Japanese restaurant Tburu, opened by the team behind One on the Bund and Kiku, has been on my radar since its opening at Orchard Gateway.
Its woody clean look boosting an enchanting view of Orchard Road at night was certainly appealing, but I hesitated when I first saw the prices of the menu.
The contemporary restaurant with a sushi bar spanning 4 metres has its strength in grill items and robata.
I was expecting mid-end pricing, and so stepped back when I saw $39 for Ootoro Tuna Belly Sashimi and $48 for a Moriawase of 8 sushi during its initial opening days.
Its challenges were compounded with its hardly visible location (the only way up is through the elevator on the Emerald side of Orchard Gateway) through an intimating-looking door, and even less visible marketing for a new-to-market brand.
They have fortunately upped some of their media exposure, but possibly coming too late only months later.
My suspicion was confirmed when there was a promotional price of $50 for their omakase set. But that presented a good opportunity for us to try their food.
Service was sincere, personable, and staff was knowledgeable about the menu and open to making recommendations.
The omakase set however, tended on being average with few stand-out dishes – mainly coming from the grill items.
My dining partner wished for fresher thicker-cut sashimi and fresh wasabi. I agreed, but also reminded her that we were ONLY paying $50 each. “But still… “
The 7-course meat ended with grilled sticks, which we thought was somewhat emm.. different. No carbs or sweets for a closure.
Our best dish though, was an ala-carte order – a Wagyu Beef ($22) dish which was tender with smoky undertones, grilled over Japanese binchotan charcoal that burnt at lower temperatures.
Tburu has a lovely ambience and feel, and certainly has potential if they can work on delivering some outstanding dishes and memorable omakase set.
Level 5, Orchard Gateway @ Emerald, Singapore 238851 (Somerset MRT)
Tel: +65 62210004
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm (Mon-Sun)
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise indicated.