Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant

Watami is a restaurant in Shangri-La’s East Wing. If you can’t tell from its name, this restaurant serves Japanese food. It aims to specialize in three things: A great ambiance, fantastic service, and amazing food. They opened up their first branch in Glorietta 2 last 2013 – Aside from this one and the one in Shang, they also have another branch located in MOA.

Interior. We had dinner here on a Sunday evening, so the atmosphere inside the resto was just bursting with chatter/energy. Most of the customers who dined here consisted of families. (BTW yes, that is ‘Frozen’ being shown on the TV screen – The other TV in the restaurant was playing ‘Pacific Rim’.)

Menu: Lunch sets, Ramen sets, Salad/veggies, Sushi/sashimi/rolls/takoyaki/okonomiyaki, Tempura, Seafoood, Skewers, Gyoza/katsu/steak, Chicken, Hotpot/sukiyaki, Udon/soba/ramen, Donburi, Ice cream/parfait.

(These aren’t the actual set names BTW – I’m just basing them from the pictures that I saw on the menu.)

Shrimp Tempura. Large pieces of melt-in-your-mouth shrimp covered in a crispy batter. Sadly, it tasted quite dull.

Self-grilled Short Ribs. Mine was cooked medium rare, so it had a pleasantly chewy texture. The meat was really fresh too, and I absolutely loved the gravy dipping sauce. Out of all the dishes that we ordered here, this one has got to be my favorite.

Chicken Thigh Skewers (left), and Chicken Liver Skewers (right).

Deep Fried Tofu with Tempura Sauce in Hot Pot. Didn’t get to try this one much since I was busy with my ribs/tempura.

Lastly, Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot. I couldn’t help but compare this dish to the sizzling beef/rice plates served in Sizzling Pepper Steak and Pepper Lunch – And unfortunately I have to say that theirs is better than this one (and it’s cheaper too). The rice itself could use more pepper. I didn’t have a hard time munching on the strips of beef, though.

Watami’s staff was very friendly and attentive, plus I also loved the entire ambiance of the resto. I was pretty much satisfied and happy with my dinner. The only bad thing about this meal was that almost every single dish that we tried tasted plain and lacked flavor (yes, even those delicious short ribs). I hope that by the time I come back here, the flavors of their dishes would have improved greatly.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 3.5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Watami is located at Shangri-la Plaza Mall , Shaw Blvd Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Tel no: (02) 570-1719. Links: Facebook.

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