A world apart from its sister restaurant, Akashi Sushi, Akanoya Robotayaki serves authentic and unique Robotayaki cuisine, where for a few hours, diners are transported to Japan. Reservations in advance is a must here as the restaurant is bustling full every night! As it gets later into the night, the whole atmosphere transforms and the chefs even start to loosen up as guests offer them sakes and drinks, of which they cannot reject. This post is rather long as I’ve put in as many details as I can for you to make informed choices, so bear with me!
There are a total of 3 counters like the one in the photo above, where diners sit around this little “marketplace” and the chef in charge of your side of the table will cook the ingredients on the spot. All staff here are Japanese and there is actually no English menu, but rest assured that the staff are equipped with basic English. The ingredients are placed on top of buckets of ice to ensure freshness and in case you’re searching, you won’t be able to find any form of price indications here. Do note that appetisers and dessert fruits are chargeable ($15/pax) and compulsory. You can order to your heart’s content, but be warned that the final bill will be hefty. Very hefty.
My side of the counter and the chef in charge of my food! Ingredients range from meats to seafoods to vegetables! If you think that vegetables may be a cheaper alternative, think again (and read on).
All ingredients here are larger in size than usual!
A shot across the restaurant at 6pm. Guests start to stream in at 7pm and restaurant will be full-house by 8! After diners place their orders, the staff taking them will start shouting the long list dishes and quantities in Japanese, after which all the chefs will reply “Hai” (yes in Japanese) in unison with machismo. No doubt, a unique component that makes up an interesting experience altogether!
Otoshi [Appetiser of Wagyu beef] ($6) – The beef was braised with seasonings and some onions yet the Wagyu flavour was distinct which made it an appetiser a cut above the rest!
This was how the dishes were handed to diners – using a long wooden plank! Look at how strong the arms of the chef are from many years of training.
Awabitake [Abalone mushroom] ($12) – With a dash of lemon, the mushroom was chewy, plump and really juicy! The stems provided a different texture that was more compact. A great first dish that introduces you to the smokey, charcoal-grill flavours ahead!
Asupara [Asparagus] ($5) – Grilled to perfection, the asparagus was crunchy and juicy! A fan of asparagus, this is a must-order for me!
Satsumaimo [Sweet Potato] ($14/plate) – Just as I thought that sweet potatoes should be pretty low-cost and would adequately fill our tummies with carbs… but one word: yummy!
Tomoro Koshi [Sweet Corn] ($14/plate) – There, one more vegetable that deceived (in terms of pricing). I thought that they were too crunchy and dry for my liking; I’ll choose my corn cups over this anytime.
Omi Gyu [Wagyu beef cubes] ($40) – This skewer of Wagyu beef from heaven renders 2 beautiful photos. If you take beef, you MUST order this. I promise that the $40 you’re paying for won’t hurt a single bit after taking a bite. This will be the first time I’m using this word to describe my food ever, but this is UMAMI!! It is pure food-gasm and I don’t even have any idea how this was achieved since it’s just some meat being skewered on a stick and grilled over some charcoal. Trust me though, the perfect ratio of meat and fat simply melt.in.your.mouth. Do you know how much discipline it took me to not order my second stick?
Yaki Tori [Chicken] ($6) – Less exciting, but still yummy meat. Great to go with the sauces!
Tebasaki [Chicken Wing] ($8) – The chicken wings were not placed at the booth but I saw other diners ordering them. Tip #101: always look out for what people are ordering! The wings were succulent, tender and juicy in every way. If you think this is your DIY/ECP BBQ chicken wing, it’s far from those as the wings here had been specially marinated and thoroughly seasoned. Grilled evenly, the texture of the meat was consistent.
Tori Tsukune [Minced pork w poached egg] ($8) – You can get this at almost half the price at Akashi Sushi, so skip it and try other dishes!
Taraba [Crab leg] ($92) – Another must-order at Akanoya! The huge crab legs (of course only 1 per serving) were extremely fresh and they were prepared for convenient consumption by the chef. This was the fattest, chunkiest and juiciest crab leg I’ve had. Layer by layer, the meat disintegrated so beautifully inside my mouth while the juice released freshness of the ocean. Savour while you’re at it.
Hotate [Scallop] ($25/piece) – These scallops were huge and tasty too! The chef took time to clean the innards, so all you get is unadulterated scallop meat. I was suprised at how the scallop skirt was so tender, with a little chew. The gravy, spiked with what I believe is Mirin, was light but flavour-packed.
Yari Ika [Squid] ($26) – Nothing worth shouting about in my opinion.
Kinki [Rock fish] ($82) – I’ve done my homework before heading to dinner at Akanoya and many recommended the Kinki fish. Sad to say, I did not fancy it as much as others did as there was very little meat and many bones. I will probably derive more satisfaction with another round of crab leg instead.
Kudamono [Fruits] ($9) – 2 slices of momo peach and 1 slice of persimmon. Not bad.
The total bill for 3 came up to $588 including service charge and taxes. Just like sashimi, it is crucial that the ingredients are fresh so that even with just a light grill and minimal seasoning, the true flavours of the ingredients can shine. To justify its price, Akanoya has precisely achieved this in my opinion, and just the Wagyu Beef stick alone can be a testament to the highest quality promised. After the first group of diners pay their bill and prepare to leave, the chefs and staff will start a singing/clapping sequence to thank all diners for their patronage. The ambience was truly uplifting which completes the entire dining experience at Akanoya and made it such a memorable and wholesome one. See you next year when my bank account recovers, Akanoya!
Akanoya Robotayaki Restaurant
#01-01, Orchard Parade Hotel
1 Tanglin Road
Tel: 6732 1866 (Reservation is must!)