Dig In: ToriYard

Tucked away in Bishan Park, ToriYard serves up delicious grilled Japanese skewers amidst chilled out garden vibes.

Avg price: $25
For smart yakitori dining in the park


The rundown
Nestled in the lush greenery of Bishan Park, right beside sister restaurant Canopy, ToriYard is the latest addition to former actress Jazreel Low’s growing list of F&B ventures. Helmed by Tokyo native Hasegawa Isao, ToriYard specialises in authentic Japanese yakitori (grilled skewers), served in a setting that’s both smart and laidback.

The vibe
A stone’s throw from the park’s carpark, ToriYard beckons diners with red lanterns, rustic wood and warm light — all reminiscent of a welcoming izakaya that promises good food. Inside, the decor is less traditional, and more modern chic — think ample glass walls that offer views of its surrounding greenery, tall ceilings and brightly coloured chairs. Seating is unlikely to be an issue with the abundance of indoor and outdoor seats, though we’d suggest piling on the insect repellant if you plan on dining alfresco. Despite officially opening only two days ago, the place was super buzzy when we visited for dinner on Sunday, and while it didn’t seem like they had a lack of floor staff, most of them looked extremely frazzled, especially the Japanese hostess at the door. We’d say give them another week or two to settle in before you visit, so you don’t end up waiting impatiently outside the door like we did.


Photo by Burppler Leigh Khoo

What’s good
This restaurant is all about its yakitori, but apart from their tasty skewers, we also found some surprisingly delish extras. To start, get the Sashimi Salad ($19), a winning way to whet the appetite — the fish and prawns were super fresh, and the portion was substantial to comfortably share among three. Next up, zero in on their yakitori. The extensive menu may leave you glassy eyed like us, but don’t make the mistake of going with the easy option of one of their two yakitori platters, like we did. We went for Platter B ($32), which tempted us with what sounded like a good mix of chicken wings, chicken meatballs, ribeye and slipper lobster, but the lobster turned out to be a really skinny skewer of meat, and the selection felt unsubstantial for the price. Instead, go ala carte — most of the meat cuts are familiar, with a few more adventurous options like chicken hearts thrown in. The Tsukune (chicken meatball, $8) that comes served bathed in onsen egg and teriyaki sauce, the Sasami (chicken fillet, $3 per skewer), that comes slicked with mentaiko, and US Angus Ribeye ($8 per skewer) are some of the highlights of our meal here.


Photo by Burppler Amanda Liu

For carbs, the Wagyu Fried Rice ($16), while a little skimpy on the beef, was super tasty and aromatic. It will remind you of the garlic fried rice often served at teppanyaki joints. There’s a condiment counter with various sauces and salts laid out that you can help yourself to — don’t miss out on the yuzu kosho (a zingy paste) and super umami mentaiko mayo. If you’re in the mood for a tipple, order a glass of Yuzu Umeshu ($7) on the rocks — it pairs exceedingly well with the grills.

Read what the Burpple community says about Tori Yard here!