May 07, 2017

Birders 鳥人 @ Tras Street, Tanjong Pagar - Modern Japanese Yakitori & Sake Bar

"鳥人", the Chinese word which is often used to scold jerks, takes on an entirely different meaning now. Lol!

Birders 鳥人 is a newly-opened modern yakitori and sake bar that specialize in grilled skewers featuring various parts of the chicken. Accompany that with cuploads of sake.

I thought the "bird-man" aka boss himself looked somewhat familiar. Ahh... it turned out to be Adam Chen, a local actor who also counts Five Izakaya as one of his F&B ventures.

Located in a shophouse unit along Tras Street at Tanjong Pagar, Birders is outfitted with a contemporary interior totally unlike what you will see in a traditional Japanese yakitori shop.

Its menu also spots a modernized twist.

Instead of using only the typical salt or tare seasoning, the grilled skewers at Birders are also interestingly paired with various toppings such as leek - negi puree, cod roe mayo, ume and ohba genovese sauce.

If you love chickens, you can love it deep deep from the inside to outside at Birders.

Expect to indulge in skewers of bite-sized Chicken Thigh ($3.50), Breast ($3.50), Wing ($3.50), Heart ($4), Liver ($4), Gizzard ($4), Oyster ($4.50), Skin ($4), and Cartilage ($4), just to name a few.

If too much chicken is overwhelming, there are also the options of Umami Corn ($6), Yam - Nagaimo Mentai ($8), Green Pepper ($6), Quail Eggs ($5), Beef Skirt ($6.50), Pork Belly ($4) and Shiitake Mushroom ($6.50) to provide some balance.

We enjoyed the yakitori to varying degrees, some sticks were more outstanding than others.

The recommended Tail ($4) drizzled with garlic shoyu was easily one of the best. Also known as "bonjiri" in Japanese, it is the meat from around the tail bone that boast a lot of fats. No wonder its texture was so juicy and tender.

My friend was very happy with the Umami Corn ($6) which went very well with the sprinkling of seaweed and gochujang-base sauce that carried an appetizing note of spiciness.

The Tsukune ($4.50) is served with an onsen egg and savory-sweet tare dip by the side.

I like it that the soft minced chicken meatballs are packed with bits of cartilage for some crunch. Though this is not the best rendition of tsukune that I had, it was still quite pleasing.

Overall, we felt that the yakitori could do with more fire-flame heat and smokey flavors that well-executed sticks should have.

Other than the Grill & Yakitori, the menu also offers choices of Sharing plates, as well as Fillers including Oyako Don ($10) and Yakitori Don ($12) for those who belong to the "I-must-have-some-rice" group.

We skipped the dons, and went for Egg Tempura ($8) and Birders Wings ($10) to share.

Both sounded good on paper but were unfortunately lackluster in reality. The batter for the egg tempura was a tad too thick and bland, while the chicken wings were coated in a black vinegar sauce that was a notch too overpowering.

Not all was disappointing though.

While the Curry Crouqetas ($10) did not oozed with lava fillings as the server had described, I still liked the potato balls for its hot, deep-fried goodness. The tinge of piquant curry flavor blended in harmoniously.

Highlight of the evening was the Liver Mousse ($16)!

We spread the smooth and creamy mousse together with a bit of the zesty bourbon and yuzu marmalade over the accompanying slices of fried mantou (Chinese buns), and the combination worked very well. This is one item which no doubt calls for an order again.

Birders also carries a list of sake specially imported from Japan.

If a whole bottle seems too intimidating to finish (especially when not everyone in the group is drinking), there is the option of getting it by the cup. Not only is the smaller portion easier to consume, it also suits diners who prefers variety.

Birders 鳥人
Address: 55 Tras Street, Singapore 078994
Contact: +65 8748 4584
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 6pm-12am / Fri & Sat 6pm-1am / Closed on Sun

Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge, no GST. Information is correct at point of published date.

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