Paul and I are such big fans of anything Japanese..culinary-wise, we can never turn down an offer to feast on sushi, teriyaki chicken, ebi tempura and my personal favorite -- katsudon.
Such is the case when we received an invite from fellow blogger Alvin to try out a new restaurant called Jozu Kin at the Fort Bonifacio area not so long ago.
Entering the restaurant, it somehow gave me an upper New York feel where big groups of friends would dine and drink until the wee hours of the morning. It's not your typical Japanese restaurant but rather it has a more edgy vibe that is sure to attract the younger crowd.
We were the second and third guests to arrive and while waiting for the rest; Paul, Alvin and I decided to order an appetizer consisting of an assortment of maki rolls to share. We got the Maki Moriawase (Php. 357) which has a total of five different maki creations. What's interesting here is that while almost all five maki rolls were pretty familiar to us, it still has a different twist that is unique to Jozu Kin. I particularly liked the Philadephia Roll (salmon + cream cheese) and the special California Maki that was topped with kani strips and black caviar.
Jozu Kin, as we were told, literally means skillfully gold. With a name like this, we were told to expect dishes using the best and premium ingredients and of course, service of top quality. With just our appetizer, I immediately fell in love with generous serving of black caviar and I am excited to try more!
Finally, Az, Lace and Jonel have arrived and our Japanese feast began.
Following our maki platter, Lace and I wanted some salad and so we got the Kin Salad (Php. 218) which is a refreshing salad of kani strips, mango cubes and fresh iceberg lettuce. It makes a perfect start to our rather meaty dinner.
Aside from this, we also got the Maguro Tataki Salad (Php. 306) which were also enjoyed by the guys. It has seared tuna combined with fresh lettuce and topped with crunchy potato and onion strings.
We were also served with the Tartufo Hotate (Php. 590) that has 3 plump pieces of scallops topped with asparagus and shiitake mushrooms and drizzled with truffled brown butter sauce. It gives a very rich and flavorful take on the scallops and the veggies as well.
Pasta lovers will enjoy the Kurokosho Black Pepper with Parmigiano Regiano (Php. 288). Don't shy away by the sheer mention of black pepper because this mix is very subtle yet it turns the flavor up a couple of notch. As a caviar fan, I enjoyed the black caviar sprinkled on top of this pasta dish. It's Jozu Kin's version of the well-loved creamy fettuccine.
Finally, our last appetizer was the Spicy Tuna and Salmon skin Temaki (Php. 123). While the pasta gave us a generous serving of black caviar, my eyes widened at the sight of a handful of Japanese caviar that was placed on top of the temaki. It was truly a caviar night for me and boy, was I a happy camper. The temaki was pretty good but it would have been better had it not been for the not-so-crunchy nori sheet that was pretty a struggle to bite on. It had to resort to cutting it up into bite size pieces as pulling and tugging on the cone can really make you lose your poise.
After carefully dipping my temaki on to my wasabi - soy sauce mixture, I took my first bite and loved the wonderful blend of the fresh tuna, the crunchy salmon skin and the slightly salty Japanese caviar all in my mouth.
For years of dining out, Paul and I already have our set of Japanese meal staples. Of course, there's the Katsudon, the Futo and California Maki, the Ebi Tempura and the Pork Gyoza. We believe that these are the five dishes that any Japanese restaurant should be good at. These are the basic Japanese dishes that we both have grown accustomed too and no meal is complete without ordering at least one of these dishes.
At Jozu Kin, we were so happy to be treated to a plate of deep fried Pork Gyoza. Together with its flavorful dipping sauce, we enjoyed every bite and wish we had a bowl of Japanese rice to go with it. Needless to say, Jozu Kin has passed our gyoza test with flying colors.
Then comes the meaty part
Just as we thought we had about enough, then comes the first star of evening -- Angus Prime with Teriyaki Niiro Sauce (Php. 1150). Imagine a big slice of top quality steak grilled to perfection using Jozu Kin's special teriyaki sauce. It is a pretty marbled piece that makes it so easy to slice and bite into. One order is big enough for a family of four which makes the price very reasonable.
Up next was my favorite, the Matsusaka Gyu (Php. 1850). While the Angus Beef came in a huge slice, the Matsusaka Gyu was served in bite-size portions of choice meat seared on teppan. I also enjoyed the buttered teppanyaki veggies that came as its side dish.
Lastly, the dish that I sadly had to say no to but it caught Paul's happy taste buds and left a lasting memory with him for quite some time... the Pan Seared Foie Gras (Php. 630). This dish is a juicy piece of honey glazed duck liver sandwiched in between mango and sushi rice and is drizzled with sweet mango puree. According to Paul, one tiny bite is so rich that it will continue to tempt you to get more. Such a very sinful dish but it surely looks like it got the approval of everyone on the table.
We had a great time dining and chatting at Jozu Kin that we didn't noticed the time. After taking one last photo for prosperity-sake, we bid Jozu Kin good bye and promised to be back SOON.
Looks like Paul and I know where exactly will we be treating our respective families out on Christmas Day.
Jozu Kin is located at Unit ES-2 Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio Global City. Call them at 403-1875.