Author: Alex Chua
I am always thrilled when there is a new food option opening in the parks. Toriyard, the first Japanese yakitori joint to be located at Bishan Park, serves not only sumptuous yakitori. It also tries to convey a sense of home with nature’s lush greenery. And don’t be intimidated by the fancy exterior. The prices here are friendly, well suited for the residents here. It is a chic option for a good and inexpensive meal.
There are three seating arrangements in this 129-seater Toriyard – indoor, al fresco and the VIP room (picture above) where corporate functions can be held. The industrial aesthetic is kept minimalist with metal tables, freshened up with pops of color from the red accents and blue and green chairs. In the middle of the spacious glass house stood the open-concept grill station, where gourmands can relish the sight of their ordered meats cooked to perfection with Japanese-imported charcoal grills. The menu is curated and designed by Tokyo native Chef Hasegawa Isao who has had close to 4 decades of culinary experience in various countries including Japan, France and Malaysia.
The first dish – Sashimi Salad ($19) is a colourful, visually appetising starter. All the elements work. The robust slices of fish (salmon, swordfish and tuna), sweet prawns and the accompanying leafs of vegetables. Next, my favourite Onsen Tamago Cocktail ($17), which happens to be chef favourite as well, an elevated version of the onsen egg with foie gras, samon roe and sea urchin. The simplicity in taste and exquisite presentation only wows me asking for more of this dish.
Toriyard features an extensive Japanese yakitori (grilled skewers) in the menu. Expect the classic tori (chicken) skewers, along with grilled beef and pork, fresh seafood and vegetables that will please diverse palates. My personal favourites are the flavourful Gyu (US Angus Ribeye $8), Momo (Chicken thigh $7), and Ebi (tiger prawns $6).
Special mention about Momo, where Chef Isao demonstrated live to us how the chicken thigh meat is carefully rolled in chicken skin before being skewered and trimmed to ensure an even grill. His careful preparation of the dish shows in the crispy chicken skin juxtaposed against the tender, juicy chicken meat.
For dessert the Jikasei Chiffon ($14), a fluffy matcha-red bean chiffon cake served with warabi mochi and vanilla ice cream helmed from Hokkaido prefecture. The warabi mochi was outstanding with it’s smooth consistency, and the light dusting of soybean powder that was not too sweet. My only quibble with it is maybe there can be more red bean in the chiffon cake but that would be nit-picking.
1380 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569930
Facebook/ Instagram: @Toriyard
Tel: 9296 5988
Author: Alex Chua