Tanjong Pagar is teeming with Japanese and Korean nooks, alongside a plethora of bars and watering holes. The latest addition to the neighbourhood is Torasho Ramen & Charcoal Bar. Preliminary research led me to discover that its menu highlights include a signature tsukemen and its kitchen crew is led by ex-Executive Chef of Hide Yamamoto, Chef Sho Naganuma.

Together with restaurateur, Tora Widjaja, Torasho serves up Japanese bites that also have influences from other parts of Asia.

The open kitchen greets you as you step into the restaurant, and it sits behind a long bar which spans across the length of the restaurant. I would say, it’s a comfortable space that won’t get overwhelmingly noisy during peak dining hours, nor will diners find the space too expansive and intimidating.

Don’t expect sushi rolls and hand-roll temaki to be dished out here; the dishes here are mostly served hot, and go against the stereotype that Japanese cuisine centres around light, delicate dishes.

I was so excited to start picking at their Wagyu Chips (S$8), thinly-sliced potatoes fried to a crisp in wagyu beef fat. I mean… can you really say no to that? I always favour hand-sliced potato crisps over factory-made ones, simply due to the beauty of their uneven nature.

They certainly tasted “heavier” than regular crisps, and could easily serve as a carb substitute to any protein dish on the menu. Move aside, Japanese rice.

The Uni Pillow (S$15 per piece) instantly evokes a sense of airiness and fluff, to which it translates on the palate just beautifully. My advice is to consume it whole, given the delicate nature of uni as well as the medley of flavours one is meant to experience with this appetiser.

Take a pinch of karaage crumbs and sprinkle them atop the uni before taking a

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