Watami: Top Japanese Casual Restaurant is Now in Manila

We were one of the many who were excited to dine at Watami upon learning that it has arrived here in the Philippines under the wing of Bistro Group.  Watami has over 700 branches around the world and is Japan's number one casual restaurant. 

watami sm mall of asia
For a casual restaurant, the ambiance is superb.  It has a spacious dining area that has partitions to afford the diners some privacy.  The printed seats and booths are well-cushioned that it compliments the cozy yet elegant feel of the place.  

Food

Salad
watami salad
♥ Watami Salad (350 php)
The Watami Salad is an extravagant salad with corn kernels, shrimps, seaweeds, egg roe, cherry tomatoes,  chicken teriyaki, greens topped with their special dressing.  This is one of the best salads I have ever tried.  It's very flavorful and refreshing.  The dressing complements every ingredient well.

Appetizer
crispy chicken wings
Crispy Chicken Wings (195 php)
The Crispy Chicken Wings is crispy fried chicken wings with sweet sesame sauce.  I guess this is the modern Japanese twist for fried chicken wings.  Those who are not fond of the spicy buffalo wings will surely love this.  

Sashimi
assorted sashimi
Assorted Sashimi (5 Kinds) (425 php)
The Assorted Sashimi is a plateful of Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, Shrimp Sashimi, Scallop Sashimi and wakame.  The Salmon Sashimi is one of the freshest I've ever tried.  The rest was just as good so it's no surprise that everything in this platter was finished in a flash.

Sushi
deluxe assorted sushi
Deluxe Assorted Sushi (Salmon, Scallop, Shrimp) (395 php)
The Deluxe Assorted Sushi is platter with two pieces of salmon sushi, grilled scallop sushi and shrimp sushi garnished with some roe and green onions.  Unfortunately, the salmon sushi is not as fresh as the  Salmon Sashimi.   But, the shrimp is a bit bigger and I preferred the grilled scallop compared to the raw one.  

Skewers
assorted skewers
Assorted Skewers (295 php)
The Assorted Skewers has five sticks: Chicken Thigh Skewer, Chicken Breast Skewer, Beef & Spring Onion Roll Skewer, Pork & Enoki Mushroom Skewer and Chicken Wing Skewer.   These are basically the traditional yakitori.  I liked that their sauce's blend is tasty but not too sweet.  Among the options, I enjoyed the Beef & Spring Onion Roll Skewer and Pork & Enoki Mushroom Skewer the most.

Teppan
hiroshima style okomiyaki
Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki (295 php)
The Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki is Japanese pancake with chuka noodles, lettuces, shrimp and dried bonito flakes served in a hot sizzling plate.  The texture is the key to this dish and they got it perfectly!  


tonpeiyaki
♥ Tonpeiyaki (Pork, Cheese, Cabbage & Egg) (275 php)
The Tonpeiyaki is a Japanese omelette with pork, cheese with cabbage.  It is topped with green onions and drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and Okonomiyaki sauce.  This is served hot exploding with savory meat, smooth scrambled egg and crunchy cabbage goodness.

Pizza
bolognese pizza
♥ Bolognese Pizza (315 php)
The Bolognese Pizza is a unique pizza because it has a poached egg on top of it.  Our server cracked the egg and spread its yolk across the pizza before slicing.  I've never had pizza with an egg yolk before.  It was pretty good but you have to eat it fast before it gets too soggy.  


pizza topped with chicken teriyaki
Pizza Topped with Chicken Teriyaki (275 php)
The Pizza Topped with Chicken Teriyaki is a crispy thin crust pizza topped with chicken teriyaki, green onions and white onions.  Since I'm a fan of crispy thin crust pizza, I really enjoyed this.  This is really savory and fun to eat. 

Hot Pot
beef sukiyaki
♥ Beef Sukiyaki (365 php)
The Beef Sukiyaki is a hot pot with beef sukiyaki, tofu, enoki and shitake mushrooms, carrots and greens.  The beef is tender, the broth is flavorful but not too sweet and the other ingredients are fresh.  I highly suggest you order this for sharing.  It's a great dish on the table for everyone to enjoy.

Tokyo Don
pork rice with egg yolk in stone pot
Pork Rice with Egg Yolk in Stone Pot (225 php)
The Pork Rice with Egg Yolk in Stone Pot is a stone pot rice bowl with tasty pork slices, raw egg, seaweeds and white onions.  To eat this, mix everything upon serving so the hot stone pot will cook the raw egg further.  

pork cutlet with scrambled egg in tokyo style
Pork Cutlet with Scrambled Egg in Tokyo Style (295 php)
The Pork Cutlet with Scrambled Egg in Tokyo Style is a rice bowl topped with a generous proportion of pork cutlet or tonkatsu with a beautifully cooked scrambled egg.  The pork cutlet has a nice breading and soft meat.  The scrambled egg that's slightly wet and silky smooth brings this dish to the next level.  

Stone Hotpot
pepper beef rice in stone pot
♥ Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot (190 php)
I've tried many versions of the pepper beef rice that's available here in the Philippines and I must say they have met their match.  Considering the price and the quality, Watami's Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot is the winner!

Drinks
mango snow mountain lychee grapefruit soda kagome kiwi
♥ Mango Snow Mountain (165 php), Lychee Grapefruit Soda (130 php),
Grape Mix Kagome
(185 php) and Kiwi Tea with Agar (145 php)
mango yakult milky green tea
Mango Yakult (120 php) and Milky Green Tea (165 php)
Watami has an extensive beverage menu.  I was able to try the Grape Mix KagomeKiwi Tea with Agar, Mango Yakult and Milky Green Tea.  The Grape Mix Kagome is grape mixed with Kagome, a healthy Japanese juice.  The Kiwi Tea with Agar is a tea infused with kiwi and agar jelly.  The Mango Yakult  is fresh mango puree with yakult.  The Milky Green Tea is a green tea milk shake.

Dessert
chocolate parfait
Chocolate Parfait (195 php)
The Chocolate Parfait has scoops of vanilla and chocolate with some chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chocolate wafer sticks and almonds.  This sweet and cold treat is quite pleasant to the eyes but nothing extraordinary in terms of taste.


maccha tiramisu
♥ Maccha Tiramisu (155 php)
The Maccha Tiramisu is must try for anyone for loves matcha as much as I do.  This Maccha Tiramisu topped with maccha powder is just splendid.  The maccha flavor is bold, clean and unsweetened so you can truly appreciate it at its best.  This is the perfect meal ender!  I'm definitely going to order this every time I visit Watami.


Update (January 10, 2013): We tried Watami at Glorietta 1 so I'll add some more recommendations.  The Beef and Kimchi Rice in Stone Pot (245 php), Self-Grilled Short Ribs (295 php) and the Apple Berry Soda (195 php) is also worth a try!  I hope they could improve their service.  Since it was my aunts birthday, we were around 40 people and there were only one or two servers catering to our needs.  There were some wrong orders and we had to follow up with our orders only to find out that they were not available.  I also found out that most of my relatives including my celebrant aunt had The Bistro Group Premiere Card so she was able to avail a great deal of discount.

Update (December 7, 2013): Service at Watami at Glorietta 1 is now very good even when the place is fully packed!  They have a different server for taking orders and for delivering the dishes.  The  Maccha Tiramisu is also now chilled well unlike my last visit.  Adding a star to the service rating! =D

Other Bistro Group Restaurant Reviews
Bulgogi Brothers
Italianni's Restaurant
Krazy Garlic
Ma Maison (closed)
Modern Shanghai
SikLab Filipino Favorites
Tonkatsu by Terazawa
Village Tavern
Watami 2

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Watami serves great quality Japanese dishes at very reasonable prices.  The proportions are generous and I like that they have solo and group size options.  Since we dined during the soft opening phase, it is quite understandable that service could still be improved.  

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Watami Menu
Ambiance Salmon | Appetizer | Sashimi |
 Sushi | Tempura | Seafood | 
Meat | Skewers | Teppan |
Cheese & Egg | Pizza | Stone Hotpot | Rice |
Lunch Set 1 | Lunch Set 2 | 
Ramen | Udon | Alcoholic Beverage | 
Beverage | Dessert | 
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Watami SM Mall of Asia
Branches Glorietta 1 
 G/F, The New Glorietta Mall,
Ayala Center, Makati City


SM Mall of Asia
2nd Level, Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 5%
Budget/Person 200-500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02)  808-0475 (Glorietta 1) / (02) 511-7572 (SM Mall of Asia)
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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