Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant in the New Glorietta

I love Japanese food!

Next to Chinese, it's one cuisine that I don't think I'll ever get tired of eating. I guess as lot of you will agree with me especially when we're talking about the freshest cuts of sashimi, beef yakiniku and sukiyaki that melts-in-your-mouth and the most heart-tugging bowl of ramen too. Japanese do take their food seriously and this is one reason why they have created a fifth sense called umami where all delicious flavors come together as one.

Someday, I wish to visit Japan and to have a week-long gastronomical adventure where I can stuff myself silly with all the sushi and unagi (eel) that my tummy can handle. Thus, when I received an invitation to try the newly opened Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant at the New Glorietta mall, I immediately replied with a big and happy YES! YES! YES!

Just a side note, on our way to the restaurant, Paul and I were amazed at how pretty the new Glorietta mall was. I know we've just been away for a month and we can't believe the number of changes happening around us. To date, there's the new Glorietta mall as well as the East Wing of the Shangri-la Plaza. Together with these newly opened wings comes a wider array for food choices! For a while there, I had to remind myself why oh why did I leave Manila again.

Going back to Watami, I like the modern Japanese vibe. We went on a Saturday night and there was a small waiting line outside. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long as our table was readily available within minutes. We were joined by friends Abet and Joan for our much-awaited double date as the last one was months ago.

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Our meal began with Watami's signature Deluxe Assorted Sushi (Php. 395). This was highly recommended by our friendly and efficient server Diane and we quickly agreed to try this. I loved it! It came with two salmon sushi, two grilled scallop sushi and two ebi sushi. I love the grilled scallop sushi the most as it was my first time to try grilled hotate with sushi rice. Yummy!

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We also tried the Watami Salad (Php. 350) which I find to be very refreshing. For those who wants to try something aside from the sashimi and sushi, I highly recommend this. It had a mix of chicken strips, shrimps, nori sheets, a scoop of tuna mayonnaise all on top of a bed of lettuce and broccoli. Some says it should have grapes in it but I don't recall tasting any fruits in our salad that evening.

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Moving on to our main dishes, we tried the Self-Grilled Short Ribs (Php. 295) however being lazypokes, we requested our server to do the grilling as we're more ready to do the eating. I really didn't know what to expect from the short ribs thus I was taken by surprise on my first bite. The meat was so tender and it was literally bursting with all the right flavors. This was my favorite dish that evening and to this day, I can't get over at how good it was. I think I will be heading to Watami in Singapore to have this again soon. I pray they won't disappoint.


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After grilling the short ribs, our server proceeded to prepare a pot of Beef Sukiyaki (Php. 385) for us. Thsi was just perfect as Paul has been craving for sukiyaki for the longest time and Watami's delicious sukiyaki has successfully satiated his craving. The beef used was so sweet and really tender. The soup wasn't too salty and we all enjoyed this dish very much.

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From two beef dishes, we moved on to a chicken dish specially meant for Abet who just loves loves loves chicken! Once again, this one was prepared by your table-side. The Chicken Cutlet with Scrambled Egg Sauce (Php. 285) resembles the famous pork katsudon. The chicken strips were deep-fried and covered with silky smooth scrambled egg mixture. This was just okay for me as I was still in beef nirvana from the first two dishes. I also find the chicken cutlets a bit too fatty and oily too.

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After loving our sushi platter, we also tried the Grilled Scallop with Butter (Php. 425) which was also good. I'm so happy that the four of us get along very well when it comes to food. We all love the same things thus making our double dates so much fun! The scallops were very plump and fresh and it was served in a sizzling plate which gives off a mouthwatering garlicky aroma. Mmmm...

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We also tried the Watami Ramen (Php. 345) which was just a-okay for me. Paul liked it very much though as he said the ramen had a very full flavor and he loved how rich and creamy the soup was. I just had a few spoonfuls of the ramen and moved on to our last dish for the night....

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...Joan mentioned that the Crab Meat Pot Rice (Php. 325) was a must-try and we wasted no time in ordering it. This was the last to be served as the rice takes 30 minutes to cook. It came in a kamameshi pot keep the rice piping hot. I liked it as the crab flavor was very much evident however it was too salty for me. I had to drink two glasses of water after consuming a small bowl of rice.

What a feast! We enjoyed our dinner at Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant which was made more fun as we were able to catch up with one another. I'm so glad that the Bistro Group brought in such a great restaurant brand. This is indeed just a preview of what's to come in the food scene here in the Philippines and in Manila more specifically.

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant is located at the G/F of the New Glorietta Mall, Ayala Center, Makati City. They also have a branch at the SM Mall of Asia. For reservations, call them at 836-7141.

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