Japanese food

Itadakimasu! New dishes to try at food hall Kiwami

Steph Arnaldo

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Itadakimasu! New dishes to try at food hall Kiwami
Get Yabu's new Tornado Omelette Curry and Hannosuke's Cold Soba with Tempura at Kiwami's BGC and Alabang Town Center branches!

MANILA, Philippines – The Standard Group food hall Kiwami isn’t just ringing in the new year with a second branch in Alabang Town Center – Kiwami is also introducing new dishes to the menu, helmed by the group’s renowned Japanese master chefs!

Kiwami’s first branch in Bonifacio Global City – which opened in 2021 – is well-loved for its Japan-inspired dining concept that houses four master kitchens in one communal space, each stall dedicated to authentic specialty Japanese fare – Yabu: House of Katsu, Ippudo Ramen, Hannosuke Tempura, and Yakitori Hachibei, plus the famous Hokkaido Soft Cream.

Here are a few new dishes from Kiwami to look forward to this 2024!

Yabu’s Tornado Omelette Curry

Known for its high-quality tonkatsu, Yabu has been around since 2011, operating under the helm of Michelin Bib Gourmand Chef Kazuya Takeda. It introduced its newest dish in December – the filling Tornado Omelette Curry with Rosu Katsu – which precedes Yabu’s upcoming new Japanese curry line this year.

Moist Japanese rice is topped with a beautiful “tornado omelette” that’s runny and silky – served beside Yabu’s signature rosu katsu cutlet that features tender and moist pork fried in its distinctly light, delicately crispy breading made from in-house panko breadcrumbs.

TORNADO OMELETTE CURRY. The term ‘tornado’ comes from the way the omelette is carefully cooked and presented within the dish. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The curry sauce itself is thick, leaning towards a sweeter flavor profile. You can adjust the spice level as you wish, and even opt for chicken katsu instead. It’s served with the usual Yabu works – cabbage, miso soup, rice, tonkotsu sauce, and fruits, alongside Yabu’s table sauces and dressings.

Hannosuke Tempura’s Cold Soba

Master chef Shinya Kaneko – Tokyo’s so-called “leader in tempura” – has produced a new Cold Soba with Tempura dish that’s as authentic as they come. Perfectly chewy soba noodles are dipped in a light but savory soba sauce, made tastier with the addition of freshly-grated wasabi, quail egg, and spring onions on the side.

COLD SOBA WITH TEMPURA. The tempura is lightly breaded and crispy, served warm alongside cold soba. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Hot and cold temperatures merge well here, as the refreshing noodle dish complements the golden-brown, crispy-light seafood tempura on the side (shrimp, squid, and fish), made with sesame oil and specialty flour, and served with Hannosuke’s heirloom tendon sauce.

Hachibei’s Baked Hokkaido Oysters

In November, Kiwami’s yakitori stall – Hachibei – introduced new Baked Miso Hokkaido Oysters and Baked Hokkaido Oysters Rockefeller to its roster of perfectly char-grilled seafood and meats. It is part of Kiwami’s Signatures Menu.

BAKED HOKKAIDO OYSTERS. The imported oysters from Hokkaido are palm-sized and meaty. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Using the authentic Binchotan Charcoal Grill of Hachibei, these tasty oysters come out heavily topped with an umami-rich miso custard that’s torched until slightly smoky, generously covering a fresh and meaty Hokkaido oyster that’s air-flown from Japan. The richness of the custard pairs well with the fresh oyster; there was no salty or “fishy” after-taste present.

Hokkaido Soft Cream Sundaes

There’s always room for dessert! Kiwami’s crowd-favorite Hokkaido Soft Cream Sundaes come in two new flavors – Maple Honeycomb and Hokkaido Boba, each one served with a lengua de gato stick. Both carry just the right amount of sweetness, since the soft-serve ice cream itself isn’t overly sweet, but more milky and creamy.

SOFT-SERVE WITH BOBA. The chewy tapioca pearls themselves aren’t overly sugary. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
WITH MAPLE HONEYCOMB. The crunchy honeycomb candies add a bite of sugary sweetness. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

If you prefer crunchy textures, the Maple Honeycomb is your best bet; but if you prefer the chewiness of tapioca pearls, Hokkaido Boba will do. Between the two, the former is sweeter.

MUSHROOM RAMEN. The vegetarian-friendly ramen of Ippudo comes with various kinds of mushrooms and soft tofu. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

For oldie but goodie dishes to try, there’s Ippudo Ramen’s Mushroom Ramen (a vegetarian-friendly option that’s rich, creamy, and infused with truffle oil) and the spicy Tantanmen that isn’t for the faint of heart.

BUTABARA PLATTER. Different kinds of flavored pork are presented – ranging from salt, soy sauce, miso, and citrus profiles. Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Hachibei’s Butabara Platter of Shio, Tare, Miso, Yuzukosho, and Sukiyaki pork skewers are great for sharing too – each juicy and soft pork stick is char-grilled at the binchotan charcoal grill for a kick of smokiness. Although simply seasoned, the distinct flavor of each pork skewer is prominent. – 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.