“Where’s a good restaurant at Little Tokyo?”
My friends had good things to say about the compound that housed over ten Japanese restaurants and shops; they said the place is beautiful and food is great. Unfortunately, most of them couldn’t recall the names of the places where they ate, save for one: Yamazaki Bento.
So that is where Kelvin and I had our lunch. From the Greenbelt Mall, it was just 5-7 minute-walk. And if Google Maps tells you to go straight up and over a fenced flyover, there’s a pass beneath it that leads straight to Makati Cinema Square, which faces Little Tokyo from across the street.
Unlike the other restaurants, to enter Yamazaki Bento, you’ll have to skip going through the iconic torii because the front door of the restaurant is “outside” of the compound. Also, it might confuse some people to see a mini grocery occupying half of the place. Its official name, according to the receipt I have, is Yamazaki Ramen House & Grocery but some people refer to it as Yamazaki Bento or just Yamazaki. The restaurant half has a large non-smoking area while the smoking area – which is a deal smaller – is behind a shōji.
I invoked my inner Ebisu, the god of fortune, from the anime Noragami Aragoto and asked for Hamburg Steak. While I may not be a great lover of onions, I found it pleasant that they were included in that hefty patty drizzled with savory sauce. I’ve had Hamburg steaks before but nothing similar to that. I think Ebisu would like this version, even if it’s not from the Olive Tavern.
Meanwhile, Kelvin had the Chashumen. He finished the whole bowl, down to the last drop of the broth without any complaints. Okay, there was one complaint: he was feeling too full.
Despite having a big lunch, we still raided the shelves of the grocery and looked for more food. I didn’t get the name of the chocolates and chips that Kelvin picked. Even I don’t know the name of the ice cream sandwich I bought but I am certain that I loved the red bean and vanilla medley.
Yamazaki Ramen House & Grocery
Little Tokyo, 2277 Chino Roces Avenue, Legaspi Village, Makati City