Friday, October 23, 2009

Toki: A Japanese Experience?

I used to be in the Japanese food industry in the Philippines and eating at authentic Japanese restaurants was a past time of mine before. I even went to Japan alone just to taste and savor their authentic cuisine. Japanese cuisine is technically very simple. The only important aspect of the cuisine is the quality of ingredients which separates real Japanese restaurants to the Filipinized Japanese restaurants.

I often go to Aubergine if I get the chance, so often than not, I am always curious about the Japanese restaurant beside it. The exterior made the restaurant looked authentic and the feel that it gave was like that of Seryna in Little Tokyo. Anyhow, so one day, I called my neighbor *my neighbor loves Japanese food so asking her to try it gives a better value with the meal* and told her to eat here.

As we entered the restaurant, a breeze of Japanese ambience came in. I was happy especially that they had something like this in their hallway.

Moreover, the manager was a Japanese and there were Japanese customers so the place made me really comfortable already for an authentic Japanese restaurant.
We then started ordering. The key of knowing if a Japanese restaurant is really authentic here in Manila if they have the toro. And yes, they do have toro in the menu. However, I was then really disappointed when I asked the server if they ohtoro. The server then asked the chef or the cooks if they have one available, sadly, there was none. Then, I saw a toro steak in the menu. I then asked the server about it. The server said they have it. Then, I asked how come he said that there was no ohtoro awhile ago. I then asked it that was chutoro or ohtoro. Then he asked the chef or cooks again and returned saying that they are just the same! Oh Lord! Chutoro and ohtoro is never the same! Chutoro is the mid section of the belly and the ohtoro is the upper section of the belly. There is a clear distinction between their marbling and price! Because of that experience, I told to my neighbor that I think we are in a wrong restaurant now.  So, in the end, we just ordered a five kind sashimi and ordered some normal hot entries.

The sashimi was just ok. Other authentic Japanese restaurants have better deals like Seryna. It has better sashimi and presentation for the same price. Tsukiji, ofcourse, is still the best, but its price is also the highest.

Then, our pork sukiyaki came. It was just ok too. Nothing special. It was actually a little sweet. Moreover, if they were really an authentic restaurant, they would place a small burner on the table and let the pot cook on the burner in front of us.

Tempura came next. This is the least disappointing dish. The shrimp was of good quality and it was light and crunchy but hey, that is what you expect in an authentic Japanese restaurant. It better have good quality shrimp that has a clean taste and a good bite.

Lastly, Chicken teriyaki came. As expected, it was just ok. Skin should have been crispier. I like the vegetables though.

At the end of the day, I won't be going back again. I'd rather go eat somewhere else. Moreover, it has low value for money in my opinion.


sebiesy said...

hey hersh.. try mo yung Nihonbanshite :-) i like it there ! lots of japanese eat there so (hans and) I figured that it is authentic japanese resto. also they have japanese versions of each dish. ..

Hershey said...

Yep, I tried it there already, I like it has good value for money. The only thing that lacked was presentation :D