I was recently invited by Vast Asia Dining Corp (same group that operates Chili’s, Super Bowl of China, Yomenya Goemon, Red China by Super Bowl, Nanbantei of Tokyo and La Petit Camille) to try out their newly-opened Japanese restaurant called TOKYO TONTEKI. Personally, I love anything Japanese (especially their food), so I was pretty excited about this. And though I didn’t know much about the franchise, I knew that it was a casual dining restaurant and that their specialty was pork dishes. I was in the mood to try something new, so with an open mind (and a hungry tummy), I headed over to U.P. Town Center at Katipunan to sample their food.
As I learned (while dining), the word tonteki literally means “pork steak”. It is a famous local dish from Yokkaichi City Mie Prefecture in Japan, which was brought to mainstream consciousness by its owner and founder, Shusaku Namikawa. And since it has tonteki attached to its name, you can really expect most of their dishes to be made of pork (in Japan the only meat they carry is pork, but here in Manila they’ve decided to develop chicken dishes as well). Tokyo Tonteki prides itself with their perfectly prepared pork, made of thick cuts of premium, high-grade pork steak spread like a fan and served on a hot plate. They have a special way to cooking their pork that uses a unique, low-fire method that keeps the meat tender, juicy, and extremely flavourful. I just knew I was in for a treat, and let me tell you now: the resto did not disappoint.
To start, I tried the Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado and Onsen Egg (P175), which I have to say, had a very interesting flavour. It reminded me a little of carbonara (probably because of the prosciutto and egg) and a rich, flavourful salad. I really like how the avocado and egg came together to form a creamy texture which was contrasted by the saltiness of the prosciutto.
Then, on to the main course, which consisted of set meals. This one is the Regular Tonteki Set (P350), which is made of Premium Pork Steak. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it was pork because it had the texture and taste of beef. The pork is unbelievably soft, tender and flavourful.
Second set meal on the list: Cheese Tonberg Steak Set (P400), which is made of 100% Pure Ground Pork. Think of it as your burger steak, but with a Japanese twist. I love how it has a sweet sauce on top–it goes perfectly well with the cheddar cheese (again, salty-sweet).
And the last of the set meals: a Chicken Steak Set with Onion Steak Sauce (P325). This meal was made specially for the Philippines (as Tokyo Tonteki found out, Filipinos love chicken). The onion sauce was a great match for chicken, as it had a lighter flavour.
Its a little weird, but you will find this dish in the Side Dishes part of the menu. There is nothing side dish about this! Its a full meal you can even share with someone! This reminds me of a korean spareribs dish that is one of my favorite food–it is just the right amount of spicy, salty and sweet. It is so tasty, you’ll get hungry all over again (hmm maybe that’s why its a side dish).
Visit them at U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, 1105 Quezon City, Philippines / (02) 955 2269