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Inspired by fun spirited American food culture, oysters bars and his love for raw food, Standing Sushi Bar’s Howard Lo continues his winning formula of good value drinks and bites at a chill out spot in Orchard Road.

Opened in December 2012, Tanuki Raw Bar is an unconventional Japanese-American influenced bar with an emphasis on raw foods in a quaint scenic spot on the second floor of Orchard Central. A tanuki is a mythical, mischievous, shape-shifting creature often pictured outside Japanese restaurants holding a bottle of sake. Keeping to its namesake’s spirit, Tanuki Raw offers interesting Japanese-inspired fusion bites, potent cocktails and a mischievous laid-back atmosphere, injecting a new fun vibe to the Orchard bar scene.The interior of Tanuki Raw Bar is of an industrial inspired setting with solid concrete bar, while the outdoor seating area has comfortable low tables and high bar tables with a vantage view of Orchard Road.

Tanuki Raw Bar at Orchard Central

Tanuki Raw Bar at Orchard Central

The Happy Hour daily from 5pm to 8pm is one of the biggest must-try attractions here. From $10 Martinis to $11 Classic cocktails and $10 pints of Beer, your happy hour won’t be the same anymore. Choose from five choices of Martini like Saketini. Tanuki Raw is focused on the classics, there are 11 classic cocktails with interesting names and concoctions such as Ernest Hemingway’s favourite cuban Mojito – a nice minty lime rum delight, Sidecar (cognac, orange liqueur, lemon juice) created in 1922 at Ritz Paris hotel or Bee’s Knees (gin, lemon, honey) created in the Prohibition era (1919-1933) during the national alcohol ban and the honey was used to hide the alcohol smell.

With Daniel Stevenson formerly of Morton’s and White Rabbit heading bar operations, Tanuki drinks pack a potent punch. Drinks in most other joints normally have 30ml of alcohol, at Tanuki a gentleman’s pour (45 ml) is used and the alcohol in most of their drinks even hover from 60ml to 90ml.

Kiwi Shrub Mojito

Kiwi Shrub Mojito

Feeling adventurous, try Shrubs ($2), a long-forgotten classic making a comeback in the US. Essentially fruit soaked in vinegar for at least 3 days, the resulting mix adds zest and lift to any cocktail. Tanuki Raw makes the shrubs in-house and has the largest selection in Singapore. Perfect to sip on in the Singapore heat, the signature cocktails ($18) come with scrubs too like Tanuki Bellini and Pineapple grape scrub Margarita.

Besides interesting drinks, the raw food and Japanese-inspired fusion bites here are a big appeal too. The food menu is designed to encourage sharing. Small plates such as Edamame spring rolls ($8), the signature American roll ($10) of sinful cheeseburger sushi and Tanuki Balls ($12) of beef carpaccio over truffled potato and cheese are unique creations. Enjoy an interesting Trio of Fries ($8) with spam fries, lotus root and truffle fries. Try the ‘sushi but not exactly’ Tanuki rolls, Fried Rocket ($9) with fried oyster or Caveman ($10) raw minced Australian beef with wasabi.

Chili Garlic Edamame

Chili Garlic Edamame

The raw bar also offers a selection of other fresh Canadian, Japanese and French Oysters, Steak Tartar, and six types of beautifully-sliced Sashimi. Highlights would be the freshly-shucked Oysters at $2 (limit 6 per drink) and $3 for 5 slices of Salmon Sashimi (limit 1 per drink) during Happy Hour. Squeeze the lemon on the oyster and you will see a slight contraction attesting to its freshness, enjoy it with chilli dip or good old Tabasco. The Salmon sashimi is air flown from Norway and sliced fresh at Tanuki. It is a nice decent portion size and  if you are lucky, you might be given some salmon belly slices too. It’s a steal that tastes better than average for just $3. Lunch sets consisting of fusion rice bowls such as steak tartar donburi ($12) are also available every weekday 11: 30am to 2:30pm. Tanuki is ever-changing and the menu at Tanuki is refreshed frequently.

Raw Oysters

Raw Oysters

If you like soul and R&B music, there’s a live soul and R&B music performance by Soul Vibe from 7:45pm on Tuesday and Saturday at the balcony. There is free wifi too to help you stay connected and share your Tanuki Raw experience with your friends.

Tanuki Raw
02-03 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Tel: 6636 5950

Author: Rebecca Tan
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