This is one hole in the wall joint where one dines from the fires of a yakitori god. Hahaha....ok, dramatics aside, Otowa (150 Orchard Road, #03-16 Orchard Plaza, tel : +65 6733 5989) wasn't a full fledged kushiyaki in my opinion since most of the things that went into the grill were just chicken and chicken parts. But man, those were really good.
The place is pretty small. 12 seats they have and it's all at the counter, which is actually good since one can see the kitchen at work. The kitchen which really just consists of a Japanese yakitori master and a dish washing lady. Most of the items on grill came in shio or tare options.
We were served some otoshi of chilled grated yam and greens in a light shoyu broth.
Amongst the starters they offered, was a julienned pig stomach with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce. I'm liking this as I generally enjoy tripe, but portions were really petite.
As we were pretty much sitting near the grill station, we could observe all the fire kissed food at work. These sticks of chicken with leeks were very well done. There was what we felt to be a well balanced char aroma that encapsulated the pieces of tender juicy chicken. I kid you not and I repeat, tender juicy chicken. The leeks were also aromatized from the charcoal grill and were filled with their natural sweetness. We had seconds.
Chicken livers were very good too. The texture was creamy and the shio option allowed the livery flavors to shine.
The tsukune were something that came recommended and seemed also to be rather popular with the patrons. It had a nice crusty surface that revealed juicy and fatty minced meat that had a likeable gritty texture that generally meant that cartilage might have been involved. We had seconds
If you had been wasting enough time on this site to detect my eating patterns, hatsus are another favourite of mine which goes onto the order list. These tasty morsels were nicely salted, tender yet chewy at the same time. A little more char would have been nice, but I'm not complaining.
At the point of being worked on in the flamess, the kawa was creating a small fog of smoke at the grill when the oils were dripped into the coals. Afterwards, they came up crispy on the edges and lightly chewy in the middles. Redolent in the chickeny flavors. And some fatty chickeny oils if I might add.
A kawa-iiee close up. Lol.
They had foie gras too. It was quite nice, and had a well engineered crust. I totally understand that it sounds weird to use such word to describe the crusty charred exterior of fatty duck liver, but the crust looked and even tasted so well made that it felt fabricated.
But it is apparently not what I consider to be a forte in this joint. This was a little too well cooked and Kazu still takes the lead with Sansui's unusually uncharred rendition as a very close runner up.
Following that was their tebasaki. Tasty little wings with crispy skins. These wings were really a tad small.
We ordered grilled mushrooms as well. I don't remember what these are, but I liked them too.
We ended with a Korean styled porridge which was a spicy broth of rice with egg drop and bits of sliced mushroom. This was pretty comforting.
The porridge was suppose to be the last item, but as we were getting the bill, we realised that they hadn't served us the grilled quail eggs yet. Both the bill and the eggs came together. The latter came with a spicy miso paste and the former, without.
I had been thinking that these might have been dried out from the grill, but my respect goes out to the master that creates grill marked eggs that actually had creamy textured yolk!
score cup at Otowa
To answer your question D, no...... this will not be the Kazu killer. This joint is primarily a chicken specialist and they do chickens really well. Kazu has the benefit of a much wider variety of options. Here, it's another option that we have for good quality yakitori.