Sunday, October 6, 2013

Izakaya Kenta : Authentic Japanese Cuisine Reintroducing Itself in Adriatico

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The saying that you should not judge a book based form its cover is very appropriate for these Japanese restaurant located in Malate that we had the opportunity to visit one rainy night after an event that we attended at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. My kids and I took a taxi cab from SMX to attend the grand launch of the Japanese restaurant located in Adriatico, and we were amazed at the interiors of the restaurant. The exteriors looked similar to other Japanese restaurants, but the inside was surprisingly magnificent.

The Izakaya Kenta that offers authentic Japanese cuisine is not really new but its under new management. It was formerly located in Pedro Gil St. Malate, Manila, in front of Hyatt Hotel for 13 years, and now reopens in Adriatico St. near Remedios Circle at the Ground Floor of the Malate Bayview Mansion.

The new owners decided to reopen the Japanese restaurant at a better location, and believe me when I say that the new interior design was like stepping inside an authentic Japanese restaurant in Japan. It was really sophisticated and intricate in design. Kudos to the creative and talented people behind the new interiors. I'm sure this beats the design of the former venue. The ambiance at this restaurant was too good

Of course, compliments to the chef for serving us authentic Japanese cuisine that's worth every centavo of your hard-earned money. Imagine a wonderful authentic Japanese dining experience at a very convenient place in the Metro.

The event was also very creatively done as guests were treated to some "origami" challenge. Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The art has evolved into a modern art form. The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami. There were patterns and instructions to follow, and prizes were given to those that successfully accomplished the requirements to win.

The very first thing that sparked my interest to an extreme high was the Tatami Mats located inside the private rooms. This must be a fun way to dine because you'll get to experience how traditional Japanese folks do it during the old days, and even now where the tradition is still being practiced.

Customer may opt to dine inside privately as the rooms can be closed, or sit at the main dining area, or at the bar along with other customers of Izakaya Kenta.

These were the ones served to us that night. Starting with some drinks and appetizers, followed by the main course, a demo of sushi preparation by their Chef, then finally some sake and dessert. Wow!


One of my blogger friends was just to eager to take photos, and it was very unfortunate that night that I already ran out of battery power so I was not able to take a lot of photos. I took a video of their Chef while preparing sushi so that should make up forthe lack of photos, and I will also post some of my pics from my phablet using the built-in cam.

 Video of Sushi preparation performed by their Izakaya Kenta Chef

Of course, after the activity, the guests were finally treated to a series of delectable Japanese dishes, served one dish at a time per table, so that everyone can share and really appreciate the distinctive taste of real and authentic Japanese cuisine.

The Supagetti Sarada Potato Salad could very well become my new favorite in terms of starters. It really brought out an appetite.

Ice Tea was my choice for the night but they also serve Ocha (Hot Tea) or Mugi Cha (cold tea).

 The Santenmori is a three piece meal of sashimi composed of raw tuna (Maguro), yellow fish tail  (Hamachi) and squid (Ika). Everything else that also serves as decorations(leaves, carrots, sea weeds) are all edible. This is a perfect example of food art!

One of the Izakaya Kenta servers with the Tako Potato.

The Tako Potato was "Oh, so good!" that I really enjoyed every bite!

Oishisou, tabetai! Just looking at the Sushi Platter or Mixed Nigiri-Jou makes me wanna dig in and eat them all up for myself alone...hehehe ..But I really had to control myself because I needed to share it with friends.

What follows next below are photos taken using my phablet built-in camera. I ran out of "juice" on my trusted Sony Alpha NEX camera.

Chef Dennis Ganzon uses only the freshest produce and he also probably embraces both traditional methods and contemporary trends to deliver the most authentic taste of Japan. This was a shot taken after the demo.

The  Japanese-style deep fried chicken Tori Karaage looked great even with the celfone cam, and you really must taste it to please your taste buds as well.

TheGyu Suteki - Thinly-sliced Angus beef meat with potato fries and corn bits was heavenly! It may look so simple, but the taste was far more than just pleasing.

My friends really enjoyed their dining experience at Izakaya Kenta - in fact they were among the first ones to blog about it afterwards.

My kids and I were lucky to be among the first to try their authentic Japanese dishes and be able to share the experience to the rest of the worl.

The Gindara Teriyaki with a few pickled vegetables is delectable grilled cod fish with Japanese Teriyaki sauce. This is best eaten hot off the pan but the preparation of this dish is for it to be marinated at least an hour and cooked under low flame otherwise the fish will char due to the sugar in the Teriyaki sauce.


Care for some Sake? Anyone? We had the opportunity to try out their sake but I was just not feeling well because of my sore throat so I missed out on this one.

So is this pancake, omellete or pizza? It also looks a lot like my favorite Christmas "bibingka" with a lot of toppings.

This is actually called the Okonomiyaki.  The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”.

The toppings is the same that in the Tako Potato. The topping is composed of bonito flakes, sea weeds  with special sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.

We wanted to have this for Take-out but the organizer said its no longer available that night.

Now this dessert looks like our "leche plan" with a cherry on top. But they call this one as "Purin", the Japanese name for creme caramel or custard pudding. 

The Mochi is a well-known dessert in several Asian countries including Japan. The one served to us was Green Tea flavored. I forgot to ask if there were other flavors available.

Now, can you guess which one says Izalaya and which one says Kenta?

The verdict? Well, I had a sore throat during this visit and my taste buds were not that cooperative that day. But whoah!,  I actually enjoyed every minute of my stay at Izakaya Kenta.

The ambiance exuded by the place was really appealing and conducive to eating. The presentation of the meals were very artistic and will really bring out an appetite even if you're not feeling well.

The place is not that big, but that was because they took a great effort in providing for private rooms where customers can have privacy dining with special friends, colleagues and relatives. Not many restaurants can offer that luxury or convenience. If so, it will be a very expensive venue.

The service was impeccable! Though it was a very special day being the grand launch and all, I still believe that the smiles of the servers and staff were sincere.

What is most important among all of these is that the food taste great! But the experience was made more special because every factor was all met with saisfaction. I'll be sure to come back and also recommend this place to everyone.

The Izakaya Kenta Japanese restaurant opens between 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Contact information: +632 ( 523-1874)  


Get to know more about Izakaya Kenta from their Facebook page:

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