Sushi, maki, sashimi, and tonkatsu are always my top choices when dining at a Japanese restaurant. But it’s also a good choice to try their best sellers, right?
Here are some of the authentic and affordable yet underrated Japanese restaurants in town:
Note: These are based on our own honest opinion and personal experiences only.
I have been here only once with one of my best friends way back in 2011. It’s still located at that same humble place in R. Magsaysay Avenue commonly known as Uyanguren.
I can’t exactly recall how the food was. My taste buds probably weren’t satiated those days. Thus, I didn’t bother to come back.
Originally from Cebu, this is one of the most memorable restaurants for us. My first time here was when Danny took me out for dinner after some free Korean lessons with him few years ago. I considered that as our first unofficial date. We usually come here for their lunch set meals promo (less than Php400) and for us, the quantity is just right.
They welcome you with a Japanese greeting “irasshaimase” upon entering and escort you to be seated then, hand out a cold rolled towel (oshibori) before serving the food.
They have the “freshest” sashimi in town that makes you crave once in a while. Now that we are married, we still come back here for an authentic Japanese cuisine.
Address: F. Torres Street
Operating Hours: Daily 11:30 am – 2:00 pm & 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Official Date Opened: February 18, 2010
I’ve been to 2 of their branches (across Central Bank and Damosa) and ordered the same dish – Chirashi Sushi.
Chirashi sushi (scattered sushi) can have many versions. Ingredients may vary from raw fish to fried tofu or vegetables or avocados. There is no exact recipe for this but in Tadakuma, they topped it with raw fish, crab sticks, roe (tobiko), and egg (tamago).
Address: Damosa Complex, J.P. Laurel Avenue
Operating Hours: Daily 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
My sister has been looking for this very small resto all over Damosa for weeks. We finally found it last March 6. It is located at Sumo Asia Hotels compound right after Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai School, if you are entering from Mamay Road, Lanang.
We arrived just in time for lunch. Then, the place was suddenly filled with Japanese manongs. Our orders were
It was savory and too oily at the same time.
The breading was too thick, I could no longer taste the meat and as for our complimentary dessert
Address: Mamay Road, Lanang
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The latest Japanese restaurant my sister and I had been to (March 23). We’ve spotted this resto the last time when we were on our way to Kushiya. The place is airconditioned and a bit bigger than the rest of the stores around the compound.
Here’s the menu:
Best sellers include Okonomiyaki (Php130-190), Yakisoba (Php110-130) and our orders.
The chicken and croquette were good and just cooked right. Pork was a bit salty.
My sister, a certified noodle/pasta lover, didn’t like the ramen. It was supposed to be miso and shoyu ramen, but miso wasn’t available that day. So, they served it plain shoyu for the same price.
Address: Sumo Asia Hotel compound, Mamay Road, Lanang
Japanese Dining Etiquette:
1. Traditionally, Japanese say the phrase “ittadakimasu” (bon appetit) before eating the meal.
2. It is acceptable to place the rice bowl near your mouth by holding the bowl in one hand and chopsticks on the other. You may also drink the soup from the bowl rather than use spoon. This is to avoid spilling.
3. Slurping noodles may mean you like the food and it tastes good. But burping or blowing one’s nose is rude.
4. Don’t play with the chopsticks like pointing it to people or food and don’t ever pass food using your chopsticks.
5. Enjoy the meal until you finish the very last grain of rice. Then end the meal by saying the phrase “gochisōsama-deshita” (It was a feast / I enjoyed the food).
What do you think about these restaurants? Do you have any other recommendation?