Saboten

May 02, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Saboten
313 Orchard Road
#B2-02 313@Somerset

2 Jurong East Street 21
#01-19 IMM

9 Raffles Boulevard
#02-14 Millenia Walk


https://www.facebook.com/saboten.sg


Pork Tonkatsu Heaven

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 9
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $33 per person.


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A popular tonkatsu (fried breaded pork cutlet) franchise founded in Shinjuku, within the Kanto region of Tokyo, Japan, in 1966, Saboten has since grown internationally, and is today the biggest tonkatsu franchise in Japan, with over 500 outlets. Saboten first opened its doors in Singapore in 2012, and on 23 April 2015, celebrated the opening of their 3rd outlet in Millenia Walk. We decided to celebrate a friend's birthday at Saboten this year.

Ambience at Saboten is casual, with a zen minimalist feel to the decor. Pale off white, against light browns seem to be the colour theme here, and the tables are solid and spacious, large enough to accomodate all the various plates you're served with. I find the booth seats at Saboten to be functional but not too comfortable, but the bright lighting allows for clear views of the table.

Service at Saboten is outstanding. Staff are welcoming and very polite, efficient at taking orders, and able to make recommendations. They also accomodated our special requests, such as storing the birthday cake, and clearing our table efficiently. We were very pleased that staff came around to check on how our meal was going, and even offered complimentary tea! Also, the birthday was a true surprise, the staff actually joined in the singing of the birthday song, and presented the cake well!

Food at Saboten is focused on their excellent tonkatsu, with most dishes revolving around its presentation. The menu is otherwise limited in options, typically featuring their tonkatsu with other fried items, and mostly served as a set meal, not individual plates. Generally, I find their tonkatsu to be excellent, tasty and non-greasy, the batter is light and crisp. Their side dishes in the set menu are of similarly high quality as well, and great care is taken in the preparation of food. Portions are large, and I feel that Saboten is good value for money, budget about SGD $33 per person for a set meal here.


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Saboten Signage


Saboten Exterior


Saboten Interior


Saboten Contact



Sesame Seeds are presented for you to grind, used as a garnish for any dish. Love that they've used a small wooden mortar, which I think imparts an aroma to the sesame seeds.

Sesame Seeds



The Shredded Cabbage is served chilled, in a communal bowl, and is fresh and crunchy, just a simple delight to eat. You can also choose to add a tangy, zesty, house special Plum Sauce, or an earthy, nutty Sesame Sauce, or do like I did and add both!

Shredded Cabbage


House Special Sesame Sauce, Plum Sauce, Orange Juice



Loved the Chawanmushi, with its soft, wobbly, creamy smooth texture, served piping hot. The unique addition is the chunks of chicken and corn kernels at the bottom of the bowl, which lends a nice sweetness to the eggy custard.

Chawanmushi



The Rice Uonuma Koshihikari has a sticky, almost creamy, fluffy texture, with a slight sweetness to the taste. It's known as a premium, high quality grade of rice. Well executed, you can taste the difference!

Rice Uonuma Koshihikari



A rather standard Pickled Daikon Radish, crunchy and tangy, with a slight tart sourness. Great as a palate cleanser.

Pickled Daikon Radish



The Miso Soup is very drinkable, savoury and deep without being too salty. Definitely made with quality miso stock. Good!

Miso Soup



The Fried Oyster & Pork Tenderloin Gozen (SGD $28) set meal is served with all the items above (except drinks). The Pork Tenderloin Tonkatsu is the star here, the pigs are fed a special diet of selected grains and barley, which results in tender, savoury, flavourful and fragrant meat with a slight hint of sweetness. The breading is light and crisp, totally non-greasy, and sticks well to the pork meat. Each bite is so addictive and good! Highly recommended!

The Fried Oyster are similarly coated in that light, crisp, non-greasy breadcrumbs. The oysters are medium sized, plump and meaty, and when bit, have an almost creamy texture. Absolutely lovely!

Fried Oyster & Pork Tenderloin


Pork Tenderloin Tonkatsu


Pork Tenderloin Tonkatsu Again


Fried Oyster



Was rather surprised that the staff offered complimentary Green Tea to us!

Green Tea



The Mini Tenderloin Variety Gozen (SGD $22) set meal features a Pork Tenderloin Tonkatsu Mini, a Crab Cream Croquette, and a Asparagus Cheese Roll. The Pork Tenderloin Tonkatsu Mini is just as excellent as the larger regular version, and has that same tasty, tender, savoury, fragrant pork meat with a light, crisp batter. The Crab Cream Croquette has a gooey stuffing of cheese infused with crab flavour and small bits of crab meat, rather decadent with a solid crustacean taste. The Asparagus Cheese Roll has savoury rolled ham around a stalk of crunchy asparagus, and the pockets filled with gooey cheese. I think it looks much better than it tastes though. This set meal is rather light, great for small eaters!

Mini Tenderloin Variety Gozen


Pork Tenderloin Tonkatsu Mini


Crab Cream Croquette Outside


Crab Cream Croquette Inside


Asparagus Cheese Roll



The set meals include a dessert, and among them is the utterly delicious Rock Melon Sorbet. With a somewhat milky texture not unlike an ice cream, instead of the more traditional ice crystal texture of a sorbet, this unique flavoured dessert was outstanding. Taste of the rock melon is present, yet remains light and delicate, with a nice sweetness. Easily among the best sorbets I've had, highly recommended!

Rock Melon Sorbet



The Variety Set - Pork Loin, Ebi Deep Fried Shrimp, Crab Cream Croquette (SGD $46) is a good sampler of the various items offered here. Recommended for sharing, or for the undecided!

Variety Set - Pork Loin, Ebi Deep Fried Shrimp, Crab Cream Croquette






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