I’m no expert with Japanese food but I’ve always been fond of it, the cooked ones particularly. And even though I have visited Tokyo before, I am ashamed to say that my experience with this cuisine is quite limited to ramens, tonkatsus, gyozas and tempuras from a popular Japanese fastfood here in Manila. I was quite excited then to try out Saboten’s offerings, it’s not everyday that I get to pig out on Japanese dishes.
|SABOTEN GLORIETTA’S VERY JAPANESE INTERIORS|
The restaurant is located on the ground floor of Ayala Center’s Greenbelt 5 in Makati. It has another branch at BGC, but I haven’t visited that one yet. Saboten originated from Japan, you might say that it is the Jollibee of Japan when it comes to tonkatsus. They have numerous branches at every corner and malls of Japan, not to mention the 500 branches all around the globe. This is a popular place to have your tonkatsu fix indeed.
|I’M LOVING THE INTERIOR’S CLEAN LINES|
|NICELY DESIGNED PARTITIONS FOR PRIVACY|
Being located on a mall, I really didn’t have high hopes for the interiors of the restaurant but I was quite surprised at how classy and how very Japanese everything was as we entered its premises. Their dining halls are subdivided into mini spaces by unpainted vertical wooden balustrades. It was quite clever; enough to block the outside area, making you feel a bit of privacy inside, but still transparent enough to make the place feel uncluttered.
|AGEDASHI TOFU ~ PHP175.00|
For starters, we were served with chicken salad with bang bang ji dressing and agedashi tofu.
Salads aren’t really my thing, so I passed up on that one and concentrated my chopsticks towards the traditional Japanese deep-fried tofu, which was wonderfully crisp and soft at the same time. I ordered for a can of Kirin Ichiban beer and it was perfect.
|SHRIMP FRY SET ~ PHP450.00|
For the main course, we were treated with all the fried goodness of Saboten’s miso katsu tenderloin, shrimp fry, curry loin, claypot chicken, oyster set, sweet and sour chicken nanban, ginger pork shogayaki with sweet radish steak, and of course, their original tonkatsu, both the tenderloin and loin set.
It was as overwhelming as you might have imagined it to be. We were ten in the group and still, it was way too much. I thought we would order Saboten’s whole menu!
|CLAYPOT CHICKEN SET ~ PHP395.00|
Saboten’s prices are a bit on the high side for a simple chap like me, but their serving size were quite generous. More than a few of their dishes were definitely good for sharing. Food presentation was also quite decent; good plating with nice accents and textures. It defnitely made my mouth water while waiting for my friends to finish taking their Instagram photos, lol.
And as for the taste, I absolutely love everything. It may be that I’m more biased on all things fried when it comes to Japanese food, but Saboten’s take on my favorite tonkatsu was better than what I’m usually accustomed to on my go to Japanese restaurant. Aside from their miso katsu tenderloin set, my favorites include their claypot chicken and their gravy-filled curry loin set.
|CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CREAM CAKE ~ PHP195.00|
For desserts, plates of chocolate hazelnut cream cake and sesame sansrival cake along with glasses of strawberry parfait were laid on our table. We were unabashedly full but were game enough to have a few more bites. And what a bite they were, the chocolate hazelnut cream cake was simply amazing. I totally forgot about the two other offerings and filled what little space left on my tummy for it.
Address: Ground Floor, Glorietta 5, Ayala Center,
Glorietta Complex, Makati City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 625-0909
Open Hours: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM Daily
Facebook: Click Here
GPS Coordinates Map: 14.551552, 121.027070