Tag: japanese

Hatsu Hana-tei: Why you need a week long reservation

Hatsu Hana-tei: Why you need a week long reservation

You’ve probably read a few dozens of food reviews covering Japanese cuisine from various Japanese restaurants in Metro Manila. What makes Hatsu Hana-Tei any different? It is probably one of the few places where we’ve been to that 95% of their customers are all Japanese patrons. Minimal old furnishes, people speaking in a language which you cannot fathom and an old Japanese chef watching manning the floor like a wait staff to make sure that customers are being served properly.

For the Japanese, it’s different, they don’t go to other countries to try other food, they tend to stick to their traditional Japanese food, and Hatsu Hana-tei is one of the places most frequented by these Japanese visitors that are here in Manila.

Hatsu Hana means first spring flower and embodies the freshness and vibrancy of a joyful renewal of the season. They stick to a very traditional cooking technique with an artful presentation, no aspect of Japanese cuisine gets overlooked and disrespected. Prepares Kasiseki-style meals and menu that is enhanced by several regional practices in Japan created by the head Japanese chef who exercises his skill with the local seafood produce.


Once you head up to the second floor of the Herald Suites hotel,  you are surrounded by the servers in traditional kimonos, they are friendly and polite.

As we enter this restaurant with bright interior and wooden walls, most people in the room looked at us quite oddly and surprised as if we were invading their private hidden place. There are three seating areas, one in the common area, in front of the bar, and tatami rooms for more private conversation.

We were fortunate enough to be with a regular patron of the establishment and we were able to nab one of the private tatami rooms. The small room is comfortable, cold, and warm. The server immediately places an appetizer and the drink of your choice once seated. A nice place to get drunk and have good conversation.

Spicy Salmon Salad


The big chunks of salmon coated in a spicy mayonnaise tossed and topped with ebiko, and tempura crumbs, accompanied by a soy sesame salad. The creamy fresh taste of the salmon

6 Kinds of Sashimi Boat: Shake, Maguro, Hamachi, Sanma, Saba, Kamachi

How to eat Sashimi the right way?

For us filipinos, we’re used to just adding calamansi or lemon to the soy sauce and mixing it with wasabi paste into the mix. We then proceed to dip it and devour it.

In Japan, they traditionally, place a small amount of wasabi paste onto the fish directly and dip proceed to dip a small portion of fish onto the soy sauce.

When they served this, I almost didn’t want to touch it since it looked so pretty. The think slice of salmon was so fresh, that when I placed it on my mouth, it melted on my tongue. The Sanma covered with ginger and scallions was a refreshing. Although not a fan of Saba Sashimi, it was a lot better than others I’ve had in other Japanese restaurants. The Hamachi was creamy and firm in texture. The Kamachi, also known as one of the highest highly prized fish in Japan, was excellent in flavor, texture and color. It was creamy, refreshing, and firm. What I like to do, is get a bunch of the shredded horseradish to add another level of texture to the fish.


Tuna Sashimi


The big slices of think and chunky Maguro Sashimi was so fresh and delicious. The quality and the freshness of the Sashimi is definitely one of the best you can find in Metro Manila.


Rainbow Maki

The beautiful colors of a variety of different kinds of fish in a collection in a platter. Truly a rainbow in its own accord. The maki slices were filled with avocado, mangoes, and tamago. All these ingredients fusing complementing that different fish that lies on top of it. Each piece tasting a little different from the other.

Insider Tips:

  • Call in advance to make a reservation, they get pretty full even on weekdays. 
  • Ask for the beer vouchers after paying for dinner for free Nama beer. Trust me, this is really good.

After having around 4 mugs of their Nama(Draft) beer,  and devouring the entire platters sashimi and maki. Hatsu Hana-tei brings you the Japanes experience, right here in the heart of Makati. Everything from the Kimonos, the small buzzer in each of the tatami rooms, and the high quality of the food is reminiscent of a traditional Japanese restaurant in Tokyo. Japanese like focusing on one dish and perfecting it.

Simplicity, authenticity and quality.


4 extra rice

Hatsu Hana-Tei

Herald Suites, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila

(02) 759 6270

Hatsu Hana Tei Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Tajimaya: My Yakiniku Done Right

Tajimaya: My Yakiniku Done Right

Unlimited grilled meat on charcoal. Need I say more?

Sushi Ninja (Alabang): Stealth in its own way!

Sushi Ninja (Alabang): Stealth in its own way!

With all the Japanese themed restaurants sprouting all over Metro Manila primarily in Makati, Ortigas and Quezon City most of which have been avidly featured in popular food & lifestyle websites there is this one small sushi nook from down south Alabang, Muntinlupa who sits quietly in the middle of Westgate Complex. The area is modestly quiet and chill. No one has been talking about this place because of biases towards location most probably or south people would just like to keep this humble restaurant for themselves.

The Matt Floro Tanjuakio, learned and practiced sushi-making at the California Sushi Academy in Los Angeles California, bringing its principles back home in the Philippines. He opened Sushi Ninja last 2016 and people from the South started patronizing his restaurant from its 1st month of opening.

This modern Japanese restaurant features warehouse-style interiors, overhead wooden lamp crates, Ninja blades stuck randomly across the room and pop art vinyl complementing and creating a laid back and minimalist Japanese ambiance.

Spicy Tuna Salad, 300 PHP; Salmon Sashimi, 320 PHP

Fresh Salmon Sashimi, and refreshing Spicy Tuna Salad.

Ebi Tempura (3pcs),280 PHP;  Sakura maki, 360 PHP

This is a sushi restaurant, so I recommend you order the Hiroshima Maki or if you want to be a bit adventurous the Covarrubias Maki that comes with chorizo. The Sakura Maki seems if you want a lighter tasting as compared to the two (2). Sushi servings are generous and big.

Shinjuku Maki, 490 PHP
Hiroshima Maki, 380 PHP

Sushi Ninja is a pioneer in bringing their signature dish the Toshi, which is inspired by the owner’s chef sensei. Deep fried balls of sushi with generous toppings. A must try is Okinawa Toshi (P360), a deep-fried sushi with cream cheese on the inside, topped with torched salmon and fish roe with a hint of truffle oil. Toshi balls may be overpowering so I suggest you share this with a group. One or two pieces is enough per person. Most people will love or disdain this dish, but you’ll be the judge.

They designed their menu to highlight the main attraction of their restaurant with an extensive variety of both traditional and contemporary take on Sushi. A modern take on sushi varieties are interesting but they still manage to not go overboard with their interpretation keeping what is essential to every piece prevalent and not compromising to what makes a good sushi dish.

If you are a determined Japanese food enthusiasts this is a good destination restaurant to go to that is if you’re from north, east or west. This restaurant is not loud and demanding. It lets its customers advocate how good their dishes are on behalf of them.

Sushi Ninja has become a go-to restaurant for those folks who live down south when they want to satisfy their want for good and fresh sushi. For its quality, taste, and value for what you pay for we are giving this restaurant a holy 4 extra rice rating!

Sushi Ninja

Westgate, Filinvest, Alabang, Muntinlupa.

+63917-837-8744 (02) 556-770


Do you want to collaborate? or recommend other places? Comment on the line below or send us an e-mail over at experience@fatgirlsdayout.com

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Ichiba: Tsukiji Market in Manila?

Ichiba: Tsukiji Market in Manila?

Inspired by the Tsukiji Market in Japan. They have various stations with Takoyaki, fresh seafoods, and grilled meats.

Yuujin Japanese Restaurant: This underrated gem in San Juan

Yuujin Japanese Restaurant: This underrated gem in San Juan

Authentic Japanese in San Juan with the freshest Salmon Sashimi.

Genki Sushi: A rocket full of sushi 

Genki Sushi: A rocket full of sushi 

I had my first Genki Sushi experience while on a vacation in Singapore, and I was really excited upon hearing that there will be one in Manila. The only question on my mind, would it be the same?

Finally, its here. And the moment I walked in, I was reminiscent of the first time i stumbled into this small restaurant full of conveyor belts, rockets, booths,unlimited green tea, Ipads, and sushi.


After fumbling a bit with the iPad finally got to order and of course, it came in the form of a yellow rocket ship. Expectations were quite high for this hungry eater.

I have to say when i got the salmon sashimi, I was sort of disappointed when it was only a few slices. Although, I have to say that when I put the wonderful mix of fish, soy sauce and wasabi in my mouth. It was this familiar dance that I so missed and craved for.

Now to try something different, this time I wanted to try something else.  Shrimp Garlic Butter The sushi rice was quite good, and the only thing I didn’t like about this dish was that it came in only 2 pieces when you order it.

Next on the list is the Seared Crab with Cream Cheese. This one was quite bland, so don’t order this if you’re looking for something with more flavour. 

Tamago Sushi I recently just learned to like tamago, for the most part, I didn’t understand why scrambled eggs could pass off as a sushi or sashimi. Well, as a new lover of this type of egg dish. I wanted to test their version. To be honest, I liked it but I didn’t love it. To be fair though, I like the serving size.


Crispy Spicy Salmon Roll This sushi I really liked. The crunch, the fresh salmon with a kick. I would recommend this if this is your first time. It’s something I will order every time I come over.

Kani Salad Sushi This was okay, I should’ve gotten the salad itself than the sushi version. Although, it was a good amount of mayo, crab stick and cucumber. Very fresh.

Overall, Genki Sushi in Manila does not disappoint(wish they served uni though). It’s the same clean, fresh sushi on the go that I remember back in Singapore. Definitely a must-try, though remember to check your running bill before you order everything and remember that there is an additional service charge on top of that.


Genki Sushi

Address: 2nd Floor, Bonifacio Stop Over, Rizal Drive Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines


Genki Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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