Fresh oysters are a common interest between GT and me. When we tried some of the best oysters ever from London’s Borough Market at £8 per six pieces, we agreed that paying any more would be excessive. The sad truth is, fresh oysters are never affordable. In Singapore, where there is no lack of oyster & champagne bars, even the most normal places sell at an average of $5 per piece. Which could amount to quite a fortune if you love your crustaceans as much as we do.
Well, those are all problems of the past now. Never again will we have to worry about the hefty bill guilt tripping us into eating less than we want to. I never thought it was possible, but yes, I have found cheap oysters. Is this a secret I want to share? No. But no one reads this blog anyway, right…
The place in question is Tanuki, located at Orchard Central. It is brought to you by the folks from Standing Sushi Bar, but a more modern contemporary jap cuisine arm. This place is fast becoming one of my favourite places in town for the very irresistible happy hour, which happens daily from 5-8pm. Get this, during this period, you get $10 cocktails and $1 oysters. Yup, fresh oysters flown in from Japan at $1 each. Too good to be true but I’ve tried and tested it and pinched myself twice. Definitely not dreaming.
Plus, Tanuki is quite the celebrity hotspot too. During our visit, we spotted DJ weelikeme (Adrian Wee) and a contestant from that TV show Eye For A Guy. A little birdie also told me that model-cum-host Livv Lo frequents this place too. Not surprisingly, because Tanuki is modern, chic, serves good food and offers excellent service. Check out their very cute mascot below ‘letting it all hang out’ on the cover of the happy hour menu below. At their smoking corner, this same mascot is seen coolly puffing out smoke too.
Food wise, definitely no complaints. Our dreams basically came true in that little restaurant. We ordered a dozen of Japanese oysters and they provided us with the usual lemon, red wine vinegar and tobasco sauce as dressing. They have many interesting concoctions on their sushi menu, so we tried a ‘Caveman’ which is beef sashimi with other stuff. It was great. Check out their set lunches too, which go at a reasonable $12-15 for a don, soup and drink.
As for the cocktails, which is my favourite thing to talk about, I give them props. GT and I decided to go for classic favourites that evening. I picked an ‘old-fashioned’ and he went for a ‘manhattan’. They even asked GT whether he liked his ‘manhattan’ dry, perfect or sweet. I found that very thoughtful. We were both very impressed by his chosen dry ‘manhattan’ when it arrived. They filled the martini glass almost to the brim, and it was smooth with a kick. I made a wrong choice with the ‘old-fashioned’, as I realized that I do not like having bitters in my drink. Alas, I still felt a slight buzz when I finished my drink. $10 for quality cocktails, I think you know where to find me after work/school now.
This brings the question, how do they make money? Definitely from the drinks that they make you buy, because you can only get $1 oysters with the purchase of a cocktail. Cheap as the cocktail might be, they are still making money from charging you 10 bucks. And also oysters will not fill you up, you always end up ordering more than you set out to. That’s the thing with jap food, it’s so appetizing.
I’ll be back.
Orchard Central £02-03