The culinary scene at Bataan has been surprising me at every turn. First we ate at a gelateria at Stregato Gelateria, then Kapampangan dishes at Ima’s Pamangan and finally Vietnamese food at Loleng’s Hu Tieu-an. And now,we’re turning to authentic Japanese cuisine at Café Kyoto!
|THE PLAZA HOTEL’S MODERN LOBBY|
The restaurant is set at the posh second floor lobby of The Plaza Hotel in Balanga City. The interiors aren’t quite as Japanese as the restaurant is; plush velvety chairs and no-nonsense dark wooden tables line the halls. I find the ambience a bit too intimidating especially for casual diners.
|SWANKY INTERIORS AT CAFE KYOTO|
Surpisingly, for a restaurant set quite a ways away from Metro Manila, the master of the kitchen is actually a true blue Japanese chef. We were told he’s quite strict when it comes to preparing the food, using only authentic ingredients and cooking techniques that Japanese dishes require.
|PORK TONKATSU ~ PHP 440.00|
But I’m no Japanese food expert. I love my fried tonkatsus and crispy tempuras but usually shy away from their more raw offerings. So I’m just too happy that when our food arrived, which took a bit of time—a normal thing, the manager said, as they prepare the food only when ordered—they have my two requisite Japanese dishes.
|TONKOTSU RAMEN ~ PHP 290.00|
Besides those two, we were served with kani and tobiko salad, spicy tuna maki, tonkotsu ramen, big sashimi platter and for desserts, tempura ice cream. My friends were all salivating as one plate after another landed on our table, and still, they weren’t able to eat it. Pictures first. Lol.
|KANI AND TOBIKO SALAD ~ PHP 265.00|
Surprisingly, it wasn’t the tonkatsu, which has one of the best breading I’ve ever tried, nor the tempura, which really need not try hard to taste good, but the salad and the maki which won my heart, and everybody else’s too.
I’m usually not a salad person, but the kani and tobiko salad, which is a mix of shredded veggies, crab meat, and fish roe was really, really good. The freshness of the veggies and the crunchy bites of the fish roe works really well, especially with the added dressing.
|SPICY TUNA MAKI ~ PHP 240.00|
The spicy tuna maki on the other hand totally rocked. I really can’t put it any other way, but that’s just how good it is. I don’t eat maki. I can be forced to, but I really don’t like it. Café Kyoto’s maki therefore are a class into its own. It is, of course, the very fresh tuna that is the star of this show, with its creeping spiciness getting you at just the right moment as you gulp the whole thing down your gaping esophagus.
If there’s one thing you’d have to order at Café Kyoto, this tuna maki is The One.
Cafe Kyoto at The Plaza Hotel
Address: Bonifacio St., 2nd Floor, The Plaza Hotel,
Balanga City, Bataan
Contact Number: (047) 237-1037 | (0917) 310-5083
Facebook: Click Here
Open Hours: Everyday from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM
GPS Coordinates Map: 14.679585, 120.541126
BIG THANKS TO THE PROVINCIAL TOURISM OF BATAAN FOR SPONSORING OUR MEAL AT CAFE KYOTO