Ootoya – The Art of Food Education
Define the odds. This is one Japanese restaurant with no ramen, sushi, sashimi, nabe or yakitori. This is one shop that actually has a queue in the persistently empty Orchard Central. This is one place that would tell you how many calories you have intake.
Ootoya 大戸屋 served Teishoku 定食 or set meal in the menu. Teishoku is a standard for the Japanese eating experience – to include a main item, bowl of rice, miso soup and some Japanese pickles, usually served all together on a square platter.
I tried the Ootoya Special Dish Set ($15.00, 990kcal) which was a combination of homemade croquette and deep-fried chicken with sunny side up egg. It tasted, healthy – which made me feel like I was having a natural, slightly plain, not overly salty or flavoursome set meal. The egg was the centre of attraction.
The good was the set felt like home-cooked food (nutritious). And the bad was it felt like home-cooked food (simple).
The Charbroiled hamburg steak with grated radish and pickled plum ponzu sauce set ($16.00 1025 kcal) should delight most, if you ignored the calories intake. The patty was juicy and tender, without tasting overly manufactured, enhanced with a tinge of citrus acid in its flavours.
If you think you had seen Ootoya in Siam Paragon, you were probably right. Ootoya had been a huge following in Japan and Thailand with more than 50 years of history. It was then I learnt that Ootoya’s philosophy was to serve home-made traditional Japanese food that combined the arts of ‘Shokuiku’ culinary, which meant ‘food education’.
You would get ‘nutritious’ food like Grated Yam with Tofu (234 kcal), Boiled Spinach (121 kcal) and Chargrilled Chicken Salad (251 kcal) which could be too raw and basic for some peoples’ likings. Cold Tofu with Raw Egg was too much for me to take, but an absolute delight to friend. (FYI – A single curry puff is higher is calory than any of these items.)
No wonder Ootoya’s dishes tasted like a family-loving Obasan cooked it. With a refreshing menu, creative take on the usual boring dishes and healthy spin to deep fried food – Why not?
Address: Ootoya, 181 Orchard Road #08-12 Orchard Central Singapore Tel:+65 6884 8901
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9.30pm (Daily)