My friend Kit and I thought of celebrating my post birthday in the newly opened branch of Mendokoro Ramenba in BGC last week. However, I suggested that we consider dining in another Jap restaurant because I just ate at Yushoken Ramen with my family last last weekend. When she agreed, Nanbantei popped up to my mind first. First, it is Japanese (she loves Japan culture so much so it’s a default choice), second, it’s another interesting Japanese cuisine aside from Ramen, and third, I love Nanbantei. I’ve known this restaurant too well to recommend it to my friends and not be embarrassed afterwards.
I told in my blog post before how I loved this restaurant for its Yakitori dishes. Now it’s a different experience with a different company, but some good things never change at all. Let me elaborate more.
Casual Japanese restaurants are known for having tiny spaces but Nanbantei BGC is an exception. The wide space matched with its cool AC makes the restaurant cozy and relaxing. Whether dining intimately with your beau, friends, families or big groups, Nanbantei is a sure place to recommend.
On the far right of the restaurant is the side where the comfy couches are separated by bamboo dividers and accentuated by round lamps. At first we sat here but this side was quite hot so we transferred to one of the regular tables on the far left.
To fully enjoy the Yakitori experience, we ordered one platter of Best Sellers (21 sticks at Php 1,050) This platter has a little bit of everything – Aspara Maki, Tebasaki, Pork Garlic Yaki, Shiso Maki, Negima, Corn and Potato Maki. One platter is good for 3-4 people.
Servers can offer you the option of shredding the corn if you don’t prefer eating it on a cob.
I love everything! Each Yakitori stick is savory and well-balanced in terms of flavor and seasonings. The meat sticks are so tender, grilled right to perfection. The vegetables provide that delightful contrast to the meat which prevents you from getting sated too fast. The corn, asparagus and potato, did that wonderful trick.
I’d always vouch for my favorite Poteto Maki (potato wrapped in Bacon), Aspara Maki (Asparagus wrapped in pork) and Pork Garlic Yaki. We also ordered cups of Japanese rice which made us very full in the end.
My friend Kit, who had failed attempts for the Chicken Oyakodon (Chicken Rice Bowl, Php 175) recipe tried the version of Nanbantei. It was good —the thigh fillets are soft and the sauce was nice. The pressure to imitate the recipe is real.
Now this was quite interesting to me — having tasted Onigiri for the first time. Onigiri is Japanese rice ball, formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed). The Onigiri that we ordered has pickled plum in it and I never imagined before it can be that good. I didn’t know how to eat it so I separated the rice from the seaweed. It should be eaten together!
We received complimentary desserts from their Manager, whose name I forgot to ask. This was after I asked permission to take photos of their open kitchen for my blog. We had Green Tea Ice Cream, Coffee Jelly and Avocado Ice Cream. Thanks for the nice birthday treat!
Catering to a diverse group of diners to professionals, hip youngsters, couples and families, Nanbantei delivers exceptional customer service and warm hospitality across all types of people. Waiters would always ask if your dining experience is okay or if you need anything else.
The open kitchen gives you a sneak peak on how diligent and skilled are the chefs in preparing your food, with nothing less than serving the premium quality and freshness of the ingredients. To see the meticulous process makes you appreciate the cuisine even more.
Our dining experience at Nanbantei summarizes our passion for good food and celebrates the strong friendship that we have. Thanks to my BFF Kit, who’s been there not only in celebrating countless birthdays, but in all of my significant journeys in life.
Our friendship is like Japanese food — the process is tedious, the ingredients are complex. But you can expect it’s always of high quality.