METRO MANILA | Hatsu Hana-Tei, Legit Japanese Dishes in Makati | Lakad Pilipinas

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati

My knowledge when it comes to Japanese cuisine is limited to tempura, maki, sushi (which I don’t even eat), tonkatsu, and Nissin’s Ramen. Kidding on that last part. I’m not really that familiar with anything Japanese, except for those that I get to try at the popular fastfood joint, Tokyo Tokyo. I actually go there before because I wanted to practice using chopsticks, lol. A weekend or so ago, before our actual trip to Japan, we were invited by the guys from Herald Suites in Chino Roces to try their in-house Japanese restaurant, Hatsu Hana-Tei.

HERALD SUITES’ LOBBY

Located right in front of the famous Little Tokyo in Makati, Herald Suites—sister hotel of Herald Suites Polaris—sports a very turn-of-the-century Filipiniana look—intricate Machuca tiles, faux Amorsolo paintings, classic wooden furniture. You’ll never guess that they’d have a legit Japanese restaurant at the second floor. The only inkling you’d have, if ever you notice it at all, are the Japanese businessmen lounging about the lobby.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati
HATSU HANA-TEI AT THE SECOND FLOOR OF HERALD POLARIS HOTEL

Wooden Japanese sake barrels called sakedaru greeted us as we started our ascent to the restaurant—a transition from Filipino decors to Japanese. The transformation was complete when we entered the restaurant. Spare white walls bordered by light wooden trims reminiscent of traditional Japanese interiors surrounded us. A central atrium with bamboo prints provided additional ambient light, giving everything a very zen atmosphere.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Interiors
THE OPEN DINING AREA

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Tatami Room
TATAMI ROOMS, GOOD FOR TEN PERSONS

Seating is divided into two areas, the open dining hall with the usual tables and chairs plus a sushi bar, and the tatami rooms, which is more private. The latter utilizes traditional Japanese low table with the floor simulating tatami mats. For those not used to sitting for long periods right on the floor, you do have the option to dangle your feet inside the table, it has a hollow recess under it. It actually reminded me of Sakura Jaya Asakusa, a traditional restaurant I tried years back in Tokyo, sans the geishas.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Chef Koichi Kondo
CHEF KOICHI KONDO

Hatsu Hana-Tei opened fifteen years ago in 2002 and employs a full-blooded Japanese chef, Koichi Kondo. He is somewhat reserved but flashes a smile every now and then. He’s been cooking in Manila for more than two decades now and can even understand and drop some Filipino phrases.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Ume Sashimi
UME SASHIMI

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Spicy Hotake Maki
SPICY HOTAKE MAKI ~ PHP270.00

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Ebi Gyoza
EBI GYOZA ~ PHP290.00

Our meal started with a platter ume sashimi, a mix and slices of everything raw—salmon, tuna, mackerel, flounder, and prawns, with sea grapes, lemon slices, and good dose of wasabi on the sides. It was then followed by bowls of big-ass spicy hotake maki, ebi gyoza, and kinshi sumaki—an original by the chef which has lapu lapu, salmon, shrimp, radish, and nori rolled using a thin omelet and served with a special sweet and sour sauce.

 

 

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Tempura Set
TEMPURA SET

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Chicken Yakitori
CHICKEN YAKITORI

You’d think we’d stop there, but no, there’s more. Up next were rectangular plates of fried fish with teriyaki sauce, a tempura platter consisting of shrimp, fish, and veggies, a chopping board full of chicken yakitori, and a plateful of mango and papaya gyu maki. That last one was quite unique, it’s like maki, but instead of having rice inside the roll, it has ripe mango and papaya. The roll wrapper is different too; they use thin strips of pounded beef meat in teriyaki sauce and spices.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Battera
BATTERA

And for our final dish, chef Koichi himself brought two sets of battera, pressed sushi topped with mackerel. We were all burstingly full by that time, but still, a few of my friends still tried fitting in a mouthful before calling it a day.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Mango Gyu Maki
MANGO GYU MAKI ~ PHP220.00

My favorite Japanese food is actually katsudon—which we weren’t served with—but Hatsu Hana-Tei’s mango gyu maki more than made up for it. It was absolutely delicious; the contrast between the sweetness of the mango and the savory flavor of the beef strip goes really well together. It was so good, I actually ordered a bowl of white rice to go along with it, lol.

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati Fish in Teriyaki
FRIED FISH IN TERIYAKI SAUCE

In Japanese, Hatsu Hana-Tei means the first spring flowers. It symbolizes freshness, joy, and renewal. Well, I guess it can’t get any more apt than that, Hatsu Hana-Tei manages to incorporate all those on their dishes, and more.

~ HATSU HANA-TEI HOSTED OUR MEALS. VIEWS AND OPINIONS, ALL MINE.

 

Hatsu Hana-Tei Makati
Address: 2/F Herald Suites, 2168 Don Chino Roces Ave.,
   Makati City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: +63 (2) 759-6388
Opening Hours: 12:00PM-2:30PM | 6:00PM-10:30PM
Email: mark@heraldsuites.com | Website | Facebook
GPS Coordinates Map: 14.553694, 121.013614

BOOK A DISCOUNTED OVERNIGHT STAY AT HERALD SUITES






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, October 28, 2017

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