New Food Destination: Ichiba Japanese Market in Resorts World Manila

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

I was excited to actually see something like "what's seen in Japan" to be here in the Philippines. I've never seen something so authentic. This is Ichiba Japanese Market in Resorts World Manila. This is part of Newport Mall's restaurants located on the second floor of the building. While inside, there were maps on the table so you won't get lost inside Ichiba Japanese Market. Not that it's too big, but it just describes where you can get the food items on menu. They also have wait staff who can take your orders but I'd suggest you roam around the place and get them straight from the little stalls inside the venue. Do it like how the Japanese do.

I love the effect of seeing everything being done right in front of you. Where steam is coming out from pots, pans, where they fry fresh tempura, make Takoyaki the original way like you're in Japan. This time, you don't need a passport or visa to actually experience it.

The decor was impressive. Complete with lobsters, crabs and tons of Japanese trinkets all around. The little house with a crab you see on this photo houses the fresh seafood they offer for the day. I saw Lobster, Rock Lobster and Abalone all still moving.

It's as fresh as it can get. Now imagine this halved, roasted over fire, with butter, garlic and served in volcanic stones. We had one that's really soft and meaty. It was worth the trouble of getting antihistamines for my seafood allergy haha!

This is a dedicated Tako counter making my super favorite Japanese street food item the Takoyaki. They also make one of the tastiest Gyoza I've ever had. Although it may need some improvement on the presentation side, it's worthy to be ordered. The Karaage was soft inside, and crunchy on the outside. Dip it on the thick Japanese mayo, then have rice with it, we have nothing to talk about anymore.

I had interest in this nook where they cook all the soba and udon from. I'm a self declared expert when it comes to the cold soba, a personal favorite. I ordered it, I'll show you later.

I also ordered the Tonkotsu Miso. A miso based noodle bowl that also contains pork slivers. I also appreciate that fact that when I commented on the food they served, they accepted it as a feedback. This means you're going to see MORE improvements to the menu in the coming days.

I didn't eat any Donburi as I already have a lot on my plate literally. The rice bowls were awesome though, I saw someone eat it off on the table across mine. I told my self I wanted one haha.

They really make good Takoyaki. The proof is in the filling. As you can see, theirs is actually full to the brim. They also make this golden brown, not burnt, just right. They also topped it with bonito flakes which gives us the impression that it's moving. Simple, but fancy, I like that.

We caught the Japanese Chef  cleaning scallops. Filipinos would love this lightly grilled to perfection. It's in the details and they sure can bring it.

As you can see, this is pretty legit. I love what they did with everything except the ceiling. Some were exposed and might be better if they had some sort of wood to cover that. Still, it felt like what it should have felt like, so it did it's job. This would be a really good attraction for Resorts World Manila.

They have a real original dedicated Asahi Beer Bar. For all those who miss the brand, they serve it here all day! You don't have to go to Japan to have it.

The selections of grilled chicken and beef or what they call Yakitori was full of Umami flavor. I loved the chicken most.

The Salmon Sashimi, the Tuna Sashimi, was fresh and cold. Just dip it in Kikkoman Soy Sauce and their fresh wasabi, you're good to go.

Their Takoyaki was very Japanese. It's not like those fishy ones you usually buy in stalls here in the Philippines. I could compare it to the regional ones I had in SM Makati, yes equally good but cheaper in price I think.

This is the Tonkotsu Miso Ramen. I don't know how to tell you, I think they have to improve the broth a little as it was on the salty side. The good thing is, they were taking notes. I'm sure the next time I'm going to be here I'd really have a really good bowl or two. I'd go for the soba too.

The fresh catch was literally saying hi to us as this Rock Lobster was flapping, still alive before they prepared it for grilling.

Tempura was served fresh, hot, with a light batter, fast. It was succulent and still sweet. Pretty good.

My super duper favorite on the food they  served, this is Zaru Soba. It can be taken hot or cold but I prefer the latter. You take a heaping chopstick full of these and dip it in the Soy Sauce laden cup with spring onions, a little wasabi, and ginger. Super good.

The Chicken Karaage was superb. I could have an order or two in one sitting. The crisp exterior, the gingery sweet meat, dipped in the thick Japanese mayo, do I need to say more?

Their Gyoza was good, although I suggested a more presentable way of doing this. The consistency of the skin was good, the meat and veggies inside was flavorful, plus the vinegar was very sour. It was the ideal Gyoza you dreamed of when in Japan. Again, you can now have this in Manila, that's good news.

I liked how the soba noodles were kept cold using this tube of ice. While it was hot it probably got the marks on this tube of ice and made it like an artwork.

It was also springy and chewy just the way I like it.

Then the Chef also prepared Sukiyaki from scratch. He did that while roasting the Rock Lobsters then put it on the rocks. Rock Lobster on the rocks get it? LOL

He also put the shrimps and Ika (Squid) on the grill. It just needed a few minutes to cook.

The Sukiyaki was delish!

When my Takoyaki order arrived, it was game over. I loved every bit of it, including the small bits of Octopus inside.

We also had the chance to see the lovely crab which they served family style. I think you can purchase this per kilogram on the aquariums they have on the side of the restaurant. Then cook it right on the spot.

This fish was good and soft too. They just covered it in batter and deep fried it. If I'm not mistaken this is red snapper.

Do you like what you see? Then don't sit there behind the keyboard. Go out with your family and visit Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. The Ichiba Japanese Market is here, waiting to be discovered. I'm sure in a few months, this place would be packed. The food in general isn't that much expensive if you compare it to the restaurants in the same mall, but absolutely worthy of your visit. I'm going back there very soon with some friends and family, so if I were you I'd be asking my friends right now to put it on their schedules. It's as real as it gets.

For more information about their artists:
Ichiba Japanese Market
Ichiba Japanese Market
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