Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tokyo Tonteki at U.P. Town Center

One of our mentors from Japan was visiting the university. And so we made it a point to go to Japanese restaurants once in a while so our visitor would be able to enjoy what we thought was good Japanese food but at prices relatively lower than their counterparts in Japan. Katsu sets, for example, like the ones by Pinza Bairin or Yabu can be quite expensive in Japan compared to here. Going to the U.P. Town Center, we asked our visitor to choose among the Japanese restaurants there and he said he wanted to try Tokyo Tonteki. I took only a few photos in deference to our guest who might not be big on taking photos of food we ordered and were about to eat for lunch.

We originally ordered their Tonburg steak set but were informed that it was not available so we ended up with their Tonteki set and Ebi fry set. The ebi fry was good but the tonteki or pork steak tasted a bit strange for those of us who ordered it. We were no strangers to Japanese food having lived in Japan for many years and being able to enjoy their food wherever we went in that country; and so we thought perhaps this was a different take on the pork steak we have tasted elsewhere before.

The writings on the walls tell a story about the food - its preparation and the ingredients

There's no denying their specialty is pork in this restaurant

The tonteki set came with unlimited rice, miso soup and shredded cabbage

The food was okay but my colleagues were a bit disappointed that it was not as they expected. Our visitor was the one who ordered ebi fry and we didn't share orders so he could not comment on the pork steak. Quite frankly, I share in the opinions of my friends as I also ordered a tonteki set and I felt there was something not quite right with the taste of the food. We found the tonteki to be quite bland. Perhaps the pork was not seasoned (hindi tinimplahan?). Or maybe it was the sauce? We all ordered our sets with their tonteki sauce so perhaps we should have tried their onion-based one. One of us casually mentioned to our waitress that perhaps the restaurant should have other options for sauces. But then that probably is the chef's or cook's call and prerogative. Are we looking forward to going to the restaurant again? Maybe but perhaps not so soon...

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