Japanese food

Love Japanese breakfast? Ginza serves it in traditional and fusion ways – with unlimited coffee

Steph Arnaldo

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Love Japanese breakfast? Ginza serves it in traditional and fusion ways – with unlimited coffee
Grilled salmon belly or uni seaweed scramble? The Japanese restaurant's BGC and Ortigas branches are serving brekky from 6:30 am to 11:00 am every day!

MANILA, Philippines – Many patrons love the modern Japanese dining experience at Ginza, but sometimes, all you need is a simple, traditional Japanese breakfast to tide you over before a full day.

Homegrown Japanese fine-casual restaurant Ginza has launched a new Japanese breakfast menu of five dishes, each one highlighting the best of what Japanese breakfasts have to offer, but of course, with Ginza’s signature twists.

GINZA ORTIGAS. Ginza Ortigas’ space is a family-friendly, spacious location that’s more casual and open than its Makati City and BGC counterparts. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Ginza’s breakfast menu is currently available at the Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas branches, and will soon be offered at Ginza’s Makati City outpost. All five dishes – plus unlimited coffee refills – are served from 6:30 am to 11:00 am, from Mondays to Sundays. According to Ginza’s owners, these dishes were personally inspired by the family’s regular trips to the Ginza district, where Western influences play a part in fusion cuisine.

Most important meal of the day! What to expect

The Japanese really know how to serve the perfect breakfast – filling, nutritious, energizing, and satisfying, but not heavy on the stomach at all. It’s a well-rounded meal, complete with protein from grilled fish, carbohydrates from rice, and gut health-boosting side dishes like pickles and miso soup.

TRADITIONAL JAPANESE BREAKFAST. Your choice of grilled fish is served with the Japanese works – side dishes, rice, miso soup, and pickles. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Ginza’s ode to the OG is the Traditional Japanese Breakfast (P450), the restaurant’s most-ordered breakfast dish so far and a personal favorite of mine. It’s probably the most “authentic” option from the menu, served bento-style like in Japan. You can choose from grilled saba (mackerel), salmon belly, or hokke, which is also part of the mackerel family but fattier and less “fishy” in taste compared to saba.

HOKKE OR SALMON BELLY. Either fish you choose will be perfectly grilled by Ginza – soft and moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

It comes with Japanese rice, miso soup, tamago slices, assorted pickles, and refreshing sesame wakame salads as sides, as well as a light soy dipping sauce for the fish. The star of the show is the fish (we tried the salmon belly and hokke), which were both perfectly grilled until the thin skin is delicately crispy and slightly smoky, and the fish was juicy, moist, slightly fatty, and buttery. It really tasted fresh, and not frozen. I could have this breakfast almost every day!

PRAWN OMELETTE. This French-inspired dish lends the cuisine’s omelette to a seafood-forward bisque made from prawns. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Ginza also offers a Prawn Omelette (P480), described as a traditional French omelette topped with prawns and a prawn bisque reduction. It comes with a side of toast, butter, and jam. It’s the thin and dry kind of omelette (not the thick, runny kind like in omurice), with most of the dish’s flavor coming from the prawn bisque which is thin in consistency and rich in seafood-forward, umami flavor.

SIDE CARBS. Toast is served with butter and jam alongside Ginza’s select breakfast dishes. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

It leans more towards French than Japanese for me, but it’s flavorful, nonetheless. The prawns were really substantial, too.

UNI SEAWEED SCRAMBLE. Uni, seaweed, and egg combine for a unique take on the breakfast staple. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The unconventional Uni Seaweed Scramble (P450), on the other hand, brings more of that distinct, seafood salinity of Japanese cuisine. Fluffy scrambled eggs are mixed with uni and seaweed, swimming in a salty seaweed broth, and topped with fresh uni. The rich, buttery taste of uni and the sea-like flavor of seaweed are prominent here, but may become a bit overpowering if this is the only dish you’ll eat for breakfast. It works well as a side!

BREAKFAST DONBURI. Moist Japanese rice is topped with Japanese favorites like grilled salmon belly, thick fish cakes, tamago, and spicy pollack roe. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

If you’re looking to fill up, another favorite option would be the Breakfast Donburi (P450), a Japanese rice bowl topped with grilled salmon belly, spicy mentaiko (pollock roe), fish cakes, and tamago, served with assorted pickles. It’s like an on-the-go version of the traditional breakfast, but with extra toppings like mentaiko for a savory kick of spice, and then the fish cakes and tamago for some chewiness and slight sweetness. The assorted pickles help cut through the richness of the indulgent salmon.

UNI ZOUI. The hot rice porridge is an easy-to-eat breakfast option that can easily fill you up. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

There’s also the Uni Zoui (P250), the Japanese version of our comforting lugaw or arroz caldo – it is a traditional warm rice porridge topped with assorted vegetables like carrots and mushrooms, egg, and fresh and slightly torched uni, and served with a side of assorted pickles. It’s a hearty and flavorful porridge (with savory seafood notes, thanks to the uni and broth) that needs no extra condiments or seasonings; it’s chunky, satisfying, and warm for the soul.

GINZA FRENCH TOAST. Brioche bread is served French toast-style, with Japanese sausages on the side. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Lastly, for the sweet tooths – the Ginza French Toast (P450) features huge slices of fluffy brioche French toast, topped with burnt butter cinnamon apples and served with your egg of choice, syrup, and Japanese arabiki sausage. The bread was very thick and soft, that the syrup and whipped cream were easily absorbed, so I felt like it needed more sweetness, toppings, syrup, and cinnamon flavor from the apple slices, which I would’ve also preferred a tad softer.

My unexpected favorite element were the tiny arabiki sausages actually – a welcome salty contrast to the sweet dish, which would be a good cap-off to any of the savory breakfast meals.

Ginza serves ala carte iced or hot brewed coffee for P140; you can get a long black, cafe latte, hot cappuccino, cafe mocha, matcha latte, or espresso. They also have fruit shakes (P195): watermelon, mango, pineapple, and orange.

Ginza BGC is located at the Ground Floor of Icon Plaza, along 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, while Ginza Ortigas is located at the Ground Floor of Augustin 1, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, San Antonio, Pasig City. – Rappler.com

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.