Dohtonbori’s Must-Try Okonomiyaki is Now Here in Manila
Dohtonbori started rocking the internet when it opened its first branch in the Philippines in Greenhills (near Promenade). When I saw this news, I made it a point to really check this place out. Upon seeing and reading about it, my intuition told me that it would be an awesome experience to dine there. A month after, I still kept on hearing that waiting line was eternal. On our first attempt last December, we failed to make it inside due to the extremely long queue; hence, we ended up eating in 8 Cuts (read more). On my birth month, we decided to go for our second attempt, and this time we finally got in. In this blog post, I am going to share with you our awesome Dohtonbori experience, and I’m telling you it’s one of a kind!
Dohtonbori as a famous restaurant for Japanese comfort food
The server assigned to us shared how famous Dohtonbori is in Japan. She even added that it’s where Japanese people go to eat some comforting food. Well, I don’t want to spoil you, but after dining here, I may have to agree with that. In fact, Dohtonbori is now part of my list to go for some comfort food.
Experiencing Japan in Dohtonbori Restaurant
The interior of this restaurant is modern yet still had these amazing traditional touches. Plus, there are elements around the restaurant that will just catch your attention and may leave you giggling and/or amused.
Due to the interesting design and displays found in Dohtonbori’s interior, you will catch there a very light and comforting air conducive for a unique Japanese cuisine experience.
In my estimate, Dohtonbori can accommodate about 80 people at a time. However, despite this capacity, you still need to wait for about 30 minutes before getting a seat (even more during rush hour). Hence, I highly advise that you queue up as early as you can, and sorry to burst your bubble, but they don’t accept table reservations.
Dohtonbori and Its Skilled Staff
While we were waiting, I noticed how “graceful” the waitstaff move and assist the customers, and I knew that I needed to ask about their training, which I did. Surprisingly, the waitstaff here in Dohtonbori undergoes 3 months of training to ensure high quality service, and when I asked why it was that long, our server told us that it was because they needed to learn basic conversational Nihingo too aside from the rigorous training.
Dohtonbori’s Art of Cooking
The art of cooking employed by the staff here in Dohtonbori is amazing and enthralling. It adds up to the wonderful experience as each procedure is meticulously executed. They have with them a timer to be precise with the food preparation. This may be one of the reasons why you really need to wait up – most of the dishes are cooked on demand right on front of you (unless you want to do it yourself), and the grill can only accommodate about 2 dishes at a time.Okay, I have blabbered too much, so let me now proceed with the dishes we had.
Tonteki || P220
First, the meat will be cooked 2 minutes on each side. Then, this process will be repeated for another round.
To add the flavor to it, the special sauce will be the final touch to the grilling.
Prepared and cooked for about 8 minutes using fried garlic garlic, butter and secret spices, this tonteki had this savory taste that was rightly salty. It also had this umami goodness that tickled each corner of my palate. It's incredible! Well, it may not be too tender if you’ll ask me, but it was sufficiently so, and I really didn’t mind it.
Mixed Okonomiyaki || P290
The process of preparing the okonomiyaki is much simpler, but takes longer to cook.
The server just mixes all the ingredients together and just pour the content on the pan.
The final touches are added once both sides are aptly cooked.
This mixed okonomiyaki was crazily fantastic. The preparation and cooking time may take a while, but it was definitely worth the wait! I tasted a harmonious blend of remarkable flavors (from all the fresh ingredients) that eventually converged to an amazing blanket of unified flavor. Lastly, the sourness of the authentic mayo mixed with the ironic sweetness from the drizzle of the sauce just created a dynamic blend on the buds.
Four Cheese Okonomiyaki || P290
The Four Cheese Okonomiyaki was a saltier version of the okonomiyaki above, but it had this almost same awesomeness from the mouthful sensation. However, I have to admit that I really preferred the first one despite me being a self-confessed cheese lover. It was such as shame for me to say this, but honesty compels me to do so.
Quattroformaggi || P240
This "pancake-pizza" is cooked far from the traditional way. Even the "crust" is cooked on the spot.
Once the crust is cooked, the four cheese are poured on top to melt.
It is then drizzled with caramel sauce as the final touch.
The Quatroformaggi had this contrasting sweetness from the caramel sauce and saltiness from the four cheese. Unfortunately, I found the taste a bit confusing with so many things going on. Some of my friends slammed me on this accusing me of blasphemy.
Buta Yakisoba || P260
The ingredients excluding the noodles are stir-fried on the pan.
The ingredients excluding the noodles are stir-fried on the pan.
Afterwards, the noodles are placed on top while the water infused with some spices is poured over.
Finally, the sauce is then drizzled on top to finish it off.
Lastly (and unfortunately the least of our favorite), this yakisoba had this ordinary flavor despite having an appealing visuals. The taste had this gingery highlight that was a bit out of balance if you’ll ask me, but still, I’ll say it’s a decent dish.
Alright, so that practically concludes this blog post, and I hope you were entertained. Anyway, we were so happy with our experience that we decided to have our next barkada celebration here again.
Dohtonbori - Overall Ratings and Summary
Note: Unshaded stars are equivalents of half-stars. The ratings apply solely to this dining experience.
Value for Money ★★★★★
Budget: at least P350 each for a satisfying Dohtonbori for a group of 4
Dohtonbori is definitely worth all the wait from lining up to waiting for the dishes to be cooked. I even agree with Cyd that the preparation time will build the anticipation which further pushes up the level of expectation, but fortunately Dohtonbori eventually succeeded in meeting it. I’m giving this place a two-thumbs up, and I am urging you to give it a try!
Related Blog Posts:
- A Journey to Izakaya Kikufuji of Little Tokyo - great place for sashimi and tasty beef cubes!
- Urameshi-Ya's Unlimited Wagyu Beef Cubes and More for P500 Only - affordable eat-all-you-can yakiniku
Location: Cullinan Prime Building, 8 Missouri Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan City
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
Contact No.: (02) 5702765
Table reservation: Not Allowed
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