MANILA, Philippines – Soft, golden tempura, with its crispy covering over tender seafood (or anything, really), is a perennial favorite to order at many Japanese restaurants. Another one has joined the lineup for hungry diners to try.
Asakusa Home of Tempura, located in The Grove Retail Row in Pasig, has just opened its doors, and Rappler recently got to try some of the dishes at a recent media event for the restaurant.
The restaurant is from the husband and wife team of fashion designer Celline Bautista and Jacob Bautista, college sweethearts who both previously worked as brokers.
Jacob learned the art of making tempura from a small restaurant in Asakusa, Japan, also manned by a husband-and-wife team.
Thus, Celline and Jacob named their restaurant Asakusa, after the beautiful town where they learned to make tempura. (READ: Where to get these 7 delicious chirashi sushi bowls in Manila)
Here’s a look at some of the dishes:
First, the tempura sets.
Shogun Set (Black Tiger Prawns) – 3 pcs, P308, 5 pcs, P488
Emperor Set, P498
2 black tiger prawns, scallop, shiitake mushroom, kani, fish, zucchini, french beans
Geisha Set, P188
Shiitake mushroom, squash, eggplant, sweet potato, french beans. This is a no-meat item.
Their tempura is very consistent. The batter is light yet crunchy, just the right texture.
You can choose the sauce for the tempura – there’s the traditional tempura sauce and the Asakusa Sauce, a little thicker and sweet, but won’t affect the crunch of the tempura.
All sets come with plain rice. Add P38 for fried rice, P40 for cold soba/udon, P50 for hot soba/udon.
The buckwheat noodles are served hot in seafood broth, while the cold noodles come with a soy-based sauce.
Here are the appetizers:
Chawan Mushi, P68
Steamed Egg and dashi broth with kani, shiitake mushroom, and chicken.
Gyoza – 6pcs, P158
Steamed dumplings with pork, shrimp and veggies inside and browned in a pan with sesame oil.
Salmon Salad, P178
Salmon over a salad of cabbage, radish, lettuce, cucumber and tempura batter flakes. The dressing is special Asakusa mix that’s made from scratch.
Here’s a photo of the shogun set with tuna salad:
Here are a few other things to try:
Salmon Maki – 8pcs, P278
You can choose to have tuna instead of salmon, P258 for 8 pieces. (READ: Where you can get these 12 sushi rolls in Manila)
Tofu Steak – 5pcs, P218
Fried tofu that comes with a thick, sweet soy-based sauce with ground beef, carrots, onions and bell pepper.
Chicken Karaage Teriyaki, P238
Deep-fried chicken with special Asakusa teriyaki glaze, served with salad on the side.
Tender beef slices with shiitake, onions, leeks and pickled ginger. The ginger adds a mild bite that balances the flavor of the beef. The egg (you can have it raw or poached), brings a certain creaminess into the mix.
Coffee Jelly, P108
Coffee jelly topped with vanilla ice cream and tempura batter flakes.
What’s your favorite Japanese restaurant in the Philippines? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com
More Japanese or Japanese-inspired restaurants in Manila:
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