I had a good laugh when I saw the kanji of “Birders”, which was 鳥人. This is a word we use to scold others in Mandarin.
It is an easy-to-recall name of this modern style yakitori bar on 55 Tras Street, ironically right next to another ‘birdy’ sounding Nesuto.
Owner Adam Chen (yes the actor) is not unfamiliar with Japanese style drinking places, having opened bar chain FIVE.
My dining companion thought ”The server looked familiar”… can’t blame her, she hasn’t watched local drama in years.
The menu is conceptualized by Chef Makoto Deguchi, an alumni of the one Michelin starred Sola in Paris.
While traditional yakitori shops focuses on either shio or tare for seasoning the skewers, Chef Makoto prefers the use of different toppings for each cut of chicken meat such as including Negi puree and black sesame on chicken thigh skewer, or nori vegemite on a chicken breast stick.
Some of the recommended items to order include Bonjiri Chicken Tail ($4.00), Tsukune Chicken Meatball ($4.50), Curry Crouqetas ($10.00), and Liver Mousse ($16).
My friends were initially wondering about the Bonjiri ($4.00), which was a piece of meat taken from around the tailbone – not the anus (never imagined myself using this one in a food blog) actually.
That turned out to be one of the best sticks we had that night – hot, soft and tender, drizzled with garlic shoyu sauce. Gone in two bites but slow chewing.
The Chicken Meatball ($4.50) came with served with onsen tamgo and sweet tare which acted as an interesting, tasty dip, which you could use to pour over rice subsequently.
I wished the meatballs were more packed with a better bite though.
The Curry Crouqetas ($10.00) were described by the waiter as similar to lava balls, so we had some expecting of oozing fillings.
There wasn’t, but were still decent deep fried items with a mild touch of spice.
Our best item were fried mantou slices ($16), which you could spread bourbon and yuzu marmalade, and chicken liver mousse over like jam. The spread was somewhat like foie gras, though less fatty.
The combination of part tangy, part alcoholic, part savoury worked. We wished we had more bread.
I thought that the sharing plates overall fared better than the sticks, mainly because many of the yakitori pieces lacked that distinct smokiness and high flame heat.
Birders often little 180 ml cup sake, with the sake list curated in house and flown directly from Tokyo to Singapore. While sake is commonly shared on a table, the cup sake offering allows customers to try out different types instead of having to wait to finish a bottle.
55 Tras Street Singapore 078994 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 8748 4585
Opening Hours: 6:00pm – 12:00am (Mon -Thurs), 6:00pm – 1:00am (Fri – Sat) Last Order 11:00pm