En Sakaba is a small outlet located at the first level of Orchard Central. It doesn’t have much seating space but we were able to get a table easily because we were there on a Thursday night.
En Sakaba offers a variety of Japanese influenced tapas (each ranging from $8 – $15) and can be paired with their wide selection of drinks. Thankfully, I enjoyed my main meal very much so it was a good meal overall even sans drinks.
Baigai uni Miso Ae – Japanese sea snails with sea urchin and miso dressing ($6)
First to arrive were the sea snails that reminded me of rubber in salt. I suspect I do not have the most refined palate. We initially stopped ourselves after ordering our main dishes and two sides so we wouldn’t overeat. After the snails arrived, we picked up the menu again and quickly placed an order for another side dish.
Edamame No Kin Garikku Itame – stir fried Japanese soybean with crispy garlic ($5)
Next to arrive was the edamame. The soybeans were fried with garlic till fragrant. The first few bites were good and helped us pass the time whilst waiting for our next dish. However, after a while, I didn’t fancy greasy beans anymore and wished we had ordered normal, salted edamame.
We could watch as a chef prepared grilled and deep fried food at the front of the restaurant. I wonder if he finds it claustrophobic in there?
Foie Gras Yakiniku Onsen Tamago Don – premium beef tataki and foie gras with onsen egg on rice ($22)
My yakiniku don arrived and I loved it! Beef tataki is meant to be seared on the outside and left very rare inside, but I am still not used to meat that is too rare so I requested for mine to be thoroughly cooked. The beef was tender and soaked in sweet soy sauce with a hint of truffle. The runny yolk added a lovely flavour to the mix. My only gripe was that the the foie gras didn’t come in a bigger piece. The portion as a whole, was just right for me.
I think this is available as a set during lunch for a much more attractive price of $15. Give it a try if you’re there during lunch hours.
Negitoro Don – Minced tuna belly and spring onion on sushi rice ($18)
Nothing to say about this. I did not try any of it because I couldn’t get past the rawness.
Hiroshima Kaki Fried – Deep fried Japanese oyster ($8 for three)
Last to arrived were the fried oysters. I know I do not like deep fried food but I keep trying, because one day I might find something that changes my opinion on this. This wasn’t it, though. The oysters were hidden beneath a thick layer of batter and the accompanying tonkatsu sauce didn’t help much.
At the end of the meal, I was pretty satisfied and I would return to try other dishes (or maybe just to have the yakiniku don again). Service was good and our food arrived quickly. I do think it is a little too pricey for a restaurant located on the ground floor of Orchard Central, where it is surrounded by the likes of Cold Stone Creamery and Coffee Bean.
181 Orchard Road #01-16 Orchard Central
Daily, 12pm – midnight