[CLOSED] Yakitori Uma (Orchard Plaza)

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150 Orchard Road
#01-26/27/28 Orchard Plaza
Singapore 238841

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From the Burpple community

Off the beaten track with a nondescript facade, this place served up stick after stick of delicious meat grilled right in front of you. Don't skimp on the veges either - the lotus root and onions are a must-order! Just look through the extensive menu and pick what you like; you'll be satisfied whatever comes.

The Katsu-don ($6.80) was, I feel, the epitome of “you get what you pay for”. The portion was decent, but the fried pork cutlets were so tiny and thin there was barely any pork. I mean yeah I could taste it, but it wasn’t thick, juicy, or shiok for katsu yknow? On the other hand the rice was amazing: fragrant, tender with a bite, moist while keeping the integrity of each grain — it was delicious especially with that light tasting sauce. If you think about yeah I shouldn’t have been surprised looking at the price, but then again knowing how good their fried items are I kinda expected more.


Of the grilled items we tried there, my favourite was the Kawa (chicken skin, $5.40 for 2 sticks). Beautifully charred and crisp on the edges, juicy, tender, and wonderfully greasy on the insides, these skewers were just crazy addictive! For the super health conscious (just very slightly judging you there), they do a mean Sasami (chicken breast, $4.90 for 2) as well. With their extensive yakitori menu though I’d suggest you go crazy like we did and just try abit of everything!


It took me 2.5 years to come back, but I’m super glad to find the food as good (though I can’t say the same of their service). Their simple kushiyaki of Ren-kon(deep-fried lotus root) remain my favourite — so much that we had 6 orders between 4 of us 🙃 First off: the batter’s fantastically light and thin, sticking to the lotus root instead of simply peeling off as a thick coat. That’s half the battle won, mind you; many places can’t even nail that. It’s also not greasy, with a little of the oil lovingly seeping into the root vegetable and giving it a kinda muted crunch — “al-dente” if you could imagine. I loved how earthy and sweet the root vegetables were, holding firm on their own and shining through that batter. Most wouldn’t think of ordering this at a yakitori store, but I’d call this a must-try at Uma.

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Decent grilled food but in my humble opinion, this place pales somewhat to other yakitori places in Singapore like Nanbantei and the chicken specialist, Shirokane Toritama at Robertson Quay.
Oddly enough, the item that left the deepest impression on me amongst all we ordered was the Mentaiko Onigiri. It was huge and the salted cod roe was plentiful. The unusual ratio of mentaiko to rice made it a lot more flavourful albeit rather salty but I liked it very much.

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Not just skewered toward meat lovers, Yakitori Uma’s Ren-kon (Deep-fried Lotus root) and Tamafura (Fried Onion) comes highly recommended by many of Burpple Tastemakers and now after trying, I too would suggest ordering both ($4.90/each). Super crunchy and very addictive, the thinly battered lotus root was my favourite. Because fried to perfection, the crisp-fibrous texture really stood out for me whereas the usual starchiness and slight stickiness of the lotus root that most dislike were less prominent. The Tamafura too, were well-executed. Sweet, juicy and fried to a lovely golden-brown; the drool-inducing panko coating was a great contrast to the soft interior. Simple and satisfying! But dip with caution, as the mustard sauce was pretty potent. Not wanting to mask the natural flavours of the ingredient, I would skip the dips.