Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tokyo Tonteki Now Open in Katipunan, Quezon City

Tokyo Tonteki: A New Contender in the Japanese Food Scene


'Tonteki' means pork steak. It is a well-known dish that hailed from Yokkaichi City Mie Prefecture. Tokyo Tonteki is the brainchild of Shusaku Namikawa. On April 15, 2007, the owner, founder, and chef opened his first restaurant in Shibuya Prefecture in Tokyo, Japan. Serving thick cuts of juicy, tender, and flavorful pork steak on a sizzling plate, the establishment was a hit. Shusaku opened three more branches of Tokyo Tonteki in Japan and now, in his first foray in the international market, has put up a branch in Manila. Specifically, in the burgeoning food hub that is the U.P. Town Center.

Tokyo Tonteki Philippines
Now open in Katipunan
Tokyo Tonteki officially opened on October 21, 2013 and I don’t doubt that it will gain a solid fan base soon. Step through their doors and catch a delicious whiff of slow cooking meat coming from the kitchen. Look around and you will notice the clean, no nonsense interiors that are the exact replica of the Tokyo Tonteki branches in Japan. Take a seat and wait as one their friendly waiters come and hand you your menu. Go through the choices and start with one of their delicious appetizers. Try their Spicy Bean Sprouts (P90) that tastes exactly like kimchi. If you’re looking for something a little different and a lot more sinful, sink your teeth into their Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado, and Onsen Egg (P175). A long, thin slice of salty and slightly chewy prosciutto is wrapped around lettuce leaves, avocado slices, and a perfect soft-boiled egg with a creamy yolk. This decadent concoction is served on a bed of chili mayonnaise that perfectly cuts the richness of all the other ingredients. You may want to share or, if you’re feeling a little indulgent, eat the whole thing by yourself.
Spicy Bean Sprouts
Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado, and Onsen Egg
Save some room because the best part is the entrée. If you’re visiting Tokyo Tonteki for the first time, then give their namesake a try. It is, after all, what they’re known for. Their meals are served in sets. Each set comes with the meat of your choice (Tonteki, Tonburg, Chicken), rice, miso soup, shredded cabbage, and pickled vegetables. Extra servings of rice, miso soup, and cabbage are free. The Regular Tonteki Set (P350/ 200-250g) is more than enough for one person. Their famous pork steak is slathered in a top secret Tonteki sauce that Shusaku Namikawa himself invented. It closely resembles teriyaki sauce but is slightly saltier and tastier. The pork itself is lean with just enough fat to make it tender and juicy when cooked in their unique low fire method. Bite into the soft and flavorful meat and see if you can suppress the sigh of contentment that will want to escape you. Who would have thought that a humble pork steak could taste that good? No wonder it has its own restaurant.
Regular Tonteki Set

Another noteworthy item on Tokyo Tonteki’s menu is the Cheese Tonburg (P350/ 300g). This 100% pure ground pork shaped into a thick patty is served on a sizzling skillet and is topped with two melted slices of ooey gooey American cheddar cheese. It’s a sure hit with kids, hungry athletes, cheese lovers, or anybody with a big appetite.
Cheese Tonburg
If you’re not a big fan of pork, fret not because Tokyo Tonteki also serves Chicken Steak (P325/ 200-250g). This dish is not originally found on the menu in Japan but acknowledging the Pinoy fondness for poultry, it was added to the Manila menu. Try it with the Onion Steak Sauce for a sweet kick. 
Chicken Steak
After eating one of Tokyo Tonteki’s sets, your pants might feel a little tighter but you’ll have a nice, satisfied smile on your face. Don’t pass up the chance to try their Homemade Almond Pudding (P100). It’s light, milky, and not too sweet. Even if you’re full to bursting, you’re going to finish the whole thing. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.
Homemade Almond Pudding
Japanese cuisine has always been a staple in the Philippine food scene. Typical Japanese restaurants here in our country have extensive menus, serving anything and everything in one place.  But for the past couple of years, the trend has been to pick a specialty and stick to it. At the forefront of this movement are ramen and tonkatsu. Pinoys have embraced the two aforementioned dishes with gusto and restaurant owners have been quick to capitalize on the craze. Tokyo Tonteki is a welcome alternative that promises to challenge the dominance of ramen and tonkatsu in the hearts of the dining public.
Establishment Info

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