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Restaurant Review: Tanabe

A lot of Japanese-inspired restaurants have been popping out in the Metro recently -- Teriyaki Boy and Tokyo Tokyo just to name a few -- all trying to make Japanese fare palatable to the Filipino tongue.

I, for one, prefer this very small and still undiscovered Japanese resto simply known as Tanabe.

Named after the owner, Tanabe offers Japanese cuisine with none of the usual add-ons you find in some commercialized, similarly inspired restaurant.  There are no added sweetness to entice the Filipino's inclination to anything sugary nor any lessening of bitterness in the prickled veggies.  Just simple, tasty Japanese fare.

They do try their best to incorporate a truly Asian feel to their restaurant.  Although there are chairs and tables (I was kinda hoping to sit cross-legged on the floor), they use a lot of Asian inspired decor and materials.  Music is also a mix of soothing Japanese ballads and instrumentals.  Haven't heard any J-pop yet.

Shoes required

For starters, sample their sweet anchovy (dilis) sprinkled with sesame seeds, and their tofu appetizer.  Did I mention these are complimentary?

The iced tea (Php55) is house blend.  Their own special concoction.  Apparently a trade secret.

I love house blend iced teas!

Every time my mom and I would visit Tanabe, we never, ever, miss ordering our favorite Futomaki (Php360) stuffed with eel (yes, you've heard it right), egg, cucumber, crab stick and dried gourd shavings.  With 7 large pieces in a single order, this dish is sufficient enough to be shared among 2 to 3 people.

Futomaki pieces (Php360)

Close up of this bad boy.  Yum!

We also ordered a Mini Tori Teriyaki Don bento (Php380).  This dish includes a small serving of salad (choice of vinaigrette or thousand island dressing), chawan mushi (an egg custard dish steamed in a tea cup), pickled vegetables, miso soup, and dessert (choice of fresh fruits, coffee jelly or ice cream).

The chicken Teriyaki was prepared with just the right sweetness, so different from those offered by others.  The chanwan mushi, not exactly my favorite.  It was a little salty and had a weird fishy taste to it.  Guess it's an acquired taste as most of our Japanese friends seem to like it.

Dessert is usually given after you've eaten the bento.  Can be requested earlier if desired.

Try Tanabe for that very satisfying Japanese meal experience.  =)



Tanabe has branches in SM Mall of Asia (+63 2 5560360 / 5560361) and at 553 Remedios St., Malate Manila (+63 2 5284688).


  1. Pano ba yan? Di ako mahilig sushi or maki pero ang ganda ng ambiance. Parang ang lamig dyan.

  2. Ok naman. But try the Futomaki. Really out of this world. =)


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