Thursday, May 3, 2012

Domo Arigato, Roboto San: Japanese Grill Buffet

Domo arigato, Roboto San!

I was so stoked to find out that the creators of restaurant giants like SumoSam, Mr. Kurosawa, John & Yoko, and Marciano's had come up with a new baby - Roboto San: Japanese Grill Buffet!

I didn't grow up watching Voltes V or Voltron like Ricky Laudico, the restaurateur who came up with the concept because of this love for the classic mecha cartoons, but the story behind Roboto San is just too cute!

The year is 2089 and Tokyo is under attack by alien robots. Nations unite – because let’s face it, we will never have fuel efficient flying cars  if Tokyo is destroyed – and create the ultimate robot that can save the world (preferably insert the Voltes V theme song here). His name is – ROBOTO SAN!

When Roboto San isn't too busy saving the world, he is busy feeding his human companions with Asian dishes, mostly from Tokyo (but at the rate Samsung is growing, he might've been made in South Korea come 2089 - if the north behaves).

I checked it out with Jay and was happy that my high hopes for the place and the food didn't disappoint. You walk into what looks like a giant bird's nest taken over by a robot toy factory, mostly white and violet, with robot heads painted on the chairs, which seems to be the signature look for the restaurant chain.

The buffet table was laden with Asian dishes that made me tear up a little bit. I started my buffet round with the salmon and tuna maki, kilawin, and some potato salad I spied minding its own business in the corner of the buffet line.

They had a few cooked dishes that I wanted to try, so that was what was up for round two. Their tempura was pretty good and I loved the gyoza - the wrapper would fall away after you'd take a bite,  giving you more access to the vegetable and pork filling inside. The salt and pepper spare ribs were pretty good, if the beef wasn't so damn hard, and the beef stir fry was a bit too gummy for my taste.

I was as giddy as a school girl for my third trip back, as it was time to put the grill in the middle of the table to good use! I passed over the chikuwa, squidballs, and kikiam and made a beeline for the jumbo shrimp and beef short ribs at the end of the grilling station.

The salt and pepper ribs and short ribs came with barbecue and Korean sauce on the side, that just added a whole new layer of flavor to the beef. It went well with kimchi.

After overly stuffing ourselves with meaty grilled fare, it was time to attack the dessert table in search of something to clear the palate. The dessert selections were quite blah, and I ended up with Black Sesame ice cream.

Ricky did let me in on a little secret: they plan on serving mochi balls soon, with flavors like dark chocolate truffle and Kit Kat flavored mochi. You cannot go wrong with that! I suggested they add in tempura ice cream to the dessert station as well, that seems to be a big hit at hotel buffets that offer them.

I need around a month to recover from the protein overload, but this is definitely worth coming back to! Especially when they roll out the mochis! Itadakimasu!

Roboto San: Japanese Grill Buffet
+63 2 823 6988
2nd Floor, Crossroads, 32nd St.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Mon – Fri 11:am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Sat – Sun 5:15pm – 8:30pm