At the very last minute Rochelle decided she wanted to watch Wicked and even though I already watched it in San Francisco several years ago I agreed to go with her. We got tickets to the second to the last show. Before the show we went to Tanabe for a super early dinner. It was a good thing they were already open when we went at 5:30 pm.
The gentleman cleaning the squid was the owner Chef Tanabe himself.
Here he is in his chef’s coat. Rochelle and her hubby Warren told me the best seat in the house is at the sushi bar where you can talk to Chef Tanabe and he will tell you what items are the freshest. Since we were almost the first ones in the place we got to choose the best seats.
The free appetizer was a cold soft tofu that was surprisingly flavorful.
Kaiso means seaweed and this salad made with rehydrated seaweed was really interesting and delicious.
I have only begun to eat and actually enjoy sashimi and this dinner was a baptism by fire since almost all the food Warren ordered was raw. Of all the types of raw seafood I’ve tried my favorites are hamachi (Japanese Amberjack) and shake (salmon). They both have the most flavor and I like the firm texture.
The star of the night was the fatty tuna from the rear belly of the fish called Chu Toro. Just look at the fat marbling you would think it’s beef. To think this isn’t even the best and most expensive kind of toro. That distinction goes to Otoro which is from the middle of the belly. Toro means “to melt”.
Another delicacy which I need to learn to appreciate was the akagai or arc shell also known as red clam in Japan.
I saw someone rave about Tanabe’s Uni Foilyaki in Instagram so I ordered it since I love uni or sea urchin to death. Fresh uni was grilled in foil with butter, lemon, shoyu and sake. It smelled good and it tasted buttery and firm but I still prefer raw uni which tasted sweeter and more delicate.
My friend Deb loves Oden made with egg, daikon, fish cakes in a light dashi broth and served with hot mustard so I suggested it to Warren. Unfortunately he didn’t think much of it.
Thinking I wouldn’t survive an entirely raw meal I ordered sticks of grilled pork. It was bland and tough. I’m sticking to sashimi.
I’m so happy I watched Wicked again. I enjoyed it all over again.
Since we sat near the stage I shot some pictures of the orchestra under the stage.
Look at the big drums!
Tanabe Japanese Restaurant
553 Remedios Street, Malate, Metro Manila 1004, 1004, Philippines
telephone: (+632) 528-4689, (+632) 524-7813, 0917-630-6257
Monday to Sunday: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm
2nd floor of Jupiter’s Place in Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati City
telephone: (+632) 692-9379