I’ve been a Tanuki Raw fan since the days of its launch years back, having swigged many a bubbly while scoffing down oysters during their happy hour promotions. That was also where I fell in love with some of their fabulously quirky sushi rolls like American Roll (sushi version of a cheeseburger) and Rockstar (deep fried shrimp with seared salmon and mentaiko sauce) and, not to mention the best fish tacos in town.
So off I went last week to check out the newly revamped Tanuki Raw (still at Orchard Central, just a different spot) for lunch, curious to see if they’ve upped the ante on the creative sushi game.
Seems like they have cut down on the number of rolls, but some quirky options can be found like the Instagram This Maki ($13.90) – which is a yakiniku steak, bacon, avocado, egg topped roll with melted cheese, umami mayo and smoked ketchup.
Feeling more like seafood, I tried the Truffle Carpaccio Roll ($16.90), which on paper sounded like they threw the entire ocean into one sushi roll. It has scallop, white tuna, prawn, snow crab but only the scallop and prawn are discernible. Not to say that it wasn’t good – the lightly torched salmon, together with the truffle infusion and the sweet prawn and avocado was yummy enough.
Speaking of tacos, they’ve created a sushi seaweed wrap version of it, called the herumetto. Erm, so my knowledge of Japanese cuisine doesn’t include this herumetto concept, so off I went to google the word and how cute! It’s just owner Howard Lo’s kooky way of naming the taco after the Japanese word for hard hat (herumetto…helmet….get it?).
So a crispy seaweed shell arrives, overflowing with fillings that range from Duck Confit ($13), Fatty Tuna ($14) and Spicy Salmon ($12) – I chose the duck confit and it was nicely pulled shreds of duck meat with creamy avocado and tomatoes.
I wanted some fries with that “taco” so ordered the Wham! Fries ($11.90), on the recommendation of the waiter. Wowee…now that’s what I call sweet potato fries! Topped with caramelized marshmallows, melted gruyere, mozzarella and sour cream – this is one overkill I don’t mind. Especially the sweet bits of toasted marshmallows, they really add a special something to these fabulous fries!
And if you haven’t got enough of the salted egg with everything craze, you can get another fix here with their Mini Salted Duck Egg Char Siew Sliders ($15.90). Actually, my favourite part of this dish was the Katsu-crusted buns – so crispy and so unhealthy!
Good thing we were feeling hungry that day, because we left enough space for the must-try at Tanuki – glad to see that the Foie Gras Truffle Yakiniku ($23 or $19.90 during lunch) is still on the menu, because this “classic” Tanuki creation really is worth it. A lusciously plump piece of foie gras tops the succulent, tender angus short ribs and together with the wobbly onsen egg, you have one decadent rice bowl!
Seeing as how it was lunch, i didn’t quite make it for drinks but they still have their awesome happy hour promotions, daily 5pm-8pm where you can try their creative cocktails at $10 a pop, while slurping down oysters at $2 a piece.
Address: 181 Orchard Rd, #04-01 Orchard Central, 238896
Contact: 6636 5949 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily 11.30am-10.30pm (last order 9.45 pm for food)