Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mangetsu : Japanese Fusion Restaurant

Mangetsu: As Japanese As It Gets

by Cityzen | Crystal Joy Rebucas

One of my college friends decided to have an intimate dinner at Mangetsu to celebrate her birthday. We've heard a lot about the place, but that evening was everyone’s first time to try the Japanese Fusion Restaurant.
Located at 38 Jupiter in Bel-Air Village
Once inside this restaurant, the clean and orderly look combined with cutesy Japanese details like the wall shelves filled with Sake bottles give you more reason to feel right at home. It was a good start, but we were really there for the food.

Shelf full of sake
Receiving area
The birthday girl was running late and gave us the go signal to order the appetizers. The four of us who arrived early decided to order Salmon Sashimi with Japanese Mayo (P430) and Spicy Tuna Maki (P250/P150). The prices are a bit higher than the other Japanese places we frequent, but we also noticed that the quality and freshness of the salmon and the tuna are better. They even serve it on ice, which means they give importance to the fact that sashimi has to be served at a certain temperature. It was also during this time when we noticed the fish shaped chopsticks holder--another quirky detail we loved.
Salmon Sashimi with Japanese Mayo
Spicy Tuna Maki
Cute way to rest your chopsticks
As soon as we were complete, we ordered different items so that we’ll get to taste many things. The Sea Urchin Tempura with Wasabi Soy Sauce Dip (P295) was deliciously interesting. The famous best seller of this restaurant, Tofu Pizza (P330), deep fried Japanese tofu with cheese toppings, was also quite memorable. When you do find yourself at Mangetsu, make sure to include these two things on your order list.
Sea Urchin Tempura with Wasabi Soy Sauce Dip
Tofu Pizza
Representing the ramen was the Miso Nikomi Udon (P310). This big bowl of hot udon noodles simmered in red miso broth with chicken and egg did not disappoint. It showed in the clean bowl after, where the noddles and soup used to be.
Miso Nikomi Udon
To share, we also had both variations of the Gyoza. Both the Pork Gyoza (P290) and the Cheese Gyoza (P320) were really great to nibble on in between sharing our mains.
Our unanimous favorite for the evening was the Karaage Fried Chicken Thighs with three kinds of salt (P380). Everybody loved it that we ordered a total of three plates for our table so that everyone could have a second serving. The three kinds of salt were: mixed with green tea, mixed with pepper and the last one mixed with Chinese salt. That’s just for information's sake, because really we didn’t need to try any of those salts -- the chicken itself was already perfect. We did try squeezing calamansi on some pieces, and it did add an interesting flavor.
Karaage Fried Chicken Thighs with three kinds of salt
While service was a bit slow, dining at Mangetsu was a really pleasurable experience. It was easy for us to let that go because we got busy catching up with some friends we haven’t seen in a long time. Also, when we asked permission if we could bring out a birthday cake we bought for our friend, they not only allowed us to serve it but the waitress also even brought us a knife, small plates, and utensils enough for everyone in our table.
Clean, orderly, and very Japanese
If you look up Mangetsu on the web, a lot of different things come up. There’s a temple in Japan, a manga comic, and some other restaurant somewhere in Europe. But to me and my friends, it will always be that Japanese restaurant we don’t mind going back to.

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