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Tamashii Robataya

This Japanese restaurant at the CBD dishes out fresh ingredients in a convivial setting.

Most establishments that have been bestowed the G Restaurant Award expect their diners to observe a certain sobriety of manner and decorum. Such as not hollering your order across the dining room directly at the chef.

But at Tamashii Robataya, youthful local chef-owners Patrick Tan and Max See have no such rules. They are only too happy to engage diners in banter across the kitchen counter, enthusiastically introducing the latest seasonal produce from Japan, all beautifully displayed atop said counter which spans the length of one of the restaurant’s two dining rooms. The atmosphere is a little like being in a marketplace, except here the “grocers” are your chefs, who will also grill your chosen ingredients to perfection.

Tamashii Robataya’s chefs are happy to banter with guests while preparing meals.

The extensive a la carte menu features over 80 dishes, mostly grilled and given minimal seasoning to highlight the ingredients’ natural flavours. While the texture of just about every dish we sampled – from spears of white asparagus to a whole kinki fish – was almost perfect, we found some of the items wanting a little more salt. That said, diners are free to season the morsels to their taste with the assortment of salt, sansho and shichimi placed at each seat.

Apart from seasonal specials, some interesting items include a snack of kiku tatami – compressed sheets of chrysanthemum petals lightly grilled so that they are delicately crisp in texture and lightly smoky and floral in flavour. On the other end of the taste spectrum is a tender grilled pork jowl, its natural sweetness and richness lifted by a house-made yuzu and Japanese pepper paste. To note, the restaurant receives top-quality meats and seafood air-flown from Japan four times a week – and the freshness is apparent in the taste.

#02-01, 12 North Canal Road, S(048825)
T 6222-0316

The full list of Singapore’s Best at
G Restaurant Awards 2017.

All tastings conducted incognito with esteemed members of G’s Food Panel.