Come Eat "East Meets West" at JOHN and YOKO UP Town Center

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Had a blast last night celebrating friendship and fun at John and Yoko - an East meets West fusion restaurant in posh UP Town Center. If you're in the mall's main entrance, just go up the escalator right after bag inspection and turn left. They are the last door on that floor. You might think the restaurant is actually small but don't be mistaken, come inside and you'll see a pretty good mix of oriental, industrial and wooden interior. It could probably fit around 70-80 people in one go and is air conditioned. It's fit for families, group of friends and small gatherings. They also have a dedicated Sushi Bar where they whip up really good Salmon, Tuna or seafood wonders. We had some of them right off the bat!

This one is the Spicy Tuna Roll. It's got those crunchy Tempura batter bits on top plus a lovely layer of sweet tasting raw tuna on top sprinkled with chili so you get a little spicy kick with each bite. This was my favorite that evening.

And they did come rolling in (pun intended), this is the California Roll. You've got the usual crabsticks, smothered in thick Japanese mayo, mango, cucumber wrapped in Japanese rice and fish roe. I like this too and it is quite filling. There's more!

Now this was something off tangent, it's called Cheese Fried Maki. It's filled with either Buratta or Buffalo cheese inside, rolled into rice and seaweed, then breaded and fried until crunchy. It's surprisingly good. I like it a lot that I had to steal some of it from my friends haha!

My Mom would personally love this Spicy Tuna Salad. It's a mix of greens with just enough Japanese mayo for dressing and perhaps a cup of raw tuna belly cubes in it. They make it fresh when you order and it is quite good. The serving is BIG so this is good for sharing if you're the healthy kind, well almost healthy with the Japanese mayo that is LOL!

The piece de resistance came in the middle of our meal with this Sukiyaki. It's got that lovely broth, earthy, plus pieces of vegetables, blocks of tofu (which was good btw!) and comfort that only a bowl of it would bring. It's perfect for a rainy day!

For tofu lovers, this is their version of Tofu Steak. Crunchy tofu slices with meat, veggies and thick sauce. I think it could pass off vegetarian but hey, we all need a break and still keep it healthy with this dish. Kids would love it too!

For fried food lovers, this is their Ika Fritters (literally meaning Squid Fritters). It's crunchy on the outside, still soft on the inside and is lovely paired with beer or with just plain rice. Good for two or three people.

This is the Chicken Teriyaki Pizza and I love this too. It's sweet and savory, probably because of the sauce and mangoes that's on top of the stretched handmade crust that it's in. If you've got kids around, this would definitely keep them busy.

For Salmon lovers, this is the Tribeca Salmon. It's like meat from the sea that's been barbecued. It's rich and savory, buttery because it's got a little fat as it is salmon belly. Am I teasing you? Yes, have this alone or with rice, it's all good!

This is another of my Mom's favorite, Ebi Tempura. They make really good ones, legit if you can call it that. Simple light soy sauce, it's a done deal. 

For those who like it spicy, this is their Minced Pork Chili Soba. It's buck wheat flour noodles stir fried with veggies, pork pieces, soy sauce and a whole lot of dried chili flakes. I like the amount of hotness, it's like I'm watching transformers in 3D, but I think I would love a cold version of this more (because I'm a fan of cold soba noodles).

This is their Yakiniku Pork Loin. Pork slices that have been grilled and served with a huge amount of Banchan which are side dishes of the Korean kind. My friends like the anchovies and had this wrapped on the greens more like Ssambap. It's good for groups of 3 or 4, take it with rice so you can stretch it too. They have Japanese Rice available in huge bowls, so dig in!

To end the meal, they got us this melt in your mouth Wagyu Teppan Chuck. It's just seared lightly on Teppan plate and seasoned well with simple salt and pepper. It comes with sauteed veggies like Cabbage, Carrots and Mung Beans. I think you would fit this really nice when you've got a date, or just something to reward yourself after working hard. 

I like the fact that John and Yoko is situated a bit far from the crowd, the isolation is a bit attractive so I could have privacy with family and friends. They have really good iced teas (Calamansi and Lime) which you can actually have unlimited for less than a hundred bucks. They also have decent wifi connection which you can use when you want to stay connected while you're there. John and Yoko presents a good alternative to your usual Japanese or Korean restaurant. You get the authenticity of flavors, twist it a little and still be good whether you are a fan of East or West cooking. You can have both of these at their branch in JOHN and YOKO at the UP TOWN CENTER. 


For more information about their restaurant:
John and Yoko UP Town Center
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