I didn’t know such a gem was hidden near my office. Batten Yokatoh serves Hakata-style yakitori and this is the first time I heard about it.
What is Hakata-style Yakitori?
We all know and love yakitori, and we admire how the Japanese yakitori masters take a chicken and divided it into so many intricate parts and grill them so carefully, perfecting the skill for each one of those rare parts.
In Hakata, everything and anything that can be skewered are referred to as yakitori. While the purists from Tokyo would say that pork belly is not yakitori but yakiton, Hakata folks have always associated pork as part of the yakitori repertoire.
Generally yakitori restaurants in Hakata serve cabbage dressed with special ponzu sauce and serve yakitori on it. Here at Batten-Yokatoh 博多串焼き, it is served as an appetiser for free and you can top up as many times as you want. They come in handy to relief the oiliness from the skewers.
Another thing special about this shop is the frozen oshibori (wet towel) that is given to every guest at the beginning of the meal. A chilling reprise from the hot and humid weather of Singapore.
The gyuton (ox tongue) was outstanding. Topped with chopped leeks, it was properly salted and beautifully grilled to a tender finish – so far the best I had in Singapore.
The Hakata vegetable roll is a specialty of the house. It is a bunch of spring onions wrapped in pork belly strips (often referred to as the bacon, but they are not salted) and then grilled on binchotan.
And then there’s the lettuce roll with Otafuku sauce that reminded me of my Osaka trip from years ago. Otafuku is also referred to as okonomiyaki sauce. It is like Worcester sauce and BBQ sauce had a child. Not my favourite sauce in the world.
The traditional yakitori with salt was outstanding.
So were their kushiyaki varieties.
But what really make us want to come back again was their pork large intestine. Sweet and savoury with none of the pork intestine smell, it was fatty goodness on a stick.
I was quite disappointed by their vegetable choices, but hey you get all the lettuce you want, so can’t complain too much.
This franchise from Japan is the first outside its founding city of Hakata. Almost everything from the honten is available here, except for some really rare parts that are served in Japan.
The service was fantastic. They ran out of green tea for the green tea highball, and the staff actually went across the street to borrow for a fellow Japanese restaurant to cover the stock. They don’t just use anything from 7-11 next door. The food was delicious, and I would definitely come back again since it’s so close to my office.
博多串焼き Batten-Yokatoh Singapore
84/86 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088505
Tel : +65 6970 7810
Visited in Aug 2022