September 17, 2012

Konnichiwa! Welcome to Tokyo Cafe!

The moment I flipped through the menu of Tokyo Cafe, I told myself how stupid I was for ignoring this restaurant for years! In its Mall of Asia branch, I always notice its crepes displayed behind the glass windows but something about it intimidated my lowly being. Maybe because it looked high-end or maybe because its name suggests food faithful to the Japanese cuisine. While I love the deep-fried and grilled Japanese dishes, I am reluctant to try the raw ones.

Tokyo Cafe’s menu is a variety of western dishes with a Japanese twist, a fusion. I was curious how pizza and pasta will become JapaNice but I was pretty sure that it will be good. I have tried “Philippinized” western food and I have not had a bad experience with them. Looking at the menu, I knew I was not in Tokyo Cafe for that first bad encounter.

However, my plan of having a dish with a Japanese twist went awry when Tyrone and I decided on having Katsu-Ju and Ten-Ju (tempura). Both are very much associated with Japanese cuisine. I lobbied for the Japanese Carbonara but the boyfriend insisted on having pizza instead. Since he seldom opposes to my cravings, I agreed with the pizza.

Even before we were able to fully appreciate the coziness of Tokyo Cafe, our orders were already served. Impressively fast service there.
Katsu-Ju, P250
My Katsu-Ju (P250), a deep-fried pork cutlet, rested on a bed of steamed rice topped with sweet tempura sauce, scrambled egg and leeks and was served in a ju box. The pork cutlet alone was disappointing. It had the smell of raw pork though it was thoroughly cooked. But when I started eating it with rice, sauce, and egg, it tasted better. Better, but still normal. I think Tokyo Tokyo’s Tonkatsu is better. (But wait ‘til I try the hyped Crazy Katsu.)

Ten-Ju, P248
Tyrone’s Ten-Ju (P248) tasted better. He gave me half a shrimp to taste and to console me from my so-so katsu. [HAHA] I am not sure if it came with the same sweet sauce but I avoided it to spare me from all the sweetness. My rice was already drenched with it, anyway. The shrimp was good by itself— crispy and tender— but I have definitely tasted better tempura somewhere.

Both our orders came with a little bowl of salad. It was refreshing eating them with sinful deep-fried food though the serving was too small to enjoy.
Garlic and Mushroom Pizza, P230
 Tyrone chose to have the Garlic and Mushroom Pizza (P230). I am not sure where the Japannese infusion was, but it was really good. Everything was in moderation. It had a subtle garlic flavor and a generous serving of mushrooms. It was not too tangy, salty and oily but it tasted really good. Of course, I would still want my oily and salty pizza but this one’s a “healthier” option we can grab from time to time. And it’s also cheap! I enjoyed the light crunch of the thin crsut but I guess Tyrone enjoyed it more since he ate five slices.

I loved it that there was no long line of waiting customers in their branch in Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill. We stayed a bit in the restaurant chatting and laughing with his “Johnny” jokes and hilarious stories. Very Tyrone, I must say. [HAHA] I guess we were too busy eating, chatting, and laughing that we forgot to take our (mandatory) picture. Since we were so full, we decided to walk up from Venice Piazza to Lawton Avenue and take the jeppney instead of cab.

Last Wednesday was our last date (for this month and October),  but I am pretty sure that it will not be the last time I’ll visit Tokyo Cafe. I would love to try their Creamy Ebiko Pasta, Japanese Carbonara, burgers, and crepes! I know there’s still something worth unearthing there aside from the so-so rice meals we ordered.

I still went to the 33rd Manila International Book Fair in SMX with Dane and still felt full even at eight in the evening. So I guess it’s fair to say that Tokyo Cafe made my tummy happy. [J]

Ground Floor South Wing Side, Main Mall Building, SM Mall of Asia
Tel. Nos.: 556.0517/ 556.0699
• SM The Block, North Avenue corner EDSA Quezon City
Tel. Nos.: 441.0821/ 441.0346
• Unit 120-121 Mckinley Hills Piazza, Upper Mckinley Road, Mckinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Tel. Nos.: 403.6845/ 403.6844
• Upper Ground Level, Robinsons Cybergate Plaza, EDSA corner Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City
Tel. Nos.: 477.3844/ 477.3845 
• Unit 323B, 3/F Bridgeway, SM Megamall
Tel. No.: 477.3354
• 31B Pre Departure Area, Southwing, Terminal 3, Villamor, Pasay City
Tel. No.: 822.4161
• SM Xiamen, 2nd Floor B-207, SM New Lifestyle, Xiamen, China
Tel. No.: (0592) 505.6393

You may like them on Facebook or visit their website for more info!

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