Wafu : Japanese Fine Dining at the Greenhills Shopping Center

Finally the wait is over! Since last year, we have been awaiting for the opening of the newest commercial building in the Greenhills Shopping Center. This is the one right beside Krispy Kreme and Promenade. As regular visitors of Greenhills, we would closely monitor the progress of the building and were lucky to quickly receive the news that the first two (I hope they’re not the only two) restaurants are now open – Gloria Maris and Wafu.

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Gloria Maris is no stranger to the Greenhills/San Juan community as most of our birthdays, engagements, weddings were celebrated there. I have yet to visit this new branch as I miss their shabu-shabu very much. Meanwhile, our attention gravitated towards the newbie – Wafu. It’s a Japanese restaurant and while others may quickly deduce that it’s there to rival the decades-old Sugi or Kimpura, peering into Wafu’s interior will tell you that this one gives a more modern Japanese vibe whereas the other two will always offer you the traditional favorites. No competition rather I would welcome it as a new addition to the Greenhills food-loving community.

Last night, I met up with two of my bestest friends T and E. We have known each other for more than two decades and I always look forward to our dinners where, with them, I can just relax and have a good time. The weather wasn’t very cooperative yet rain or shine, our dinner luckily pushed through.

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As I entered Wafu, I immediately saw these cute lotus pod-like chairs at the mezzanine of the restaurant. How cute! It served both as a really good decor and it’s very functional too as guests can have extra privacy in these areas. Fellow food blogger Anton was right in saying that it’s a good place to sit when you’re on a date.

While waiting for E, T an I perused the menu. A quick browse will tell you that the price of the dishes are not cheap. In fact, a good meal will probably cost you Php 800 per head. We decided to order a couple of dishes to share.

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Of course, a visit to a Japanese restaurant is not complete without starting your meal with a plate of sushi. T chose the Kimi-San Roll (Php. 654) which I found to be pretty good. It’s a hand-rolled maki filled with fresh mozzarella cheese, asparagus roll wrapped with sliced salmon and served with sesame dressing. The sushi was good but a bit on the expensive side.

One thing that me and my best friends have to common is our love for cheese and mushrooms. You’ll notice this in the other dishes we were able to try below.

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T is our resident healthy eater and almost every meal should always have salad. We tried the Warm Mushroom Salad (Php. 280) which actually can easily be consumed by one but given that we ordered a number of dishes, we were able to share this without feeling ‘bitin’. This salad was just perfect for us as it was loaded with an assortment of mushrooms. The dressing was light and the greens crisp and fresh. Not bad. I think I’ll order this again on my next visit.

One thing that I didn’t like about the service was that it took a while for the dishes to come out but as soon as the first dish came out, the other followed one right after the other thus quickly filling up our table. It was a bit overwhelming as I was hoping to be able to leisurely enjoy the sushi followed by the salad and the entrees next. We were pretty forgiving though knowing that this could just be one of Wafu’s soft opening glitches. Hopefully the service will improve in the coming months.

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Moving to our entrees, we had the Gyoza (Php. 165 / 8 pieces). The serving per piece was smaller compared to a number of Japanese restaurants out there. I wasn’t also quite impressed with the wrapper as it easily opens up with just a soft nudge of my chopsticks. Nothing spectacular about this.

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My friends wanted to try the Tofu Steak (Php. 270) and while the Gyoza was a bit too small to be appreciated, the tofu steak had 6 huge cuts of breaded tofu drizzled with steak sauce. I tried a piece and found it a bit too bland. Once again, another ho-hum dish for me.

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To go with our meal, E and I had a bowl of Vegetable Fried Rice (Php 67) each. For light eaters, I recommend that you share your bowl of fried rice with a friend. Don’t be fooled by the server convincing you to get a bowl each as it’s packed to the brim. Take it from me and E, we later realized that we should have shared one bowl of fried rice instead.

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Lastly, we had the Angus Skirt (Php. 955). This was a gamble given the high price but after hearing a friend rave about this, we knew we have to give this a try. We requested that the steak be cooked to a medium doneness (which was a compromise as one wanted it medium rare while I want it medium well). For the price, I’d say the serving was pretty generous.

I love how tender the beef was and it gave a good contrast to the crunchy onion strips on top. The sauce was very flavorful yet not over-powering allowing you to still enjoy the full buttery flavor of the beef. My heart was doing leaps of joy as I took one bite of the Angus Skirt after the other. In an ideal ala-teleserye-like scenario, this is the perfect cue for the fireworks to come out and Cinderella’s A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes playing in the background. Just like a perfect ending to a fairy tale, I ended my meal with my last piece of Angus Skirt and had the world ended last night. I would have died a happy and satisfied Frannywanny.

That said, I’m going back to Wafu for more of the Angus Skirt. The others I will probably skip as I still feel I can get a better tasting gyoza or tofu steak with just a fraction of the cost elsewhere.

Wafu is located at the Greenhills Shopping Center near Krispy Kreme, Fitness First and Promenade. Call them at 570-3242.

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