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A Taste of Japan in Manila

June 25, 2018
If you’re craving a taste of Japan in Manila you’re in luck. Here are a few select restaurants serving up Nippon-inspired eats in the city.

Mecha Uma

Helmed by celebrated pan-man Bruce Ricketts, this diminutive fine-dine counter is a champion of the chef’s table concept, with seasonal tasting plates concocted in front of you, served with finesse. Using ingredients flown in directly from Japan, the innovative menu is a global-riff on Nippon cuisine; previous dishes have included the likes of tuna with coconut, foie gras mousse and roasted pineapple and rice with garlic, mushroom and wagyu. Seriously delish.

Ramen Yushoken

This laidback dining room has one principle at its core: to ladle out the most authentic ramen in Manila. Whet your appetite with an order of handmade gyoza and chahan (flavoursome fried rice) before enjoying a hearty bowl of soupy goodness – a favourite is the shoyu, served with black garlic oil and sesame seeds. Best washed down with a cold Morimoto Soba ale.


Be prepared to queue at this omakase-style resto – another Bruce Ricketts venture – but it’s well worth the wait. Inside, the understated, no-frills dining room lets the food do most of the talking: feast on the likes of ebi tempura, hanger steak and tori udon with black garlic cream. Opt for the alfresco patio on balmier evenings.


Having started life as a Salcedo Market street food stall, this popular eatery is known for its kushikatsu (deep-fried vegetables and skewered meat), while small plates include the delectable spicy tebasaki (chicken wings with sweet sesame) and braised pork with rice. Sweet tooths should save room for the handmade tochi desserts on offer. Hai!

Mecha Uma / G/F RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center 1634 / 25th St / Taguig / +63 2 964 9605 / 6pm-11pm Mon-Sat /
Ramen Yushoken / Molito Commercial Complex / Alabang / Muntinlupa / +63 2 808 7424 / 11am-11pm daily /
Ooma / Bldg D (Mega Fashion Hall) / EDSA cor Julia Vargas Avenue / Ortigas Center / Mandaluyong / +63 2 656 4591 / 10am-10pm daily /
Ikomai / 332 H.V. Dela Costa / Makati / +63 2 816 4588 / 11am-10pm Mon-Sat /