Modern Japanese food review: Tanoke at 7 Purvis St, Singapore 188586

I might be biased, but when my favourite modern Japanese restaurant, Tanoke, released their new menu items for 2023, count on me to try the dishes out. The sake restaurant on the 2nd floor of a Purvis St shophouse has been opened since Feb 2021 (yes, in the midst of a pandemic!) and I've been back there many times since they opened to have their binchotan grilled wagyu and seafood, as well as for Sunday brunch (there's a bottomless sake package for it, too!).

Photo credit: Tanoke

Last night I tried out 6 new items from their menu, which features wagyu, seafood and delectable sharing plates and sides which TBH is just as good. I also got the sake pairing for the tasting menu from the super knowledgeable sake sommelier, Nareenth. The Katsuyama sake is one of the easiest sakes to drink - it's so affable, it might get more than 70% if there was ever a People's Choice vote!

We started off with this Inari & Foie Gras Gunkan (S$16/pc) that had sushi rice stuffed into a tofu pocket, alongside ikura, cucumber and foie gras. We were advised to have it in ONE bite - which was near impossible, so I cheated and bit into half of it. Even then, the umami-ness of the rice, fatty foie and popping ikura encased in the soft and sweet tofu pocket was mindblowing. 4.5/5

We also shared a Japanese Fruit Tomato (S$18), which isn't new and can also be found on their Sunday brunch menu. We all loved how refreshing the tomato is on top of the creamy tofu mascarpone which manages to be light at the same time. 4/5

Then the challenge was to pick up and eat the Wagyu Sourdough (S$22) as gracefully as one can. This was a reiteration of the previous Wagyu toast. Sweet, caramelised onions and braised wagyu bits was topped off with dots of creme fraiche and avocado puree, which worked as the necessary counterbalance to the sweet wagyu. This was great on top of the crunchy sourdough toast and even more perfect with the recommended sake! 4/5   

As part of the starters we also tried the new Aka Ebi Mentaiko Thermidor (S$10/pc, min. 2), which was such a hit of seafoodiness. The sweet savoury and creamy mentaiko worked super well with the red shrimp flesh, which TBH isn't the juiciest or meatiest in the shrimp family. But when it comes to flavour, they packed the most. So yaas, it's still a W. 4/5

Tanoke's binchotan (white charcoal) grill was then fired up for our mains. You can see the grill marks on the mains that came up. We started with some Eryngii Sumibiyaki (S$12), or King Oyster Mushrooms, to fulfill our plant intake for the evening. They were simply grilled, but tasted amazing with the accompanying curry sea salt flakes! 4/5

Next was the NZ Coastal Baby Lamb Tenderloin (S$38) which comes with fried garlic and apple curry sauce on the side. Again, not your conventional Japanese dish, but it works so well when the protein is high quality and put on a gentle white charcoal flame. There's a slight gaminess that is typical of lamb - don't order this if you don't like it - because I know there are people who like lamb precisely because of that unique flavour! For me it is still manageable and the curry sauce + sake also helps to balance it out. 4/5

Lastly we had the Atlantic Salmon Kasuzuke (S$32) with sake lees (the byproduct of sake production, not a typo) and miso marinate, along with sansai (mountain vegetables). Having grilled my own salmon at home I know how difficult it is to achieve the right level of doneness but here, it is perfectly flaky inside and tender with the miso glaze adding just that salty goodness over it. The veggies also gave an additional texture. Though tbh I felt like this was the plainest dish of the lot and I'd rather get 2 more side dishes instead. 3.5/5.

For dessert, we had the Matcha Pannacotta (S$12), a mainstay of the menu since they opened. The slightly green and sweet - not too strong - green tea pudding is topped with strawberry jam and crushed pistachios and we had the pleasure of enjoying it with some Sakari Yuzu sake, which you MUST try if you like sweeter drinks (but this isn't too sweet). 4.5/5

There are many reasons why Tanoke is my favourite modern Japanese restaurant, and I am quite confident to recommend it to anyone who loves good food and sake. The vibes of the place's also perfect for date night or even just celebrating something special. Highly recommend (check out my TikTok review here as well).

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7 Purvis Street, Singapore 188586 (2nd floor)
Tuesday to Friday lunch 12:00~14:30 (last order 14:00), dinner 18:00~22:30 (last order 21:30)
Saturday dinner 18:00~22:30 (last order 21:30)
Sunday brunch 12:00~15:00 (last order 14:30) and dinner 18:00~22:30 (last order 21:30)
Closed on Mondays
Reserve at

Thanks to Tanoke for the invite!

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