Last Updated: April 5, 2018
Park dining has become increasingly popular over the years. Now, ToriYard has set foot in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, to bring you authentic Japanese Yakitori in a zen park setting.
ToriYard has both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so you’ll be able to choose how close to nature you want to get.
Combining both modern Japanese fare and Izakaya classics to bring you a dining experience that’ll keep you on your toes, Chef Hasegawa Isao uses skills and techniques obtained from France and Japan to prepare the menu items.
We started our meal with a Sashimi Salad ($19) consisting of salmon, tuna, swordfish, and sweet prawn on top of greens dressed in two dressings, sesame and shoyu. The creamy sesame dressing contrasts with the tart shoyu dressing that will keep you reaching for more.
Disclaimer: the salad portion shown here will not be the portion you get if you order the dish. Instead, the portion you’ll get will be much larger.
After the refreshing salad, we had the Onsen Tamago Cocktail ($17) which came with foie gras, uni, and a delicate onsen egg. The egg was cooked at a low temperature for an extended period of time to achieve its perfect flowy consistency. The egg is then iced to halt the cooking process.
The cold egg, combined with the warm, fatty foie gras makes for a very rich, comforting appetiser. Although it may seem pricey, it actually is worth every single cent, considering the size of the foie gras and the portion of uni.
The Tebasaki Gyoza ($15) may look like any regular chicken wings, but you’re in for a surprise.
It was only after we bit into it we realised that the wings were stuffed with a mixture of lightly salted chicken and spring onions. These gyozas were tasty little morsels, which we polished off in a flash.
Following the theme of stuffed appetisers, we were served the Tsukune Ohba Tsutsumi Age ($12), which consists of a chicken ball wrapped in a perilla leaf, coated in Tempura batter and fried.
The best part of this appetiser was that the taste of the perilla leaf wasn’t too prominent, this means that more people are able to enjoy this dish.
When you walk into the indoor seating area of the restaurant, you’ll find a little corner outside the kitchen with bowls containing various condiments.
Toriyard has 11 dips and sauces customers can take to accompany the skewers. Some include Wasabi Mayo; Mentaiko Mayo; Yuzu Salt; and Plum Sauce, which is basically Japanese Umeboshi.
Dining at Toriyard means you’ll be able to get a myriad of Yakitori, ranging from chicken to seafood. The first one we got to try was the Tebasaki ($4), or lightly salted mid joints.
Every wing was separated at the joints, which made it a lot easier for us to eat the juicy wings.
One of Toriyard’s specialities is the Momo ($7), or chicken thigh skewer. Chef uses a special technique where he rolls the chicken thigh such that the flesh is encased within the skin to ensure that the skin remains crispy, and the meat retains all its juices.
I found it to go really well with the wasabi mayo, but we felt that the wasabi mayo could have a stronger kick.
For those looking for non-meat options, Toriyard sells Shiitake ($4) skewers, which were chewy, and substantial. However, I found the earthy flavour to be a little too strong. If you’re someone who enjoys the taste of shiitake mushroom, this is definitely for you.
When I saw Tsukune ($8) on the menu, I wasn’t expecting one large meatball on a skewer, served in a bowl. The chicken ball itself was slightly peppery, and went well with the sweet teriyaki sauce.
We felt that the onsen tamago was kind of a waste though, as it was difficult to coat the egg on the chicken ball. So when you get this, do ask for a spoon to get the most out of the egg, or slurp it up from the bowl after.
To me, no meal is ever complete without rice, so when the Wagyu Fried Rice ($16) arrived, I dug in enthusiastically. The fried rice, unfortunately, didn’t really have a strong wok hei flavour, and was a little too moist.
For its price, the fried rice came with quite a small portion Wagyu, I could only find slivers in mine. So unless you don’t mind having less meat and just want the rice seasoned with shoyu, I’d recommend spending your money on other dishes.
To end our extremely filling meal, we had the Jikasei Chiffon ($14), which was matcha chiffon accompanied by warabi mochi coated in kinako, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The chiffon cake was very soft and fine, with just a hint of matcha which paired well with the delicate warabi mochi.
Although the food at ToriYard may not be the most affordable, its location makes it a viable option when you’re contemplating where to go to parktor (geddit?), or for special occasions. The quality of the food is also not too shabby, so you won’t be disappointed if you do go.
Expected Damage: $30 – $50 per pax