The popular chain has an extensive menu, suitable for families and couples (especially those who cannot make up their minds) who want to try everything from sashimi, sushi, grilled dishes, nabemono, tempura, rice to noodles.
Yet, it also feels luxe enough.
I remember seeing the restaurant a lot in Hong Kong – there are 13 outlets there, thought it originated from from Tochigo in Kanto, Japan in 1999.
”Watch your step… watch this step”. The server reminded me as I walked into the dim-lighted restaurant.
The interior was dark, very dark, with dim mood lighting, grey and black furniture pieces.
If you like somewhere slightly brighter, there is the sushi and robatayaki counter where you can watch the chefs prepare food live.
Not the usual bright or light-brown-woody décor alike most Japanese restaurants, this sleek setting is typically associated with restaurants that are higher end.
The prices on the menu, was surprisingly, not that atas.
For sashimi slices, diners can go for the Salmon ($6.80), Maguro ($12.80), Hamachi ($9.80), Prime Salmon Belly ($8.80), to the more premium cuts of Chutoro ($22), Otoro ($24) and Premium Otoro ($29).
The seafood is flown in from Toyosu Fish Market and around the world, twice a week to Singapore.
I was in the mood for more cooked food, and had the recommended Sen-ryo Tamagoyaki With Mentaiko Sauce ($2.80).
The egg starter is made daily in-house and topped with the restaurant’s signature mentaiko sauce which looked little at first glance. Some sweetness balanced with the light spiciness from the fish roe sauce, though no major surprises.
The tamago slices could be juicier? But at $2.80, I am not majorly complaining.
Since there was no Tori Karaage, I ordered a close substitute of Tori Nanban ($6.80) – deep-fried chicken topped with tartar sauce which had strong bonito flavour.
Unfortunately, the chicken pieces were not crisp at all (almost soggy) – forgivable if the inside was succulent, but the meat tasted like it was not marinated enough as well. Perhaps a hurried day in the kitchen.
The other hot dishes fared better, such as the price-friendly (for Orchard) Australian Wagyu Don ($18.80) with tender simmered beef slices, and Kitsune Udon ($8.20) topped with seasoned fried tofu.
The dashi broth was hot and comforting, and the restaurant uses Inaniwa udon which are the thinner still slippery style with a soft bite.
I do think they can afford to expand their donburi bowl selection. For raw fish lovers, there are just the Premium Kaisen Irodori Don ($48) and Maguro Sashimi Trio Don ($32) to choose from, without the ‘lower-tier’ options like a Bara Chirashi.
Some hits and misses, though service was considerably attentive, and elegant ‘sexy’ environment good for a dinner date that won’t exactly burn a big hole in the wallet.
2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #03-14, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)