Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yakitori Kitchen at Forbestown

After an especially stressful work day, Jericho came by to cheer me up and take me out to dinner. He is the best food buddy to ask out 'coz he always says yes. Sometimes I don't even have to ask, he's already familiar with protocol.

I had wanted to try out the Japanese place at Burgos Circle called Yakitori Kitchen for a while. It's a quaint, unassuming place sandwiched between Bugsy's and the Bread Bag Pandesal Bar. The restaurant itself is very, erm, Japanese. The place is small but cozy, the decor is simple with black and white Japanese paintings on the wall and a blue banner over the bar, and the wait staff are are very polite and accommodating.

Picking out a sweet spot by the window, we filled out our order slip with the skewered vegetables and chicken bits we would be nomming.

Yakitori (焼き鳥/やきとり/ヤキトリ) literally means grilled chicken, but can also refer to grilled skewered food in general. Here in the Philippines its usually the latter, so you could imagine our surprise to find the only entrées we could order were different parts of the popular fowl. A Literal Larry much? The upside (if you're not big on chicken like Jericho) is they have as many appetizers as they do entrées, all super cheap,  and each order consists of two skewers which are perfect for sharing!

Chikubei (竹輪) (P120) is chikuwa wrapped in bacon. Chikuwa is a Japanese tube-like food product made from ingredients such as fish surimi, salt, sugar, starch, monosodium glutamate and egg white. After mixing the ingredients together, they are then wrapped around a bamboo or metal stick and steamed or broiled. We had no idea what chikuwa was at the time, but the server assured us it was really good. It was the shiznit!

Kamaboko (蒲鉾) (P95), more commonly known as crabcakes. The kani-kamaboko was soft with a really nice bite, the tare sauce adding an extra layer of flavor. I could've popped these like popcorn all night long.

Jagabei (P140), or simply potato wrapped in bacon. You really can't go wrong with wrapping anything in bacon. The bacon fat marries with the said encased vegetable and uplifts the humble potato to reach new flavor heights. Oh, the sprinkling of salt helped as well.

Shitake (シイタケ) (P150), obviously shiitake mushrooms. I love me my shiitake mushrooms, and these were awesome! No complicated sauce, just lightly salted and placed over a charcoal grill to cook in its own natural juices with the shio to prod it along and bring out the juiciness in each lip-smacking bite.

As it is a Japanese restaurant, it wouldn 't be fair to review the dishes but skimp on the rice. We tried the Curry Chahan (P180), or curry fried rice. It was a tad salty for my taste as everything else we ordered was lightly salted. It wasn't the curry chahan's fault, so don't be hatin'. The quality of the rice was top notch, with clumps of the little grains hanging on to each other each time we'd pick a bit up with our chopsticks, as it should be. The crisp, light garlic flakes on top was a nice addition to the dish as well, adding a nice crunch to each bite. J and I had major garlic breath that night.

We ordered more of the appetizers than the actual yakitori, since there was more of a variety there taste-wise, and because we didn't really order any Asahi Beer to go along with our meal.

Tebasaki (手羽先) (boneless) (P120), is boneless middle wing meat sprinkled with shio (salt). The waitstaff must have anticipated my raised eyebrow when eyeing the meat (it was way too white!) and came out with a side of tare sauce - made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar - for us to give the meat a bit of color. A lot of color. It was still really good notwithstanding, especially the little burnt bits.

Momo Ninniku  (P120), or chicken leg meat with garlic quickly became our favorite. The meat was flavorful and the garlic was soft and almost melted onto the chicken and the rice. Major, major garlic breath that night.

We love Yakitori Kitchen for the affordable menu and quality food whose portions are good for sharing. Another great find at Bonifacio Global City that isn't packed to the rafters with people and doesn't hurt the back pocket either.

Yakitori Kitchen
Forbestown at Burgos Circle,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig