Finding Comfort in Torigen

by Gana Adi
3rd March 2016
Focusing on teppanyaki, Torigen is a safe bet for those who count Japanese comfort food as their soft spot.

After Turning Point and Clipperhand, the familiar stretch of ruko (shophouses) in Gading Serpong has the potential to become the “It” spot in the neighbourhood. it recently welcomed another newcomer, Torigen, which is the first view that greets you when entering the shophouses complex.

In its narrow establishment, Torigen appears modern with sleek décor: fit-outs are dominated in wood, typical of Japanese minimalist style. On the first floor, lone diners can conveniently sit by the teppanyaki bar while the second floor offers more spacious seating, mostly filled with groups of families on the weekend.

Although teppanyaki is often being associated with theatricality, with attractions that involve chefs flaming a stack of onions or flipping fried shrimps into the diners’ mouth, that’s not something one would find here. At Torigen, things are toned-down to several notches, where Head Chef Koji Harase prefers to demonstrate his culinary chops through the refined presentation of the menu.

As teppanyaki is definitely the main attraction here, the Saikoro Steak (grilled cubes of tenderloin with garlic chips) and Kerapu Steak are no-brainer options if you want to dive directly for Torigen’s signatures. And it is highly advised to start with the comforting flavour of Agedashi Tofu and Konyaku Karaashimi (stir-fried konjac jelly with spicy teriyaki sauce) that deserve equal attention as the mains. And for those coming in big groups, Okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake) is a fun delight to share, coming in various options of filling, including beef, seafood and pork belly.

The sushi is worth finding extra space for, too. Amongst vast choices from nigiri, maki, to contemporary sushi roll, the standout is surprisingly Maguro Sushi with its melt-in-your-mouth texture. The only thing lacking from this establishment, however, is that Torigen has yet to serve sake (but they’re going to very soon enough).

Nevertheless, Torigen delivers easy and honest teppanyaki cuisine via familiar flavours that is Japanese, which we have grown to be accustomed to. Torigen certainly eclipses other franchised teppanyaki and sushi establishments you can find in the neighbourhood.