Thursday, August 13, 2015

Japanese comfort food at Yaku

About two months ago, I was able to dine at Yaku Japanese Grill (“yaku” means “grill’ in Japanese). Yaku has been at the Podium Mall for how many years already and it has been a favorite Japanese restaurant for some.

Although the entrance of Yaku is quite hidden because of the huge pillar blocking its view, the interior of the restaurant has this “zen” vibe. Yaku has this homey ambiance because of its warm lighting and mostly wooden fixtures.

My companions chose the area wherein low-lying tables with wooden benches cushioned with pillows make it look like you’re dining seated on the floor, Japanese-style! I also noticed that Yaku has this “service button” on tables which you can use if you want to call their staff. They also have this cute paper placemats with chopstick holder.

We were all famished so we ordered from the donburi (rice toppings) section and of course their specialty, yakitori (skewered or grilled). While waiting for our orders, they gave us complimentary fried anchovies (dilis). It was sweet, spicy and crunchy but bitin! (it was just a small serving).

Finally, our orders came. The Yaku Platter (PhP 229) is for those who want to have a sample of Yaku’s various yakitoris. It has gindara (cod fish), butabara (pork belly), asparamaki (asaparagus wrapped in bacon), uzura (quail eggs), okura (okra), and negima (chicken with onion leeks). I liked the uzura and asparamaki (because I love eggs and bacon!).

Yaku Platter

I’m not really a fan of Japanese cuisine, so I usually order the “safe” one—the katsudon (PhP 239), well you can never go wrong with a katsudon! The pork is tender and the breading is thin and the flavor is just right, not overpowering. The Japanese rice (short-grain) served with it was still steaming hot and quite plenty. I was able to finish the breaded pork off, but consumed only half of the rice. I also liked that it was topped with egg and a few strips of nori (seaweed).


My friends, on the other hand, had tendon and gyudon. Tendon (PhP 239) is breaded shrimp, siliago and crabstick on top of steamed Japanese rice. Gyudon (PhP 239) is beef strips with onions, raw egg and mirin sauce. I haven’t tasted it, but they too were satisfied with their orders.


Fried anchovies and Gyudon

Yaku’s servers were friendly and attentive although I find their service kinda slow to think that there were only a few of us dining at that time (weekday, late dinner). 

Yaku Japanese Grill is located at 3F, The Podium Mall in Ortigas Center, Madaluyong City.


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