10 Japanese Restaurants You Can Only Find in BGC and Uptown Bonifacio
(SPOT.ph) From ramen to sushi, Japanese food has become an integral part of the local foodscape, and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t, at the very least, like the cuisine. Folks in Bonifacio Global City and Uptown Bonifacio are lucky because the area offers many options that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Check out these Japanese restaurants that you can only find at Bonifacio Global City and Uptown Bonifacio:
Wonderbowl by Ramen Nagi
If you’re a big fan of Ramen Nagi, you should check out their spin-off in Bonifacio Global City. Wonderbowl by Ramen Nagi is a cross between a ramen bar and an izakaya, so expect cocktails with Japan-inspired flavors to go with your ramen. Choose from branch-exclusive ramen bowls like the wildly popular Wonder Lobster Ramen (P1,500), which comes with an eye-catching whole steamed lobster atop a bowl of lobster and ebi stock, tender ramen noodles, fresh lobster meat, and the melt-in-your-mouth soft pork chashu.
Wonderbowl by Ramen Nagi is at G/F Globe Tower, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City.
The Raintree Group’s newest Japanese restaurant is a fun addition to Serendra, with their colorful interiors inspired by Japanese art and pop culture and a laid-back vibe. Their menu is extensive, so you’re sure to find whatever Japanese dish you’re craving—just with a creative twist. For the extra hungry, have the Teishoku (P375 to P625) or lunch sets, which will get you a main dish (your choice from Tempura, Sashimi, Chicken Kara-age, and more) plus two side dishes, miso soup, and dessert. The Okosama Special—with chicken karaage, potato salad, and more—from the kid’s menu also looks enticing, if only because it comes aboard a shinkansen or bullet train. We won’t be surprised if adults order the sets, kids or no kids.
Motto Motto is at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.
This ramen shop from Tokyo is the first of its kind to earn a Michelin star, which lets you know that Tsuta is a heavyweight when it comes to ramen. Though ‘heavy’ is the last word that’ll come to mind when you have their signature Shoyu (soy-based broth) and Shio (salt-based broth) bowls, with the lightest touch of truffle oil to lend them a distinctive earthiness without being overpowering. Make no mistake: Light does not equal flavorless. The rich flavor of truffle sticking to the thin and tender soba noodles makes it easy to slurp a bowl to the last drop.
Tsuta is at UG/F C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
Even with new establishments popping up at Arya Residences, Fukudaya continues to draw a steady stream of regulars—proof that their modern-traditional takes on Japanese staples like sushi, sashimi, and hot pot are not to be missed. Their signature roll, the Fukudaya Roll (P680) comes with nine different toppings depending on the season, from roast beef and salmon to uni and tamago. The restaurant only seats 50 people so make sure to reserve in advance!
Fukudaya is at Unit 7 The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City.
This cozy 30-seater ramen joint has become known for their cheeky social-media posts—all the more reason you should check out their irreverent takes on ramen. A popular order is the F.U. (P490), which will get you a bowl of ramen noodles and tonkotsu broth with crispy bacon, Spam, fried egg, and lots of black pepper. It doesn’t get further from traditional than this—but that can be a good thing.
Wrong Ramen is at Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.
Chotto Matte and Izakaya Sensu
If you enjoy having buzzy drinks before chowing down on Japanese comfort food, then dual concept Chotto Matte and Izakaya Sensu is the place to be. Named after the Japanese phrase for “wait a minute,” Chotto Matte is a fun Japanese gastropub that specializes in Japanese highballs—pair your cocktails with the Sensu Omakase Special (P2,995), a colorful bowl that features 11 kinds of sashimi. Afterward, head to Izakaya Sensu at the back, and relax with a hearty serving of Goma Chazuke (P395) or sesame-marinated white fish rice porridge in hot tea with Japanese rice crackers and wasabi.
Chotto Matte and Izakaya Sensu are at Net Park, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
Shaburi Japanese Shabu-Shabu
Hot pot may seem like a dish you can only have during cooler weather but you’ll want to have the comfort of Shaburi’s shabu-shabu throughout the year. This hot-pot restaurant from Japan is best known for their unlimited Wagyu beef plates—the Shaburi Wagyu (P1,349) gets you refillable black label Shaburi Wagyu, while Special Wagyu (P1,699) gets you unlimited gold label Shaburi Wagyu together with other cuts of beef and pork. You also get your personal shabu-shabu pot so you don’t have to worry about double-dipping. Diners get a 90-minute window to eat so it’s best to come hungry!
Shaburi Japanese Shabu-Shabu is at 4/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.
If you want to be transported to early Japanese times, all you have to is head to Fort Strip and look for Ogawa. The restaurant is designed to look like a traditional Japanese home, with a bridge crossing over a little stream and an ancient door that’s more than 100 years old. Inside, you can find stations for different Japanese specialties, and open kitchens so you know that you’re getting only the freshest dishes. Have the Sashimi Mori (P770), with delicate, melt-in-your-mouth slices of tuna, salmon, and hamachi, imported fresh from Japan. For something a little heavier, order the Ryo Goku Gozen (P550), a two-tiered bento meal that gets you a bit of everything: Three kinds of sashimi, tamago, karaage, futomaki, beef cubes, vegetables, tempura, rice, and a bow of chawanmushi.
Ogawa is at 2/F The Fort Entertainment Complex, Fort Strip, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
With Sensei Sushi's cult following and his work in creating Ooma’s menu, Chef Bruce Ricketts is well known for his creative takes on Japanese cuisine. To get to know the chef even better, head to Mecha Uma, his intimate omakase restaurant. True to the nature of an omakase, Mecha Uma’s menu changes depending on what’s fresh and available, but whatever you get is bound to be impressive and unforgettable—after all, Mecha Uma did make it to The Diners Club's 50 Best Discovery Series back in 2016. Be sure to get one of the 10 seats by the bar to get a front-row look at all the action in the kitchen.
Mecha Uma is at RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Tower, 25th Street corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
Nikkei Nama Bar
Japanese-Peruvian may seem like an extremely odd, East-West fusion but Nikkei has consistently proven that it can be done excellently. Whether you’re a longtime fan or are just in the mood for something different, head to their sister restaurant Nikkei Nama Bar. What’s new to this concept are the Japanese-Peruvian rice bowls: A must-try is the Blackened Salmon Bowl (P550) with salmon that’s coated in spicy togarashi and served with Tokyo slaw, peanuts, tamago, and nori tempura. Pair your meal with any of their signature cocktails, like the Fujimori (P295) made with Pisco (a type of Peruvian brandy), matcha, pineapple, orange nectar, lemon juice, and egg white.
Nikkei Nama Bar is at 2/F One Bonifacio High, 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City.