Restaurant Review: Tonchaya Japanese Kitchen & Bar at The Fort Strip
Published on January 22, 2015
I once again got an invite from Aldous for yet another food-tasting event that he organized for bloggers. I was supposed to be a part of the first batch of bloggers to sample the food at Tonchaya Japanese Kitchen & Bar at The Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City, but I fell ill on the scheduled date. I felt really bad because the restaurant is just a few cartwheels away from where I work. But luck was on my side when Aldous told me that he organized another one. I love Japanese cuisine that’s why I didn’t let it pass the second time around even if it fell on a Sunday.
I initially thought that Tonchaya is a Japanese word. I was knocking my head in shame when I realized that it’s not. Haha. Our host told us that “chaya” means kitchen in Japanese, and that Ton is one of the owner’s son. So literally, Tonchaya means Ton’s kitchen. Tonchaya was initially a fastfood outlet in Ortigas which started operations in 2012. On the same year, Tonchaya opened two more outlets at Mercato Centrale and at the parking lot of Makati Medical Center. Because of its successful first year of operation, the owner decided to put up Tonchaya Japanese Kitchen & Bar in April 2013.
Ok, I’ll stop boring you with history. Now, let’s talk about the food!
I felt my eyes widened, and I could swear that I almost drooled when the Crunchy Salmon Salad was served to us. Lying on a bed of fresh lettuce are slices of salmon sitting on crisp toasts. I used to be really scared in eating raw food, but my younger brother introduced me to the art of eating sashimi. And since then, I could not stop the addiction! The freshness of the salmon was very evident. It instantly melts as it hits my mouth. The melts-in-your-mouth salmon goes perfectly well with the crispiness of the fried wanton wrapper (Sorry, I’m not sure about it, but it does sure look like it.) which was generously scattered in the salad. The contrast of texture created an unstoppable party in my mouth!
I once heard from Kris Aquino in one of the episodes of KrisTV that the best restaurants in Japan are those with limited menu. This is because they serve their specialties. So it’s either the place is a ramen house or a sushi house. If you see ramen, tonkatsu, sushi and any other Japanese-sounding dishes in the menu, then odds are the place is just so-so. Don’t get mad at me, I just heard it from Kris. Haha! Anyway, when I saw the ramen being served to us, I got a bit hesitant because of what Kris told me (feeling close, haha). Plus, my husband and I recently got hooked to eating ramen, so my palates became hard to please. Good thing Tonchaya’s Spicy Seafood Ramen didn’t disappoint.
Tonchaya Japanese Kitchen & Bar
The Fort Strip
7th Street corner 28th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
* All photos were taken with a Nikon D60