Ootoya Japanese Restaurant

Average: 4 (1 vote)

While the decor is nothing to shout about, this local outpost of the popular Tokyo chain restaurant scores with its extensive menu and value-for-money teishoku (set meals). The Ootoya special dish—which comes with a croquette, deep-fried chicken and a fried egg—gets our thumbs up, as does the breaded pork loin set. Make sure you show up early if you’re planning to have dinner at Ootoya on a weekend because it gets crowded very quickly and doesn’t take reservations.

While we always like giving largely empty or queue-less restaurants the benefit of the doubt, there are sadly a few grains of truth to the adage “a long queue means good food,” a sentiment long applied to hawker stalls here.

In this case, it applies to Ootoya too, which was beset with a snaking queue (nope, they don’t take reservations) when we showed up for a weekend dinner. Instantly a flash of hope shivered through us as we thought that there must be something good being served here, to make the diners sit in a neat row on the benches outside, waiting for their turn patiently with queue numbers.

While the experience vaguely reminded us of being at the doctor’s, our dining experience was thankfully pleasant—with the food justifying the long queue.

The décor here is soothing, nothing fancy but typical of the Japanese brand of Muji-like minimalism, which we didn’t mind at all. Despite being stranded at a too-small table (there were three of us), the warm, sincere and friendly staff did their best to help us look for an extra chair (which we eventually got), and didn’t just abandon us to our seatless despair.

The menu here is huge and offers loads of variety—with most dishes offering both set (tip: Grab the set—you get an appetizer and a soup!) and à la carte options. We had the Ootoya special dish—which comprised a combination of a croquette and deep-fried chicken with a sunny-side-up egg. We had a lip-smacking good time, tucking into our food—and especially loved the crispy, bursting-with-ingredients croquette, and juicy, well-flavored chicken enlivened by our perfectly-done egg. Our breaded pork loin with egg set with a pork cutlet simmered in a “special sauce,” egg and sweet onion also did not disappoint—it was lovely, tasty and comforting (yes, we slurped up all the soup).

Ootoya is not fine dining, but who needs that when you can get great service, unpretentious, delicious food and affordable prices?

Venue Details
Address: Ootoya Japanese Restaurant, #08-12 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., Singapore, 238896 Singapore
Phone: 6884-8901
Area: Orchard
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: $
Opening hours: daily 11am-9:30pm
Parking available: at Orchard Central, Takeaway available
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