Wafu Greenhills: A look inside
When in Manila, there’s a new Japanese fine dining restaurant that’s worth trying and its name is Wafu. This Japanese restaurant recently opened its doors last September of 2012 and seems to be on its way to set a new trend of Japanese fine dining with its posh look and greatly made dishes.
Wafu’s Sushi Station
Upon entering the establishment, I was awestruck by the restaurant’s interior design. From the sake bottles to the nice looking seats and tables, Wafu’s modern Japanese restaurant look helps set the mood for the customer as they ready themselves to dine at the establishment.
The tepanyaki tables at Wafu’s second floor
Upstairs, we were given a visual treat of Wafu Greenhills’ tepanyaki tables where a group of diners can sit down and watch as their food is being prepared right in front of their very eyes. Heading into our table, I was ready for the onslaught of food that was coming our way.
Soft Shell Crab Tempura
The first on our food trip at Wafu Greenhills was the Soft Shell Crab Tempura. Paired up with some citrus emulsion and scallions, this appetizer was tasty. The crispiness of the crab and that buttery yet citrus like tang the sauce gives off was a great way to prepare us for the next round of awesome dishes.
Wafu Greenhills gave us some Chawan mushi, which had a mixture of grilled shrimps, walnuts, microgreens and soy caramel. As a soup like dish, the chawan mushi did the trick in warming our bodies up and preparing us to brace ourselves for more scrumptious food in this restaurant.
Akami, Salmon, and Hamachi Sashimi
We were also treated to a trio of shasimi: Tuna/Akami, Salmon, and Hamachi. These three types of sashimi were a joy to eat for us and on a personal note, it’s always a pleasure to taste some salmon or tuna sashimi at a Japanese restaurant. Wafu’s sashimi, as from what we can see in the picture, is cut perfectly by the chefs and is always a pleasure to feast on.
Mount Fuji Roll
As if the sashimi wasn’t enough to give us a euphoric Japanese food dining experience, we were given a couple of signature sushi dishes from Wafu. The Mount Fuji Roll has a unique offering for it is some sort of a rice-less type sushi with thin slices of kai (red snapper) on the inside. It had a very good taste for me.
Kimi-San Roll (left) and Hokaido Roll (Right)
We then had a duo of the Hokaido Roll and the Kimi-San Roll. The Hokaido Roll features a combination of shrimp tempura, avocado, topped with a spicy sweet shrimp negi, tenkatus and some ponzu sauce. For us, we liked the crunchiness and the slightly spicy taste it left in our tongues. As for the Kimi-San Roll, the mozzarella, asparagus and salmon combo was also a pleasant experience in our taste buds. It was good if I can say so myself.
No ‘sushi tour’ would be complete without tasting some California Roll. Compared to the usual crabstick, mango and cucumber combination, this one replaces the mango with avocado. This style of California roll is similar to the other countries which does not use mango as a main fruit for the roll. Overall it was a solid sushi roll that one can enjoy time and again.
Angus Skirt, in all it’s glory
Next up was the Wafu’s signature Angus Skirt and for me, it was the dish of the night. I’m a real meat lover so once we stumbled upon this dish, I knew I was in for a treat. The wagyu beef on this was was coupled in with some mushrooms as well as some shredded onion crisps on top. Upon first taste, I could feel how tender and juicy the wagyu was and it truly was ‘love at first bite’ for this writer. Regardless of the steep price (around 995php), is a must try for steak lovers if they dine in at Wafu Greenhills.
Halibut and Asparagus
The Halibut & Asparagus that was served to us had some truffle sauce and potato crisps put on top. For someone who wasn’t used to eating halibut, I found it very scrumptious. The fish was soft and creamy and dare I say, this might be another one of my favorites at Wafu next to the Angus Skirt.
Wafu Greenhills also offers the customers some set meals or bento to give them the ultimate Japanese dining experience. Our group was given two of the lunch bento sets, one was From the Land, while the other was From the Sea. Both bento meals had steamed rice, miso soup and the wafu house salad to go along with them.
From the Land: a meat lover’s kind of lunch
From the Land offered teriyaki chicken, sautéed Japanese mushrooms and tempura shortribs. The Chicken tasted good and the teriyaki sauce didn’t overpower the white meat compared to other Japanese restaurants. But as always, the highlight of wafu’s bento was the tempura shortribs. Similar to the wagyu skirt from earlier, it was tender and juicy. You could tell that Wafu certainly has this penchant for their wagyu beef.
From the Sea: For those who like seafood and some good tempura
From the Sea offers a different variety of bento to the person who eats it. Wafu’s seafood themed bento packs a mean punch with the following items: salmon with miso, tuna sashimi and a duo of shrimp and vegetable tempura. A highlight for this bento, for this writer, would be the tuna sashimi. It had a sweet flavor and was very tasty. The tempura was no slouch either as it had that crispness of the tempura breading that makes you wanna dig into it.
The food onslaught continued from the ‘combination bento’ menu as we were given the Katsu-Sashi, a dish with Tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlets) and an assortment of sashimi (tuna, salmon, redsnapper). The tonkatsu was done well and the sashimi was good as always. This bento, similar to the lunch bento, came with the side orders of wafu’s house salad, rice and miso soup.
Wafu Greenhills is a fine dining Japanese restaurant so I will not lie that some of the food items have an intimidating price. However, Wafu’s menu also features dishes that are satisfying to both your wallet as well as your stomach. Furthermore, such dishes come at a price below 500php.
The Gyudon Bowl of Wafu Greenhills is one of the best dishes they have and it’s lighter on one man’s wallet as well. Priced at around 385 pesos, this bowl offers a big serving that can accommodate two people. This bowl also adds a unique touch with its soft egg which requires you to break it so the egg yolk can come out and you can mix it into your Beef Gyudon. I was very delighted to taste this one as I found the thinly sliced beef to be tender and sweet.
Wafu’s friendly waiters and waitresses, always ready to serve
As a lover of Japanese food, my trip to Wafu Greenhills has been amazing. The place had a wonderful interior, the service was good, and of course, the food was top class. If Japanese food and beef are two of your favorite things, then I’m pretty sure you’d like the food at Wafu.
Business Partners Chris Oronce and Bryan Tiu
I want to give thanks to Wafu’s Head Chef Chris Oronce, his business partner Bryan Tiu, Isabel Maniti-Oronce, and the rest of the crew at Wafu Greenhills for being a friendly and hospitable bunch during our visit. I’d also like to thank Joanne Tan for the photos and the invite. Finally, thank you to Mark Davis Tan, Aileen Adalid, Tiffany See and Emma Tan for being an awesome company as we feasted on some good Japanese food.
Wafu’s Head Chef Chris Oronce with wife Isabel
When in Manila, and you want to experience a new feel of Japanese fine dining, drop by at Wafu Greenhills where the food is always fresh and plentiful.
WIM Photos by Joanne Tan
Address: W-1F New Gloria Maris Bldg., Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun: 11 AM – 2 PM and 6PM to 10PM
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/wafughills