I’ve always loved Japanese food. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been eating at Japanese restaurants. Back in the day, we used to go to Saisaki all the time as well as several other Japanese restaurants in Alabang. Growing up, Japanese food was always present. Whenever I go to buffets, without fail I’ll be getting plates of sashimi. With more and more Japanese restaurants popping up, there are a lot of options on where to eat. There’s the fastfood, restaurant, and fine dining level. Even the fastfood Japanese places are getting more expensive in terms of value for money. I’m always in the mood for Japanese food and thus, always on the lookout for the best Japanese restaurant.
I first discovered Little Tokyo in Makati around 3 years ago. Imagine my delight upon finding out that there’s a whole little community dedicated to serving Japanese food! They have practically everything in Little Tokyo: Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Gyoza, Ramen, Sushi, Donburi, Yakitori, Kakigori, and the list goes on. There are several restaurants in the establishment, each having their own specialty. My personal favorite is Izakaya Kikufuji because of the fresh sashimi, delicious mains, and affordable prices. A lot of people eat here as well, making Izakaya Kikufuji the most visited (in my opinion) restaurant in Little Tokyo.
Lunch time is the best time to dine at Izakaya Kikufuji. They have very affordable and authentic lunch sets that will definitely satisfy. A lunch set would be around 300 pesos, complete with vegetables, appetizer, miso soup, spicy tuna salad, main dish, a bowl of rice (which you can have refilled once), and dessert or drink. This is really value for money considering the amount of food, the quality of the food, and the authenticity. So much better than Tokyo Tokyo or even other mainstream Japanese restaurants.
Must Try Lunch Sets/Mains: Chicken Teriyaki and Katsu Ni. This is chicken teriyaki that you’ve never tried before. Miles better than Teriyaki Boy. Perfectly cooked with a sesame taste makes it oh-so-delicious to eat with your steaming bowl of rice. Katsu Ni has a generous serving of katsu with egg and sweet sauce. Though not as tender as Yabu, the katsu is good in its own way. And at that price point, definitely worth it!
Another thing not to miss in Izakaya Kikufuji is their sashimi. They have all sorts of sashimi, not just your tuna and salmon, and you could order different platter sizes. Their sashimi is imported from Japan and the freshest I’ve had in Manila. Special mention: squid, scallop, and hamachi sashimi. Their tamago is out of this world as well. It’s usually sold out so if it’s available, do try it! If you’d like some carbs, have their sushis or rolls. It won’t disappoint.
One thing you SHOULD NOT MISS when you eat in Izakaya Kikufuji is their Gyu Koshi, or cubed beef skewers. These are juicy, melt-in-your-mouth, squares of beef that are just so delectable that you’ll have to have another one. Though a bit pricey at 100+ pesos for 4 pieces, I assure you that it’s worth it.
For health conscious, or those who’d like some vegetables, try their salads. They’re all good and mostly just a matter of preference as to which you’d order. Aside from this, their roasted onigiris are good and can be shared among two people, if you’re feeling generous. Their grilled squid head is surprisingly delicious as well! Gindara is to die for, or if you’re feeling less indulgent, the sanma or saba is good too.
No matter what you order in Izakaya Kikufuji, it will surely be delicious. Believe me, I’ve eaten here countless times and tried all sorts of dishes and I’ve never been disappointed. I’ve introduced different people to Izakaya Kikufuji and all of them loved it. They’ve been coming back to eat there with their other friends and recommend it as well!
I’d say Izakaya Kikufuji is mostly more affordable than Sumo Sam, Red Kimono, John and Yoko, and the like and tastes much better too! Once you try the food in Little Tokyo in Makati, you’ll never look at Japanese food the same way again. If you want to have a good lunch or dinner experience in Little Tokyo and are fond of sashimi and other Japanese dishes, do try Izakaya Kikufuji. I swear, you will not regret it! I will definitely keep coming back. This is probably my favorite restaurant that’s value for money and accessible.
Now to encourage you even more…
Little Tokyo, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
(Behind Mile Long, beside Makati Cinema Square)