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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Turning Japanese

For people looking for a low key, yet authentic, Japanese food in a venue with equally quiet interiors, head for Marufuku Japanese Restaurant in the Ortigas area near an equally low key university.  The food here is that good that I am a bit reluctant to tell its exact whereabouts for fear of sharing this with other people.  But if you are one who fits the above description, then you will appreciate why this place is a well-kept secret.

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of one of the many condominium buildings in the area and the sign is big enough that you'll notice - if you happen to drive by on their street.  You can't see much from outside since all you see is the big wooden sliding door as its entrance.  Once inside, you are greeted calmly by the waitstaff (none of those yelling " 'Shai Mase!!' ") and then immediately whisked to your preferred seat, but still have time to take in the simple lines, big tall windows and high ceiling.  You will also notice that a good number of Japanese expats are in their favorite corners, so this is a good sign of things to come. 

If I were you, I'd sit at the bar where you get to see the action in the open kitchen.  Nothing hidden from sight as they served us our choice of Robata, the centerpiece of their menu, or skewered meats cooked over charcoal fire.  My husband and I had the pork belly, beef tongue, and chicken liver, which were all good, all natural; just enough seasonings to enhance the savory meats.

Oh, but being Filipino, I will have to have the tempura and got the Tempura Moriawase.  All I can say is Marufuku is the only place that cooks tempura in a way why I like tempura so much.  Many restaurants and even hotels offer this on their menu, but here, the prawns are that big and that fresh, the fish chunky, the okra and eggplant was just picked at the right time, and the batter wrapped well around the morsels with just the right crunch.  Rhapsodizing am I?  Yes, indeed.  Now, this particular secret is out.

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