Japan’s Famous Hannosuke Tempura Is Here at the New Kiwami Food Hall

Plus Yabu's katsu, Ippudo's ramen, and more!

Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
L/GF C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City
Contact: 0919-074-4541
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kiwamifoodhall 
Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Friday), 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)

kiwami japanese food hall
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

(SPOT.ph) With its heartiness, penchant for balance, and full-on umami flavors, Japanese cuisine is a huge hit among Filipinos—and it spans a wide range of dishes that suit every type of hankering. At the recently opened Kiwami Japanese Food Hall, it’s all about the signature eats of the Land of the Rising Sun as the dining hall brings together four concepts under one roof: Yabu for katsu, Ippudo for ramen, Hannosuke for tempura tendon, and Yakitori Hachibei for yakitori.

Also read: Fill Up on Yabu's Katsu, Ippudo's Ramen + More Under One Roof

Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Kiwami Japanese Food Hall leaves no Japanese hankering spared.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
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It's all about great Japanese food at this new food hall in BGC:

Kiwami Japanese Food Hall embodies the Japanese theme from their interiors alone, as their space was designed by Tokyo-based architectural firm Studio MYU. Their walls, corridors, and tables primarily feature wood, with navy-blue noren (Japanese fabric dividers) contributing welcome splashes of color. You’ll even find an al-fresco seating area if you’re looking to get a dose of fresh air!

Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Designed by Tokyo-based architectural firm Studio MYU, Kiwami's walls, corridors, and tables primarily feature wood..
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
...With splashes of navy-blue thanks to the noren
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
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Though numerous Japanese restaurants in the Metro have lengthy menus that cover different bases, Kiwami Japanese Food Hall sets itself apart as the four concepts each do their respective dish really well. Behind it is The Standard Group, a.k.a. the folks behind Yabu, and the same ones that brought Ippudo and Elephant Grounds to our shores. President and CEO John Concepcion shares that he sought to cover the staples of Japanese cuisine and unite them in one space. “After making that decision, it was only a matter of finding out which restaurants served the best of each cuisine,” says Concepcion.

Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
The Standard Group's John Concepcion sought to cover the staples of Japanese cuisine and unite them in one space. 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

One of those restaurants, of course, is Hannosuke—an institution in Japan whose tempura game can’t be beat. Concepcion stumbled upon the establishment himself in Tokyo and enjoyed his experience so immensely, he sought to bring it to the Philippines as one of their newest franchises. Hannosuke employs a recipe created by founder Chef Kaneko Hannosuke way back in the 1950s, making for light-meets-crunchy bites and tender interiors that are never overcooked—and it’s best experienced atop steaming-hot rice to form the rice bowl known as tendon! Your best bet is to go for their Premium Tendon Set (P685), which has tendon with tempura-fried unagi, shrimp, squid-scallop kakiage, eggplant, sweet potato, and even an onsen egg. Break into the crisp exterior of the tempura egg and you’ll find a runny yolk, which you can spread all over the rice for added richness.

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Hannosuke Premium Tendon Set from Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Hannosuke's Premium Tendon showcases their excellent tempura. 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Representing the yakitori side of the spectrum is Hachibei, another famed establishment in Japan for their Hakata-style yakitori grilled using binchotan charcoal. The brains behind Hachibei were introduced to Concepcion by the founder of Ippudo, and as Concepcion fell in love with their food, he decided it was well worth sharing the experience with us Filipinos. Hachibei serves up everything from different meats to seafood to veggies, and if you don’t know where to start, try the Platter (P480). It’s got sticks of buta bara tare (pork belly in yakitori sauce), tomato bacon roll, tsukune tare (chicken meatballs in yakitori sauce), tebasaki shio (chicken wings), and tori momo mentaiko (salted fish roe in Japanese mayo)—all seasoned amply that they’re flavorful but still allow the meat within to shine through, and grilled perfectly for lightly-charred exteriors and tender insides. Other must-tries are the Sukiyaki Spinach Enoki (P270), where premium beef belly’s rich, meaty flavor is met with the earthiness of spinach and enoki mushrooms; and the Asparagus Buta Bara Roll (P165), with crisp-tender asparagus hugged by thin pork belly slices and glazed with their savory-sweet yakitori sauce.

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Yakitori Platter at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Hachibei's skewers are seasoned amply, but not overly so, to still showcase the taste of the meat underneath.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
Asparagus Buta Bara Roll at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
The Asparagus Buta Bara Roll pairs crisp-tender asparagus with rich pork belly.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Of course, Yabu needs no introduction. They’re our favorite katsu spot in Manila with their consistently light-yet-crisp crust and juicy meat, and you’ll find their signature fried cutlets here at Kiwami. The Kurobuta Katsu is a reliable choice that highlights kurobuta pork—also known as the “Kobe beef” of the porcine world for its topnotch marbling and rich flavor—and is available in the leaner yet tender Hire (P670) and more succulent Rosu (P650) cuts. Yabu’s katsu can also be had in bao form, as in the Ebi Katsu Bao (P135), which has their crisp-tender shrimp katsu patty brought to piquant life with takanazuke (pickled Japanese mustard leaf), a spicy aioli, and onion jam in a pillowy bun.

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Yabu Kurobuta Katsu at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Yabu's famous Kurobuta Katsu is here, too. 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
Ebi Katsu Bao at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Try the Ebi Katsu Bao that's got a shrimp katsu patty and various condiments in a pillowy steamed bun.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

You’re likely well-acquainted with Ippudo, too, and you’ll be happy to know their famous bowls can be had in Kiwami. The Tokusei Tantanmen (P550) is a fast favorite that brings together spicy and nutty worlds, what with their rich pork tonkotsu and paitan broths infused with sesame oil and given a welcome kiss of heat. Pair it with their famous Pork Bun (P145) and you’re all set for a hearty meal!

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Ippudo Ramen at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
It doesn't get any heartier and soul-soothing than Ippudo's Tokusei Tantanmen. 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
Ippudo Pork Bun at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Don't forget to order their signature Pork Buns on the side!
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Tempting as it is to go all-out on Kiwami’s savory eats, it’s well worth saving room for dessert here, too. Yup, Kiwami’s also got a Hokkaido milk soft-serve bar with its namesake treat for a light yet lush meal-ender! Its creamy, clean-tasting profile is worth savoring on its own but also goes great with other accompaniments; you can try it with chewy, deeply-caramelized tapioca pearls in the Hokkaido Soft Serve in Cup with Boba (P150).

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Hokkaido Soft Serve with Boba at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Dreamy, creamy Hokkaido milk soft serve gets a chewy, caramel-y upgrade with kuromitsu boba.
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

You’ll be spoiled for choice at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall, but rest assured—just about anything you go for will be executed skillfully with attention to detail, just as the Japanese would. Consider it a trip by taste to the Land of the Rising Sun, right here on our shores.

Photos by Majoy Siason

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