Kitsho Japanese Restaurant & Sake Bar at Traders Hotel Manila

No matter how many days our vacation in Manila may be, we always end up feeling that we should have stayed longer. *sigh* It just goes to show that time truly flies when you're having fun more so when you're with your loved ones and your dearest friends too.

During my recent visit home, I made sure to make time to meet up with two of my good friends and I have to admit, my two favorite food bloggers too  -- Jin and Leslie.

Being with them always makes me and Paul feel very comfortable and we would always look back and say how much fun lunch/dinner was with them. ALWAYS. I guess it's because the three of us share a lot of common interest -- FOOD is one, traveling is another. We also share a number of common friends here and there. Needless to say, our table conversations have always been always fun, funny and definitely negative vibes free.

Recently, we were invited to dine at Kitsho Japanese Restaurant at Traders Hotel Manila. We've been reading up and hearing about this restaurant that's one of the few (if not the only one) in Manila that serves Fugu. I've always associated Fugu as that toxic puffer fish that Homer Simpson accidentally ate and was the cause of his death. *gasp* So, when the invite says I'll be able to try Fugu, you can just imagine how nervous I was.

Luckily though, Fugu wasn't available on the day that we went. I think my friends and Paul were excited to give it a try though. Instead, the Chef prepared one King Crab for us to enjoy. Wowee! Definitely no regrets as we can't help but rave at how sweet and tender the crab meat was. It was served two ways for us:

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Grilled King Crab (Php. 1,800)
Since it was served on a table with three food bloggers, of course we had to take time out to take a million and one shots of this in all angles imaginable. So, by the time we finally got around to trying it, it wasn't piping hot anymore. Still, it was DELICIOUS! I can just imagine if we bit into this freshly off the grill.

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HotPot King Crab (Php. 1,800)
Chef just grilled the legs so what happened to the rest of the crab? Off it went to the soup pot with a wide array of veggies too! We're so lucky to have a server prepare this by our tableside. Once again, the crab was sweet, juicy and really yummy. It was cooked perfectly that the meat easily falls off the shell without much struggle with my chopsticks. I love how the meat made the soup stock more flavorful. I think all of us got at least 2 servings of soup and a whole lot of crab legs and claws that day.

Now, I'm getting ahead of my story. Let me backtrack and show you what were the dishes that we tried at Kitsho Japanese Restaurant that day:

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A Japanese meal will not be complete without starting it off with some fresh sashimi. We had the Hamahi (Php. 580) which was fresh and has a good bite to it.

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We also tried the Hotate / Scallops (Php. 420) which my sister would always get at Tsukiji Market and love how fresh it was. Kitsho's version didn't disappoint either and we happily enjoyed our fresh sashimi.

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Of course, what's having sashimi without trying the Sake / Salmon Sashimi (Php. 450). It was good and plump. I remembered my friend ML who's a big fan of salmon as I enjoyed this. (ML, if you're reading this, I ate one two extra slices just for you!) 

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Moving on, the Salmon Oshi Sushi (Php. 500) was just alright. I found the salmon cut a bit too thin here and the rice too sticky and too much. Given that, it was lacking in flavor for me.

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The Unagi Oshi Sushi (Php. 650), on the other hand, was one the yummiest unagi sushi that I've had. You see, my complain with some unagi is that it can be really annoying, not to mention painful, to swallow the tiny fish bones. I hate it when that happens so I normally shy away from unagi. This time though, I allowed myself to try a piece and I loved it! The sauce's sweetness level was just right and the meat was juicy and tender. Yummm!

Looks like we all loved the unagi that we went for more! We tried the Unagi Kabayaki (Php. 500) which had no rice this time. Once again, it passed our taste buds with flying colors.

If you noticed, we ordered a lot of seafood dishes so to satisfy our carnivorous side, we tried the US Beef Sukiyaki (Php. 1,800) which we all loved as well! The soup stock was so sweet that it will surely bring a big smile onto your face. The beef was so yummy and tender too. I alternate this with the HotPot King Crab making me a happy happy diner that day.

While we were generally happy and were raving about our orders, there were some that failed to meet my expectations.

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Les wanted to try the Buta Kakuni (Php 350) after enjoying this elsewhere. It was just a-okay for me as I found it to be a bit too fatty for my taste.

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We also tried the Beef Tongue Misoya (Php. 350) which I think was quite tough and chewy. I even went as far as trying two pieces but it failed to wow me still.

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I'm having mixed feeling about the Kaki Fry (Php. 280). Coming from the land of Oyster Cakes, Oyster Egg and basically a whole menu line-up of dishes with oysters, I was impressed at the size of the oysters available at Kitsho but serving it deep-fried and very oily was something I'm not quite fond of.

What a feast! I was so full but when we were offered to have dessert, I gave in and got a scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream. So much for self-control :-/ Well, I am grateful to have supportive friends who joined me and got a scoop of ice cream too! Hooray! Now you know why I love them to bits.

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Thank you so much Chef Mazahiro Misumoto for the delicious lunch! This surely has brought my Japanese dining experience a notch higher all due to the delicious Unagi and King Crab.

To Jin & Les, till we EAT again! ♥

*photo credits: Paul Ang

Do check out Kitsho Japanese Restaurant & Sake Bar at the Lobby Level of Traders Hotel Manila, 3001 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Call them at 708-4888 ext 2312/2313. 

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