Ootoya is a popular Japanese restaurant chain with locations throughout Japan serving authentic teishoku-style meals (teishoku essentially means a main dish with rice and miso soup). Ootoya now has 3 branches in Singapore. The one on the 8th floor of Orchard Central is one of the most popular outlets in the whole of the building. We manage to get a table without queuing because we happened to be there just when they were just opening at 11 am on a weekend.
The interior is smart, clean and simple. There is a minimalist counter at the main entrance area with tatami communal seating on the inner side of the counter. Normal tables are in the narrow wing of the restaurant. The main menu offers a wide variety of temptations including new sashimi items and soba lunches plus there are supplemental menus and seasonal specials.
We tried the tuna sashimi ($14) from the Maguro Fair menu and the deep-fried oyster ($11) from the Seasonal menu. The sashimi was good and fresh; and the oyster were nicely crusted and tasted delicious.
We also ordered the Hokke Set ($21), Katsu Toji Set ($23.50) as well as a la carte Katsu Jyu ($20.50) and Tori Kurozo ($13.50).
The charcoal grilled mackerel, main dish of the Hokke set, was excellent – tasty and with the right doneness. The breaded pork loin simmered in egg (Katsu Toji) came in a hearty portion and was sumptuous. The sets came with rice, soup, pickles and chawanmushi. The tea cup steamed egg was smooth and of good consistency.
The rice with breaded pork flavoured with sea tangle and egg (Katsu Jyu) was well-prepared and tasty. The Tori Kurozo was deep fried chicken with an interesting sweet and sour sauce with black vinegar base.
We wanted to try their deserts but were simply unable to because we had greedily ordered too many dishes and the portions were larger than expected. A set meal could probably be shared by two if you order an extra bowl of rice.
The staff was friendly and helpful. As the restaurant filled up, the only 2 waitresses clearly had some difficulty coping, particular when one has to doubled up as the cashier. Perhaps that is the way Ootoya keeps its costs down because they clearly give good value. We found their food to be of good quality, well-prepared and enjoyable – and even more gratifying because of the generous portions and reasonable prices.
Food : 4
Service : 3
Value : 5
Atmosphere : 3
Average price per person for lunch – $30.
Ootoya Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road #08-12
Orchard Central Singapore 238896
Tel : +65 6884 8901
Nearby MRT Stations : Somerset