After a long, hectic day, what could be better than to unwind over enticing grilled skewers and endless sake in a stylish space decorated with warm woods and industrial touches? Opened by actor-turned-entrepreneur Adam Chen, Birders is a modern yakitori and sake bar at night, and a casual dining restaurant for quick lunch fixes during the day.
Birder’s extensive sake collection is curated and flown in directly from Tokyo. For those who are lost amongst the vast selection, the friendly staff are more than happy to assist. Alternatively, you can use the reference index of the sake’s acidity and sweetness when making your decision. Apart from offering 720ml and 1800ml bottles of sake, Birder also offers 180ml cups, giving patrons the opportunity to experience a variety of sake instead of having to wait to finish a bottle.
The unique food menu is conceptualized by Chef Makoto Deguchi, who has cut his teeth at one Michelin starred Sola in Paris. Traditional yakitori usually employs shio or tare sauces, but at Birder’s, Chef Makoto teases the taste buds with his creative use of seasonings and toppings. The menu comprises of 5 sections: yakitori, grilled sticks, vegetables, sharing plates and fillers (carb-centric dishes).
My top picks for the yakitori section are the Breast ($3.40), Tsukune ($4.50), Oyster ($4.50) and Skin.
The tender Breast ($3.40) was spruced up with captivating Mentaiko Mayo. Diners can opt for mustard or panko, but the Mentaiko Mayo was strongly recommended by the server.
Tsukune ($4.50) is not much of a looker, but its taste and mouthfeel are great. Chopped up soft bones, are embedded in minced chicken, doused in savory sauce, and paired with a single raw yolk. Coat the chicken skewer in some egg and immerse yourself in the combination of taste and textures. Every bite is never dull!
The Oyster ($4.50), 2 coveted pieces of meat that lie on each side of the chicken’s backbone (considered to be the most flavorful and tender parts of the bird), is simply seasoned with salted and lemon to allow its natural flavors to shine.
The earth-shatteringly crispy Skin ($4), with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lime is irresistible!
For the adventurous, there’s Heart ($4) with Negi and Ginger; Liver ($4) with Miso and spring onions; Gizzard ($4) with radish, salt and pepper and Tail ($4) with garlic shoyu.
Apart from chicken sticks, Birders also offer an assortment of grilled skewers. The Quail Egg ($5), with a flowy core, is a must-try. Another item that left an indelible impression was the Beef Skirt ($4.5), lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.
Sharing plates, such as Katsu Sliders ($12) delight the senses with creative presentation and execution. Thin layers of pork is rolled around cheese, fried, and stuffed between steamed buns. Folks who prefer classic comfort food will fall for the Grilled Omelet ($12), accompanied with unagi. Each bite yields a burst of savory flavors, as the fluffy omelet soaked up all the delicious sauces.
If you need something more substantial, there’s an assortment of carb centric items to pick from such as healthy Chiraishi Don ($17) and indulgent Gyusuji Curry Rice ($16). The latter, a dish of tender slow cooked beef tendon, comes with omelet and dark curry, which is much more spicy than the usual Japanese curry.
During daytime, Birders cater to the office crowd with quick, fuss-free lunch sets. In addition to the Chiraishi Don and Gyusuji Curry Rice, another appealing item is the Chicken Katsu Curry Udon ($15), inspired by the French Chicken Cordon Bleu. Hidden within the juicy, fried chicken is an enticing core of molten, creamy mentaiko! Paired with Curry Udon, this filling, calorie-laden set is something you should only order if there are no important meetings in the afternoon!
Overall, it was an exceeding satisfying meal at Birders. The dishes are above average, delicious and reasonably priced. Portions for lunch sets are very generous to boot! If you’re looking for a suitable venue for after-work drinks, gathering with colleagues and friends, Birders should definitely be on your list!
Many thanks to Birders for the invite.