T and I had the chance to be among the first to dine in the newly opened Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant last week in MOA and we both had an awesome experience. Aside from meeting fellow food bloggers for the first time, we were also able to sample Watami's amazing signature dishes and it was indeed a lunch that we will always remember.
Established and well-known in Japan. It also has a number of very successful outlets overseas like Hong Kong and Singapore providing excellent Japanese cuisine. Brought here in Manila by the Bistro Group whom you can always trust when it comes to excellent food and efficient service.
The interiors of the restaurant is modern and sleek yet the atmosphere is very relaxed which T and I loved. We really liked its cozy vibe where you get a sense of comfort lounging around while dining at the restaurant.
Watami offers a wide variety of signature drinks that will truly tickle your taste buds. The meal started off with a round of drinks for everyone. The Green Citrus Tea Drinks (P145) were truly unique and refreshing. They had the right amount of sweetness and with a subtle hint of citrus that we all liked.
Fellow foodies had these amazing Apple Berry Soda (P195) and Fresh Kiwi Squash (P150). A fresh twist to classic soda that is both unique and thirst-quenching.
Up next was the Lychee Grapefruit Soda (P150) and Mango Snow Mountain (P165). These are just a few of Watami's wide-array of unique and excellently prepared drinks and coolers. Watami really mastered the art of creating new flavors by blending classic ingredients with unique ideas. Everything was really good and refreshing not to mention visually stunning as you can see from the photos.
First to arrive at our table was the Assorted Sashimi (P425). Fresh Salmon, Tuna, Scallops and Shrimp exquisitely arranged in a platter along with seaweeds and a dollop of wasabi. The freshness of the Sashimi was top-notch and the taste and texture were truly amazing.
Next to arrive was Watami's Caesar Salad with Hot Spring Egg (P320 Full, P200 Half). Fresh greens drizzled with zesty Caesar Salad dressing and topped with soft-boiled egg, bacon bits and croutons.
Followed by their unique Watami Salad (P350 Full, P220 Half). Fresh lettuce and brocolli mixed with shrimp and grilled chicken topped with strips of nori and Watami's signature dressing and tuna mayo. T really liked this salad especially the combination of the fresh greens with Watami's tuna mayo.
I on the other hand, really liked the Sapporo Seafood Ramen Salad (P375). Bed of greens and corn topped with shrimp, strips of kani and nori and ramen noodles mixed with egg slices and drizzled with Watami's signature dressing. The combination of the flavors were really GOOD! I can eat this salad any time of day!
While I was enjoying my salad, this amazing dish arrived. Watami's Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot (P190). Mixing the thin slices of marbled beef with the rest of the ingredients and watching it cook in the hot stone pot was truly an experience. The aroma alone was really REALLY appetizing!
This dish was fantastic! The combinations of the flavors were sublime. The beef was incredibly tasty and the sauce perfectly blended with all the ingredients. I will definitely go back to Watami for this bad boy!
Next was the Salmon & Vegetable in Rice Paper (P185). The fresh vegetable and salmon spring rolls is a perfect balance of taste and texture. The crisp and fresh vegetables compliments the soft and moist flesh of the salmon and accentuates its delicate flavor.
The Pork Cutlet with Scrambled Egg Rice in Tokyo Style (P295) arrived next. And being the pork lover that I am, this one definitely hit the spot. The pork cutlet was soft and yummy and the sauce and scrambled egg gave the rice a burst of umami goodness.
Up next was the Assorted Skewer (P295). It's a combination of Pork & Enoki Mushroom Skewer, Chicken Thigh Skewer, Beef & Spring Onion Roll Skewer, Chicken Breast Skewer and Chicken Wing Skewer.
All were perfectly grilled and basted with Watami's special sauce. The meat was moist and full of flavor. Definitely one of the best Yakitori's we've ever tried.
The Beef Sukiyaki (P365) came next. Thin slices of quality beef, mushrooms, greens and tofu simmered in broth. The blend of flavors of this dish was great and the freshness of ingredients was undeniable. They also offer a Hokkaido Sumo Wrestler Hotpot (P380) and a Korean-style Spicy Miso Hot Pot.
Aside from the hot pot, Watami also offers the Self-Grilled Short Ribs (P295). Slices of premium beef served with potatoes and a chunk of butter.
I love the interactive experience that Watami provides to its customers. You can sear the beef to your preferred doneness right at the stove placed on your table. The sizzling and aroma of the beef and butter will surely whet your appetite even more.
And just like the short ribs, Watami's Chicken Cutlet with Scrambled Egg Sauce (P285) also gives you a fun and interactive dining option.
While the sauce is simmering, you can crack an egg over it making an amazing scrambled egg sauce that perfectly compliments the enticing breaded chicken cutlet. T and I absolutely loved this dish and will definitely order this when we go back to Watami.
While the beef and chicken cutlet was sizzling away, Watami's Ramen in Spicy Miso Soup (P380) arrived. I was not able to try this but they said that it was good and well executed just like all the other dishes. This Ramen is definitely perfect for the cold weather ahead.
The Gomoku Pot Rice (P345) is Watami's version of kamameshi rice. The dish is served at your table while the rice is still cooking. The flames will automatically turn off when the rice is cooked and you can enjoy the dish while it still steaming. COOL!
Next to be served was the Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki (P295). It is a type of Japanese pancake with assortment of ingredients. Their version has seafood and was topped with Bonito Flakes that added an extra umami kick to the dish.
Another Teppan dish was next to arrive called Tonpeiyaki (P275). It's a type of Japanese omellete with pork, cheese and cabbage drizzled with a flavorful sauce topped with spring onions. I liked this dish a lot and it's unmistakably prepared with great technique and skill.
Then came Watami's signature pizzas. Their Pizza topped with Teriyaki Chicken (P275) was first to arrive. The taste was familiar yet unique at the same time. It was savory with a hint of sweetness that we both liked.
And finally, this mouth-watering Bolognese Pizza (P315). The moment it arrived at our table, I was blown away by its presentation. Admittedly, this is the first time that I've seen a soft boiled egg on top of a pizza.
The taste was very unique and the soft boiled egg added a distinct richness to the pizza. The thin crust has a crisp edge yet doughy enough to be folded to hold the runny egg. Both pizzas were good and is definitely a must-try when you visit Watami.
Watami also serves delectable desserts just like this Mango Parfait (P225). Ice cream topped with slices of mangoes and whipped cream.
And the Chocolate Parfait (P195) topped with vanilla & chocolate ice cream and whipped cream to end an amazing meal.
Everything we tried were really good and well executed that its hard to pick which dish was our favorite. Watami was able to deliver each dish perfectly and we both became instant fans. They were able to flawlessly blend classic and new flavors with contemporary Japanese cuisine while also adding a distinct flair to their every dish.
Special thanks to Spanky Enriquez, Mitzi Navarro and Josh Torres for the wonderful lunch that will be forever etched in my memory. Also to all my fellow food bloggers that T and I met during the event, you guys rock!
Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant
2nd Level, Entertainment Mall Veranda
SM MOA, 1300 Pasay City, Philippines
Contact No: (02) 836 7141