Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yaku Japanese Grill: Authentic Yakitori at The Podium

Authentic Japanese dishes at affordable prices. And for the past thirteen years, Yaku Japanese Grill has been doing just that. 

One of the pioneer outlets since the opening of The Podium back in 2000, Yaku Japanese Grill continues to serve authentic charcoal-grilled yakitori specialties, remaining true to its name ("Yaku" literally means "grill") along with other popular Japanese dishes including sushi and sashimi, donburi, teppanyaki, tempura, udon and soba. Plus a selection of sake and Japanese and local beers to go with your favorite yakitori. Recently, we sampled some of Yaku Japanese Grill's specialties, starting with some sushi...

The Spicy Tuna Maki (P 155), sushi with a bite. The spiciness is not immediately felt, but each succeeding bite gradually builds up the heat. If you enjoy a spicy kick with your sushi, this one delivers.

Ebi Tempura (P 249) and Yakimeshi, Japanese style fried rice (P 55), a perfect pair and a meal in itself. Yaku's tempura is delicately crisp and light, just the way tempura should be.

The Yaku Platter (P 205), with an assortment of Yaku's grilled yakitori including Negima (chicken with onion leeks), Okura (grilled okra), Uzura (grilled quail eggs), Asparamaki (grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon), Butabara (grilled pork belly), and Gindara (grilled cod fish topped with ponzu oroshi). You can also order ala carte and choose from 18 authentic yakitori favorites. A cold Kirin and some yakitori, just perfect.

Seafood Teppanyaki (P 289), assorted seafood and vegetables with a sweet sauce. the freshness of the seafood and the vegetables make this dish another winner, with the tender seafood blending with the subtle crispness of the veggies for a cool play on textures and flavors.

Tuna Teriyaki (P 245), tuna fillet with leeks, tofu and a sweet sauce. It's simple dishes like this that make you appreciate the quality ingredients used in every dish at Yaku.

Sizzling Kaki (P 309), breaded oysters served with leeks, onions and carrots on a sizzling hot plate topped with sesame seeds. The generous helping of fresh vegetables completes this dish.

Kisu Furai (P 195), breaded sillago fish, simply seasoned and deep-fried and topped with garlic with a side of shredded cabbage. The simplicity of the dish and the subtle, clean flavors of the fish makes this another winner.

Enoki Foilyaki (P 175), winter mushrooms wrapped in foil and cooked with rich butter, mirin, ponzu and bonito flakes. Unwrap the foil to release the buttery aroma of the tender mushrooms, and just go right in. A simple dish with subtle yet rich flavors, and refreshingly different.

Agedashi Nasu (P 115), a refreshing twist replacing the usual tofu with breaded eggplant, and works quite well. Light, healthy and refreshing, with mild flavors, a cool side that pairs well with Yaku's other dishes.

And there's dessert too. Yaku's Coffee Jelly (P 69) and Wasabi Ice Cream (P 65) are just perfect to cap any meal.

Different, with the sweet notes complimenting a sharp wasabi hint. Nice.

The extensive variety and range of Yaku Japanese Grill's menu is impressive, and the service is efficient and courteous. And the secret behind Yaku Japanese Grill longevity is great, authentic food at friendly prices. Works all the time.

Yaku Japanese Grill is located at the 3rd Floor, The Podium, 18 ADB Avenue, Wack Wack, Mandaluyong or call 687-5368 for inquiries.

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