Exactly a week ago, the staff of Psst.ph held one of their Christmas parties at Nikuya Grill in Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Oranbo, Pasig City. For those who don't know yet, I contribute to this uber cool magazine-themed website. Anyway, since we had a really good dining experience at Nikuya, allow me to share such enjoyable and fantastic lunch with you guys.
The name Nikuya stemmed from the word butcher in Japanese. The restaurant stays true to the kind of cuisine they offer--with high quality meat sealed in vacuum packs and stored in cool temperature, you cannot go wrong with it. Nikuya is a fusion of Japanese and Korean, two of the most popular Asian cuisines that most Filipinos go crazy about. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first of its kind in the restaurant industry in the country.
If you've been reading my food blog, chances are, you know pretty much how I also write about restaurant's interiors as well as their ambiance, that's apart from the food they offer. As for Nikuya, I love its Zen ambiance and cozy interiors. They do have high ceilings adorned by large white lighting fixtures that resembles Japanese lanterns. The wall even had an image of what seemed like a Japanese warrior or samurai complete with swords and all that.
Nikuya is one of the few Japanese restaurants in the Philippines that have a Grade A5 Wagyu Beef (top quality). There are some grades for WAGYU beef and A5 is the highest grade given only to the finest beef. The standards of grading beef consist of Yield Grade and Quality Grade. "A" of "A5" means the yield grade, while "5" shows the quality grade. Beef are sold per 100 grams.
Let's proceed with the appetizers, the banchan. They have three kinds of appetizers: kimchi, crispy sweet anchovies and minced pickled radish. I am such a huge fan of fermented cabbage with gochujang paste (chili soybean paste). I've tried lot of kimchi from other Korean restaurants I've been to, but Nikuya's version was really good! It was a roller coaster on my palate with a symphony of flavors--sour and spicy (but just right), it perfectly complements your grilled meats. But my companions loved their crispy anchovies best. In fact, it was so good that my companions requested for a second helping (you may do so for an extra fee). It's a prelude to a great meal if you ask me. The Pickled Radish was also good except that it's a tad too small and quite difficult to eat when using a flat metal chopsticks (yes, at Nikuya, that's what they use).
The drinks were also good. We had an option if we wanted raspberry or lychee drink. I chose raspberry but I was able to try lychee as well. It perfectly captures the delicious taste of lychee and raspberry but with subtle sweetness. It goes well to wash out all the charred taste of the grilled meats and the hotpot soup.
We were served first with Nikuya Egg Roll. It was not only pleasing to one's eyes but it was such a great way to excite your senses as you start out your meal. Made from fluffy egg rolled with mozzarella and Japanese nori (seaweed) wrap topped with Bonito flakes. The egg was perfectly cooked, fluffy and smooth mixed with the gooey mozzarella cheesy goodness--it brings you to a sense of Nirvana.
As if that Nikuya's egg roll wasn't enough, their Seafood haemul pajeon (Korean seafood and green onions pancake) also pleases even with the most discriminating palate. Pajeon literally translates as green onion pancakes. I've always been a sucker for both Japanese and Korean foods especially seafood pajeon.
Charcoal briskets are used made from environmentally safe material like coco choir that had makes the grill smokeless without unpleasant smell. We had a variety of meats to eat from ox tripe, pork and chicken yakitori to bacon wrapped quail eggs.
|Thinly sliced meats ready for grilling|
|Samgyupsal freshly grilled meat with garlic cloves on sesame leaf|
|Uzura Butayaki (bacon wrapped quail eggs)|
|Freshly grilled Ox tripe|
The Yaki onigiri is a crunchy cake-like triangular in size that's a meal in itself. It's a charcoal grilled rice triangle. It's one of Nikuya grill's must-try.
They have two choices for soup bases, one is beef and the other is chicken. They also give you a generous amount of goma and ponzu sauce to dip your veggies and meats in after cooking. If you're a garlic lover like me, you can ask for as much garlic as you like as well as chilies and onions. I put it in the dipping sauces and in the broth itself.
Hotpot and shabu-shabu ingredients are egg noodles, potato noodles, dumplings, chopped carrots, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, tofu, bok choy, sliced onions, and cabbage.
Overall, everything in the yaki section was good. There's no substandards so the results were really awesome and fantastic! Lunch with the Psst.ph team was truly exceptional. Everything we've had on the table was insanely delicious. Service was also impeccable and ambiance was super cozy. Dine here and your tummy will surely be happy. It's a little bit pricey and on the upscale but it's worth your every penny.
Nikuya Grill is located at the Ground Floor, Unit L-1-130, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue corner Shaw Boulevard, Barangay Oranbo, Pasig City. For reservations and inquiries, call them at 0927-1442881. You may also follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook.