A vastly improved dining experience at Teriyaki Boy, SM East Ortigas

My first and second dining experiences in the SM East Ortigas branch of Teriyaki Boy with my family were less than stellar as detailed in my previous post.  I was therefore quite pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation from the management to dine again at the same branch for free.

Together with Hubby and the kids, I set out to give this branch another chance.

Well, what can I say? The service and kitchen team set out to wow our group and they did!

As instructed, I looked for the manager-on-duty, Acee, when we arrived.  The service crew immediately ushered us to our seats and handed us the menu until Acee came out to greet us.

She clarified a lot of my misgivings during my earlier visits in this branch.  For one thing, our first visit here was during the first week of the branch’s opening and the group was still ironing out some kinks in the system while dealing with the first rush of people.  Another was on how we can better enjoy the steaks we cross-ordered from Teriyaki Boy’s sister-restaurant Sizzlin’ Steak (more on that in this post).

From Teriyaki Boy’s menu, we ordered most of what we got during our first visit such as:

  • Tempura Tuna Tartare (Php165) – This spicy mix of tuna sashimi, Japanese mayo and tempura flakes is a great appetizer as the slight spicy kick of the wasabi-seasoned sashimi is counterbalanced by the creamy mayo and the texture of the tempura flakes.
  • Gyoza (Php155 for 5 pieces) – Another of my daughter’s favorite appetizers, these steamed and seared pork dumplings were juicy and flavorful on the inside and has a slight crisp on the outside.
  • Dynamite Roll (Php185 for 8 pieces)– I found this sushi roll composed of fresh tuna, chili oil, Japanese mayo and Japanese chili pepper togarashi too spicy for my taste but Hubby loves it and orders practically all the time.
  • Tonkatsu (Php280) – This breaded and deep-fried pork is actually my son’s favorite dish.  We just ordered a Gohan (Php65), or steamed Japanese rice, to go with this viand. We are happy to note that this time, the breading does not fall apart from the meat unlike in our previous visit.
  • Katsu Ju (Php345)– Pork tonkatsu that has also been simmered in sweet soy sauce, diced onions and sliced leeks, and served with a beaten egg on top of steamed Japanese rice, and whose blend of flavors and textures appealed to my daughter.
  • Teriyaki Boy Cotton Cheesecake (Php115)– This cross between a rich cheesecake and an airy souffle is one of Japan’s most popular desserts.  Next time, though, I’ll request to have the chocolate syrup on the side rather than drizzled on the cake.

This much more enjoyable time at Teriyaki Boy was also brought about by the attention and assistance of servers Rhea and JR who immediately fulfilled, and even anticipated, our requests.

The week after this visit, Hubby and I dined at Sizzlin’ Steak and we cross-ordered Endamame (Php90) for our appetizer, two orders of Tonkatsu and Yakimeshi Rice (Php75).

I’m glad I was able to have the opportunity to change my mind about this resto.

By the way, with the Max’s Group’s All You Can Wednesdays Promo, you can eat all the Ebi Tempura you want at Teriyaki Boy from 2pm to closing time at only Php349, available all the Wednesdays in June.  More details are available in this blog post.

Teriyaki Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lunch at Teriyaki Boy, SM East Ortigas

Update: I patched things up with this resto (so to speak). Check out my updated review here.

I used to really enjoy dining at Teriyaki Boy.  This is the place that developed my family’s love for ebi tempura. My special go-to order would also be the Wafu Steak and Yakimeshi Rice; I found the blend of flavors rich and satisfying.

This is why we cross-ordered some items from the Teriyaki Boy menu when my family dined at its sister-store Sizzlin’ Steak.  For appetizers, we got a Dynamite Roll (Php185) and a Tuna Tempura Tartare (Php165).  Both were pretty good.

For our mains, I wanted to order my favorites Wafu Steak and a Yakimeshi Rice (Php75).  However, for some reason, the Wafu Steak is no longer in their menu! We then ended up getting two orders of Tonkatsu (Php280 each) for the kids.

Later that same week, I went back with my daughter for a late lunch.  We ordered a Chashu Ramen Shoyu (Php245) which fell short in comparison to the other ramen I have tasted.

I might still be feeling miffed at the removal of Wafu Steak from the menu.  Hopefully, the next time I dine here, I will be in a better frame of mind to enjoy the store’s offerings.

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Katsu Teishoku at Zipang, Tomas Morato

My daughter (aka #ExhibitA) has been hankering for Japanese food since her work immersion in Quezon City started. On our way home from her last day of work immersion, I decided to take her to Zipang.

Located at the corner of 11th Jamboree and Scout Fuentebella in Quezon City, this Japanese restaurant features a cozy seating area with modern Asian aesthetic that gives the place a Zen vibe. It also has an open kitchen where you can see the resto’s Japanese chef in his domain, working on his food creations. The servers are polite and attentive to the diners, as well as deferential to the chef.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the staff in Japanese and ushered into a nearby table. We were given warm oshibori (wet towels) to cleans our hands.

Zipang is an antiquated name for Japan. In a way, it contrasts with the resto’s food concept, as its offerings are stripped down to the basic and the modern.

As we were both quite ravenous by the time we got there, #ExhibitA and I decided to order Teishoku Meal Sets: mine was of Pork Tonkatsu (Php230) while hers was of Chicken Katsu (Php220). The centerpiece of these dishes were the tender and juicy meats covered with flavored batter and panko breading, then deep-fried to a crisp golden brown. They were accompanied by a mashed sweet potato appetizer, a subtly-flavored miso soup, and refillable rice.

With both of us having well-sated appetites at less than Php500, I wouldn’t mind returning with a more adventurous set of orders.

Zipang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Surprisingly affordable Japanese fare at Isaribi, Tomas Morato

Somewhat hidden among the old and new eateries along Tomas Morato is Isaribi. Opened a mere 8 months ago, it is the second branch of the Japanese chain in the Philippines, with the other branch located in Legaspi Village, Makati.

Together with a group of officemates, I ventured to this restaurant right across Vitto’s along Scout Lozano Street to satisfy our gang’s craving for Japanese food.

“Isaribi” translates to “fishing fire,” a fire used to lure fish at night. It was taken from an ancient Japanese poem by Kakinomoto Hitomaru in the Manyoshu, a collection of writings reflecting 7th and 8th century life in Japan.

When we entered, we were welcomed by greetings from the servers accompanied by some beats from a drum. The place was quite spacious with tastefully laid out tables with built-in grills. When we sat down, were offered cold oshibori (“wet towels”) to clean our hands. Points of interest also include the walls decorated with what appeared to be sake bottles. All in all, the decor and the rituals contributed to a premium and authentically Japanese feel to the resto.

While my coworkers took advantage of rice meals that come with eat-all-you-can rice and soup (a really tasty miso broth), I decided to give in to my ongoing ramen phase. Our orders consisted of:

  • Tonkotsu Ramen (Php300). Milky-white pork-broth with firm ramen noodles, thin slices of green onion, half of a tamago (soft-boiled soy-tinged egg), and slivers of cha siu pork belly. While the pork slices are not as melt-in-your-mouth tender as I usually prefer, the broth had a strong garlicky taste which sets it apart from similar ramen I’ve tasted from other Japanese restos.
  • Gyudon (Php280). The Japanese beef bowl, with tender and slightly smoky-flavored grilled beef and a savory-sweet sauce.
  • Katsudon (Php280). A bowl of rice topped with sliced pork cutlets coated with flavored egg.
  • Tendon (Php280). Rice toppings with shrimp and vegetable tempura.
  • Tonkatsu Teishoku (Php280). Pork cutlet covered in panko and flavored batter, served with salad. This took some time getting to our table.

I look forward to coming back here to feast of the sashimi and grilled beef offerings.

Isaribi is located at the Belfrant Building along Scout Lozano. The street is one-way going towards Tomas Morato so plan your trip accordingly. For reservations, call 02 4415302.

Check out my previous reviews of Japanese restaurants:

Isaribi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.