Sunday, February 16, 2020

[Tasting] Botan Japanese Restaurant 牡丹 @ Far East Square

Nearest MRT would be Telok Ayer, and the restaurant is within 5 minutes walk from the station. Botan prides itself in using premium ingredients from Japan and serves authentic and traditional Japanese cuisine. Helmed by Executive Chef Thomas Kok, he is one of the first few local chefs who introduced Japanese food to Singapore in the early 1980s. Thanks to chefs like Chef Thomas, there are now an abundance of options for Japanese food in Singapore.

Thank you Jennifer from JY Consultancy for the invite to the tasting, special thanks to Chef Thomas Kok for the delicious meal and Botan for hosting the dinner.

restaurant interior

The experience begins once the customer is seated and an oshobori is presented. Wipe your hands on the hot towel before eating. Lovely Japanese hospitality.


For the discerning diners, one could start with the appetiser of pidan tofu, or the delectable onsen tamago with Hokkaido shoyu ikura, or the mirin fugu. I spied the board outside the shop where drinks such as highball and Asahi beer (draft) are going for just $5.80++ and $6.20++. WoOHooO! Excited much? For teetotallers, don't worry as there's the good 'ol ocha. I had mine cold.

iced green tea

pitan tofu 皮蛋豆腐 @$6++

Let's see how wobbly and bouncy the tofu is.

Overall, the pitan tofu had a balanced flavour where all the ingredients are in harmony without outshining the other. Palate tingled but anticipating for more.

Next, we had the fugu mirin which is the grilled marinated dried pufferfish glazed with mirin. I thought it tasted like bak kwa! Sweet, and a good snack with alcohol.

fugu mirin  河豚味醂 @$15++

Next, I tried the ankimo. Never had this before, so didn't know what to expect. Monkfish liver wasn't as rich in flavour as say, foie gras and it definitely wasn't gamey. Its texture was smooth and rather delicate.

ankimo 鮟肝 @$18++

For another light appetiser, one could opt for the ikura onsen tamago with Hokkaido shoyu ikura, served room temperature. No further sauce is required as the ikura had been marinated in shoyu (soy sauce). Served in a pretty little bowl, I actually hesitated for a while as to whether to break the yolk or not.

ikura onsen @$15++

Eventually I did, and made it into a short clip. For those who likes to see yolk swirls. Hahaa!

Next up, we enjoyed a selection of sashimi with premium ingredients; salmon belly, scallop and aburi otoro. Enjoyed the natural sweetness of fresh ingredients.

sashimi trio; 鮭, 帆立貝, 大とろ @$48++
so good!

They say good things come in threes. Indeed, we had good sushi at Botan. No other sauces are needed with the sushi. Each piece was a favourite!

Sushi 寿司 @$24++
pretty from all angles
Hirame (flounder)
going for the next one, kanpachi!

botan ebi ぼたんえび

If you crave for A5 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef, try it at Botan. The beef cubes are served with beef fats and garlic crisps. The wagyu beef itself was tender and with good oily mouthfeel. There's a sprinkling of salt if you need that extra seasoning. I used it for the tomato instead. Such sweet tomato! I was pleasantly surprised by the burst of flavours from the beef fats!

A5 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef @$80++ (100g)
mesmerized by the glistening oil

For friends who doesn't take beef, you could try the Japanese pork instead. Braised till tender and with good ratio of fats for the almost melt in your mouth feels. Looks good and tasted fantastic but I won't trade my A5 Miyazaki wagyu beef, nope.

Hokkaido Pork Honey Black Pepper Yaki @$18++

Another first for me, is the Kuruma Ebi. Eh, it's actually Japanese Tiger Prawns. The prawn is of a good size and grilled with mentaiko sauce. Guaranteed flavourful! This has been elevated to one of my favourite dish at Botan.

Kuruma Ebi 車海老 @$18++

Here's a short video of the fleshy prawn.

To end, let's have a plate of hot noodles. Ramen? Nah, that's too mainstream. Let's go for a Nagasaki Sara Udon. Interestingly, sara udon means 'plate noodles'. Here's the link to wiki on the noodles.

Nagasaki Sara Udon 長崎皿うどん @16++

This plate of noodles tasted homely, and it was almost as though I'm eating at a mom and pop shop. Plenty of vegetables in the plate. There's much feels to this. Served hot, the noodles tasted like our 
"生面" or sang mien (crispy noodles).

For dessert, we had the yuzu sorbet. Loved the candied peels in the ice-cream.

yuzu sorbet @$7++

Once again, thank you Jennifer for the invite and Chef Thomas and Botan for the food. ごちそうさまでした!

Chef Thomas Kok
counter seat view
restaurant exterior

Botan Japanese Restaurant

Address: 37 Pekin St, #01-01 Far East Square, Singapore 048767
Contact: 6536 4404
Business Hours:
Monday to Friday:
Lunch:11.30am to 2.15pm
Dinner:5.45pm to 10pm

Saturday and Sunday
Lunch:11.30am to 2pm
Dinner:5.45pm to 9.30pm


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