Thursday, 26 April 2018

Tokachi Tontaro. Traditional Hokkaido Buta Don in OUE Shenton Way Singapore


I accepted an invitation to taste the Buta Don (Japanese pork rice bowl) at newly opened Tokachi Tontaro at OUE Downtown Gallery in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District at Shenton Way.


Space is a premium in Singapore's CBD but clever interior design gave me a feeling of warmth and welcoming openness at Tokachi Tontaro.


There was even a gold autumn tree centrepiece with a view of the open kitchen. It felt like a bit of Hokkaido in tropical Singapore.

Tokachi Tontaro serves traditional rice bowl dishes from Obihiro, Hokkaido developed by Head Chef Junko Goto. On the menu, there are Premium Butadon (Japanese pork), Regular Butadon (USA pork), Yakitori Don (chicken), and Salmon Don.


I had the Premium Butadon (Japanese pork) with comes with pickle and miso soup (price $22.50++ for medium serving with 5 pork slices). Add $1.50 for onsen egg which I strongly recommend.

Regulars know how to customise their Butadon by specifying the amount of tare sauce, cut of pork, spring onion and so on. As this was my first time, everything was at default levels - actually, I left the ordering to my hosts 😄


The Premium Butadon is served with pork from Kagoshima (Kyushu) which is considered the premier pig raising district in Japan. The thin slices of pork had fat and lean meat. It was marinated with Head Chef Junko Goto's heirloom secret blend savoury-sweet tare sauce and freshly grilled on order. It was grilled precisely with slight browning outside and minor charring at the fringes.

I enjoyed this grilled Kagoshima pork as it had a host of well balanced flavours and nice texture. Savoury sweetness from the tare sauce, natural sweetness from the tender pork (especially the fat) and a nice toasty taste from the browned and charred crisp edges. I also love the aroma of caramelised tare sauce.


As I am an egg lover, the optional osen egg is a Must.

The combination of savoury, sweet, toasty grilled Kagoshima pork with egginess over pearly, sticky, nutty, tender sweet Hokkaido Yumepirika rice is a comforting meal I enjoyed and look forward to eating again.


👉 Butadon is not a fanciful or gimmicky dish, it is homely and down-to-earth in the same way as char siew with rice or siew yok with rice. Just as there is premium char siew and siew yok rice, Tokachi Tontaro's Premium Butadon with Kagoshima pork and Yumepirika rice is a slightly indulgent way to enjoy this unpretentious Hokkaido tradition. Tokachi Tontaro makes Premium Butadon accessible and we can enjoy it in a beautiful, quiet ambiance - providing us a temporary respite from the rat race of Singapore's financial hub.


Restaurant nameTokachi Tontaro
Address03-20 OUE Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way, Singapore
GPS1°16'36.5"N 103°50'54.4"E | 1.276811, 103.848436
Hours: 11:00am - 9:30pm (Sun closed)

Date visited: 25 Apr 2018

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