Friday, March 7, 2014

Watami Now Dishes Up in Shangri-La Plaza

We don't usually get in the habit of going back to high-end restaurants which we had tried unless it's a damn good one.  My kids have been acquainted to traditional Japanese restaurants years ago and every time they would crave for Japanese food we would usually resort to ramen houses or an eat-all-you can sushi and sashimi.

We had recently concluded that there are so-called newbie Japanese restaurants that tries to serve them but fail to satisfy diners with factors such as customer service, quality of food, etc.   Well we had a few bumps trying them out and I dare not talk about them anymore.

But there is this certain Modern Japanese restaurant that won my heart even when I had tried their food for the first time.  Another great thing to this is that it is under one umbrella of one of the finest group of restaurants garnering a lot of success nowadays, even with the continuous emergence of  new food establishments.  I'm talking about The Bistro Group.

The modern Japanese restaurant I'm referring to is Watami which now have opened up it's third branch in the posh Shangri La Mall, East Wing.

The invitation that came to me was for a "meryenda" but turned out to be my second lunch.  I tried one from  their Lunch Set Menu, since all servings from the menu are served either for sharing or individual.  The set menu consist of  a glass of their house tea (cold), a bowl of soup, salad and the main dish. Comes with a stunning price ranging from P 375 to P 425.  One can have the Stone Pot rice-toppings or Ramen.

The Chicken Cutlet with Scrambled Egg Sauce is one that my seatmate Trish of, which I got a bite of, hehe.  It's a lovely battered chicken breast fried to a crisp surrounded by perfectly coagulated scrambled egg in chicken broth.  I think I wrote rice-toppings for the lunch menu, this however is also served with rice but separately.  

Mine also is of chicken-meat, but in a different rendition.  Oh yes, topped in jasmine rice, with some fresh veggies.   Imagine this, a cup of huge rice serving, topped with fresh salad with sweet mayo dressing and amusingly graced with crunchy pieces of chicken spiked up with some kinda honey glazing.  Heaven!  And it's all for P385.  There are some dishes I would usually get tired of easily having it again and again, but not this!
 Isn't that a winner's lunch?  The Miso with mushroom soup is also something to look out for, very hearty.

 Watami's best-seller, Beef sukiyaki has always been the office-gangs' favorite.  It is best served right after cooking.  Won't you look at all those fresh ingredients, making it a healthy lunch option, specially high-grade beef (sukiyaki cut) that sans the marbled  fats (though I still prefer having it once in a while for the delicate flavor it renders the beef cut.

The staff will prepare everything at your table, including the stove.  Also, a little nugget of info - do you know that the soup used for this dish is warishita (割り下 which contains water, dark soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar.  The mirin and sugar gives it's subtle sweet aftertaste at the end of your palate.
When you order the set, the staff will gladly prepare it right in front you.  You can also make the meal more special if you do the cooking yourself whilst your companions are watching or making fun of you.

The finish product...Tadaahh!

Here's Abu, a fellow  blogger and famous minimalist Instagramer (@knowkneetoe) dividing the cooked Sukiyaki among all of us in the table.

Another marvelous first for me here is Watami Japanese Casual restaurant is the Self-grilled Short Ribs.  I don't know about you, but my most favorite meat part is the right next to the ribs.  And this sliced short rib meats  are just to die for, for it flavorful succulence and the simplicity of the dish itself impressed me.

My eyes are glued at those meat being pan fried and was really captivated by the beef soy, buttery aroma.
Make sure to dip it in the sauce that comes with it to complete the recherche dining experience.

Make sure to try their beverages as well.  I had my favorite fruity iced green tea with black pearl sinkers with passion fruit to go with all the grubs I had for my really early dinner.

To cap it all off, every dining experience I have at Watami proved to be top-notch, from the service,  the modern-chic ambiance, the homey-feel despite it being a sought-after Japanese resto, down to the very details of what a casual Japanese dining set up is but with the touch of Filipino hospitality.

"Anata no shokuji o tanoshimu! " That means enjoy your food (thanks Google!)


  1. Everything is wow-worthy. :) Watami is an excellent choice of restaurant for lunch / dinner.

    1. Indeed! Have you tried Watami already? If not, well I would recommend it!


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