CHECK IT OUT: Nanbantei of Tokyo at Bonifacio High Street Central
Nanbantei of Tokyo
7th Avenue, corner 31st Street, Bonifacio High Street Central
Tel. No. 377-2636
Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
(SPOT.ph) It was a 14-year wait, but yakitori fans can finally celebrate the opening of Nanbantei’s long overdue second branch-this time at the upscale expanse of Bonifacio High Street Central. It may have taken a while, but good food, after all, takes time.
Nanban which means "foreigner" and tei which means "tea house" come together to describe a place where guests can unwind and relax after a long day of work. No offense to the Japanese language, but here, anyone, tired or not, won’t have trouble enjoying a stick (or five) of delicious yakitori.
Since its initial opening in 1998, Nanbantei has been known for making authentic yakitori. Some of their more popular offerings include the Tebasaki or chicken wings (P110/two sticks), Aspara Maki or bacon-wrapped asparagus (P80), and Yaki Niku or thin slices of beef (P180)-all gorgeously grilled and served on wooden skewers. As with any other Japanese dish, the flavors are clean, light, and simple-seasoned only with salt, pepper, and occasional hints of vegetable. It’s that seemingly uncomplicated setup, however, that makes Nanbantei so comforting-and consequently addicting.
Though they predominantly use Japanese culinary techniques, several items on the menu tug at the Filipino palate. The Kawa (P65), for instance, is just a fancier way of saying chicken skin-a favorite local pulutan; other options could be the Leba or chicken liver (P60) and the Suna Gimo or chicken gizzard (P70). To save yourself from the turmoil of decision-making, we recommend just ordering the Bestseller Platter (P875). For dessert, we’re partial to the Green Tea Ice Cream (P100)-two cups of exquisite, olive-colored ice cream that packs an earthy-minty punch.
Photos courtesy of Raquel Hizon