Last Updated: October 26, 2018
Ok, let’s face it. Japanese restaurants are pretty much taking over Singapore. Some are good, most are mediocre, and a few probably won’t last the year. We went to Puri-Puri, located along Beach Road, without any expectations.
We were left scratching our heads when we saw the storefront; when we gazed into the brightly lit eatery, we saw a sea of hanging lights and wondered if Puri-Puri sells light fixtures as well.
After a short chat with Greg, the owner of Puri-Puri, it all made sense — the Japanese cafe occupies part of Verde Lights, a company that sells, umm, lights.
On the bright side (no pun intended), the uniquely designed lights really complemented the cafe’s wooden tables and chairs, giving off a rustic vibe.
Climb a narrow flight of stairs and more seats can be found on the second floor. If you are looking for a cosier and quieter place to have your meal, head straight up!
The menu centres on rice bowls, and we went straight for their wagyu option. The Japanese Wagyu Truffle Bowl (S$27.90) came with a generous portion of wagyu beef, pickles, salad, an onsen tamago, and thin slices of truffle.
I was surprised that they used actual truffle slices instead of the usual sprinkles of truffle oil. While the truffle fragrance was present, it did not overpower the juicy wagyu beef.
Mildly seasoned with black pepper and salt, plus sesame seeds to garnish the medium-rare beef, sometimes less is indeed more. The beef was melt-in-the-mouth and was truly the star of the dish.
The accompanying pickles and lettuce added a nice crunch, and the onsen tamago coated the plain rice with delicious yolky goodness. This rice bowl doesn’t come cheap, but the quality was definitely delivered.
Looking almost identical to the previous rice bowl, the Spanish Iberico Pork Truffle Bowl (S$17.90) that we tried next is currently a special dish not found on the main menu.
Due to its overwhelming popularity, it will soon be part of the main offerings of Puri-Puri. Unlike the Japanese Wagyu Truffle Bowl, no truffle slices were found in this dish, but the dish still had the unmistakable truffle aroma.
While I am in love with anything and everything truffle, sometimes too much of something isn’t good, and this came into play here. In this case, I felt that the truffle overpowered the Iberico pork.
Was the pork tender? Absolutely! But the natural flavours (like the wagyu beef) should have been left alone to shine with minimal seasoning.
In between rice bowls, we were offered the Hiroshima Oyster (S$6.50/piece), which was served with ikura, spring onions and wakame. I am not a big fan of oysters, to begin with, but I gave the dish a shot anyway.
The first thing that hit me was the ocean-like saltiness of the Hiroshima Oyster. It was very fresh and complemented the toppings well, but the strong flavour was a bit too much for me. I can imagine oyster lovers going crazy for this though!
If you can’t get enough of seafood, then go for the Premium Kaisen Bowl (S$25.90) which won’t disappoint. Besides the usual ingredients like salmon, tuna, and swordfish; you’ll also get to enjoy uni, hotate (scallops), amaebi (sweet prawns), and snow crab legs in this rice bowl – which I guess justifies the price.
I cannot stop raving about how fresh the sashimi was. The salmon and tuna were served in chunks, allowing me to fully savour the sweetness of the fresh cuts.
The amaebi and hotate were creamy and delicious with a bit of soy sauce. And even though I am not a fan of uni, I was able to appreciate its briny flavour alongside the other sashimi.
After enjoying the Premium Kaisen Bowl, my expectations for the Yukke Tare (S$10.90) was sky-high. Since this is way cheaper than the Premium Kaisen Bowl, the pricier cuts such as uni and hotate are not included in it.
Instead, you’ll find a mixture of salmon, tuna, and swordfish chunks, marinated in Korean gochujang (red chilli paste). I’ve never had spicy sashimi, so this was a first.
The verdict? The gochujang, unfortunately, masked the natural sweetness of the sashimi, which was a pity. The Korean paste is quite a strong flavour on its own, so perhaps just a hint of it in the marinade would have sufficed. On the plus side, the portion of sashimi given was great value for money!
On a scale of 1-10, Puri-Puri deserves a comfortable eight. The Japanese Wagyu Truffle Bowl is to-die-for and I’ll definitely be back for the Premium Kaisen Bowl which was full of quality ingredients.
Seating is limited, so be prepared to wait during lunch hours, but it’ll be so worth it!
Expected Damage: S$10 – S$30 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
367 Beach Road, Singapore 199579
367 Beach Road, Singapore 199579