First dibs: Buta Kizoku — Local Japanese izakaya serving 20 varieties of pork skewers & highballs at Bugis Junction

I had the honour of patronising Buta Kizoku 2 days before its official opening to the public. This locally-owned Japanese Izakaya will be launching on 19 Apr 2023 at Bugis Junction. It serves a variety of skewers, grilled onigiri, and a plethora of fried finger foods that will go well with its selections of booze.

buta kizoku - shopfront

Buta Kizoku has 2 kinds of cover charges: S$6 and S$10. The former entitles you to a juice and starter of your choice, while the latter allows you to get a highball and a starter.

The various meats on sticks are grilled over a charcoal stove and finished off with a flame torch to achieve lovely charred surfaces.

buta kizoku - grilling meats

We tried a couple of their sides: the Shisamo Karaage (S$6.50) and Octopus Karaage (S$6.50). The shisamo was fried perfectly, with the subtle umami flavours of its roe bursting in my mouth.

I was impressed with the tenderness of the octopus despite it being deep-fried. It was juicy and flavourful while possessing a shiok crunchy batter. Giving a spritz of lemon enhanced it further with tons of brightness and acidity.

buta kizoku - fried sides

The onigiri here are brushed with a savoury and sweet dark sauce before being grilled on both sides to achieve a layered crust that is almost crackling in nature. I preferred the Char Siew (S$4 per piece) which had a deeper depth of flavour over the Salmon Mentaiko (S$4 per piece), which was a little bland.

buta kizoku - grilled onigiri

While observing the menu, I calculated that they had 20 varieties of pork skewers in total. We started with the Mentai Mayo Collar (S$3.50) and Avocado Tartar Collar (S$3.50).

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The meats were juicy. The Avocado Tartar Collar won me over. The buttery flavours of the avocado paired really well with the slightly tangy tartar sauce. Needless to say, the mentaiko mayo was spot-on. I mean… it’s one of my all-time favourites!

buta kizoku - griled meats

We then moved on with the Garlic (S$3.50), Hokkaido (S$3.50), Yuzu (S$3.50) and Mentai (S$3.50) from the cheese series. Each of these sticks had pieces of cheddar (dark and pale yellow) placed on top before they were flame-torched and melted.

The Garlic had fried bits of garlic which were intensely aromatic while the Hokkaido added an extra layer of decadent creamy cheese. The Yuzu was slightly spicy and tangy due to the dollop of yuzu kosho (Japanese chilli peppers with yuzu zest).

buta kizoku - cheese

To cut away from the richness of the meats, we had the Enoki (S$3.80), Shiitake (S$3.80) and Eryngii (king trumpet mushroom) (S$3.80) which were all wrapped in pork belly.

There are bottles of spicy sauce, sesame dressing, sea salt, black pepper and togarashi powder on every table at your disposal.

buta kizoku - mushroom

Wash it all down with their range of beers and highballs. We tried the Kizoku Calpis (S$12) and Kizoku Passionfruit (S$12)— they were definitely not stingy on the alcohol!

buta kizoku - highballs

buta kizoku - spin to win

Head on there on their opening day and you’ll get a chance to spin the Sure-Win wheel and walk away with prizes like a S$5 gift voucher or a free side dish.

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Buta Kizoku

200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction, #02-48, Singapore 188021

Our Rating 4/5

Buta Kizoku

200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction, #02-48, Singapore 188021

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 9.30pm (Sun to Thu), 11.30am - 10pm (Fri & Sat)

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 9.30pm (Sun to Thu), 11.30am - 10pm (Fri & Sat)
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