It was Cardcaptor Sakura, Naruto, Gakuen Alice, Yakitate Japan and all the other animes I’ve watched, plus the California Maki of my mother, that got me into Japanese food, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Lately, however, I’ve taken a liking to European cuisine, as seen in my previous posts. With the Japanese food fad over the years and the sudden ramen rave that led to numerous Japanese restaurants popping out in just about every corner in Manila, it has been difficult to find a legit Japanese restaurant. What do I mean by this? Well, I cannot explicitly explain it, but have you ever tasted a sushi or ramen that tasted like it’s not real? I call it the Fake Japanese Taste. It will make you go ‘bhelk what is this’? It’s like it was made just for the sake of calling it Japanese. That, my friends, was what propelled me to embark on a quest for the best Japanese restaurants in Manila.
Thanks to the technological era we live in today, we have Mr. Google at our convenience, and with him, the possibilities are endless. Oh, what a time to be alive!
It was music to my ears when I stumbled upon a certain website talking about Little Tokyo, another hidden gem in Makati apparently, that houses great Japanese restaurants. Just how many gems does Makati have? No wonder Makati’s rich.
And so, for my brother’s birthday, I treated him for a late dinner (it was a school day, but a birthday must be celebrated no matter what!) at Izakaya Kikufuji. The service was… horrible. I even had to get my own menu because I couldn’t get the attention of the waitresses. I had to really wave my arms just so I could order. Granted, the place was full, but still, good service is also what makes a dining experience worthwhile. On the other hand, the food was, as promised, delicious. The assorted sushi platter was exquisite, and the Wagyu sticks were the best! So, I said to myself, ok Desiree just endure the poor service because, come on, the food was very yummy.
Recently, I had this sudden urge to go to Little Tokyo again, and out of the blue my mom was like “Hey I heard about this restaurant called Seryna in Little Tokyo. Let’s go there!” How did she do that? I swear, I think she’s psychic. But hey, aren’t all mothers are? Haha~ So I told her “ok let’s go, let’s do this, let’s go there now!”
A few minutes later, we were standing in front of Seryna, which was literally beside the entrance to Little Tokyo. Inside my head I was saying ‘OHAYOU LITTLE TOKYO, DESIREE-CHAN IS BACK!~’, but I had to be civilized.
We went inside and I fell in love immediately. I felt like I was really in Japan! You can choose among normal seats, those steep Japanese seats that give off legit Japanese vibes, or the sushi bar seats. They also have private rooms for a more intimate dining experience. We arrived at around 11:30am so the place only had a few people, but I did notice many ‘reserved’ signs on the tables. However, as we were ordering, people started filling the restaurant and suddenly the place was packed! I suggest going in early like we did or booking a reservation in advance to get seated immediately.
We were just in time for their lunch menu, and my mom and I immediately set our eyes on the bento box! I wanted to taste another set as well, so I told her to order the bento while I ordered the Sukiyaki Gozen since I love beef. 😀
The Lunch Menu
Itadakimasu! (I just love saying this as I break my chopsticks into two~)
Makunouchi Bento (Mix Lunch Box) (P580.00). I’d give this:
Sukiyaki Gozen (P380.00). I’d give this:
The Bento was so pleasing to the eyes! It contained Black seaweed, Chicken Karaage, Assorted Sashimi, Grilled Salmon, Tempura, Salad, Miso Soup, and fruits! Everything in it was delicious! Same goes for the Sukiyaki set! One of the best Sukiyakis for me! I felt like I was eating in a rooftop of a Japanese school in my sailor uniform with the breeze gently brushing my hair~
We also had the Mackerel as well. 🙂 It’s from their à la carte menu, which had so many choices that I kind of got dizzy lol
Saba Shioyaki (Grilled Salted Mackerel) (P240.00). I’d give this:
Now, I’m not a fish person and my mother would always nag at me to eat fish while I pretend not to hear her as I eat my bacon. B-U-T, this mackerel made me want to follow my mother’s wishes from now on. THIS MACKEREL WILL HAVE ME COMING BACK HERE. I’ve tasted other mackerels, but the way this was cooked and flavored was totally different. This one’s fresh, authentic, and just downright delicious.
I wanted to exclaim ‘Oishii!~‘, because everything was so scrumptious but, again, I had to be civilized.
Now I understand why Seryna is nominated as the best Japanese restaurant in Manila. Their food is certainly authentic and worth the visit. I didn’t consume even an ounce of the “Fake Japanese Taste”. The service exceeded my expectations and was superb. Everything was so on point. Thank you Seryna for showing me what Japanese food is all about.
Seryna has unequivocally and undeniably made it to my list.
The quest shall continue!
Have a great week ahead!