On its fourth anniversary, WAFU is treating everyone!
WAFU Japanese Style Dining in Greenhills, San Juan is one of the best Japanese restaurants in the metro. It was also one of the most expensive.
Celebrating the restaurant’s fourth anniversary, Bryan Tiu and the people behind WAFU decided to do something amazing: slash 30% to 50% off of their menu prices.
WAFU Wagyu Ribeye – now only Php1,300 from Php3,100
What was once the privilege of a few WAFU Elite Card holders has now been opened up to everyone else. You, me, everyone can enjoy the freshest ingredients, the finest techniques, and the most opulent Japanese dining experience a local restaurant has to offer without burning a hole through our pockets.
We visited on Father’s Day weekend and the restaurant had its healthy share of customers. We were seated close to the sushi counter at the back end of the restaurant. Flipping through the menu, I thought, “WOW. Their pricing is now at par with Omakase,” which is the other Japanese restaurant in Greenhills. As I found out later on, though, the food is so much better at WAFU.
While waiting for our initial order of Mifune (soft-shell crab), Hokkaido Roll (shrimp tempura, avocado topped with spicy sweet shrimps, tenkasu ponzu sauce), and Take Sashimi Platter upon our server’s recommendation, WAFU’s executive chef Onishi Nobuyoshi walked into the restaurant wearing a white Chinese collar short-sleeved polo. In a quiet, unassuming manner, he brisked towards the sushi station, unsheathed his Japanese chef’s knife, and began slicing through entire sides of maguro in the most obsessive-compulsive show of fish carving ever.
I read about him from the opening of WAFU’s sister company Ichiba. I knew he was the master sushi chef of Umegaoka Sushino Midori Ginza for years before flying here to serve as the executive chef of Bryan Tiu’s growing Japanese restaurant empire. I also knew that he spoke very little English. “Chef, I’ll be writing about your restaurant,” I told him as I extended my hand, right after he finished with a batch of maguro. Chef Nobu smiled as he shook my hand, nodding as he said “thank you” during that little break in his two-hour regimen of cutting through slabs of maguro one after the other. That was like, really cool!
When trying out a Japanese restaurant, the absolute test is to try their sashimi. You can’t cheat sashimi. Ingredients, technique, presentation, everything should come together in a serving or platter of sashimi.
That said, I highly recommend WAFU’s Take Sashimi Platter. At Php1,100, a generous platter of shake, snapper, grouper, hamachi, mackerel, ebi, uni, ika, fish roe, and maguro is a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate. Every ingredient is clean to the taste. The hamachi in particular is sublime.
The distinct flavor and texture of soft-shell crabs speak for itself in WAFU’s Mifune Roll. Their Hokkaido Roll is another must-try – a well-thought makimono that comes together very well with just enough heat to tickle your tastebuds.
For their cooked menu, we had our fair share of izakaya favorite Premium Beef Cubes before moving on to WAFU’s main courses. They use the same beef as the ones izakayas love to errantly report as “wagyu”; no need to go to Little Tokyo to enjoy this treat.
One of WAFU’s recommended dishes is their Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, its full flavor complemented very well by its hearty sauce made with cheese, butter, and cream. The best part of the sea bass is the thin layer of pure fat trapped between its meat and skin. I’m usually not a fan of rich sauces on grilled meat, but this one works for me.
The Baked Scallops is another brilliant dish. Flying fish roe are mixed into the melted cheese to give the dish its unique flavor and textural “pop”. Of course, the scallops are fresh, sweet, top-notch; in the end, they’re still what you remember most from this dish.
Of course, there’s the Wagyu Ribeye Steak. The fat laced in the meat is superb; as expected, no tough, chewy parts in our beef. We had ours seared to medium, topped with several straw mushrooms and potato puffs on the side.
My family is a mixed bunch of people when it comes to taste. The thing that struck me about WAFU was this: at the end of our meal, everyone absolutely loved the experience! From the pickiest eater to the most adventurous diner, everyone had that one dish that made their eyes grow wide in pleasant surprise, thinking to themselves, “This is delicious!” For me, it was all of these dishes and more, and I have no doubt that we’ll be returning to WAFU very soon.
P.S. They currently have a Teppanyaki All-You-Can at Php999+. Don’t forget to share your WAFU experience with us via our comment section below or on Facebook. Itadakimasu!