New Restaurant Alert: Ogawa at The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City
Find out why this traditional Japanese restaurant is the talk of the town.
2/F The Fort Entertainment Complex, Fort Strip, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Contact: 886-4994, 886-4996
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) The next time you feel like having authentic Japanese food, you don't have to book a flight to Japan to sate your craving. You just have to cross a little river! No, we're not trying to be confusing. It all makes perfect sense, actually.
That door is older than you.
Ogawa. It's the new Japanese restaurant in Bonifacio Global City. In Japanese, ogawa means "little river," and aptly enough, you have to pass through a picturesque bridge over loud, flowing waters before you can enjoy your sashimi. Then, there's an antique door (it's a hundred years old!) that will transport you to Japan—at least in terms of ambiance, service, and food.
Food connoisseur and businessman George Pua and renowned Japanese Chef Kiyoshi Ogawa (former head chef of Senju, EDSA Shangri-La) are the brains behind the concept. Their inspiration? "Food! I really, really love food!" says George. He and Chef Kiyoshi share the same vision: to introduce high-quality, authentic Japanese cuisine to Filipinos.
It took 10 months of preparation before Ogawa opened its doors to the public on October 8. "We want Filipinos to feel like they're in Japan," says George. Japanese interior designers who worked on their look even had the materials imported from Japan. By now, it's obvious that the men behind the restaurant don't scrimp on anything—and their menu offerings tell the same story.
Inside is a teppanyaki counter with an open kitchen where Chef Kiyoshi works his magic. There are also areas for Japanese cuisine specialties like teppanyaki, yakitori, robatayaki, and kamameshi.
Sushi on deck!
At the sushi station, customers are treated to some artistic gastronomy. Around the 300-square meter area are private rooms where people can have meetings and small gatherings over sumptuous Japanese fare. Overall, the restaurant can accommodate 100 to 110 customers.
There's a spot for your every dining need.
When asked what his favorite dish off their comprehensive menu was, George exclaims “Everything! I love everything!” And we soon found out why.
Ryo Goku Gozen
The Ryo Goku Gozen (P550)—a two-tiered bento meal—gives you a taste of everything. On the top, triple sashimi (salmon, tuna, and hamachi), tamago, futomaki, karaage, cubes of beef, and vegetables. Underneath are tempura and rice (shaped like a flower!). Rich miso soup, and a bowl of chawanmushi are served on the side.
The tempura (P290/three pieces, P580/six pieces) consists of chubby sticks of shrimp dipped in batter; they're fried till they get a light crunch. It's worth noting that the shrimps are fat and healthy, bright against the coat of batter. Dip it in their tempura sauce to augment the flavor.
The slices of Sashimi Mori (P770) are a delicate treat to the palate. Each piece is melt-in-your-mouth that you only need a little helping of soy sauce and wasabi to give it a little lift. Three kinds of sashimi (the hamachi imported all the way from Japan) make up an order, and you’re going to end up ordering another round for sure!
But the star of the show is their heavenly gindara (P750): two slabs of Japan-sourced cod doused with sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce with slices of cucumber on the side. The light crunch from the skin mingling with the soft fish gracefully dissolves in your mouth, leaving a wonderful flavor that plays with your palate.
If it's a hearty bowl of ramen you're looking for, they have a variety: Miso Chashu Ramen (P380), Tonkotsu Ramen (P380), Tantanmen (P420), and Nagasaki Chanpon Men (P380).
Ogawa is more than just a restaurant that serves high-quality Japanese food. It's Japan. Right in the middle of Manila.