Dinner @ OUROBOROS | Japanese Chinese Restaurant in Orchard

August 21, 2022 in Chinese, Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Ouroboros has got to be the first Tokyo Chinese restaurant in Singapore. In fact, dining at Ouroboros was also my first at trying Chinese Japanese cuisine. So naturally, I was excited. I mean… What exactly is Chinese Japanese cuisine? How different is it going to be from Chinese Chinese cuisine?

There’s actually very little information about Ouroboros on the internet. But what I managed to find is that Ouroboros is helmed by chef-owner Kou Otsuki, and he has years of experience serving Chinese (cuisine) in Tokyo. Roppongi to be exact.

It was great my friend was open to trying Chinese Japanese cuisine with me. There’s 3 time slots to choose from (6pm, 7pm and 8.15pm). We only managed to snag the 8.15pm seats because we made the reservation 3 days in advanced. And when reervation was being made, we had to pre-select our menu. Between Classic Omakase ($88) and Chinese Fusion Omakase ($128), we went for the latter.

Locating Ouroboros was not as straight forward as I imagined. But that’s because I assumed it’ll be located along the same stretch of units as Sage by Yasunori Dori and Bistro Etroit. Ouroboros was interestingly located right at the back of Orchard Plaza, facing Kramat Road.

Upon entering the restaurant, what struck me the most was how dimly-lit the space was. Lots of black was used for its interior decor. So naturally, attention was drawn to the table as that’s the only area that was illuminated. So yes, it seemed intentional that head chef Otsuki san wants his customers to focus on his food by drowning out the other distraction with darkness.

We were presented with the menu after taking our seats. Not so much for us to select our food options since we had pre-selected our course menu. But more for us to order our drinks. And with that, we started our Fusion Omakase menu, $128 with:-

1) Dish #1 (above)

2) Dish #2 (above) – Assorted appetiser combination. Including Japanese pork (char siew) with chicken soya sauce, sea urchin and tofu skin (yuba) pudding, Japanese spotted prawn (botan ebi) marinated in shaoxing wine⁣, spinach with sesame sauce, ⁣⁣tofu and spinach salad, tomato with ponzu jelly, jellyfish, and squid with mushrooms.

3) Dish #3 (above) – Striped jack (shima aji) with mala sauce, shredded crisp, pesto and chilli oil.

4) Dish #4 (above) – Spring roll containing greater amberjack (kanpachi), shiso leave and asparagus. Served with lime and snow salt.

5) Dish #5 (above) – Shark fin soup containing mushrooms and truffle oil. I was actually a little taken back at how dirty the bowl was. I tried wiping the bowl (for the photograph) but couldn’t because it had… Harden? Which set off alarm in my head because it got me wondering if I was really served soup in a used bowl.

6) Dish #6 (above) – Steamed sea bream served with scallop in a concoction of shiso broth and chilli sauce.

7) Dish #7 (above) – And to replace the mala wagyu beef dish, I was served braised pork belly and abalone.

8) Dish #8 (above) – Somen served in a cold broth with a XO sauce base, with salmon roe and cherry blossom shrimp (sakura ebi).

9) Dish #9 (above) – Osmanthus pudding with mango sauce and fruits (peach, strawberry).

It was a nice meal. The cooking station in the open kitchen was in full view from our assigned counter seats. So in addition to enjoying our food, my friend and I got to witness the entire process of cooking and plating.

But what my friend and I didn’t enjoy about the meal was the pace. It was really fast. It was to one point where we were eating Dish A, Dish B was ready and placed in front of us, and head chef Otsuki san was already plating Dish C. Super stressful. It made me wonder was he in a rush to close for the day. But if a restaurant is going to allow a 8.15pm seating, they should also anticipate a good 2 hours is required for customers to enjoy the meal comfortably. For us, our 8 dishes (9 dishes if including the edamame small bite) were all out within 1 hour. That’s only 6 minutes to eat between courses. (^^|||)

Did I learn the difference between Chinese Japanese and Chinese Chinese cuisines? Hmm… Probably not. Ha. Except for maybe noticing more Japanese ingredients being used? Prior to dinner, I was hoping we be able to try head chef Otsuki san’s mapo shirako (milt). But we didn’t get to, probably because it’s a seasonal dish.

Will I recommend Ouroboros? Yes. I really like their concept. The thing about (Chinese-)Chinese cuisine is that food portion is usually for sharing between 2 to 3 people. So I really like how one can enjoy multi-courses that’s portioned for individuals at Ouroboros. If I am working within the vicinity, I can picture myself dropping by for late after-work dinner. In fact, I was looking at their instagram account and they’ve recently introduced a-la carte menu for walk-in after 10pm. Ideal for early supper! But hopefully they ain’t imposing minimum 2 person for walk-ins too.

150 Orchard Road, Orchard Plaza, #01-24/25, Singapore
6684 4567, Instagram
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sun : 18:00 – 23:30
Ambience: 8
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon