Singaporeans love to eat; that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. 3 kinds of foods that Singaporeans also generally love are hot pots, barbeques, and Japanese cuisine. So imagine our surprise when we were told that Torikin serves all 3 at once! Surely, this was too good to be true?
With much anticipation, we paid them a visit – what did we find?
The first thing we tried was their Yaki set. Not just any ordinary barbeque grill, Torikin uses toubanyaki (陶板焼, earthenware cooked cuisine) plates.
These unique creations have a ceramic plate custom-made in Japan (an uncommon sight) that heats up more gradually and consistently than conventional hot plates, making sure your food is crispy on the outside & juicy on the inside, without getting burnt or unevenly done. It is also powered by far-infrared rays, which give it a heat output similar to that of charcoal allowing it to be used both indoors and outdoors.
Speaking of food, a good variety was presented to us, with quality slices of sangen buta (三元豚, sangen pork), kuroge wagyu beef, and lots of fresh vegetables. Of special note were the slices of sakura chicken, which are raised naturally without any antibiotics or growth hormones, giving them a great, natural flavour that’s low in fat and cholesterol.
2 types of sauces were also served: Yakiniku sauce and ponzu (citrus) sauce.
With the effective hot plate and using the natural juices from the meats with just a dash of butter, cooking was easy and incredibly tasty!
A How-To guide on enjoying Mizutaki:
Next up was their signature dish, Hakata Mizutaki (博多水炊き, Hakata-style hot pot). Comprised of a rich chicken stock boiled every day for 6 hours and served with a variety of vegetables and sakura chicken, it certainly looked really promising.
I watched in curiosity as the staff carefully scooped up balls of minced chicken meat and placed them into the awaiting pot of chicken stock, followed by the remaining ingredients.
After a short period of time, the resulting stew was served to us. I was pleasantly surprised at just how rich and hearty the concoction tasted without being overdone.
Whether it was from a bite from the meatballs or tucking into the vegetables, there was an unmistakable taste of chicken permeating through that was both strong, yet subtle enough to not feel too heavy.
But the highlight was undeniably the soup. Its appealing milky-white colour and smooth, elegant essence made it easy to drink, giving it a remarkably warm and calming effect after every sip.
The mizutaki can also be complemented with their homemade ponzu sauce (made from Japanese daidai bitter orange, as well as a variety of other spices. I simply adored the mild tanginess of the ponzu which helped to further enhance the food.
Ponzu was also used to give same tanginess to their chili paste, giving it a very nostalgic taste similar to that of the Hainanese Chicken Rice that my late-grandfather used to make.
It would have been a waste leaving all that wonderful soup behind, and Torikin knew this well. Thus, premium quality nanatsuboshi rice from Hokkaido was mixed into the remaining broth, creating a zosui (雑炊, porridge) that was the perfect finale to a fantastic meal.
Just add a bit of rice and eggs and…
With our stomachs full and spirits high, we left feeling extremely satisfied and energised. Wholesome, invigorating meals are still going strong – and you’re guaranteed one right here at Torikin!
Tel. 6465-5908 557 Bukit Timah Road #01-14/16 (Near Botanic Gardens MRT station) Mon-Fri 6pm – 12am Sat, Sun & PH 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 12am