Japanese Modern Meets Traditional at Mangetsu

8:18:00 AM

Searching for an authentic but somewhat different take on Japanese food? Look no further than Mangetsu. Located along Jupiter Street in Makati. This contemporary Japanese-style restaurant is large and expansive, seating up to 80 guests. The interiors are decorated with intricate touches, like an expansive ceramic collection and an array of sake bottles displayed on wooden shelves.

Owned by politician Manny Zamora and managed by Japanese chef Masaaki Ishikawa, Mangetsu gives utmost important to cleanliness. It uses ozone water to cook the food and clean the dishes. And to make sure the experience is germ free from start to finish, guest are handed towels of sanitized alcohol to clean their hands before the meal.

Mangetsu doesn’t offer the usual traditional Japanese fare. Aside from the popular tempura and agedashi tofu, it also offers some surprising flavor combinations that intrigue and delight. We started with the multicultural Tuna and Salmon Carpaccio, an Italian-inspired sashimi dish using a special fish sauce from Thailand, and sprinkled with sesame seeds and fresh lettuce. Five lovely slices each of tuna and salmon were all we had, just enough to stimulate our appetites.

The next course, Shrimp Rice Gratin, was more filling. We got to enjoy a humongous sizzling hot plate of peppery rice topped with a generous serving of shrimps, smothered with bechamel sauce and cheese, and baked for a decadent crusty finish.

What else tempted us? The Sea Urchin Omelet, for sure, served with a thick chicken broth sauce, the omelet may be a bit overpowering but uni fans will surely enjoy it. To finally glutton our hearts out, we had the chicken Karaage Fried Thighs that you can playfully dip in any of three flavored salts - salt and pepper, green tea salt and Chinese salt.

Want more? Then give Japanese sake (fermented rice wine) a try. We loved the Merin sake which Filipinos tend to prefer because of its sweet taste. And it’s best savored with an order of the cold Zaru Soba served with a dipping sauce.

Since Mangetsu re-opened two years ago, it has become the go-to place for Japanese food with a refreshing nouveau twist. With both traditional and modern takes on Japanese food, you’ll never have to order the same thing twice.

36 Jupiter Street Bel-Air Village, Makati City.
For reservations, call (02) 478-3292.
FOOD Magazine (July 2012) ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc.

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