Most robatayaki (robata means "fireside cooking" in Japanese) restaurants in Singapore are typically authentically Japanese and quite often painful on the wallet. Enter this cheap and cheerful 65-seater casual restaurant in Plaza Singapura. True, unlike at most of the aforementioned traditional Japanese restaurants, the décor here is, how do we put it, more generic angmoh café, and you can only catch a not-quite-clear glimpse of the chef grilling meat skewers in the small glass-walled kitchen. However, the restaurant claims to use good quality “binchōtan” charcoal for its cooking, Japanese charcoal that burns cleanly at super high heat and emits very little smoke.
This is the latest venture by the Food Theory Group, which also owns pork-centric Western joint Three Little Pigs Eatery at Tiong Bahru Plaza (the one at Takashimaya is now defunct). The group has plans to open another similar charcoal grill spot at Suntec City next month at the food court, where the grub will be even more affordable.
Choose from a list of “proteins” here, like fish, beef, pork and chicken, and pair it with soba or Japanese rice. There’s the Grilled Boneless Chicken Leg ($9.80 with rice; $10.80 with soba) marinated with teriyaki sauce, plus a range of skewers to munch on, such as the Bacon & Quail Egg Skewers ($6.80). This being an eatery aimed at the younger crowd who patronise Plaza Singapura, there’re also a few Western-style dishes, like the Cheesy Pork Fries ($6.80). That should please the kids.
#B1-08 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Rd, S238839. Tel: 6835-7832. Open daily 11am-10pm. Last orders at closing. www.facebook.com/letsmeatupsg