Tuesday, February 26, 2019

All You Want In One Place, at Botejyu...

Okonomiyaki. Takoyaki. Gyoza. Ramen. Tempura. Katsu. And even Wagyu Beef Ribeye Steak. Sure, there are specialty Japanese shops for each of these popular dishes. But wouldn't it be so cool to just come to one place for all these favorites?

Established in Osaka back in 1946, Botejyu began as an okonomiyaki specialty restaurant and has since grown to become a leader in Japanese food culture showcasing the best of Osaka, Aomori, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Oita, Kagawa, Kanagawa, Fukushima, Hokkaido and Tokyo. With well over 60 dishes in its impressive menu, think of it as a tasty and sumptuous one-stop shop for all things Japanese featuring the wide and diverse regional culinary specialties of Japan, all in one place right here at the new One Bonifacio High Street Mall...

Now with 13 branches throughout the metro, it seems the one-stop shop concept works. Located at the Third Level of One Bonifacio High Street Mall at BGC, Botejyu takes you on a culinary journey of Japan meticulously prepared at the always busy open kitchen. Bright and spacious, it's the place to rediscover all your Japanese favorites. 

Tracing its roots to Osaka, Takoyaki is a popular Japanese snack made with a wheat flour based batter with succulent bits of octopus and other spices. By 1955, takoyaki became such a hit that over 5,000 takoyaki shops blanketed Osaka. To maintain authenticity, all Botejyu locations use the original flour-based batter for consistency. It's this adherence to tradition and authenticity using premium ingredients, many imported from Japan, that make Botejyu a must-try option for anything Japanese. And the wide variety of dishes ensures you won't miss out on your favorites. Keep scrolling all the way to the end and you get an idea of Botejyu's extensive menu.

Diners can choose from several savory varieties of takoyaki at Botejyu, but you can opt to take 6 with the Takoyaki All-Star (P 245) featuring six flavors draped in Sauce & Mayo, Tomato Sauce, Umami Sauce and Mayo, Salt Garlic Sauce, Spicy Mentai Mayo, and Thick Spicy Sauce.

Ideal for sharing, the Takoyaki All-Star also reflects the inventive approach of Botejyu to traditional Japanese cuisine. Each one with distinct flavors, you'll really never know until that first bite adding to the fun.

No meal at Botejyu is complete without the signature Okonomiyaki. A Botejyu original since 1946, the creation pioneered the combination of okonomiyaki with mayonnaise using their very own proprietary homemade mayo, the Secret White Mayonnaise. The Osaka Premium Moonlight Oko (P 395) with beef, pork, squid and fried egg lays on layer upon layer of rich flavors from the creamy mayo and egg to the savory filling capped by the smoky bonito flakes or katsuoboshi.

The Beef and Negi Okosoba (P 430) with noodles topped with fresh spring onions is another tasty option and quite a meal in itself. The use of quality ingredients give it fresh yet bold flavors but there's more...  

The Teppan Grilled Pork Gyoza (P 200) doesn't look at all like the usual dumpling shaped variety but the flavors are just as rich with its lightly crisp outer layer seared on a teppan grill. The contrasting textures and savory notes places this high up on my list of comforting favorites at Botejyu.

Sushi rolls? Botejyu has that too. The Shrimp Tempura Sushi Roll (P 295) covered in fish roe is an Edo-style sushi with fresh and clean notes and textural contrasts. Larger than the usual roll, this is another dish that's best shared. Other savory sushi rolls include the Pork Cutlet Sushi Roll and Yakiniku Sushi Roll.

The Mixed Seafood Yakisoba (P 365) with succulent shrimps, squid and octopus highlights another Botejyu specialty with their signature noodles that goes through a tedious maturing process for both elasticity and smooth mildly chewy texture. Add some seafood and you've got another tasty meal. 

Whether you're after a light meal or a serious feast, the thick menu always makes deciding on just a few dishes quite a challenge. Juicy pork grilled in a sweet soy-based sauce sound tempting?

The Grilled Pork Rice Bowl (P 325) is a Hokkaido specialty featuring tender and savory pork grilled with a special soy-based sweet and savory sauce similar to the unadon glaze used for grilled eel. Adding some sweet notes always works well with tender pork, add some steamed white rice with fresh vegetables and it's another complete meal. Just the fragrant aroma of the grilled pork is enough to make you think you made the right choice. 

Sweet and savory with a subtle hint of smoky notes from the grill, each bite bursts with rich flavors from the juicy and tender pork, the layer of fat and the flavorful lightly charred edges. Other rice dishes include the Teppan Hamburger Steak, Garlic Rice with Bacon & Egg, Beef Hayashi Rice and Chicken Cream Stew Rice

Like many of its ingredients, the tempura batter used in all Botejyu locations is also imported from Japan. The Shrimp Tempura Platter (P 340) seems heavier and thicker than most, but it's crispness is on point. The deep-fried batter doesn't immediately lose its crisp texture when dipped in the sauce, so dip away.

And if you're really hungry...

...the Japanese Wagyu Beef Ribeye Steak (P 1,895/200 g) served with Shiokombu or salted dried kelp should do the trick. Grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center, the fork-tender slices of wagyu ribeye delivers a buttery richness that just lingers, followed by the mild salty hints of the dried kelp. A dab of wasabi also tempers the rich beefy notes for balanced flavors.

But it's the ramen that surprised me the most. Just how does it compare with those of the specialty ramen shops? Quite close, if you ask me. From the milky creaminess of the broth to the tender grilled chasiu and the noodles, all the elements of the classic ramen come together rather nicely. 

The Pork Paitan Ramen with Char Siu (P 425) inspired by the hearty cuisine of the Kanagawa region includes soft yet firm noodles in a thick pork broth infused with a proprietary oil for that flavorful punch...

...that will have you slurping all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It's these surprises that make dining at Botejyu special. Other ramen offerings include the Pork Paitan Curry Ramen with Char Siu, Chicken Paitan Ramen with Chicken Tempura and Soy Sauce Ramen with Char Siu. Offering a few dishes done exceptionally well will always have its advantages over the broadstroke approach with more dishes, but there again, Botejyu surprises you with each of their sixty plus repertoire of dishes.  

Leave room for dessert. Cap your feast with Botejyu's Honey Toast drizzled with caramel and topped with velvety smooth vanilla ice cream...

...or the Green Tea Ice Cream. When you can't decide or simply want it all, there's one place that's got it covered. All thirteen branches in the metro, including the newest at One Bonifacio High Street Mall, at Botejyu.

Botejyu is located at Level 3 of the new One Bonifacio High Street Mall, 28th Street Corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. You can also check out their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/Botejyuph/ for more information.

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