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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sekitori Authentic Japanese Restaurant

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Minna-san! Kore wa Sekitori Authentic Japanese Restaurant desu. Watashi wa Sekitori ni ikemashita. Tottemo, kirei na basho desu. Soshite food wa oishikatta desu! Sorekara menu wa takusan desu. Soshite takusan shashin o torimashita. Sekitori wa takusan tabemashita. Tottemo oishikatta desu.
When they brought out the wooden ship dish filled with sashimi - composed of beautifully arranged fresh fish, like the blue fin tuna in season from all over Japan - from their kitchen, I had to agree that it is indeed a feast for the eyes, as well as the taste buds!

Sekitori Authentic Japanese Restaurant really knows how to please for bringing out the best first, sustaining our delight with more than a dozen equally tasteful dishes  ...and ending it with another winner for our dessert with assorted Japanese sweets.

The Sashimi Nihon Chokuso Mori that you see above is a mouthful that can already satisfy a few hungry souls. Though we had to make room for the other dishes, we opted to sample more than a slice of each kind for that night. We were warned that more dishes will be coming out, but they were just too good to ignore. It's not every day that you get to enjoy a huge treat as fresh as this.

But I was not surprised when something as huge as this ship full of sashimi was served because the restaurant's theme is also based on something big - the Japanese Sumo Wrestlers, specifically the Sekitori , a class or ranking in the middle of the sumo wrestler field,  which was were they got the name of the restaurant. Also, the restaurant owner was a sumo wrestler himself, as well as some of his relatives.

Sekitori Authentic Japanese Restaurant is definitely not new in the business. They used to have Sumo Chaya Sekitori in Little Tokyo, Makati before which has gathered much support as a restaurant that serves real Japanese cuisine.

Now, that they have a restaurant in Ortigas specifically located at Hanston Squae building at 17 San Miguel Avenue Pasig city.

However, even before Sekitori, they formerly also have J.Boy, a Japanese fastfood shop, originally in Vito, Cruz Makati way back 2012. But in 2014, they opened one in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong then another in Farmers Market in Cubao, Quezon City, then in Ortigas Center, Pasig together with Sumo Chaya Sekitori, then Starmall Alabang, Muntinlupa, of which relocation is being considered, and the Sekitori restaurant in Ortigas occupied the entire floor area.

Dining with President Seto Masakazu, owner of Sekitori Authentic Japanese Restaurant
Owned by a former sumo wrestler, it is no wonder why there's a giant sumo wrestler statue inside the restaurant. It could have been more awesome to put it outside so the bypassers could gawk at the huge and almost naked image that actually represents a relative of the owner.

Though many Japanese frequent the place, the restaurant is equally adored by those who really want a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine found nowhere else in the Philippines. They are so good that even other Japanese restaurants established in the country seek their expertise as consultant.

Since sumo wrestlers obviously have a big appetite, there is no surprise that they require a huge portion of food to satisfy their hunger. However, I believe food should be equally big in taste since food quality is better than just quantity. I am betting sumo wrestlers also crave for quality taste to keep their motivation. You will never find me going back to a restaurant if the food does not satisfy my eccentric taste. Just as I would never take advantage of an eat-all-you-can buffet if the food is no good at all.

The owner has a relative who used to belong to the Yokozuna rank, the highest in professional wrestling in Japan, but is now retired and had become master. Together at the dining table, he told us lots of stories about this ranking in sumo wrestling, and I've learned about his experience on his way to becoming a sumo wrestler which is quite a lengthy but interesting story full of ups and downs but offering a wealth of wisdom. From the previous experience and his final success, Sekitori will continue to offer genuine and authentic Japanese cuisine.


It will also be no surprise if you would eventually gain weight and become big after eating so much from this Japanese restaurant as their dishes, may they be big or small in serving, are big in taste too. That enormous statue of a sumo wrestler inside the restaurant would give you an appetite knowing the real and actual sumo wrestler do have to eat well since their extreme activity would require so much energy to keep yourself up.

Irodori Sakizuke Nana-shu Mori
The Irodori Sakizuke Nana-shu Mori is the equivalent of appetizers in Western cuisine. But looking at how they were presented to us, the Japanese must be quite elaborate in the way they looked so much into the basket full of decorative pieces.

Of course, as many of you would realize after reading my previous blog posts from restaurant reviews, I am biased to seafood dishes so that shrimp in the middle was totally gone to my plate in just a few seconds it was put on display for photo ops. Though I enjoyed the fishes more on this particular appetizer set, I let my tongue experience the varying tastes of each appetizer, and it would be smiling that night if it was capable of doing it.

The Spicy Salmon is served as a salad where the delicious taste of salmon can be savored to the full.

Since I also love a little bit of spice in my food, this dish was a big hit for me. It really hit me where it matters most. up within my taste buds and down within my stomach.

I consider this dish healthy since there's very little source of unwanted fat which you normally get from greasy food served at fastfood chains. I mentioned this since there's a fastfood restaurant beside them that people should avoid if they want to remain healthy. I do hope there's more restaurants like Sekitori but hoping they also have dishes at prices fit for the average Juan or Pedro, to compete with the junk food from their neighboring restaurant.

 Yasai no Kyo-fu Taki Awase
The Yasai no Kyo-fu Taki Awase is seasoned assorted simmered vegetables that were Japanese-style carved into different shapes and partly boiled and flavored as thin as possible to keep the veggies' natural taste.

I actually finished all of them without any complaints on both manner of presentation and taste since I am a fan of the tradition, food and culture of our very own and of different countries. Call me an adventurous kind of person who is open to all kinds of culinary delights may they be made from unorthodox ingredients.

Special California Maki
I thought I've tasted the best California Maki but Sekitori's Special California Maki is a level above the rest. Get to taste the cucumbers, mangoes, crab sticks, and avocado, laced with vegetables and special sushi sauce, plus the salmon roe and caviar makes it more exquisite.

Lapu-Lapu no Nitsuke
The Lapu-Lapu no Nitsuke is made up of the high class fish we know as Lapu-Lapu and is boiled using the Japanese cooking technique. It was delicious but a bit salty for our taste. Though that may be the authentic taste in Japan where the fish is cooked in a soy sauce-based sweetened soup. This would be great to have for take-out and taken with rice, the Filipino staple food. I'm sure there will be lots of happy tummies fulfilled.

Salmon Lovers Maki
Another fusion sushi that Sekitori has is the Salmon Lovers Maki, a sushi roll with shrimp tempura as filling.It is topped with salmon sashimi and also laced with vegetables and special sushi sauce. This dish will never fail to impress even the most critical of the critics. As what the Japanese owner said, the sushi rolls are the most popular dishes in the restaurant and you will not wonder why once you've tasted their different varieties.

Uni Iri Chawang Mushi
The Uni Iri Chawang Mushi is a very interesting dish and is my first time to have one. They prepare this by mixing chicken egg with flavored stock, then putting it in the cup cum small pot with lid, with fish, chicken meat, and vegetables, then seaming it. Sekitori adds fresh sea urchin meat on top with soy sauce-based sauce and steams it further.

This profound cuisine that seems like more than just a simple egg custard could prove to be a challenge to any chef, but I totally loved the combination of tastes brought about by the different ingredients.  I actually finished all except for the spicy component.

Karasu Karei no Saikyou Yaki
The Karasu Karei no Saikyou Yaki is composed of grilled Greenland Halibut or Turbot, a fish variety with firm meat and fat aplenty. The fish is found in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific. In this case, Hokkaido, where it is exposed to extreme cold. It is rarely found in water warmer than 4˚C.

The fish is marinated for several hours in a paste of sweet, white miso from Kyoto and mixed with various original seasoning.

Again, my seatmate and I agreed that it was too salty for our taste since Filipinos are more into the sweet delicacies.

Sekitori Chanko Nabe
A daily lunch for sumo wrestlers, the Sekitori Chanko Nabe is the specialty of the house. This special hotpot is composed of pork meat and bone, chicken meat, prawns and dozens of assorted vegetables cooked for five hours to make the soup. If you are looking for guaranteed satisfaction, the hefty serving of vegetables, and the homemade noodles to match, is perfect for health and beauty.

I love to sip soup or broth that is filled with a mixture of taste coming from the many ingredients it has, and knowing that the vegetables is healthy fr the body, it adds more assurance that I'm having something beneficial to my health.

Salmon Nanban Teriyaki-Fu
The Salmon Nanban Teriyaki-Fu is fried salmon topped with special teriyaki and homemade tartar sauce. Just  remember to moderate the spicy seasoning by having more of the partnered veggies in every mouth-full.

Hon-Maguro Oo-Toro Nigiri Sushi
The Hon-Maguro Oo-Toro Nigiri Sushi has Superlative Tuna direct from Japan. Superlative Tuna is that portion of fish belly that is near to the head of the tuna. With plenty of fat, you can savor the feel of the melt-in-your-mouth ex.perience. It is excellent as sashimi, and outstandingly compatible with sushi rice.

Shinsu Premium Beef Steak
Sekitori has the highest ranking Wa-gyu A5 and available now is the beef from Shinshu, Nagano Prefecture. Scientifically analyzed and found to be with strong flavor component, it has been certified as Shinsu Premium Beef Steak. You get to cook the meat yourself with the a small cylindrical hot plate beside the dish.

Assorted Japanese Sweets
Serving the best for last with the Assorted Japanese Sweets, a total feast for the eyes for being colorfully presented. This dessert is made up of two types of seasonal traditional Japanese sweets made from the Sakura blossom that color the Japanese spring season, and the pudding-like cake made with green tea and soybean flour.

The Sakura moshi wrapped in Sakura leaf and pickled with salt is simply something worth salivating on for its exquisite taste. The Sakura crystals containing Sakura bean paste offers another wow factor that you'll love just as the pudding-like cake that is quite a memorable treat.

Together with President Seto Masakazu with Chef kamimoto and Deputy Chef Ume
I would like to thank President Seto Masakazu for having us, as well as Chef Kamimoto (Evangelist n Japanese Cuisine who has devoted three decades of introducing Japanese cooking to the world) and Deputy Chef Ume (only one in the Philippines with specialty in Kyoto cuisine).

So what are you waiting for? Make sure you visit Sekitori Authentic Japanese Restaurant where "authentic" is not an exaggeration but a reality.

Mata iketai desu~

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