It’s always a great idea to spend the time dining at a restaurant inside a mall while waiting for the heavy downpour of rain to stop outside the walls. Why not, especially if the place is located inside the posh S Maison retail complex in Conrad, the newest hotel that opened at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City…
That’s what got me and a friend “stuck” (but we loved the experience) at Chibo Okonomiyaki–one of the newest Japanese restaurant to open here in Manila.
It was a rainy, rush-hour, Friday night, when me and my friend opted to check out S Maison mall, which is just a few blocks away from our workplace. The restaurant was name-dropped by a friend who recently visited the spot one relaxing weekend and swore to me it was worth trying…
And he was right! I figured, I should have looked out for a Chibo restaurant and included it in my itinerary when I visited Osaka in 2014. As one of their servers explained, the origins of this restaurant is at Osaka’s famed Dotonburi. Had I know it was one of the famous restaurants in Japan specializing in okonomiyaki, I would have gone there and tried it out.
Good thing, they’re here now, within reach for us Filipinos who have an affinity with Japanese food!! I can come here anytime I want while preparing for another seat sale bound for Japan which I hope would be soon.
I’ve tried okonomiyaki before at some food outlets and the taste was so-so. Can’t say I love it back then, but after tasting one variant at Chibo, I am now officially a fan.
So after settling at one of their comfortable tables that already have built-in teppanyaki hot plates, we immediately looked up their menu. It’s surprising to note that the price is not as high-end as the place looks. Prices range from P190.++ Not at all bad really, considering its location, and the taste–so promising. Our gut feel is telling us we are at the right place…
We decided to order one of their Okonomiyaki set–Set 2 which is priced at around P900+ only and already includes one Chibo Okonomiyaki, one plate of yakisoba, their version of a pork omelette, a bowl of salad and dessert. We added a grilled salmon, a miso soup for me, and corn soup for my friend, their ice tea house version, and fresh buko juice.
Funny thing we found is that the corn soup doesn’t have corn, and the miso soup, have no bits of soft tofu. But it tasted real corn soup, and the miso soup was really delectable. I just hope they would put in some blocks of tofu for added texture and authentic Japanese miso taste.
From the set we ordered, they first served the fresh garden salad. The thin pork slices on it complemented the greens and gave off a balanced and refreshing crunchy, tangy-sweet taste. The dressing was already incorporated so no need to look for a dip.
They served the yakisoba next. Just hearing it sizzle on the preheated teppan plate made our stomachs grumble fast. But we decided to hold onto our chopsticks just until the okonomiyaki is served.
We didn’t wait too long. Finally, the star of the night arrived…
It was truly a feast for our senses! After sliding the okonomiyaki onto the hot plate, the server immediately drizzled the hot pancake with mayonnaise, the green powder then topped it with bonito flakes. It was truly a delight…and the taste? It was heavenly…yummmmmm….!!!
We found ourselves digging in, our chopsticks busy trying to take in as much as possible, chunks of the okonomiyaki and brave the heat even if it seared our tongues a bit. We just blow on it as fast as we can so it can cool faster. We’re hungry! I was thinking: This is Okonomiyaki. Real Okonomiyaki. The taste of vegetables and the pancake itself is superb, add to that is the crunchy but juicy bacon slices that goes inside it.
My friend and I agreed that given the huge serving, the Okonomiyaki Set, which is normally good for 2 persons, can actually accommodate 3 to 4 persons. Maybe depending on one’s appetite.
It was followed by the salmon steak…
The salmon was a winner! I had to let go of a second serving of the yakisoba just so I can start munching on it.
We stopped to rest for a while. Our stomachs already full but satisfied. But later on, our server reminded us there’s still dessert! Oh my, we nearly forgot…the Blancmange with Mango Puree…
Our server explained it’s made of coconut milk. So healthy and cool, perfect for ending a heavy carb-protein meal combination. 😀
As I said earlier, the serving size here, based on our own opinion, is best for at least 3 to 4 persons. Because we can’t finish it all off, I had to take out our unfinished okonomiyaki and pork omelette. We tried to eat all of the noodles.
It’s such a gastronomic adventure for us. Do I need to say just how I’m so eager to return here? There’s so much in their menu worth trying.
Oh yes! I will with another bunch of friends who are Japanese food lovers themselves and make them a believer… 😀