Tanuki Raw @ Orchard Central is a restaurant on the second floor of this Orchard Road shopping mall with many escalators and lifts. It is hard to size up this restaurant by its looks. Its decor is industrial with bare concrete surfaces everywhere, even the bar counter. The atmosphere is dark and gritty. It looks like a hamburger joint or a pub, but its name was Tanuki Raw and the menu lists mainly Japanese food items. Curiosity got the better of us and we decided to have lunch there.
The menu had a variety of Japanese rice dishes and sushi rolls. The “raw” in Tanuki Raw probably refers to the Japanese raw seafood items and the oysters offered for consumption. There is a lunch menu which lists some of the donburi rice dishes, ranging from $12 to $17.80.
We decided on a Chirashi Don ($17.80) and a Truffle Yakiniku Don ($14.80).
The Chiraishi Don was very well presented. The dished looked good and the colour of the fish eggs was vibrant. It was all good till we started eating it. The raw fish was not cold. There could be a good reason for it and it was perfectly safe as nothing happened to us. But it just seemed odd to us. Just like beer or Coke, raw fish (in our opinion) does not taste right at room temperature.
The Truffle Yakiniku don was a more conventional dish. The beef did not have much taste. The dish tasted of truffles and egg. With each lunch order, an extra $2 gets you a salad, miso soup and green tea.
Overall the lunch at Tanuki Raw @ Orchard Central was quite an adventure for us. Perhaps we are old-fashioned and are more used to eating Japanese raw fish dishes in a traditional setting rather than in an edgy industrial-styled restaurant. There was just some mental disconnect. Obviously many other people were not bothered by our hang-up as the place gradually filled up during lunch.
These creatures were staring at us throughout the meal.
Overall Rating: 2
Tanuki Raw (moved to #04-01 Orchard Central)
181 Orchard Road
#02-03 Orchard Central
Tel: +65 6636 5949
11:30 AM – 10:30 PM daily
11:30 AM – 3 PM Lunch Sets daily
5 PM – 8 PM Happy Hour daily
New outlet at Kapok, National Design Centre – see Tanuki Raw – new restaurant & bar at the National Design Centre