Let me just start off with a disclaimer – I’m a huge fan of steak.
So imagine my delight when I learned that I was going to be sampling Wagyu beef bowls one fine afternoon.
A short ride on my Grab later, I find myself in the heart of the CBD, at TOKIDON.
Beef Appreciation 101
Some background – TOKIDON is the new brainchild of the people who brought us sake gastrobar Kabuke, with the aim to educate customers and make them more discerning when it comes to beef.
Standing at the helm of this new venture, is Head Chef, Rio Neo.
Chef Neo started working in the kitchen when he was younger, helping out in his parents’ economic bee hoon stall, preparing ingredients and cooking. It is this experience which inculcated in him the belief that simple ingredients can produce big flavours, and that not everything has to be expensive to taste good.
He would later encounter the variety of Wagyu beef, as well as the different cuts and preparation methods during his time working in Fat Cow.
His stint in Kinki also equipped him with the know-how when it comes to food presentation and seamless fusion of different cuisines.
These experiences would subsequently culminate in TOKIDON’s menu.
A Beef-ed Up Menu
TOKIDON specialises in Wagyu beef bowls.
Chef Neo uses Grade 6 and Grade 9 Australian grass-fed Wagyu beef in the rice bowls.
For those of you who don’t know what the rankings mean, Australian Wagyu goes by the ranking of 1 to 9, with Grade 9 Wagyu having the best marbling (fat to lean meat ratio).
He mentions that he personally sources for the farms that raise the cows, to ensure that they live in optimal conditions and that the way the cows are slaughtered plays a part in the quality of the beef.
“Happy cows equals to delicious beef”, he quipped.
TOKIDON serves up 4 cuts of beef – Wagyu Tenderloin, Wagyu Striploin, Striploin, and Wagyu Shortplate.
If you’re new to Wagyu beef, Chef Neo recommends the Gyu Don ($11.90) which uses Striploin. It has a balanced fat to lean meat ratio, so it won’t be too rich and jelak after finishing a bowl.
But for those of you looking for something a little different, go for the Wagyu Sukiyaki Don ($17.90) which uses Wagyu Shortplate. It’s a unique cut of beef that’s offered at TOKIDON.
Wagyu Shortplate is usually braised or slow-cooked to offset the chewy and tougher texture of the cut. At TOKIDON, the Wagyu Shortplate is sliced thinly and cooked sukiyaki-style, before it’s served in the beef bowl.
The result is a Wagyu beef bowl that makes Yoshinoya’s Gyu Don retire in shame.
Chef Neo’s personal favourite, however, is the Truffle Wagyu Don ($23.90), which uses Wagyu Striploin and is dressed with a house blend of truffle and soy sauce.
For the accompanying pescatarians, TOKIDON didn’t forget about you guys. They have a Salmon Cha Soba ($16.90) which comes with a teriyaki-glazed, sashimi-grade salmon served on a base of green tea soba and an onsen egg.
If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake, you can choose from a salad or cha soba for other base options.
While the mains are great, the sides aren’t lacking either, with options such as Tori Karaage skewers with Yuzu mayo ($1.90), Fried Ebi skewers with Mentaiko sauce ($1.90), Spicy Corn Cup ($3.90), and Wagyu Suji Miso Soup ($3.90).
The side that stood out to me was the Wagyu Suji Miso Soup. It was an interesting creation and I’ve never seen it served in Singapore.
Chef Neo explained that he tries not to waste any part of the beef, so he used the wagyu trimmings to make the soup, and mixed in miso paste for additional flavour.
“Suji is actually a dish I came upon when I was in travelling in Japan, where it was served in traditional restaurants. It’s like a stew that the Japanese usually prepare in Winter. It’s very comforting”, said Chef Neo.
This is a side dish that you have to try. It’s worth every cent.
TOKIDON also has a Sunakku menu that starts at 3pm. The only items on the Sunakku menu currently are the Wagyu Sliders ($12.90) and Wagyu Bolognese ($9.90).
The Wagyu Bolognese comes served with buttered, toasted slices of foccacia, which goes incredibly well with the Wagyu Bolognese.
The beverage menu features authentic Japanese canned drinks (from $2.90) and cup sakes ($11.90).
Happy hour begins from 4pm to 9pm and every order of 10 beers or 5 cups of sakes will get you one-hour of FREE FLOW TORI KARAAGE. This is not a joke.
Food aside, TOKIDON has also collaborated with local artist and creator of Kult Magazine, Gallery & Studio, Mojoko, and Flabslab to come up with official merchandise.
Get the limited edition “Tok-Tee” for $59.90, or the adorable 8-bit acrylic keychains at $9.90 each, or $26.90 for a set of 3.
What’s more, with every purchase of a beef bowl at TOKIDON will earn you a chance to try your hand at their Gachapon machine where you’ll stand to win any of the acrylic keychains or meal vouchers.
So if you ever get the craving for wagyu beef, TOKIDON is the place to go, with really affordable (there’s no GST) and high quality Wagyu beef bowls, perfect for the uninitiated or seasoned wagyu connoisseur.
As for me, I’m definitely returning for more wagyu beef bowls because I am officially converted.
TOKIDON has just announced island-wide delivery with all orders made through the their website, with free delivery on orders $100 and above!
If you’ve been longing to feast on their beef bowls, TOKIDON has also released the Beef Bowl Party Set which is great for a group of six. The set comprises of two Gyudon, two Sukiyaki Wagyu Don, two Truffle Wagyu Don with two Tori Karaage, two Corn Cups and six Green Tea for $99 only (U.P. $136.40).
A $20 delivery charge applies for all orders under $50 and just a $10 delivery charge for all orders above $50.
Now, you can enjoy TOKIDON’s repertoire of gourmet beef bowls, featuring only the best Grade 6 Wagyu slices and Grade 9 Sukiyaki Wagyu, in the comfort of your home or office.
Address: 16 Raffles Quay, Hong Leong Building #B1-33, Singapore 048581
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 9pm
Contact no.: 9151 9572
(Header Image Source: TOKIDON)