Good Eats

Batten-Yokatoh 博多串焼き @ Tanjong Pagar (2023)

This place has become my office’s official drinking hole after work because of their nomihodai 飲み放題 package. And there are good yakitori as well.

The place I am talking about is Batten-Yokatoh, which serves Hakata-style yakitori. 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.

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. And they have the nomihodai 飲み放題 (all-you-can-drink) package that give you unlimited drinks for 2.5 hrs – beer, sake, highball, sours, soft drinks (seriously?!?) – but everyone at the table must be on the same drink package. So it does balanced out if you have a large group.

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. Now back to tonight’s repertoire.

Pork belly and chicken hearts

The yakitori items were as usual very good, especially those that were simply flavoured with shio (salt).

The tare (sauce) version was a little too sweet for my liking but you had to have chicken livers done that way.

Bonjiri (tail) and Gizzards

Yakitori is all about enjoying the different parts of the chicken, cut skillfully to remove all excess fats, and then expertly grilled to extract the more umami and caramelisation of the proteins. A lot of rare parts are often not available, especially after weekend, when most of the items would have been sold. Thu/Fri would be the best days to come, but they would be packed to the brim. Reservation is a must.

Lettuce roll with Otafuku sauce

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 but I do not understand the magic that made me order it every time.

Hokkaido oyster with spicy radish and ponzu

I usually would not order oysters in a yakitori but they were running out of a lot of items, and I wasn’t in the mood for beef. Not fantastic, but the oyster was huge and I had to take two bites.

Service, as usual, was really good and responsive. Despite it being nomihodai, they did not delay the speed of serving the drinks. But the rule is one glass after another, so you have to finish it up before the next order. When you down to the last gulp, just ask the lovely waitresses there and they will prepare your next drink immediately. So there was no interval. KANPAI, everybody!

博多串焼き Batten-Yokatoh Singapore
84/86 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088505
Tel : +65 6970 7810

Visited in Apr 2022

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