It has been almost a year since my colleague told me to try this really good Japanese restaurant called Mangetsu. Back then, the restaurant used to be located in Mile Long along Amorsolo street in Makati. Time flies so fast that we have been so busy and before we know it, Mangetsu in Mile Long closed down to relocate. Shucks. I can't believe we just let one week pass after the other and just like that, the year has ended without us being able to try this highly-recommended restaurant.
Fast forward to the start of 2012, I learned that Mangetsu is finally open again and this time it's located along Jupiter street, a place I am very familiar with. We wasted no time and there we were a few days ago to have dinner with two of my favorite food bloggers Jin and Leslie.
We agreed to meet early, too early that we were the first batch of customers to arrive for dinner time. Good thing too as we got the full attention of almost all servers.
Of course, I did my research by asking my colleague on what to order. She's really good and I trust her taste. In fact, she was the one who tipped me about Cirkulo and the things we have to order there. As a result, it has remained to be one of my favorite Spanish restaurants in town. T, really should start a blog. I'm sure it'll be a hit!
Mangetsu's interior is very modern Japanese. I love the wall shelves filled with Sake bottles and the stacks of ceramic plates that will greet you by the entrance. The place is very big with rectangular tables perfect for big groups to dine in.
We started with some Nama Uni Sashimi (Php. 340) which came in a pretty boat-like platter. In it is a container filled with nori strips and a bowl of fresh uni sashimi. I love uni, yet, after several instances where I always end up with nasty tummy aches, I've been staying away from this buttery goodness ever since. T advised me to just have uni in highly reputable Japanese restaurants (a.k.a. the authentic ones) hence, I've been extra picky about it ever since.
As I took my first bite, I said a little prayer hoping for a safe and peaceful tummy condition afterwards. It has been days since and I'm happy to report that Mangetsu's uni seemed to have passed the quality check with flying colors. Oh how I enjoyed the silky and creamy uni. So goood...
We also had the Spicy Tuna Sashimi (Php. 330). This one is so yummy! Always remember to dip it into your wasabi-soy sauce for extra pre-cautionary measures. Remember, wasabi helps fight any possible bacteria present in raw sashimi.
Since we were the only customers there, our orders came really fast. As we were enjoying our plates of sashimi, out came our hot meals. Mangetsu is known for their unique Japanese creations and this includes the Fried Chicken Thighs (Php. 380) which came with three types of salt : one mixed with pepper, the other with green tea and the last one mixed with chili flakes I think.
I enjoyed trying all three salts and liked the green tea salt the most. Of course they have prawn crackers (kropek) served with the chicken which I ended up munching on too. One order is good for 3-4.
Of course, with fried chicken on the table, we should have rice! Since Leslie is on a very strict (and really effective) diet, I shared the Shrimp Rice Gratin (Php. 450) with Jin and Paul. Oh, I can feel my mouth water at the sight of the gooey cheese covering the rice. It was served piping hot that some parts were still bubbling. The aroma will surely make your heart jump with delight. As we broke the cheese covering, inside is a generous serving of baked peppery rice with shrimps. I loved this very much! I think I had two bowls of the rice that evening.
They actually have an entire section in the menu for all Cheese dishes. My goal is to try every single item in this category. Camembert Cheese Tempura and Cheese Gyoza, you're next!
We all love Uni and after enjoying the Uni Sashimi platter, we decided to also order the Sea Urchin (Uni) Omelet (Php. 330) which will be a first for all four of us to try. The omelet was very saucy yet it took a while for us to find the uni strips as the flavor of the egg was quite overpowering. This was the dish that I liked the least. A few slices of this and I can feel my cholesterol rising. It just tasted too weird for me. Sorry to all Uni Omelet fans out there! I'm sticking to the sashimi version.
We were supposed to order some Japanese pizza but sadly the one that we wanted (Tofu Pizza) was out of stock. We replaced it then with an order of Tofu Dengaku (Php. 230). Which are thick slices of toasted tofu coated with red miso. I got to admit I was really hesitant to try this as I'm really watching my soy intake and with the addition of the red miso which is fermented soy bean, it's like fulfilling my soy requirement for the entire month! However, after seeing the approving nods of Leslie, Jin and Paul I knew I had to give this a try or I'd end up dreaming about it for weeks on end.
Each tofu slice is supported by two bbq sticks and very carefully I took a small bite and enjoyed the slightly salty miso on top of the silky tofu. Yum! Glad I took the chance to try this and I recommend that you all do the same.
Frannywanny and Paul meets Shoot First, Eat Later and Jin Loves To Eat!
What a fun meal! I'm so glad that both Leslie and Jin agreed to try Mangetsu's new branch with me and Paul. I'm really having a lucky week enjoying one good meal after the other. Now, I have a new found favorite Japanese restaurant that I will surely bring my family to enjoy as well.
Visit Mangetsu at 38 Jupiter Street, Brgy. Bel-Air in Makati City. Call them at 478-3292. I highly recommend that you call to reserve as the place is usually full especially at night.