Heartwarming dishes and fiery showmanship liven up winters at Uoharu
From the time it opened in October last year, Uoharu – the first overseas branch of the popular Tokyo-based izakaya – has been clear in its mission of recreating a slice of Japan in the heart of Central. Indeed as you take in the dimly lit interiors after entering through a door with a deliberately low ceiling (so that you have to bow down to enter, thereby showing respect in Japanese culture), you’d be forgiven if you thought you had accidentally been transported to an eatery in Kyoto’s famous Gion district.
Now with Uoharu’s winter menu, which introduces five new heartwarming dishes, the feeling of being embraced by Japanese tradition is even more heightened than ever. But even before we taste-tested the new additions to the menu, our interest was already piqued by the first appetisers, the disarmingly simple platter of seasonal fruits and vegetables called Otoshi, served with a warm savoury anchovy sauce that blended perfectly with the slightly sweeter flavours of the veggies.
Eager to try the rest of the dishes, we then dove into the next dish Karubi with bone – a thoroughly meaty affair slow-cooked for three hours to give you that exquisite melt-in-the-mouth sensation.
But our tryst with meaty matters was far from over with the next dish – Wagyu Foie Gras Sukiyaki – which featured A4 Wagyu beef from Kagoshima and Hungarian Foie Gras as the star ingredients – proving to be a delectable combination of tender and tasty sensations on the palate.
Seafood lovers would also have much to look forward to at Uoharu, with the Crab Croquette Rice and the Premium Seafood Steamed Egg both turning out to be creamy affairs packed with marine flavours. However, the show-stealer in the ‘seafood’ category was undoubtedly the Grilled Whole Tai with Japanese Arima Sansho Pepper, a whole sea bream grilled with house-made soy sauce. Thanks to the light pepper seasoning, the full flavours of the fish were enhanced even further, creating a veritable tango on our taste buds.
At Uoharu, the showmanship is far from over though. On certain evenings, the guests are treated to a ‘fish grilling performance’, a visually stunning performance in which the head chef flash-grills a fish in an otherwise darkened room, while being cheered on by his colleagues and assembled diners alike. Indeed, if you’re planning to visit Uoharu anytime soon, don’t be alarmed if the lights turn off suddenly, instead grab your phone and turn on Instagram Live, because the action’s just about to start…
Address: 7/F, M88 Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington Street – Central
Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay