FPIP Sto. Tomas, Batangas
+63 (043)405-5791 / +63 (043)405-5001
I am by no means that much knowledgeable about Japanese Food. I do love to eat Takoyaki and Tempura... and it's just recently that I started appreciating the goodness of Sushi. That being said, I would like to discover Japanese Food more, so the minute I received an invitation for a Japanese lunch, I quickly said yes.
Minori-Tei Japanese Restaurant is located at the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. It might be quite far from the Metro, but it's very accessible - as one would just take the bus going to Batangas and asked to be dropped off at the gate of FPIP. From there, it's just a few meters away.
Minori-Tei opened a few months ago to cater to Japanese nationals working at FPIP and nearby Industrial Parks, as well as offer authentic Japanese cuisine to the Filipino in the south. Meaning "Golden Harvest," it also mirrors the other businesses of the How family (the owner of the restaurant), who are also into agriculture business.
I love how spacious the restaurant is! Though big, some parts have division to give groups a little sense of privacy. They also have Videoke Rooms, by the way.
One thing I learned, there's Japanese Restaurant, and there's authentic Japanese Restaurant. Biggest indication to know if it's authentic is through its head chef. Minori-Tei's head chef is Toshiya Honda, who now has 25 years of experience in Japanese kitchens around the world. He personally selects and buys the ingredients to be used in the dishes served at the restaurant, making sure the ingredients are super fresh.
Chef Honda prepared the lunch for us (with the help of some cooks, of course), but because they served a lot, I'm going to break this post in two. For today, let me share what we had as appetizers. :)
Edamame. It was like eating boiled peanuts, and I loved it!
Kani Salad. There were more lettuce than Kani, but what made it really good was the dressing.
Tofu Salad. Again, the dressing was exceptional. I loved the harmony between the "tasteless" tofu and the saltiness of the bonito shavings.
Hokkaido Sashimi. This was a very special part of the lunch because the seafood in this plate just came in from Japan that morning. Too bad I don't really eat sashimi, but the companions I had that day said it was very tasty.
I wasn't able to get the actual name of this one, so I will just call it Chicken Nibbles, because that was how it looked and tasted like. It was like eating cornicks. :)
California Roll. I personally eat my sushi as is - no dipping sauce. From what I learned from a foodie friend who loves to eat Japanese food, a good indication of sushi (aside from its flavor) is its size. One has to put one piece in the mouth and be able to chew it good. This sushi had the right amount of rice and stuffing, and the fish roe just pops in the mouth.
Spice Roll. This, I loved more than the California Roll because it was spicy.
Tempura Roll. It was good, but among the three kinds of sushi, this was my least favorite.
Another dish I forgot to ask, but it was Breaded Octopus or something similar. It reminded me of Calamares, and maybe the next time I see some octopus in the market, I might try to cook something like this.
Mix Sashimi. Oh my goodness, this has got to be biggest spread of sashimi I have ever seen! It had - salmon, sea urchin, squid, tuna, yellow tail fish, shrimps, and white fish. Like I said, I don't eat sashimi, but I did try to eat a little of that sea urchin. Well, of course I will say I didn't like it because I never really liked eating raw meat, but if my siblings were in my place, for sure they'd say it was so good, just like what my companions said about this spread.
The appetizers were already enough to make one full, but after they cleared out the table, chef Honda said there's still another batch of food for us, which I will share tomorrow.