When In Manila, you have got to try the new Japanese Grill Buffet at the Fort! From the people that brought us SumoSam, John and Yoko, Marciano, and Kurosawa, comes the newest take on Japanese food – Roboto San Japanese Grill Buffet!
The year is 2089 and Tokyo is under attack by alien robots. Nations unite – because let’s face it, we will never have fuel efficient flying cars if Tokyo is destroyed – and create the ultimate robot that can save the world (preferably insert the Voltes V theme song here). His name is – ROBOTO SAN! The brainchild of restaurateur, Ricky Laudico, he has made his robotic childhood heroes a home by Crossroads at Bonifacio Global City, creating Roboto San – the ultimate robot created by future humans to rescue the earth from destruction by evil alien robots! Well that, and he puts out a great buffet spread, too.
Walking into the restaurant, you cannot help but look around for a few seconds and just admire the decor, which I can only describe as ‘bird’s nest meets spacey-chic’. You may get a tad bit distracted with the wait staff’s costume as well – a nice sleek white suit with silver lining, ready to be powered up for fast service at a moment’s notice – but it does add more to the mecha-theme of the whole place. Umm, I think the Beastie Boys want their clothes back, ladies.
The intergalactic mother ship at the far side of the room serves two purposes: as a containment area for the food to be housed and not float away, as well as a storage unit for clean plates for the hungry android visitors. My favorite part of the entire restaurant has to be the intergalactic chairs, each one showing off a cute little robot head.
Most of the dishes at the buffet table were Japanese, with a smattering of Korean favorites, and a bamboo basket of Chinese dumplings. What were Chinese dumplings doing in a Japanese buffet? It just made me scratch my head a bit, but nevertheless, it didn’t deter me at all from going headfirst into all that food!
There was a choice of molo and miso soup to start, but I didn’t pay them any mind and went straight for the sushi table. Pink cuts of tuna sashimi and the peach tinge of fresh raw salmon beckoned, along with a variety of maki that just shouted, “Itadakimasu!” I saw a bowl of potato salad happily minding its own business, and passed by to say hi… as well as help myself to a teensy bit. The last thing you want to do at a buffet is load up on carbs. A small bowl of kikoman and a few piles of wasabi later, and all that remained of my first plate were bits of garnish.
Going back for a second round, I decided to try their tempura and other cooked dishes. You can never go wrong with tempura at a Japanese joint, especially at a place like Roboto San! The gyoza was pan fried, yet still so soft and full of flavor that it fell off my chopsticks when I took a bite. The salt and pepper spare ribs would’ve been full of flavor, but I found the meat a bit tough. I wasn’t too fond of the beef in the stir fry as well – it was way too gummy.
I was giddy for my third trip back to the buffet table, as I wanted to try my hand at grilling meat! I passed over most of the chikuwa, squidballs, and kikiam, as well as the chicken and fish slices that were laid out on the table and helped myself to the tiger prawns and cuts of short beef ribs. There were steak and Korean sauces on the side, which gave me the option to add another layer of flavor to the meat I would be grilling.
I couldn’t figure out the grill at first, since the instructions were in Korean, and had one of the wait staff help me lower the temperature before I accidentally burn the place down on opening day. I was offered a blob of butter halfway through cooking the beef, which would’ve saved me a lot of burning if I knew they had butter on hand before I started my misadventure into Grilling Meat 101. After dipping the thin pieces of beef into the sauce, it was a delight to hear it sing as it sizzled on the grill, only to be taken out when it turned a delectable shade of brown. The meat was, as expected, moist and bursting with flavor, almost melting in your mouth with each bite.
Dessert was pretty straightforward. There was Chocolate Cake, Lemon Brazo de Mercedes, brownies, and assorted flavors of ice cream. After chatting with Ricky, I was pleased to find out that they were also experimenting with different types of mochi flavors as well, which would probably be coming out in the next few weeks. Just thinking of a dark chocolate truffle or Kit Kat flavored mochi leaves me in a fit of giggles.
When In Manila, The overall dining experience at Roboto San was a gastronomic delight! It’s definitely a must try if you ever happen to be in the area and are looking for an overall Asian dining experience at a very affordable price. I practically rolled out the door with a huge grin on my face, and am excited to see what other delectable delights Roboto San will be coming up with the next time I visit!
Roboto San Japanese Grill Buffet
2nd Floor, Crossroads, 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Mon – Fri 11:am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Sat – Sun 5:15pm – 8:30pm
Roboto San on Facebook!