the chefs in Ootoya simple work their magic on these few ingredients. All the concentrated mushroom stock is slurped up by the spinach and the silverfish added additional texture to the dish. Great for elderly, but doesn't give any excuse to deny others trying this dish.

Japanese Rice

The short gain rice here is well done. I could taste every single grain separately without any clumpy lumps at all. With additional amount, there are a few choices that you can top on your rice. Three options of Hijiki Seaweed, Jako Fish or Grated Yam. Do note that additional refills for the rice is free. You can happily shout for "okawari" (seconds), to satisfy your carbo needs.

Miso Soup

The miso soup is flavourful and has loads of ingredients within. One of the better miso soup I've drank thus far.

All items on the menu are alacarte, however if you would like to complete the meal into a set. All the items from the pickles and miso soup are included into the meal.

Charcoal Grilled Atka Mackerel (Hokke)

Now for the star of the eatery. Ootoya is a crowd pleaser, definitely guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face. All the fish is grilled by a Japanese chef from Japan. The flesh is soft and brittle that it comes off the bone easily (partially due to it being an oily fish). Upon placement into your mouth, the smooth and tender meat instantly flakes and envelops your mouth with its smokey taste. Heaven decent on earth. Surprisingly the fish doesn't left an oily aftertaste, shows the skill and dedication on the chef. For those who are afraid of fats, mackerel is an oily fish like salmon and the fats are Omega 3 fatty acids, which instead is good for the heart. Don't be fooled by the pictures in menu, this fish comes huge and is able to feed two. People who dislike whole fish in general should steer clear from this one those, there is a fair amount of bones in this dish. You are however missing out one of the best this place has to offer.

Charcoal Grilled Atka Mackerel with Rice Set

To complete one's meal, one can choose to upgrade the alacarte items with rice sets. Upgrades cost around $4 varying between the different alacarte menu items.

Rice with Charcoal Grilled Chicken & Sauce (Oyakodon)

This item is a hidden gem in the menu. I'm surprise that none of the foodie reviews have yet to discover this. The chicken is well marinated and really tender. The chicken is slightly charred, but it does give it additional character. In no time, you will find yourself downing heaps of rice soak in sweet Japanese sauce and slurping down the egg, all while eating mouthfuls of tender chicken chunks. No wonder my friend is had the same dish even though its his second visit and though there are so many other menu items to try out.

Rice topped with Breaded Chicken and Sauce Bowl (Katsudon)

Katsudon is rather good, crispy in the outside and tender in the inside. However, note that egg mixture does make it soggy quick. So eat it hot to truly enjoy it. At the coarse salt and sesame condiment to enhance the taste, would be very different from the other katsudon you've eaten.

Breaded Pork Loin simmered with Egg Set (Katsutoji)

Main difference between the katsudon and katsutoji is the presentation. One is presented on a bowl, where as the other is simmering on a hot pot. The sauces used are also different. Katsudon is more sweeter, as Katsutoji seem is be more salty and savoury. Both have eggs beaten on top of it.

All gone.

Seating is fairly limited and reservation are not entertained, so please go early to ensure your crowd with be able to get seating. Depending your crowd size they will give you either the tatami seating or cubicle seating. Cubicle seats are more private, but if you want a more robust Japanese experience go for the tatami seating. You can view the chef at work from the tatami seats to kill time while waiting for the food.

All of us are satisfy with what Ootoya has to offer. No nonsense authentic Japanese cooking at affordable prices. I do hope to see them expand and yet not. From experience as Japanese restaurants expand they tend to hire other staff and the original staff tends to dwindle. Hopefully, Ootoya stay true to their roots for as long as possible. Till as long as possible.

181 Orchard Road
#08-12 Orchard Central
Tel: 6884 8901



March 4, 2010 at 10:41 PM

the charcoal grilled pork is also v yummy! i've tried it and was surprised at how good it tasted. prob cuz of the way its cooked (charcoal) which is diff frm wad we get at other jap restaurants. oh and the rice is another plus too! but the crowds at dinner do turn me away cuz i'll prob have gastrics b4 i can get into the shop! hee :)



June 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Hi. This looks to yummy....favourting it
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