TOMO, at Clark Quay, is an izakaya that seems to have withstood the test of time. It thrived, back when Clarke Quay was old and tired, and continues to do so in today’s highly competitive foodscape. That is why I always wanted to experience this place myself its allure. And finally! This evening is my chance to try out one of their specially curated Japanese-inspired Chinese New Year set menu, aiming to offer you and your loves a unique dining experience for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
Yu Sheng 3.8/5
Let's toss for a better year ahead! As we toast to each other with our Iwai Sake Tamano Hikari (720ml a btl), we began our CNY dinner. The Yu Sheng’s (ala carte $66 for 3-4pax, 128 for 6-8 pax) towering stature reminds me of 步步高升. Amaebi (shrimp sashimi) crowned the tower, supported by tobiko (flying fish roe), kanpachi ( Amberjack) and salmon. Mix it well with the sauce and you will get a nice balance of the crunchiness and chewiness from the array of ingredients. However, as the sashimi and greens are of similar portions, try to go easy with the sauces to prevent the Yu Sheng being too 'saucy'. I like the choice of sauces used. Even though ours was slightly wet but it wasn’t sticky or too sweet, which might happen to those using the sweet plum sauce. Premium add-ons such as Hokkaido hotate, chutoro and ikura are available in medium (add $20) and large (add $40) sizes.
For Appetiser, this menu offers Simmered Duck, Unagi with Cucumber, Edamame, Deep fried Baby River Prawn and Marinated Octopus. Pretty yummy. Given their savouriness and sizes, your mouth may get too busy to do any talking at this moment. (caution: you might be tempted to order more of their sakes!)
Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Salad 3/5
Deep Fried Whole Meat Fish 2.5/5
The menu includes 2 deep fried items. The Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Salad and Deep Fried Whole Meat Fish with Japanese thick sauce yuzu flavour. After the rather delightful opening, I felt that both items kind of lackluster, especially the fish. Even with the sauce, the meat was dry and plain.
Tenderly Braised Pork Soft Rib Bone with Japanese Rice Cake 4.8/5
Then came the Tenderly Braised Pork Soft Rib Bone with Japanese Rice Cake. This is definitely the hero of the night. I have always like the way Japanese does their pork, be it in ramen or in their gigantic braised pork bun (which I only get to eat it when in Japan). The meat was tender and flavourful without being too heavy in taste or texture. I really love how chewy the sticky rice cake was! I wish there were more of it. Combining both in my mouth was just unforgettable.
The Japanese Tuna Sushi was an OK dish, perhaps the meat can be slightly more generous? Soup- Prawn Miso Soup was like a light broth, which I thought was good enough to clear my palate before the dessert.
Hokkaido Dessert Plate 4.5/5
For Dessert, we have Hokkaido Dessert Plate consisting 4 kind of sweet rice cake. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from the look of it, until I took my first bite. Gosh! It was heavenly. Especially the matcha. It almost sublimed in my mouth. One bite and it was gone. Before I had the time to reminisce it.
I believe dining in the common area would have been much more fun than that of a private room. And perhaps, that is what you should do if you are coming over to Tomo Izakaya for a CNY gathering. I feel that apart from the Yu Sheng, without the typical auspicious named dishes, you may even forgot that you are celebrating CNY while you immerse yourself in its izakaya atmosphere. But the spirit of a CNY meal is certainly there, to reunion with your loved ones, to chat and laugh together over an abundance of good food.
What I have tried is part of their $666 menu. The CNY Menu also comes with $333 (8 courses) or $888 (9 courses). Tomo Izakaya will be open on the first day of Chinese New Year.
Written and Photography by Si An. A lady who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
3A River Valley Road
Tel: +65 6333 0100
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (NE Line)
Sun-Thu: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 1am
Fri-Sat, Eve of PH: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 3am
1) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit C, F or G. Walk along the river toward Riverside Point direction. Cross the bridge to the other end of the river. Turn right and walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]