Thursday, November 25, 2021

Tokyo in the Metro: Highballs, Yakitori and More at 102 Izakaya in Top of the Glo

Highballs, yakitori, Beef Usuyaki and makimono, the red sun always rises at 102 Izakaya in Top of the Glo...

102 Izakaya at Top of the Glo in Glorietta takes you through the narrow alley ways of Tokyo's vibrant "izakaya" culture with a wide array of sumptuous dishes and specialty handcrafted cocktails. Step inside and stay for round after round of tasty bites and soothing libation, just walk all the way to the end at Top of the Glo and you'll find 102 Izakaya. It's one of Makati's best kept secrets and the perfect reason to raise a toast along with some yakitori fresh off the grill. And the red sun always rises at 102 Izakaya...

Literally translated as "stay-drink place," the izakaya is the Japanese version of the typical British pub, Spanish tapas joint or American bar offering savory bites along with beer and cocktails. And just like a true izakaya, finding it and spotting the right red lanterns becomes part of the experience. 

Once at Top of the Glo, walk past the countless restaurants of Japan Town and head for the far end. With its al fresco dining area and spacious interiors brightened up by distinctive Japanese design elements, 102 Izakaya transports you to the backstreets of Tokyo with their sumptuous food, drinks and that unmistakable vibe coming together in a seamless blend. Al fresco dining is now a part of the new normal, and you'll find that at 102 Izakaya. In addition, the staff implements the latest health and safety protocols mandated by the mall including frequent sanitizing, social distancing and wearing of face masks for your peace of mind. 

Immerse yourself in the cool izakaya vibe with the refreshing libations at the bar including a selection of Suntory Kakubin Highballs and specialty Cocktails for a spirited start at 102 Izakaya. Fancy something sweet with a mild bite? The Ginger Honey Lemon Highball (P 220) should do the trick. 

For me, it's the classic Highball that hits the spot. The Soda Water Highball (P 180) with whiskey and soda water garnished with lemon hits the palate with its refreshingly crisp notes to signal the start of another interesting day at 102 Izakaya. Clean and uncluttered with bold notes with a bright lemon finish, yiu can never go wrong with the classic Highball. 102 Izakaya is one of the few joints in the metro that does Highballs right.  

Feeling adventurous and looking for something different? This wicked number with its naughty blend of tequila, soju and Yakult is pretty in pink, but don't be fooled. Give some respect and she'll treat you right. Bash her pinkness and she'll have you wrapped around her finger in no time. It's sweet. And potent. Creamy, milky and sweet with just a hint of sourness from the Yakult tempered by the deep notes of tequila and soju, this deceptively demure pink drink is serious business after just a few sips. In addition to their specialty Highballs, 102 Izakaya also offers a wide selection of local and Japanese beer (like Kirin and Sapporo), whiskey and wine as well as non-alcoholic drinks. 

To complete your izakaya experience, why not have some tasty bites with your cocktail? 102 Izakaya lays out a full spread of popular izakaya staples from yakitori to kushikatsu, aburi sushi and makimonoyakimono and donburi. Start with the sumptuous Special Sushi Platter (P 1,050) with Kani Tamago, Aburi Sushi, Salmon Aburi Sushi, Crispy Shrimp Maki and Black Mamba with squid ink rice and soft shell crab...

...and Salmon Sashimi to open up the palate with clean and fresh flavors. Freshness brings all the flavors, and this is highlighted with this lavish platter at 102 Izakaya. 

The Beef Usuyaki (P 410) is one of many must-try dishes at 102 Izakaya. Imagine this, thinly sliced fork-tender premium beef belly stuffed with shiitake and crisp smoky bacon bits slathered in special sauce and you get the picture. Delicately seared for a lightly charred and crisp outer layer, the savory richness of the tender beef just punches through followed by the nutty notes of mushrooms and sharp flavors of bacon finished by the subtle sweetness of the special sauce.    

The Beef Teppanyaki with thin strips of melt-in-your-mouth beef short plate and vegetables combine for another tasty dish at 102 Izakaya. The buttery strips of beef drapes the palate with a beefy richness, tied together by the sauce. From the crisp vegetables to the fork-tender beef, the play on textural contrasts and savory flavors tease the palate, pairing well with another Highball.

Crisp and juicy, the Chicken Karaage (P 205) in Classic and Spicy variants bring flavorful bursts with each crunchy bite. An order or two should get you in that smooth izakaya vibe. A squeeze of lemon brings out even more flavors while the creamy Japanese mayo dip gives it a smooth and indulgent finish.  

102 Izakaya offers a range of flavorful variants for their Chicken Karaage, be sure to try them all with another round of Highballs. Juicy chicken topped with a delicately crisp layer, you'll soon find out that one bite clearly isn't enough. 

Fresh off the grill to your table, the specialty yakitori at 102 Izakaya completes the Tokyo vibe to your dining experience. The Yakitori Platter (P 385 for 8 pcs) offers a variety of savory skewers finished with either Shio or salt seasoning and Tare or salty sweet glaze. Personally, the Shio seasoning works for me all the time. The simple salt seasoning allows you to taste more of the natural flavors of the ingredients followed by that sharp finish enhancing the savory notes.

Each platter comes with a variety of tasty bites, including juicy Chicken Thigh, Chicken Liver, crisp Chicken Skin, Chicken Butt, Pork Negima, Bacon & Quail Egg, Fish Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom. After quick work on the Yakitori Platter, you have the option to order their specialty yakitori a la carte or per skewer at prices ranging from P 45 to P 75 each.

Or you can simplify your order with another Yakitori Platter. Much simpler, right? Each variant offers unique flavors and textures with subtle smoky hints from the grill adding to the savory notes. It's the variety and distinct flavors from each skewer that bring a whole range of flavors with each bite guaranteeing that perfect pairing with a Highball. 

From the silky smooth finish of the Fish Tofu... the intense richness of the crisp Chicken Skin...

...the unctuous notes of the Chicken Butt...

...and the deep palate-draping flavors of Chicken Liver, the Yakitori Platter is a mandatory order at 102 Izakaya. That's why the red sun always rises at Top of the Glo.

If you're still game, order the 102 Special (P 450) with one more cocktail for the road. The intricate Makimono with anago or eel, crabstick, cucumber, ebiko or roe and cream cheese topped with shrimp is elegantly plated feeding the eyes before the palate. Best enjoyed in one bite, the distinct flavors and texture of each component come together in a lavish and balanced blend.  

From soothing Highballs and specialty cocktails... savory offerings, 102 Izakaya is one of the metro's secret gems. And when you need that much needed pick-me-up to start or end your day, just head on over to that one spot where the red sun always rises. At 102 Izakaya...

102 Izakaya is located at Japan Town, Top of the Glo, Roofdeck Level, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Makati or call 8353 2067 and 0956 304 6739 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page at for more information and updates.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, check out these social media accounts for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...