Tokachi Tontaro at OUE Downtown Gallery specialises in Butadon, a well-loved pork rice bowl originated from Tokachi, Hokkaido, a place where pig farming started in the early 1900s. While each shop may use similar method of simply grilling the pork over charcoals, every shop owns its butadon by imprinting every bowl with their very own tare made with soy sauce and sugar. This special tare is used to steep the pork before grill, which also seeps deep into the rice in the bowl and flavouring each don, whetting the appetite of their customers.
At Tokachi Tontaro, the porks are from Kagoshima and US. As explained by the owner, as Kagoshima produces and exports a higher quantity of pork, there is a higher consistency compared to that of Hokkaido. Premium Butadon ($22.80R, $25.80L) features this better quality pork with the original tare. If you just want to experience what a Butadon is, you can just go for Regular Butadon ($11.80/$13.80/$16.80) which uses the US pork that will only cost half the price!
Premium Butadon 4.2/5
Looking forward to a bowl of Kagoshima pork that is lip smacking juicy and flavourful but ours seem to fall short of expectations.Perhaps due to the leaner type of pork that the owner has decided to use, mostly due to the feedback from the waistline of the conscious CBD crowd. The rice though, was yummy with the special tare and partly thanks to the state-of-the-art rice washing machine that was purchased to preserve the quality of the high grade Japanese rice right from the start.
Spicy Tomato 4/5
If you would like some heat, you can opt for the exclusive Spicy Tomato ($11.80/$13.80/$16.80) that comes with extra sauce should you need more of the kick. I would prefer it to be more tomatoey. It uses the US Pork. While the US pork is tender, somehow the flavours that they exude lack the aroma and dimensions that I get from the Japanese counterpart.
Miso Butadon 3.8/5
Another variation is the Miso Butadon ($12.80/$14.80/$17.80) that uses the US Pork. Unfortunately the kitchen seems to be a bit heavy with he peppers, overwhelming the miso flavours. Nevertheless, the pork is still tender and juicy.
Salmon Don 2.5/5
Catering to the non-meat crowd is the Salmon Don ($17.80). I don't remember the last time when I had such a dry and overcooked salmon in a Japanese joint.
Hokkaido Imomochi Cheese 4/5
Hokkaido Crab Cream Croquette 4/5
We tried 2 sides - Hokkaido Imomochi Cheese ($6.50) and Hokkaido Crab Cream Croquette ($7). When they are all hot and oozy, you may derive greater pleasure from them than the mains.
All the dons can be upsize to include Onsen Egg, Tofu salad and drink. Adding the Onsen egg and mix it together with the rice, definitely up the satisfaction by a notch.
Written by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
OUE Downtown Gallery
6A Shenton Way
Tel: +65 62241470
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)
Mon-Sat: 11am - 930pm
(Closed on Sun)
1) Alight at Tanjong Pager MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to traffic light junction. Cross the traffic light to Maxwell Road. Turn right and walk towards Shenton Way. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]