Tokyo Tonteki - More than a Japanese Restaurant in Makati

Tokyo Tonteki - More than a Japanese Restaurant in Makati

Tokyo Tonteki has a very special place in my heart, as it housed several memories of my early working days. Back then, I can clearly recall how we constantly needed to struggle balancing the need to unwind versus the need to preserve whatever little left in our pockets. Tokyo Tonteki became our helpline. With close proximity to our office (probably just 5 minutes of walking), this restaurant was reachable, physically and figuratively. 

Hence, re-visiting this place brings back tremendous joy, and bittersweet flashbacks. Thankfully after all these years, Tokyo Tonteki remains to be reachable, providing quality Japanese dishes for a reasonable range. In this blog post, I'd be sharing with you some classic favorite dishes we normally ordered during my SGV days. However, to keep things a little more interesting, I will also be sharing a few new ones I got the chance to try -- a testament to the saying that there will be a time in your life when you will pause and say to yourself "I've only dreamt and prayed for this before". 

Anyway, just before I dive right into the food, above is a photo circa 2015. This was taken in the exact restaurant, which is why when I was observing the interior, I couldn't help but feel a wave of nostalgia. Perhaps that sense of bittersweet is coming from how quickly time went by, how I am no longer as close to some of these guys, and how memories will forever be like that -- a snapshot of what WAS.

I then shifted my attention to my fellow companions that time, and smiled. I started taking photos of the food, and so I am going to share them with you. Let's start off with my personal favorite classics.

Chicken Karaage with Teryaki Sauce

The Chicken Karaage with Teryaki Sauce (P275) was the staplest of the staples here in Tokyo Tonteki. All throughout my stay in Makati, I probably ate more than 10 dishes of this already. The crispness of the chicken along with the rich savory sweet sauce hugging each piece gives this dish its iconic goodness. Also, it's great to note that this is a mini-set and it comes with unlimited Japanese rice, cabbage and soup. By now, it's probably clearer to you why Tokyo Tonteki was a favorite. We were able to pig-out with just less than P300. 

Large Tonteki Set of Tokyo Tonteki, Makati

Although the dish above is a Large Tonteki Set (P520) there is a budget version of this which we were fond of ordering back then. It was the Mini-Chopped Tonteki Set (P330) which shares the same goodness of this garlicky-savory special tonteki sauce. This was a personal favorite because it kind of reminded me of steak. Again, this is a mini-set, so it comes with all unlimited refills.

Menchi Katsu with Cheese Set - must try in Tokyo Tonteki

The third staple that we used to order, and still remains to be so great, is this Menchi Katsu with Cheese Set (P295)Do I have to explain this? I think the photo speaks for itself. Just look at that gooey tempting cheese at the center. Also, the ground meat is very fine and tender giving you a love bite each time you take one. 

Now we will be jumping to dishes that I haven't tried before, and which I got to try now. 

Crispy Salmon Maki of Tokyo Tonteki

We often skip the appetizers on the menu whenever we dine anywhere. With just a limited budget to spare, we often think that appetizers were such luxury. It's funny that despite the relative affordability of starters here in Tokyo Tonteki, we still refrained ourselves getting any. Take for example the Crispy Salmon Maki (P120) - photo above. It explodes with salty-crispy goodness, and if you take the average, that's just P20 a piece. Where else will you be able to find that?

Spicy Salmon Maki of Tokyo Tonteki

The Spicy Salmon Maki (P170) is another alternative starter. It has fresh salmon on top as well as in its core. Do not get scared by the word "spicy", because it doesn't have any kick at all. The spicy is more an added flavor (just a hint actually). 

Kani Salad of Tokyo Tonteki, Japanese Restaurant, Makati

If you want to go full-on healthy, there's also this very appetizing Kani Salad (P195). It comes with this creamy Japanese mayo with hefty slices of mango and kani. 

Tokyo Tonteki also released some new dishes such as the Tonkatsu Set (P290), a very affordable alternative to Yabu. And again, to reiterate, this comes with unlimited rice, cabbage and soup as well. They also have Beef Gyudon to give variety from the usual chicken/pork.

Beef Gyudon classic Japanese dish - Tokyo Tonteki

Now, we are jumping to relatively pricier dishes here in Tokyo Tonteki which I was not able to try before given again by budget constraint. 

Salmon Belly with Teryaki Sauce of Tokyo Tonteki

The Salmon Belly with Teryaki Sauce (P350) gives the same lovable goodness of the sauce in the Chicken Karaage, but altogether different when combined with the freshness of the salmon belly. The omega also gives a different texture and flavor to the sauce as well. 

Seafood Katsu Set of Tokyo Tonteki

The Seafood Katsu Set (P430) is a bountiful seafood dish that still is reasonably priced compared to contemporaries where similar dish are priced P500+ and sometimes even P600. The prawns were thick, and the batter-to-meat ratio was great! The salmon was also great, but you may want to request having them just lightly fried to retain its plumpness and juice.

Cheese Tonburg Steak Set of Tokyo Tonteki

Last but certainly not the least, we have this Cheese Tonburg Steak Set (P425). It was an instant new favorite. It was generously meaty, and has a smokey hint from the grilling. The cheese also further enhances the overall flavor that hits all the right spots. Keep the rice away because I'm pretty sure you'd be binging on it. Perfect to be paired with Tonteki Fried Rice. A must-try!

Cheesecake with Matcha of Tokyo Tonteki

Dessert has always been a hands-off during our working days because ordering one would have surely dented our wallets. Hence, it was extremely refreshing coming back with a vengeance. The Cheesecake with Matcha (P175) is true in its representation. You will be able to taste the hints of matcha as you a spoonful melts in the mouth. Come to think of it, maybe we should have just pooled our funds and ordered one. I can imagine the relief and joy it could have provided us back then.  

Choco-lovers have an alternative with Tokyo Tonteki's Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream (P120). Very worth the money if you'd ask me. It has this gooey chocolate syrup drizzled over ice cream and the chocolate cake. However, given that the texture of the cake is a bit bready, I'd prefer to have the cheesecake for its creaminess. 

Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream of Tokyo Tonteki

Tokyo Tonteki is a gift, and I am happy that it continues to be one for newer generations. Hence, whenever you feel like indulging on some Japanese dishes without the worry of breaking the bank that much, well Tokyo Tonteki will welcome you with open arms, just what it did for us almost a decade ago. Tokyo Tonteki is located on the second floor of Greenbelt 5, Makati. 

Update as of January 2023: According to my younger brother, this restaurant has already closed. Thank you for all the memories Tokyo Tonteki Greenbelt. 

Enjoying what you are reading? Know the latest food trends by hitting the like button below.

This blog is brought to you by Renz Kristofer Cheng. Copyright 2012. Powered by Blogger.