When you think about Japanese restaurants in Makati, you think of the ones in Little Tokyo (Izakaya Kikufuji, Seryna) or in the major malls (Yabu, Ramen Nagi).
Don’t get us wrong: Those places are awesome too! However, we shouldn’t forget about the others that don’t always get featured in lists of “top Japanese restaurants in Metro Manila,” but are formidable purveyors of cuisine in their own right.
If you haven’t already discovered them, or if you’re looking for more places in Makati to get your fill of Japanese food, here are our recommendations.
"Oyakodon" from Tonkatsuya. P250. Tender, juicy, and comforting. Japan in a bowl! 🥄🥄🥄 #philippines #manila #food #foodporn #foodtrip #foodgasm #foodph #eat #ilovefood #foodlove #foodie #foodphotography #instafood #foodpics #foodstagram #instagood #instapic #yummy #delicious #hungry #tasty #oyakodon #tonkatsuya
Headed by Chef Hosoya, Tonkatsuya specializes in katsu, or deep-fried pork cutlets. Many of their dishes come in a set with Japanese rice, miso soup and bean sprouts, so you can fill up your tummy and get your money’s worth.
In case you can’t drop by for any reason, no worries: They deliver too!
Address: G/F Acrocity Building, Antipolo St., Poblacion, Makati City
Hours: 10:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Monday – Saturday), 10:00 A.M. – 9:30 P.M. (Sunday)
Like many of its neighbors in Poblacion, Tambai is a foodie paradise waiting to be discovered.
Although it’s best known for its yakitori (Japanese BBQ) and kushikatsu (deep-fried food on a stick), Tambai also has offerings like quail eggs with bacon and beef isaw that are sure to tickle Pinoy taste buds.
Address: 5779 Felipe St., Poblacion, Makati City
Hours: 6:00 P.M. – 1:00 A.M. (Monday – Sunday)
Behind Park Square along Pasay Road is Isshin, a restaurant that Zomato modestly describes as having “Japanese comfort food (with)in a casual setting.”
Despite that seemingly simple description, you’d miss out if you don’t try their bento (boxed lunch) and tempura dishes. They even have complimentary dessert!
Address: 1024 Arnaiz Ave. (Pasay Rd.), San Lorenzo, Makati City
Hours: 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 A.M. (Monday – Sunday)
5. Tsumura Sushi Bar & Restaurant
Okay, Tsumura is technically inside the famous CBD, but hey: They don’t show up on foodie radars as much as places like Mendokoro Ramenba do.
As their name suggests, sushi is their specialty — and boy, is it some darn good sushi! Judging from the number of Japanese customers the bar has, we’re not the only ones who think so.
Address: 2/F 88 Corporate Plaza, Sedeno cor. Valero St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Hours: 11:30 A.M. – 2:15 P.M., 5:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. (Monday – Sunday)
4. Yokohama Meat Kitchen
Want to try the famous wagyu beef? Yokohama Meat Kitchen offers a wide variety of meats that you can tailor to your tastes. Plus, compared to similar restos around the Metro, their prices are among the more budget-friendly ones.
Address: 16 Jupiter cor. Antares St., Bel-Air, Makati City
Hours: 11:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M., 5:00 P.M. – 11:00 P.M. (Monday – Sunday)
3. Yakiniku Sakura
Another option for affordable Japanese meats is Yakiniku Sakura. Like in Yokohama Meat Kitchen, your selection of cuts is varied. You can also grill your chosen ingredients however you want.
Aside from yakiniku, the restaurant also serves the iconic maguro (tuna) sashimi, and has an overall atmosphere that will make you feel as though you’re in an actual restaurant in Japan.
Address: Dona Concepcion Building, 1020 Arnaiz Ave. (Pasay Road), San Lorenzo, Makati City
Hours: 11:30 A.M. – 10:30 P.M. (Monday – Sunday)
2. Kaito Japanese Carinderia
It might seem odd to put “Japanese” and “carinderia” in the same name, but Kaito pulls it off anyway.
The name isn’t their only standout quality, though. Their Japanese comfort foods like katsudon, gyudon and bento have garnered some rave reviews too.
Address: Apolinario St., Brgy. Bangkal, Makati City (near DMCI Homes)
Hours: 5:00 P.M. – 12:00 A.M. (Monday – Sunday)
1. Kenshin Japanese Restaurant
Last, but certainly not the least, is Kenshin. In case that name rings a bell, it’s because it was apparently inspired by everyone’s favorite wandering samurai. (If you look closely at their lanterns, you can see Kenshin’s trademark cross-shaped scar.)
Kenshin has a varied selection of sushi, sashimi and comfort food, but they’re probably best known for their takoyaki (fried octopus balls). Before you order one of these, make sure you brush up on your takoyaki-making skills first, because they will have you cook it yourself!
Address: G/F The Linear, Yakal cor. Mayapis St., Makati City
Hours: 10:30 A.M – 3:00 A.M. (Monday – Sunday)
What are your favorite underrated Japanese restos in Makati? Let’s hear about them in the comments!