Japanese izakayas can be intimidating. One always feels like it’s necessary to be “in” with the chef or owner to be let in on the off-menu specials and shots of exclusive sake. Boruto – a Japanese izakaya, tapas and sake bar located in a double-storey former bank along South Bridge Road – certainly does give that impression.
The restaurant signboard is not clearly visible, lending it a secretive air. The interior is dark and moody. But all discomfort is eased with the warm greeting from the hostess. The service she extends has us feeling at home.
To help us with our sake selection (the establishment offers more than 100 varieties), she brings three bottles for sampling and patiently explains the differences, before suggesting a suitable bottle size for us to share.
The food is no less impressive. Ubiquitous edamame is tossed with garlic, sea salt and black pepper, elevating it to an unexpected, addictive level. We are further blown away by the tender slices of Saga beef, lightly seared and dressed with aromatic saffron strands. Finally, the fresh, sweet Okayama oyster with yuzu wasabi vinaigrette is topped with tiny yuzu “molecules” that pop delightfully in the mouth.
Exceptional food aside, it’s the attentive, patient service that will have us returning for a memorable dining experience.
#01-01 Golden Castle Building
80 South Bridge Road