Instead of the vibrant, anime world of "Boruto", we stepped into a dimly-lit, minimalist industrial-chic space with raw, concrete flooring and metal finishing. Meaning "vault" in Japanese, this is a nod to the premise's past life as a bank.
Welcome to Boruto Japanese Tapas & Sake Bar, a double-storey establishment located along South Bridge Road that offers modern tapas dishes, as well as a wide variety of sake, shoju and Japanese whisky, most of which are exclusively brought in.
Not too much of drinkers ourselves (PinkyPiggu prefers to eat her calories), we indulged in their food which turned out to be so memorably good that we made repeated visits. Ooh that Uni Pasta and Saga Beef & Foie Gras Rice Bowl!!!
Did a little check: Boruto is opened by Chef Patrick Tan, who also owns Tamashii Robataya, the premium Japanese robatayaki restaurant located nearby which serves one of the Best Beef Bowls in Singapore.
The young and talented Chef Angus Chow helms the open-concept kitchen here at Boruto, and much more. From taking care of our reservations, engaging diners at their tables, and of course busy cooking with his crew, he can be seen transitioning through the roles effortlessly, all done without a frown on his face. Such a display I believe is a testament to the well-trained and dedicated team running the whole show.
Very steady. Very "zai"!
Boruto's menu comprises mainly of both hot and cold small bites, with a couple of carbs, and a small selection of desserts. Dishes are innovative, pairing authentic Japanese ingredients with an interesting fusion twist and presented in a contemporary fashion.
Take for instance the Hotate to Cauliflower no Grill ($18.80). Instead of the typical scallops topped with a layer of melted cheese, the plump Hokkaido scallops is first grilled, then complemented with a smooth cauliflower cream. Flavors and textures are further enhanced by nibbles of curried cauliflower florets. This is a creative combination that works exceeding well.
The Potato Cheese Mentai ($9.80) reminded me of those cheese-filled potato bombs. Mashed potato is shaped into little cylindrical holders, deep-fried and filled with mentaiko cheese. Best way to enjoy it is to pop the whole parcel into the mouth and feel the sensational explosion. Da bomb!
We also enjoyed the chunks of Escolar Fish, one of the newly-introduced dishes on the menu. As the fish is known for its high fat content, we were expecting a more cod fish-like buttery texture, but its meat was rather firm with a luscious, oily mouthfeel. The smoky, crimson red capsicum sauce cut through the oiliness just nicely.
Word of caution, though, Escolar fish should be eaten in low amounts due to its high wax esters level which can result in a rather unpleasant side effect. The portion served was suitable for two or three people to share.
Tori-Take Roll ($15.80) was definitely one of the highlights of the meal. The exterior of the chicken roulade was crisped up perfectly, and thigh meat was used for a more succulent bite. Stuffed with an intense jam made of shiitake mushroom, it flavored the entire dish with a wonderful earthy aroma. The Chinese-inspired chili oil sauce provided an edgy punch which was all too delightful. This is a must order!
Foie Gras + Aka Miso ($18.80) is another dish PinkyPiggu insisted on having for she is a crazy goose liver lover. The thick slab of seared foie gras is pan-seared to an ideal creamy doneness, cubed and drizzled with red miso sauce for a winsome match. The miso was well-caramelized, resulting in an intense sweet umaminess minus the usual sharp harshness of fermented food. Corn kernels joins in the party with its crunchy juiciness. No surprise we polished the plate clean.
Moving on to some carbs, we had the Truffle Hiyashi Somen ($15.80) next. The somen had a pleasantly soft and delicate texture, and was nicely-chilled. Confit egg yolk and shio konbu is used as the basis of the light sauce, while the truffle molecules traps the pronounced truffle fragrance within until you bite into the tiny spheres.
Not too bad, but PinkyPiggu enjoyed the Uni Pasta ($35.80) a tad more. The cappellini is braised in sea urchin and yuzu stock, and topped with fresh sea urchin. Surprising the dish was easy to finish even though it was rather rich. Could it be due to the addition of Hokkaido white wasabi? Thoroughly enjoyable! No wonder it ranks as PinkyPiggu's one of the Best Uni (Sea Urchin) Pasta in Singapore.
One would not be unfamiliar with kamameshi, a traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot with various ingredients. Similar to Chinese claypot rice, the bottom layer of rice gets slightly burned during the cooking process which adds a desirable flavor to the dish.
Chef Angus serves up a luxurious version at Boruto. The Wagyu + Foie Gras Meshi ($38.80) comprises of well-marbled chunks of Saga gyu, pan-fried foie gras and onsen egg. It arrived together with a hour glass timer placed on top of the covered pot, increasing our anticipation even further as we waited for another minute to pass before we can relish in the decadent deliciousness.
Though we prefer the rice to be less mushy and have a firmer bite, the rest of the components were utterly agreeable and there was certainly nothing to fault of the dish as a whole. Will we order this again? Surely, yes.
For dessert, we opted for a simple Warabi Mochi ($6.80), a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and coated with kinako. Thinking that all mochi are the same with a traditional chewy gummy texture, we were pleasantly surprised that this rendition differs from the typical due to its use of bracken starch. Bracken starch is an ingredient commonly used in Japan and comes from the roots of the bracken fern. Its texture is light, reminisce to soft jelly but with a slight chew, making this dessert a perfect choice after the "full-filling" heavy meal.
We totally adored Boruto's energetic vibes, and always left the place feeling completely satisfied with the food and service. Overall, it is an excellent place for gatherings with friends and colleagues, or for casual date nights. Definitely worthy of recommendation!
Boruto Japanese Tapsa & Bar
Address: 80 South Bridge Road, #01-01 Golden Castle Building, Singapore 058710
Contact: +65 6532 0418
Opening Hours: Sake Bar Mon-Sat 4.30pm-12am / Tapas Bar Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm / Closed on Sundays
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST (3) Correct at point of published date.
* Written by BFF, a guy who is desperately trying to find a balance while lost in the world of sights, sound and taste.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu