Before I grew crazy over Korean food, Japanese cuisine was at the top of my list. After a disastrous encounter with wasabi when I was younger, I nevertheless decided to give it a second chance and boom, I was hooked. Particularly, I have a fondness for sashimi. Wasabi is indeed an acquired taste so I have gone from detesting it to cannot do without it when eating my sashimi.
Today, I’m featuring two Japanese food stops in the Metro that you guys should check out.
First stop is Keizo – a small Japanese restaurant hidden in a corner of Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio. The facade is nothing fancy. In fact, from the outside in, it looks like your run of the mill fast food restaurant but you would be surprised at the quality of the dishes served here.
If you’re in for some sushi, then the sushi bar here comes recommended. You know how in Japanese shows people sit at the bar and wait for the sushi to come out? That’s what you’ll get here. It’s an experience I definitely want to try next time, especially since the one preparing the sushi is a real Japanese chef.
When I was there, however, my friend Moritz and I were very hungry and wanted a full meal. The rice meals were quite pricey at PHP300 to PHP500 but it was an indulgence that we were willing to make at the time.
For myself, I ordered this salmon on rice meal (I forgot the name in Japanese). Salmon sashimi is a favorite of mine and this was such a delightful meal. One of the best salmon I have ever tasted! Sometimes, salmon can taste a bit too fishy (malansa) but this was just creamy and delicious, the way fresh salmon should be.
My friend Moritz, on the other hand, wasn’t too fond of raw food so she took on the classic Katsudon. Now this isn’t something I would go for myself because from past experiences, the Katsudon I have tried were often dry, bland, and have more batter than meat. Moritz, however, convinced me to give it a go for the sake of this blog entry and I was glad that I agreed.
Keizu’s Katsudon was juicy, meaty, and flavorful! The serving was quite huge too and very, very filling. You can’t go wrong with this.
Both our meals were accompanied by this complementary miso soup – a great way to cleanse the palate in between bites of salmon.
If you’re looking for authentic and delicious Japanese cuisine and don’t mind a slightly more expensive price tag, then this is the place to go. Keizo is again located at Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio. You may call them at 403-3839 for more inquiries.
Our next stop is Yaku, located at the third level of The Podium Mall, Pasig City. This place offers a selection of Japanese appetizers at more affordable price points than Keizo. Lately, this place is always filled with ex-pats and Japanese businessmen during lunch time. We were lucky to be there early enough to get a window sit. 🙂
Aside from the various grilled appetizers, Yaku serves your typical Japanese dishes – the one you would often find in Japanese fast food chains. However, it does try to up the quality of it meals though of course, it’s still not at the same level as say, Keizo or Hanaichi. The low price point does have a pay off.
My friend Jo-ann got a bowl of Kani salad, which looks gorgeous from the top, and a serving of spicy tuna maki. According to her, both were all right in terms of taste but the maki was a bit crumbly.
Lei and myself chose to have the Gyudon, which contains beef and a serving of raw egg. We have mixed reviews for this one. Lei said she liked it because the flavor (especially the sweetness of the sauce) was just right. As proof, she was able to finish the entire bowl. I, however, didn’t like it as much. I thought it was a tad too bland for me. I only ate half of my bowl.
I guess you will have to taste this yourself to decide whether it’s to your liking or not.
Now that ends my Japanese restaurant round-up for the day. I’m not sure if today was the best day to write this since my tummy’s a bit upset and don’t need photos of food to tempt it but never mind. I shall survive to live another day of eating good food. 🙂
How about you guys? Do you like Japanese food? What’s your favorite dish?