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The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Japanese bincho grill and teppanyaki dishes with Japanese cocktails.

The must-orders (if any): Teppanyaki fried rice with cherry blossom shrimp and ao nori, tsukune

Summary: From the team behind Club Street’s Izy/Caché comes Plum and Toro, a casual Japanese cocktail/bincho charcoal grill and teppan concept situated across from Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Singapore on the 2nd floor of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay. The food menu includes small plates (sample item: the hilariously-named Uni Corn, which is essentially sweet corn tempura with hoba leaf and sea urchin sauce), seafood (sample item: Fugu Karaage), meat (sample item: Japanese Wagyu beef cooked in two ways with fresh black peppercorn) and various sandwiches served with seaweed fries. The grilled Canadian lobster tail with leek mayo and red tobiko possessed the youthful bounciness of three Primary Two boys on a trampoline, with the Farfetch’d flavour of leek leaching nicely into the mayonnaise, whilst elsewhere the gingery and sensually moist tsukune whipped its ponytail dancing along to China Wine. The best dish of the night was the teppanyaki fried rice with cherry blossom shrimp and ao nori, which packed quite the Chanel No. 5-esque olfactory punch. The happily salty and greasy marvel was texturally playful, with different forms of bite from the egg to the sakura ebi keeping your teeth pleasurably diverted. The food portions were fairly generous.

On the bar front, the cocktails involve Japanese ingredients as well as some form of Japanese spirit, with the Shinryoku (Nikka vodka, matcha, sherry, houjicha) providing some muddy moss eye candy for the green tea-obsessed, and the Roku gin-ed Negroni adding some sakura touches to the classic cocktail’s format. Patrons of Caché will notice that some of Caché’s signatures have been brought over and given the Japan-enhanced treatment, but somehow the cocktails here, suitably strong and premium ingredient-heavy as they may be, do not possess quite the same verve of spirit as those of Cache’s.

Whilst the overall experience was more than pleasant, there were no obvious anchors to build the meal around. Perhaps the rollout of the full menu will address that?

Lobster – grilled Canadian lobster tail with leek mayo and red tobiko ($36).
Amberjack – char-grilled whitefish with kinome miso and sweet soy ($30).
Tsukune – char-grilled chicken meatball skewer with yakitori tare sauce ($15).
Sakura Ebi – teppanyaki fried rice with cherry blossom shrimp and ao nori ($18).
Negroni ($24) and Boulevardier ($24).
Shinryoku – Nikka vodka, matcha, sherry, houjicha ($23).

Grade: B3

Plum and Toro Singapore
1 Nanson Road #02-07
InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
Singapore 238909

Author

Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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