Monday, August 17, 2009


I ate a grand total of 1940 calories over 2 meals at Ootoya today. (Such fun calculating, mental sums fail already, need to use handphone calculator).

It all started when I called Ootoya today, asking if they took dinner reservations (they don't). The person answering the phone also said that during peak periods, there's a pretty long queue. So I decided to check it out just before 3pm - and there was still a que. Luckily it was a short one, and that's how I ended up eating my breakfast/late lunch/tea there. It was so good, that we decided to troop back (with more people) for dinner. So $60-something dollars poorer (argh kopitiam for the next 2 wks!:/), but with a very full and happy tummy, I'm now blogging about it.
For lunch, I had 2 of their top 3 dises- an ala carte order of the the charcoal grilled atka mackerel (224 calories and $13++ for ala carte, 579 calories and $17++ for the set). Do note that it's not a fish fillet, it has lots of bones, but it's completely worth the effort pulling off the bones and biting into the flesh. It's texture is somewhat like a fatty fish (like cod), but it doesn't have the an extremely oily taste to it.
The mackerel goes extremely well with the grated daikon (radish). At first, when I had the fish by itself, it was a bit too salty and tasted pretty normal. But dipped into the bland daikon (which by itself tastes rather gross), the fish tasted supberb, and the daikon lost it's funny smell and bitter aftertaste. I'll definitely having this again when I return.I also had the Steamed rice with Mutsu bay scallops and simmered tofu and chicken Torotoro set ($17++, 751 kcal).

I think I'm blind! I've only just relized that the rice and the soup come separately. I freaking wasted 280 calories eating the stupid tofu and chicken($8++) cos I thought it came together as a set only but you can have it separate. Oh well!!! I didn't particularly like the thick, starchy stew of chicken with egg but I quite liked the smooth tofu pieces. Not very memorable - won't eat it again.
The scallop rice alone is 420kcal and costs $9++ by itself. It's served with a bamboo over a mini-bamboo steamer - the rice is really fragrant (partially because of the bamboo leaf and steamer) and has bits of hijiki seaweed and tofu in it. The rice is the glossy, short grained kind (don't know if it's Japanese rice though, but it's really fragrant). The stewed scallops were rather salty, but they went very well with the brownish grey powder (the waiter told me it's chilli, but I don't know what it is, it's not very spicy but slightly sweetish).
Appetiser and side dish - some pickled Japanese cucumber with shredded ginger and a braised vegetable dish (the eggplant is great!).I had the grated yam, tuna, natto and ladies finger appetiser ($6++, ~160kcal). It came with a half boiled egg. I quite liked this appetiser cos I like the cool and slimy grated yam and natto, but it's an acquired taste. I had 3 pieces of tuna in mine, but I couldn't really taste the tuna cos it was all covered in natto and yam.I was so impressed with the fish, I had the Charboiled Alaskan Red Snapper ($13++, 141 kcal). Not bad, but the atka mackerel wins hands down.The Charboiled sea bream ($13++, 186 kcal) was rather scrawny (maybe it's a more expensive fish?). At least the picture in the menu showed a smallish piece of fish, true to the real serving size.
The following dishes aren't mine, but I did steal a few bites from my friends :) The wonders of sharing food.Tofu salad - the tofu is nice and smooth - not sure if they make it themselves? I like those little fish things on top.
Bluefin tuna with rice
Cold soba with some mini don thing
My Kyoto Uji Matcha green tea mousse nad milk ice cream with sweet Tokachi red bean paste ($6++, 303 kcal). The green tea mousse tastes very strongly of green tea, it's like having green tea concentrate. It's slightly bitter, but when eaten together with the milk ice cream and red bean paste it's pretty good. I don't particularly like red beans, but this one was pretty good. The azuki beans had a slight transluent look to them, and isn't like the normal pastey kind. The beans were all whole (no/few mushed up beans), sweet, and somehow reminded me of caramelized fruits.
My Soymilk blancmange and Matcha green tea parfait ($6++, 357 kcal). They didn't have green tea, so mine's a soymilk blancmage with milk ice cream.

I liked the soymilk blancmange thing, which had the texture of souffle innards, and tasted distinctly of soybeans. There's lots of whipped cream inside, which makes it hard to differentiate the soymilk blancmagnge. Totally worth the 357kcal (= 5km run).
Banana Parfait with Coffee Milk Ice cream ($6++, 402kcal)
Egg castella cake parfait with brown sugar and whipped cream ($6++, 355 kcal), which came with a blob of pudding-like thing in the middle. Not sure what it was but it was definitely pudding.
The very boring Rice Flour Dumplings in red beans ($5++, 280 kcal) which wasn't as boring as the usual one cos there was some ice cream or something inside (I didn't hear what it was but apparently there was something suprising inside - not my dessert tho!)
I think they're rather clever to keep their dessert portions small - each of the glass cups are the size of those house pour glasses.
Check out the chef's zheng-ed cap. Lol! The food came pretty quickly (but they missed one of our orders), and our tea cups and glasses weren't refilled most of the time. They should really consider investing in bigger glasses and teacups. Then again, the complimentary green tea they serve here is pretty good, especially the iced green tea, which doesn't taste thin and watered down.

We had great fun poring over the number of calories each dish had in the menu, and laughing at how the kid's hamburger on rice omelete set was a whopping 780kcal. Somehow, everyone was put off by all the 1000+ calories dishes - 1000 calories is the equivalent of a 10+km run! I think it's pretty disconcerting looking at the amount of calories you're eating - I think it makes people eat less! But then again, I noticed the prices much less than I usually do (evan though it's very reasonable). So maybe it's a marketing ploy - make the customers look at the calories, and they won't look at the prices :P

Ootoya's doing a roaring business here - there's a perpetual queue at around 630pm, and the queue doesn't stop till about 830pm! And that's on a Sunday evening. Craziness. I think Ootoya is the only super hapenning place in Orchard Central. It's pretty hard to get a table here if you're in a big group (>4people) cos there isn't any reservations allowed, and the seating area is really small.

Hope more branches open soon - they're really doing very well (and elsewhere in Hong Kong and Thailand too!)
181 Orchard Road
#08-12 Orchard Central
Tel: 6884 8901


ice said...

I love Ootoya too. Should give the sweet sour vinegar chicken or pork & grilled pork on rice a try next time. They're good.1940 calories is still under the recommended daily intake for women. :)

LiquidShaDow said...

I had the mackerel and the starchy chicken thing and the banana parfait as well. I kinda like the dessert mainly because of the banana pudding thingy inside.

I might head back again for the maguro rice bowls.

Sistafood said...

Is their bluefin tuna good? I've tried at elsewhere before and find the sashimi tougher compared to salmon sashimi

m said...

ice: I'm currently craving ootoya again!:(
LiquidShaDow: Banana parfait sounds nice - I shall try that the next time I'm there (which hopefully will be soon).
Sistafood: It wasn't my dish, but the tuna in my natto thing was pretty fresh. Tuna has a firmer texture than salmon, but not as firm as swordfish.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. I get hungry with your photos. However, my hubby is allergic to MSG. I would like to take him to some of these places but I have to be sure they do not use MSG. Perhaps it would be very helpful in your reviews if you could ask the restaurant if they use MSG? This approach would also be useful for the many other people out there who are allergic to peanuts.