Takashi at Pioneer Center, Pasig | steppanyaki

Even if I’ve been scouring Pioneer Street, Kapitolyo and greater Pasig for new dining haunts for over 6 years now, there’s still a lot of places I haven’t discovered.

About a month ago, my boyfriend and I were craving for Japanese food and wound up at Takashi, a Japanese restaurant located within the Pioneer Center compound in Mandaluyong. We had heard about Takashi from a former officemate who claimed it offered delicious Japanese cuisine but at a fraction of the typical price in other restaurants.

There's Chef Takashi Kawasaki in the black shirt.
There’s Chef Takashi Kawasaki in the black shirt.

It was a Thursday night when we thought of checking Takashi out. From outside, it looks like a small eatery, but we couldn’t have been more mistaken when we saw just how spacious the back part of the restaurant was.

It’s hard to see the Japanese touch just from the furniture alone–standard leather-upholstered seats, wooden tables, flyers on a console table. But with the simple hanging of Japanese lanterns, bright posters and banners with what I surmise is Kanji, the task is achieved. A Sumo wrestler partitioned curtain hangs over the doorway to the kitchen.

Of course, as we enter, a gentleman at a table shouts the standard greeting in Japanese to alert the staff. Apparently, it’s owner Chef Takashi himself. He gives some orders to the waitstaff as he leaves the restaurant with a lady.

The menu offers a playful interpretation of its offerings, with the addition of phrases and words like “everything nice”, “lots of love”,  and “BOOM” to the descriptions of dishes.

My boyfriend and I are light eaters, so we went for sharing a bowl of Takashi‘s bestseller, Hokkaido Miso ramen (“Miso based sauce + authentic broth + everything nice + straight out of Japan!”) for P295 and Ebi Tempura for P280.

Corn in ramen? That was quite new for us!
Corn in ramen? That was quite new for us!

It felt a bit strange to have corn in my ramen, but surprisingly, it was a good textural addition. The broth wasn’t too oily or salty. The tamago was cooked perfectly, with a creamy yolk.

The ramen was light yet filling for two, but somehow, I was looking for that film of oil to lace my lips after the meal, as well as that lingering saltiness marinating in my mouth.

There are days when you...just...have...to...have...tempura.
There are days when you…just…have…to…have…tempura.

I liked how they served the tempura–five pieces on a piece of woven basket, so points for presentation.

Me excitedly scooping some spoonfuls of broth for my share of the ramen.
Me excitedly scooping some spoonfuls of broth for my share of the ramen.

Overall, Takashi pleases in terms of meeting the general public’s demand for more affordable but delicious Japanese food. This is also why it’s not fair to equate its dishes to those of pricier restaurants. I might be making an early assumption here, so I’d like to go back to try its maki rolls and donburi next time.

Takashi is located at Pioneer Center, Pioneer Street, Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City, and is open Mondays to Sundays, 11:30 am to 10 pm. To learn more about Takashi, visit its Facebook page.

I do not claim to be a food expert, and the items above were personally paid for.

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