Fact: Japanese food is LOVE. To prove it, ask anyone of their favorite cuisine, and it will often be on top of their list. Because, really, who can ever say no to Japanese? From all of kinds of sushi imaginable to the well-loved ramen, Japan is, undeniably, a force to be reckoned with in the food industry. The passion that they put in cooking is quite evident in the very distinct taste that every Japanese dish have in common, and that is Umami (savory taste), also known as the fifth basic taste, which the Japanese have discovered. But with all the restos in the metro specializing in Japanese, a new one would be hard put to stand out. There is one resto, however, in Salcedo Village, that has done it quite successfully albeit it's only relatively new in the game.
Koku, which opened last month, was born out of the owners Bambi and Michelle Meer’s love for Japanese food. “We decided to open a Japanese restaurant when our family's favorite Japanese restaurant closed. Because Bambi has been in the Restaurant/Food service industry for 20 years, and food is our family's passion, we believed it was something we could do," shares Michelle.
But what sets Koku apart from the other Japanese restos is that they give a young and vibrant feel into the whole experience, from the interiors to the menu offerings that are worth every peso. “We wanted our customers would be able to eat with us regularly without having to worry about budget constraints,” she adds. That said, here are some of Michelle's recos for those who are stopping by Koku for the first time and for different occasions:
First date. "We would recommend that you order the Oyster Papaya to start, as it is an interesting conversation starter. [For the guys] We also suggest the Wagyu Teppan to show her that you are refined and willing to spend."
I'm-treating-my-parents dinner. "If you want to treat your parents out to dinner we suggest that you order the Geisha Maki or our Salmon Sushi Aburi. Torching is a new technique that your parents have probably not experienced. We would also suggest the Wagyu Teppanyaki and Pan Roasted Salmon with Salmon Salsa as they are twists to your usual Teppanyaki or Salmon dish at a Japanese restaurant. End the meal with a crème brûlée to make the dinner more special."
Going solo. "If you are dining alone, we would suggest the Spicy Salmon Sashimi as it serves as a salad and an appetizer in one. Our Chashu Don or Beef Yakiniku Don are great complete meals. End the meal with our Vittoria Coffee."
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Barkada dinner. "For a barkada dinner we suggest the Sushi Pizza as it is a great dish to share. Ordering several Makis is also a great way to share and try out different dishes. The Wagyu and Salmon Belly skewers are best paired with our Japanese beer and Sake."
Someone who's so into Japanese that she's probably tried anything and everything. "If you've already tried everything Japanese, ordering the Oyster Papaya, Sushi Pizza, Special Mixed Sushi, Samurai Maki, and Japanese Carbonara would give you a sampling of dishes you've probably haven't encountered before."
Someone who's not into Japanese. "If you are not into Japanese or raw dishes, we've got you covered. We have a pasta line which features our Japanese Carbonara and Grilled Chicken Wasabi Cream Spaghetti. Both dishes do not have anything raw in it but they have traditional Japanese ingredients."
Koku is located at the G/F of Two Central Building, 109 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM. For reservations, you may call +632-6255197.
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