Authentic Japanese Fare at Tomo Japanese Dining in Araullo Street, Mandaluyong City

No matter how short or long our stay in Manila is, what we loved the most are those times that we would spent with our families. I'd say, we're really improving in terms of scheduling our meet-ups as we get to allot more to family and our ever understanding friends would willingly take the brunch or tea time slots.

During our recent visit home, we blocked off our Sunday lunch to go out for a nice meal with my in laws. It was also this time when Paul and Achi Jen decided to co-celebrate their belated birthdays similar to how they used to do in the past since their birthdays are two days apart. Achi Jen took care of making the reservations upon my request to try Tomo Japanese Dining in Araullo Street. It's really a good thing that she made a reservation as the whole place was fully booked that day. We even bumped into our former flatmate C and his family there!

My MIL has been there a couple of times so she knows what are the must-orders. Here are some of the dishes that we ordered for our family of 11 (we're growing!):

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California Maki (Php. 295)
The kids' favorite and mine too! This is one hand-rolled sushi that you can never go wrong with. It's filled with sweet Philippine mangoes, kani sticks and Japanese mayo with a generous amount of ebiko to cover it with. Yummy!

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Crazy Roll (Php. 235)
We also tried the Crazy Roll which is very similar to the California Maki only the kani mixture was served on top and the hand-rolled maki was coated with fried tempura crumbs. This is something kids will love as it has a more savory yet simpler flavor profile. Looking at the menu, Tomo Japanese Dining actually has a wide selection of makis and I can't wait to go back to try the rest. I got to admit though that it doesn't come cheap as the average price for these makis is about Php. 350 (S$10).

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Sukiyaki (Php. 640)
Daddy can't take beef so we only ordered one of this for the kids to enjoy. I love the sweet broth and the beef was very tender. I got to say that this was definitely well-executed complete with a generous portion of veggies and clear glass noodles. I only wish that they would serve this with a small burner as it can get cold after a while thus affecting the taste of what could be your 2nd or 3rd serving.

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Okonomiyaki (Php. 295)
I'm crazy about okonomiyaki and would make it a point to order this whenever I can. Tomo's version was pretty good. I love the generous filling of cabbage, pork and egg and the fact that it has a nice toasty layer on top. Drizzled with sweet okonomiyaki sauce, this makes for a nice starter but unfortunately, service was a bit chaotic that day that it was actually the last dish to arrive.

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Lapu Lapu Hasamiyaki (Php. 420)
For the size of the fish, this is probably the most expensive item that we ordered that day and sadly it failed to impress us. The fish was thinly sliced and underneath was a thick cut of potato and mushroom. Somehow, I felt like they shouldn't be charging this much if 80% of the whole component were the veggies. Don't think I'll be ordering this again.

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Ebi Shitake Hasami Age (Php. 310)
Another special that is way too pricey. Imagine three regular-sized pieces of shiitake mushrooms stuffed with ground shrimps and deep-fried like a tempura. Technically, each piece costs more than a hundred pesos and it would have made more sense if these are humongous mushrooms which sadly they were not. Unfortunately, both of these specials were quite underwhelming that day and I wouldn't recommend for you to try them.

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Tori Teriyaki (Php. 265)
Well, you can never go wrong with the classics. This chicken teriyaki was very tender and the serving was quite good. For our party of 11, we ordered 3 of almost everything to share. I love chicken teriyaki and wouldn't mind having more of this with a bowl of Japanese rice.

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Yakisoba (Php. 280)
However, if you prefer noodles, then try the Yakisoba. Personally, I skipped this as I was happy with my bowl of rice but we tried this for my nephews who just loves loves loves noodles.

Over-all, the food was pretty authentic and I love the ambiance of the whole place. Who would have thought that a legit Japanese restaurant would open right in the middle of San Juan/Mandaluyong's residential area. The service was quite bad as we occupied a private room and it was a struggle to get any of the server's attention as none of them would come and check on us from time to time. I hope they would consider having a buzzer as it can be quite tiresome to walk out of the room every single time we need an extra plate, more tea or to follow up on our orders. Nonetheless, I shall return!

Check out Tomo Japanese Dining at 137 Araullo Street, Brgy Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. Definitely call to reserve a table: +63 (977) 859-7622. 

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