My aunt was raving about the food from Ootoya since her japanese boss gave her a treat weeks ago. Since it was nearing Christmas and everyone was generally free (off work and off school), we headed over to Ootoya Japanese Restaurant over at Orchard Central just yesterday for lunch.
I do known that Ootoya is generally quite widely available in Japan and it’s a restaurant chain found in almost every major part of Japan. Back when I was in Bangkok, I did notice that many of the shopping malls have Ootoya. But it was kind of like “fast food” style, where you order and pay for your meal at a counter.
The Ootoya branch at Orchard Central was surprisingly quite small. But it was cosy and it was really refreshing seeing japanese expatriates eating at the tables just beside you. Service was really good and the staff was really attentive, constantly refilling the cup of genmaicha, brown rice with green tea (and it tastes like the korean barley tea). Oh yes, the genmaicha is free and free-flow. We went there, expecting a snaking queue but it was surprisingly easy to get seats there. By 1pm, there was still no queue and the restaurant was not completely filled yet.
We shared a few set meals since all of us don’t eat that much rice. This was one of the must-haves! I see many people around me having this meal too. It’s the grilled atka mackerel. It was salty probably caused it is salt-cured. Nevertheless, the grilled taste of the mackerel was nice.
This was the pork with sweet and sour kurozu sauce (black vinegar). It kind of feels like the Chinese sweet-and-sour pork but this was much nicer. It was slightly tangy and very appetising. The pork was quite fatty. Usually, I would abandon the chunks of fats off the pork or chicken. But as I bit into the pork, the fats from the pork and the black vinegar sauce were a heavenly combination. The burst of flavour in my mouth cannot be described with words. Since I rarely ate red meat, I thought I’ll just give it a go this time round. There was also a huge pile of fresh salad vegetables that came with a tiny jug of sesame dressing. I like:)
This was the scallop rice. The set came with another bowl of really nice and home-cooked tofu stew with vegetables and chicken. It was nice. The food they serve here feels really home-cooked. They call it ” no frills ” teishoku ( 定食 ). Definitely not like those generic bento sets at those cookie cutter japanese restaurants in Singapore, like Sakae and Ichiban.
I like Ootoya:) The next time when I come, I want to try the Mixed Grain Soymilk Porridge. It feels like good old home-cooked comfort food. Quite a few people were raving about the soymilk porridge too. Ootoya menu comes with the calories of the food being served in the restaurant too. It is definitely good for people who are calories conscious!
Hmm, but I heard that some commented that the food served at Ootoya is MSG-laden and that the japanese are known to love to put the magical MSG into their food. Is it true? Because I am definitely not one who can tell if the food contains MSG.