A different kind of Japanese dining experience

To say that Japanese food is a Filipino favorite is an understatement. Japanese food is already a staple here that there are now restaurants specializing on specific dishes, from tempura to ramen to sushi to katsu. People will line up for a hot bowl of rich ramen or a crunchy katsu meal.

ichiba platter
An assortment Japanese eats served during the restaurant’s grand launch.

Japanese food is love.

I, too, love Japanese food. When I was younger, my dad was sent by his company to work in Japan for six months and his love for Japanese food was transferred to us, mostly me, actually. He was the one who taught me how to use chopsticks. And because of the country’s rich culture and amazing food, Japan is on top of my list of countries to visit.

Another Japanese concept opened recently that made me think, are Filipinos slowly transporting Japan here? I mean, if that’s the case, can they they transport the weather, too?

Kidding aside, I love how more and more Japanese things are becoming available here. I wrote about Hattendo last time and now this concept. I heard that there are more Japanese brands and concepts opening in the country soon.

ichiba live seafood
Live seafood

iFoods Group, the company behind other Japanese restaurant concepts Tokyo Cafe and Wafu, recently opened Ichiba: Japanese Market, a restaurant that was inspired by the bustling markets of Japan. Imagine Tsukiji Fish Market, Kuromon Ichiba Market, Kyushu Market, and Hokkaido Market, cramped into one restaurant. Upon entering the restaurant, it’s like getting transported to busy street market complete with traditional Japanese market stall facades.

The eatery, located at the Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, is like a Japanese version of the Filipino “dampa” dining style. Diners can pick from the many live seafood at the restaurant. The restaurant’s live seafood section can hold up to 600 kg of live seafood, from shrimps to lobsters to crabs to various kinds of shellfish. Most of the seafood are sourced directly from Japan while some are from different parts of the Philippines. Customers can ask Ichiba’s highly trained kitchen staff to prepare the seafood to whatever Japanese dish they want.

ichiba takoyaki boys
Cooking octopus takoyaki balls

Ichiba has a ready menu as well, offering classic dishes like sushi, tempura, ramen, and donburi. At the center of the restaurant is yatai stall where busy cooks prepare favorite Japanese street food like takoyaki, yakitori (chicken fillet, chicken gizzard, salmon, pork belly, etc.), among others. You have to try the gyukushi or beef yakitori. These melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef barbecue dish is really good and at less P130, it’s a total steal. The restaurant also has a Asahi Bar for happy hours.

Location: Second floor, Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City
Contact: +63917 732-2176

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