Sunday, August 4, 2013

Yukinohana Resto and Bar at Ortigas Home Depot

Years back I would have laughed at you if you told me there was a good restaurant at anyplace or area with "Home Depot" attached to it.  Seriously, why would you put a restaurant at was is essentially a very large hardware shop where you only go if you are building or repairing something?  Well since hardware shops in Metro Manila supersized themselves starting with those American Mall based Hardware chains such True Value and Ace all the way to behemoths such as MC Home Builders Depot, Ortigas Home Depot, Federal Hardware and Wilcon Builders.  But I disgress, basically these new fangled hardware chains have found ways to utlilize areas within their massive complexes to turn them into commercial establishments.

And one such establishment is the Yukinohana Resto and Bar at Ortigas Home Depot.  Its funny that we ended up there because we were planning to go to Pivo, the beer place but upon entering we were greeted by blanks stares and utter silence from the staff, I gestured to slowly retreat because it felt as if we were intruding some arcane ritual.  Back to the safety of outside we turned east and saw Yukinohana.

Pretty Yukinohana interior gives you an authentic feel

Japanese food for me is food you eat after gastronomic debauchery, a sort of dietary detox if you will.  And a wonderful detox combination are combination Japanese and Korean food restaurant such as Izakaya Snow Man at Polaris St, Makati and Izakaya Yukinohana Resto and Bar at Ortigas Home Depot.  There is something about minimal oil, fresh fish and spicy vegetables that make me feel quite light inside.

And nothing gives a truer air of authenticity than a national of the appropriate culinary ethnicity greeting you when you enter then scuffling to the kitchen hastily putting on a kitchen apron.  Boy this is going to be good!

Chicken and Mushroom Springrolls

Uni Rice Topping

Sashimi Plate P180

The Complimentary Appetizers - Egg, Spicy Vegetables, Kimci and Hotplate Cream of Corn
The food felt extremely authentic.  Raw and unadorned, the food was free from the drowning in sauce that filipinized name the country cuisine here suffers from.  And testament to this was a group of what seemed to be young Koreans entered to get a taste of the motherland.  The flavors here are up to the food and free from any enhancers and quite sublime.  The eel was soft and fresh with minimal sauce just drizzled on top while the mixed sashimi on rice was only emboldened by a dab of flavor from the typical soy dipping sauce.

This place is funny because the restroom is very steep climb down to what feels like a gangster den underground.  The graffitti on the wall of "bakero!  nippon!  bansai!" would probably been more authentic if done in Nihongo characters so I would be apt to believe they were done by my rather enthusiastic kababayans who were too swept up by the Yukinohana experience.

I really like this place.  Now Japanese is not were I usually eat because of my rather large appetite but this place fit the bill, a long night of drinking and eating the day before led me to want to give my system a rest.   Yukinohana Resto and Bar at Ortigas Home Depot is a place I shall be visiting again.

Tip:  Check out the Korean Grocery next door and get the two liter bottle of tomato juice.

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