CHECK IT OUT: Tokyo Tonteki at Greenbelt 5, Makati
Mie Prefecture's answer to the tonkatsu craze
2/F Greenbelt 5, Makati City
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday) and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday to Saturday)
Also read: 8 New Places to Eat at the UP Town Center
(SPOT.ph) It's a long way from Japan's Mie Prefecture, but Manila's Tokyo Tonteki franchise meets the same level of meticulous preparation in every well-thought out dish.
Tokyo Tonteki’s new branch takes on a more modern atmosphere
Eye-popping geometric details adorn couches
Their new branch in Greenbelt 5 is visibly more upscale compared to UP Town Center's casual vibe, with modern interiors and light brown paneling complemented with pops of color in varying shades of blue. Their food, however, is just as hearty and gratifying.
Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado, and Onsen Egg
Among their list of starters, zero in on the perfectly harmonious Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado and Onsen Egg (P190). Salty prosciutto takes the place of the usual spring roll wrapper, cutting through the richness of the gooey poached egg and creamy avocado. For a simpler, no-fuss offer on side dishes, the Stir-fried Japanese Mushrooms (P250) is a bestseller. Enoki, Eringi, and Shimeji Brown mushrooms are sautéed in butter, then topped with Katsuobushi.
Chicken steak set
They pride themselves on their specialty-and with good reason. The tonteki sets (P375, regular; P450, large) are a welcome alternative to the breaded tonkatsu. Thick, premium cuts of pork loin are slow-cooked over a low fire, resulting in tender, flavorful meat doused in their signature tonteki sauce. Each set is served with unlimited rice, pork miso soup, and shredded cabbage.
For a lighter take on a classic, the chicken steak sets (P350) is the way to go. Choose from three kinds of sauces (tonteki, teriyaki, or onion steak) to go with a thick slab of chicken breast that is surprisingly tender all the way through.
Special Fried Rice with Egg
Whatever set you do choose, pair it with the Special Fried Rice with Egg (P150), a hefty plate of Japanese rice sauteed in garlic, chili, secret spices, toasted garlic chips, then topped with a sunny side up egg. Then again, the comforting dish is flavorful enough to eat on its own.
Chocolate pudding with whipped cream
End a filling meal with dessert, from the smooth and silky chocolate pudding with whipped cream (P120) to the creamy yet subtly sweet creme brulee (P120).
Hungry diners from the south no longer need to traverse up north for a casual and satisfying meal. With Tokyo Tonteki just around the corner, they'll be glad they don't have to.