While Unadon, Chirashidon and Gyudon all enjoy different levels of popularity in Singapore, Buta Don seems to be under the radar.
I previously enjoyed Butahage at Liang Court, which offered tender and juicy grilled pork from Hokkaido Tokachi with a secret sauce of over 80 years of history. However, standard seems to have dropped of late.
Tokachi Tontaro which specialises in Buta Don, has opened by both Plaza Singapura and OUE Downtown Gallery.
It features bowls of grilled pork cooked in a Hokkaido speciality tare sauce and served atop premium Hokkaido Yumepirika rice.
Tokachi is an area in Japan known for its pig farming and Butadon restaurants – all with characteristic flavours and toppings.
I have tried Tokachi Tontaro twice at Plaza Singapura, though I won’t say I was exactly bowled over.
Available are the Premium Butadon ($22.80, $25.80) which uses Japanese Kagoshima Pork; or Regular Butadon ($11.80, $13.80, $16.80) which is topped with American pork coated in a signature tare sauce.
The regular version offers you other flavours of Spicy Tomato and Miso Butadon.
You can customise the serving of rice, tare sauce, size of meat slices, to the amount of spring onions and black pepper.
The Regular Butadon ($13.80) was an acceptable bowl, and as straight-forward as it gets – 5 slices of grilled pork on rice.
There wasn’t anything really bad about it, but lacked that special something that kept me excited when I first tried Butahage.
My main reservation was that the pork slices looked pale in appearance (in Hokkien, we call it ”pek pek”), and suggested they were not smoky, charred or grilled enough.
Fair enough, the pieces were tender; but were lacking in the juiciness and succulence one would expect.
Not bad, not fantastic. It was the same during a 2nd visit, as I thought of giving a chance. With that said, perhaps Downtown Gallery may offer a better version.
Tokachi Tontaro – Downtown Gallery
6A Shenton Way Downtown Gallery #03-20 Singapore 068815
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Tokachi Tontaro – Plaza Singapura
Plaza Singapura #06-12 68 Orchard Road Singapore 238839