Tburu has closed down
Tburu is a newly opened Japanese restaurant located on the 5th floor of Orchard Gateway @ Emerald (opposite Somerset MRT station). This classy joint offers gourmet Japanese food in an elegantly designed space.
Calvin Yeung – Modern Renaissance ManTburu is the brainchild of modern Renaissance man, Mr Calvin Yeung. A self-taught interior designer, Calvin combines art, space, and gourmet dining to produce a unique gastronomic experience. This serial restaurateur is also the owner of multiple award-winning restaurants such as the iconic “Aqua Luna” in Victoria Harbour (Hong Kong), “Yun Fu” in Lan Kwai Fong (Hong Kong), “Kiku” at Duxton Road (Singapore), and many others.
As we walked into Tburu, we were pleasantly surprised by how tranquil the restaurant was, compared to the rush of the shopping belt below. Over here, classic Japanese minimalism meets contemporary style to create an elegant space that is uniquely artistic but yet casual and comfortable at the same time. We enjoyed our meals while basking in the abundance of natural light through the restaurant’s magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows. At night, I can imagine that diners would be able to enjoy the psychedelic light display on the facade of Orchard Central (directly opposite). There is a spacious outdoor area (drinks only) as well if you want to chill outside after your meal. Tburu has an open concept 4 metre sushi bar, where the sushi is prepared on a chopping board carved out of a single tree trunk. We learnt that many of the restaurant ware (bowls, utensils, etc) were personally hand-picked by Calvin, which demonstrates his unyielding dedication to taste and design. Suffice to say, we loved the ambience of Tburu.
Kumamoto Tomato ($18)
First up, to whet our appetite, we had the Kumamoto Tomato ($18). Tburu’s tomatoes are specially flown in from the Kyushu prefecture of Japan. They were served in a large bowl of ice and tasted extremely fresh and palatable. If you prefer your food to be more savoury, the restaurant also provides sea salt for dipping.
Kanpachi Carpaccio ($22)
For our next appetizer, we had the Kanpachi Carpaccio ($22). The fresh yellowtail sashimi was studded with ikura and truffles, and dressed in savoury truffle oil. After cleansing our palates with the tomatoes, we were able to fully enjoy the flavours of this dish. Tburu’s Kanpachi Carpaccio was delicate and yet gutsy, with the savoury taste of the truffle oil balancing nicely with the refreshing flavours of the fresh sashimi and ikura. This was the perfect dish to warm up our palates for the upcoming mains.
Hotate Chawanmushi ($14)
Who doesn’t love chawanmushi? The Hotate Chawanmushi ($14) at Tburu was definitely up to mark! The egg custard had a wonderfully smooth texture and tasted great. And of course, there were the luxurious truffles and savoury chunks of hotate which further enhanced our chawanmushi experience.
Wagyu Beef ($22)
Beef lovers, rejoice! Tburu offers A4 grade Japanese Wagyu ($22) seasoned with rosemary, served in an exquisite glass funnel with misty smoke swirling inside. It almost seemed like the dish was teasing us. Finally, the funnel was removed, and the small puff of mist that emerged said it all. The beef cubes were revealed amidst the dissipating mist and looked extremely tantalizing. The succulent wagyu beef was tender and tasty, with a wonderful smoky flavour that had me hooked from the first bite!
Iberico Buta Jaw ($18)
This was the first time we were tasting meat from the pork jaw but we were immediately fans after trying the first piece. The Iberico Buta Jaw ($18) were fried to perfection, and tasted savoury in a non-unctuous way. Definitely a crowd pleaser.
Aburi Sushi Platter ($38)
We loved the Aburi Sushi at Tburu! The sushi were served in a quaint rattan basket, which enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the dish. Thanks to Tburu’s open-kitchen concept, we got to see the chef searing the aburi sushi with his blow torch. Dining at Tburu is truly a multi-sensorial experience!
We had the Salmon Belly, Bontan Ebi, and Kanpachi sushi. Our favourite was definitely the Salmon Belly, which tasted heavenly with its burst of rich flavours and distinct smoky aftertaste. The sushi was prepared using fresh Norwegian salmon, which probably explained its freshness. This was the favourite item of our entire meal! Tburu’s sushi platter goes for $38 for five types of sushi.
Another highlight of our meal at Tburu was the Mentaiko Tori ($5 per piece), which was grilled to perfection and tasted amazing with the creamy mentaiko (marinated roe) sauce. We also enjoyed the Chicken Teriyaki ($5 per piece), which was good but not as delicious as the Mentaiko Tori (in our opinion).
We were able to view the entire grilling process through the grill room’s glass window, where the chef deftly grilled the skewered meat over charcoal. We learnt from the staff that Tburu only uses bincho-tan (white charcoal), which is a type of premium charcoal from Japan. It burns at low temperatures but for a longer period, and does not release smoke or other unpleasant smells (wow), making it ideal for preparing yakitori.
The Tempura was well battered and fried to perfection. We had no problem finishing this dish.
Dan Dan Somen ($14)
This fusion dish is similar to the “dandan” noodles that hails from Szechuan cuisine, but instead of Chinese noodles, the dish uses Japanese “Somen” noodles. If the dish sounds familiar to you, it is because it was served at the now defunct restaurant “One on the Bund” (also opened by Calvin) at Clifford Pier. Calvin wanted to bring this dish back to Tburu for his old regulars. The chewy noodles had just the right amount of bite, with a slightly spicy taste distinctive of Szechuan cuisine flair.
“Kuro Kabuto” Premium Sake
And how could we finish a Japanese meal without the quintessential Japanese alcohol, sake? I loved the premium sake Kuro Kabuto (literally translated as black helmet) at Tburu. The sake is produced by “Ikekame Shuzo”, a Japanese brewing company with a longstanding heritage. The sake is so named because it is contains the ingredient “black koji”, which looks like it is wearing a black helmet when viewed under the microscope. Kuro Kabuto goes for $108 a bottle, and is produced exclusively for Tburu.
We got to choose from a variety of alcohol glasses. I picked the translucent-blue cup with exquisite floral designs, which was personally procured by Calvin. The sake had a velvety texture and was mild-bodied with a tinge of fruitiness. Even though it was mildly sweet, the sharp taste from the acidity balanced it out nicely. On the whole, this is a pleasant drink that should appeal to both newcomers to sake and sake lovers.
Omakase Promotion Till End of September!
In honour of SG 50, Tburu will be offering its Omakase set at just $100 for two pax (usual price $200) until the end of September! The promotion is available for both lunch and dinner everyday. It can’t get any more value-for-money than this!
Lunch Set from just $16+
Office workers in the area will be happy to know that Tburu offers super affordable lunch sets from just $16+! This is a great place to rest and recharge before heading back to work.
Conclusion – Lovely Attention to Detail and Design
On the whole, we had a great dining experience at Tburu. Calvin has created a fantastic space with lovely attention to detail and design. Tburu is the perfect place to chill out with your favourite people over delicious gourmet Japanese food in a tranquil setting, away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. Perhaps Calvin himself sums it up best in one of his interviews: “…Tburu is an oasis to get away yet not get away. Welcome to my table”.
This was an invited media tasting session.
Level 5, Orchard Gateway @ Emerald
218 Orchard Road Singapore 238851
Phone Number: +65 62210004
Opening hours: | Mon to Sat: 11.30am to 2:30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm | Sun: Closed |