[SG] Tanuki Raw - great for oyster lovers!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fans of oysters would probably have heard of Tanuki Raw before, with its value-for-money $2 huge oysters during happy hour with orders of their drinks. Spotting a plate of half dozen oysters on every table, we were probably the exception being there, as both of us don't eat raw stuffs.

Rockstar ($10)
Seared salmon draped over mozzarella and covered with mentaiko sauce

This was the highlight of our meal, and I was left captivated by this rock star. This has got to be the most amazing combination here, and I loved the slight burnt taste from the seared top, making it flavorful, pairing perfectly with the mentaiko sauce. The sauce was a nice complement, unlike the usual which would overwhelm the taste of it. In fact, it helped accentuated the seared portions and the otherwise dull mozzarella in the combination. This is the rockstar indeed. At the end of our meal, we regretted almost immediately as we walked out, for not ordering another plate of this!

Verdict: 9.0/10

Tanuki Balls ($12)
Truffled beef carpaccio draped over deep-fried cheese potato balls

Looking like a glorified Tako ball nicely presented, this probably wasn't very justified for its price tag of $4 per piece. Apart from the truffled beef slice lain on top for that tapas pretty presentation, the potato balls itself was just ordinary, pretty much just mashed potato with cheese. I liked how it was loose and not too heavy on the inside, with the cheese surprisingly complementing the beef slices well and not overpowering. The combination was good, yet the simplicity of it didn't seem to garner a $12 worth of dish served. 

Verdict: 7.0/10

 Shrimptastic ($10)
Ebi fry roll sprinkled with sakura ebi and drizzled with spicy sauce 

We thought this was quite your typical kind of ebi tempura, well complemented with the crunchy fried ebi bits sprinkled on top. The spicy sauce was a tad too overwhelming that it masked the taste of the roll itself. I didn't quite fancy the strong and creamy sauce, perhaps having it served on the side for dips would have been better without overwhelming the dish! 

Verdict: 7.0/10

Trio of Fries ($8)
spam, lotus root and truffle fries

How can anyone resist fries? We loved this basket with abit of everything to try out more variety! The spam sticks were too thin that it was just like having those Indian sticks snacks with a distinct fried taste to it, making it quite jelat after a few sticks. It lacked the texture of spam I was looking for, and the fried/burnt taste of it didn't quite sit well with me. 

Thinly sliced lotus root, it tasted just like chips, though we found it just wayyyy too salty and lacked the fresh crisp crunch to it. This wasn't exactly an impressive one and we still loved our classic truffle fries. Subtly infused with the truffle taste, it was surprisingly good for such thick version. As the truffle taste was subtle and smooth, it got quite addictive without the jelat/overwhelming taste. The truffle still won the battle at the end!

Verdict: 7.5/10

Tanuki Aburi ($11)
Trio of the following: 

Yuzu Salmon

Mentaiko Scallop

Spicy crab meat torched on a scallop shell 

Out of the trio, we found the spicy crab meat the most disappointing of all. Expecting real crabmeat in the dish, it tasted simply like the surimi sticks cut up into cubes then drizzled with spicy sauce to mask partially the fishy taste. 

I loved the yuzu sauce accompanying the salmon aburi, though I'm never a fan of raw food so I was just dipping into the sauce! With a sweet base, there was a slight refreshing citrus touch to it, making the cream base taste light and addictive. 

The scallop was our favorite of the trio, with slightly torched surface and mentaiko sauce. I guess you can't really go wrong with mentaiko! The fresh scallop cubes with a bounce went perfect with the creamy sauce and got us addicted!

Verdict: 7.5/10

Bacon Shishamo Wrap ($10)
Pregnant smelt fish, streaky bacon, shredded radish and wasabi mayo served burrito-style 

This was quite a major disappointment. A combination of ingredients that sounded sinfully good, it failed to bring out the best in both, and drew our attention instead to the heaps of lettuce, vermicelli and thick burrito skin. The proportion of the main highlights were simply too little, and it took us quite a while before being able to taste the shishamo. The wasabi mayo didn't quite go with the bacon and shishamo too, and we thought it tasted better on its own, without the sauce. 

Verdict: 6.0/10

ASC ($10)
Rich asparagus with raw norwegian salmon and melted cheese

This didn't seemed like its description and we had to verify with them before digging in. Topped with perhaps their universal sauces used in almost all the dishes, the asparagus was hidden inside, wrapped with salmon and a dap of the cheese on the inside. I found the salmon a little too dry for my liking, while the asparagus was too soft and mushy. It lacked the varying textures and it was all too mushy for my liking.

Verdict: 7.0/10

Little Pig ($10)
Juicy bacon and sake-poached green apple in a reverse roll with pomodoro sauce

This sounded great from the description, and perhaps with high expectations come high disappointments. We couldn't really taste much of the sake apple and the bacon was a tad too tough, with an aftertaste that didn't sit well with me. I loved the different textures you can find in a mouthful with chewy seaweed and the crunchy fried exterior. A pretty decent one if you weren't having such high expectations! 

Verdict: 7.5/10

Alice in Wonderland ($18) and Brothers Toffee Apple Cider ($14)

Under their signature cocktails list, Alice sounded like an adventure to take on, on a whimsical night. I loved the smoothness of it, and what seemed like mango to us as the base. Refreshing and light, it was perfect for some light alcohol night. Take note that these two aren't covered in the list of happy hour happy prices though! 

A rather small space and cramped sitting area, it isn't exactly the place to go for chilling nor for spending long dinners. The food was decent, though slightly pricey and some not exactly worth the price tag. They do have some lunch specials which we thought were pretty worthwhile, with a don rendition of rockstar at just slightly more than $10. Good to visit if you're working around the area! Oh, they do have a live band performance too, on every Tuesday and Friday nights, though we couldn't see it when we visited, and it sounded like just some background music they'd played. Probably good for those who're planning to head for alfresco dining to enjoy it! They don't take it reservations, probably due to the popular demand of their happy hour oysters, hence be there early to get seats! 

Overall Verdict: 7.5/10
#02-03 Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road

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