April 23, 2011

Restaurant Review: Nanbantei of Tokyo

What: Nanbantei of Tokyo, Japanese restaurant
Where: 3/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza St., Ayala Center
Makati City, Metro Manila

Price: very reasonable bring at least P500-1000 and you'll be happy and full for two people.

Nanbantei The closest thing you’ll get to a Kanto-style Japanese barbecue place in Manila. Nanbantei remains my pre-movie and post-shopping favourite as it mirrors the unbelievably authentic Iizakaya, Toriciya in Sydney, renowned for having the most authentic yakitori menu and widest saki range in Sydney. Nanbantei’s a close second. Start with the complementary vegetable sticks and salt-rich red miso paste, then make your way through the selection of yakitori while you down a bottle of sake.

The tsukune (chicken meatballs) and shishitou maki (japanese pepper with pork) are a must, but if you’re feeling more adventurous (and traditional), order up some suna gimo (chicken gizzard), hatsu (chicken heart) and the crispy kawa (chicken skin) – it’s the stuff real Japanese salaryman garnish their saki with. The barbecues are all coal-fuelled, equalling extra meaty flavor. If you must have the requisite serving of rice, grab some onigiri – the warm, seaweed wrapped rice ball dumplings filled with bonito flakes, pickled plum or salmon – its good old fashioned comfort food, the way your momma would make it if she were Japanese.

Sushi, sashimi and noodles are on the menu too, with the uni (sea urchin), being a draw; as is the now requisite coffee jelly. However, the place really excels at traditional yakitori and you’ll find enough grilled pieces of meat and vegetable to stuff yourself to your heart’s content.

What: Nanbantei of Tokyo 
Where: 3/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Ayala Center, Makati City, National Capital Region, Philippines
Contact: (02) 757-4130

- Extremely authentic, with real Japanese expats frequenting the place
- Wide selection of meats and a decent saki menu
-Very reasonable price. Almost too reasonable.

- It closes between lunch and dinner
- Getting a seat after 6pm can be a struggle with the dinner crowd
- Why does every restaurant need 16 degree air conditioning?

Verdict:  You may be tempted by the flash new Yakitori place a few doors down, but don’t be fooled – Nanbantei sports the Japanese executive expat crowd. So come for the barbecue and stay for the saki.

14/20 (Anything over 11/20 is very, very good)

Mark and Millie
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  1. Love ur blog reviews. What has been ur top 3 favourite restaurants in Tokyo?

    1. Thank you so much! We haven't really eaten in many restaus in Tokyo so we don't really have a Top 3, but Fuku is a must! :)


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