For those who want to go to Tokyo just to satisfy one’s authentic Japanese food cravings, there is no need to apply for visa and fly to Japan anymore. Another little Tokyo in the form of Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant has just opened yesterday, October 8, 2015, at Bonifacio Global City.
Being Japanese food lovers, we certainly had try it despite its soft opening.
The welcoming entrance easily set the ambiance with Japan’s traditional architectural style – the usage of wooden timbers, stones, antique sliding door, Japanese decorative elements and Japanese lanterns lining the hallway.
Upon entering, we noticed two different open kitchens which were the following:
1. Teppanyaki Kitchen
2. Sushi Bar
If you want to see Chef Ogawa making sushi, sit in this area.
Although I personally have never been to Tokyo, I really felt that I was in another place.
This is where Ogawa’s selection of Japanese liquors are displayed and stored.
There were also private rooms that we think are perfect for business meetings and intimate gatherings despite it not being the usual low table and floor seating with pillows for sitting.
Some private rooms require you to remove your shoes and to wear their provided slippers.
While waiting for our ordered food, we were served free raw octopus as an appetizer and cold tea.
The raw octopus was slimy, crunchy and spicy yet it was delicious for me. I liked how it was marinated in vinegar and wasabi with pickles. Meanwhile, the cold tea has a different color from the usual Japanese tea.
Since we had waited for a long time for our food to be served, Mr. George Pua, owner of Ogawa restaurant, gave us a complimentary breaded tofu in tempura sauce.
Finally! Our first order was served.
This is from the robotayaki (charcoal grilled skewer) menu – GYUNIKU ENOKIMAKI (PhP 120 / $ 2.61 per stick), enoki mushrooms wrapped in thinly sliced beef. This was tasty. However, we found it hard to bite since it was well- done and slightly burned for us.
I ordered the KUROBOTA TONTEKI GOZEN set (PhP 480 / $ 10.46), appetizer, chawan mushi, kurobota tonteki, rice, miso soup, pickles and dessert.
SPECIAL NOTE : This is not the Kurobota Tonteki. Three servers insisted that this was Tonteki, but since I have eaten Katsudon several times and Me-An has eaten Katsudon in Tokyo. We spoke with authority that it wasn’t Tonteki and asked them to show it to their chef. And upon checking with Chef Ogawa, the Katsudon was replaced with the right food.
This is the Kurobota Tonteki which we think was personally made by Chef Ogawa as we saw him enter the closed kitchen. He even dropped by our table to tell us that it was already Tonteki. On my first bite of the Kurobota Tonteki, it instantly became the highlight of my evening. The rich pork with the flavorful sauce was superb.
I seldom eat chawan mushi so I like this very much.
This is the dessert that came with my set, green tea ice cream with coffee jelly.
Me-An ordered OKONOMIYAKI SET (PhP 300 / $ 6.53), appetizer, mixed okonomiyaki, tempura soba and dessert.
1. MIXED OKONOMIYAKI – According to Me-An, it was made with mixed vegetable and octopus topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and paper thin bonito flakes.
2. TEMPURA SOBA – The tempura was separated from the soba so the tempura retained its crispiness.
The dessert that came with Me-An’s set was matcha mousse which I preferred over my own dessert.
The food is really authentic according to Me-An. We noticed Japanese people patronizing the restaurant too. Almost all Japanese food are offered in one roof so one has to come back numerous times just to be able to try everything. The only downside of having a long list of authentic Japanese food is that the servers were not well acquainted with the actual food. Thus, when customers like us have questions, they still have to verify with others which is time consuming. So long as they stick with Ogawa restaurant for a long time, we are certain that they will be knowledgeable with all the food items.
Additionally, the restaurant weren’t prepared well for the influx of customers. The customers had to wait for a long time for the food to be served. Around 10:00PM, we overheard one customer talking to one of the servers that they were there since 8:15PM and they still haven’t received their order so he was trying to cancel his order. We also experienced the waiting game. My hunger was aggravated with the wrong serving of food. We know that they have been open since 11AM, everyone is tired already, they have gone past the closing hours, but I don’t think it is reasonable for the customers to experience such poor service. To make the matters worse, we had to ask for the bill from four servers before a server told us that our bill will arrive soon. And then we waited again since their P.O.S. (purchase order system I think) broke down so everything has to be done manually. Good thing it broke down during closing time so there weren’t a lot of affected customers.
Here is to hoping that their service will improve in the coming weeks (or even better today) and the restaurant operations can handle well the customers at full capacity. By the way, experience may vary from person to person. We just had a poor service experience which they may have remedied today so don’t be discouraged in trying Ogawa. After all, they serve delicious authentic Japanese food.
P.S. Don’t forget to make a reservation. It will save you a lot of time!
OGAWA TRADITIONAL JAPANESE RESTAURANT
The Fort Entertainment Complex, 2nd floor (of Tony Roma’s) Fort Strip, 5th Ave. Corner 28th St. BGC, Taguig City.
Operating Hours : 11AM – 3PM (lunch) and 5:30PM – 11:00PM (dinner)
Tel : 886 4994
Mobile : 0917 85 OGAWA ( 64292)