Author: Alex Chua
Strong, juicy and meaty, just the thought of having yakitori never fails to bring up the joy in me. And Yatagarasu Yakitori is no exception in conjuring this gastronomic pleasure. If you’ve dined at this quaint-essential Japanese yakitori restaurant before, you would’ve noticed a common principle behind the skewers – the uncomplicated simplicity of ordering and food presentation with no shortage of flavour. As a lover of barbecued Japanese skewers, especially authentic ones with beer, I can’t wait to join in for a culinary adventure.
The 36-seat restaurant in Circular Road is helmed by Chef Kota Tanabe, who has over 12 years of experience, including working at a Japanese izakaya (gastropub where after-work professionals dine and drink sake) in Singapore. Chef Kota is friendly and knowledgeable, and he enjoys interacting with diners, surprising them with nuggets of information on the ingredients and preparation methods. The interior exudes the Japanese izakaya vibe, with its red paper lanterns inscribed in Japanese letters, wooden furnishing and lacquered bamboo tracing along the ceiling.
Yatagarasu has one of the widest pork wrap skewers selection in Singapore, with our 15 types of pork belly wraps to choose from, each skewer is unique in presentation and taste. The ‘lollipop’ Shiso Leaf Pork Wrap is among the many skewers I craved in this establishment. The light, mellow flavour of the shiso leaf complements the meaty, juicy wraps, barbequed to a perfect whitish pink with glistening grill marks. Chef Kota lets me try the shiso leaf itself and I am surprised how a bland ingredient commonly found in Japan can elevates the meat taste.
Next, the Enoki Mushroom Pork Wrap gives a texturized bite to the meat. The barbequing process also helps to enhance the enoki mushroom flavour, balancing the meat profile. This is a good skewer companion for a glass of cold, chilled beer.
Perhaps the most creative/ experimental pork wrap skwer of all, the Yakisoba Pork Wrap is also the most visually arresting. With the yakisoba sauce pouch placed on top of the meat, you have to slightly squeeze the pouch end to emit sweet delicious straight into the sauce.
Besides the unique pork belly wraps, Yakitori also doles out an array of barbecued skewers featuring chicken and vegetables. Try the popular chicken wings, soft bone and the fillet skewers ($2.50 each) with the restaurant home-made yakitori sauce to kick the indulgence up a notch.
For lunch, the restaurant has a special meu featuring Oyako-Don (chicken and egg rice bowl). Both chicken and egg are summered in a flavourful dashi sauce. Only 50 bowls will be served each afternoon and the lunch service starts from 11.30am.
72 Circular Road
#01-01 Singapore 049426
Author: Alex Chua