Friday, September 16, 2011

Konbini Tokyo Market: Great Food + Great Value

Real good Japanese food used to be found only in premium establishments, and I was pleasantly surprised to find good Japanese food and value in one place. Konbini Tokyo Market is a Japanese style grocery/convenience store with a great little restaurant inside. The grocery section is also impressive. You can find premium Japanese coffee in both ground and whole beans, Instant and ready-to-drink cans, and a variety of snack items, as well as a nice meat section with Wagyu selections. Unlike other good small Japanese outlets like the ones you find in Little Tokyo in Makati, which also offers good authentic Japanese food but often appear old and dingy, Konbini is refreshingly clean and well-lit. 

And here's a great tip. If you're looking for the authentic KitKat chocolate wafer, and not the reformulated "tropicalized" version available in other mainstream local supermarkets, you can find the Japanese KitKat editions in Dark Chocolate, Green Tea and other variants right here at Konbini. Pricey at P 100.00 per bar, but you can really taste the difference. It does melt faster, but the rich chocolate flavor is way better than the usual KitKat. 

And they have one of the best deals with their Ramen and Gyoza Combo. The set meal of authentic Cha Siu Ramen plus a platter of Gyoza goes for P 335.00, not bad for a real Japanese noodle meal.

The Cha Siu Ramen and Gyoza Meal Sets are available in three combos: Tonkotsu Ramen, Miso Ramen and Shoyu Ramen. According to the Konbini staff, the Tonkotsu Ramen set is their bestseller, and I decided to try that one.

Great combination. The briny and slightly salty white broth of the Tonkotsu Ramen perfectly complemented the light yet flavorful Gyoza. Good reco from the friendly Konbini staff.

The Tonkotsu Ramen includes thin slices of tasty smoked porkloin, some nori seaweed, scallions and boiled eggs, sprinkled with sesame seeds. You can also get the porkloin from their meat shop.

The noodles are firm and tasty. Definitely good stuff and almost similar to the ones you find in pricier establishments.

The Gyoza you find here is lighter than the thick dough and chewy varieties in other establishments, which I particularly like. It's also less oily as well, which is good for my cholesterol and BP levels. Definitely no need for meds here. 

The place has a nice and friendly atmosphere. And better yet,one of the cleanest I've seen. The branch at Connecticut Street in Greenhills is one of several outlets. The only drawback is they close at 8pm, so drop by early. Have a great value for money meal at Konbini Tokyo Market, and go shopping for other Japanese delicacies all in one place. And that's a great deal.

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