Doing a review for Yanagi wasn’t exactly in my plans, but as the days passed by, I slowly changed my mind and decided to just go with it. My mother decided to take us here since they were offering a Japanese food buffet for Easter Sunday, and, well…. Seriously, who am I to pass that up? One quick read through this blog and you’ll know that Japanese food is one of my favorites.
Yanagi, located at the Midas Hotel & Casino in Roxas Boulevard, has been featured in so many TV shows and culinary magazines thanks to their tasty authentic Japanese fare. Midas replaced the old Hyatt Hotel in Pasay, which also housed a Japanese restaurant called Tempura Misono. A little bit of research tells me that Tempura Misono was one of the very first Japanese restaurants here in Manila. Yanagi has also made plenty of appearances in Philippine Tatler’s list of the Best Restaurants.
I was actually surprised that my dad agreed to drive us all the way to Midas, since he’s not exactly a big fan of travelling to far locations around the metro (Meanwhile, I’m the exact opposite). Good thing it wasn’t traffic!
Restaurant interior. The hotel itself isn’t as grand as, say, Sofitel or EDSA Shang, but it’s still very nice and clean.
Not a lot of choices when it comes to the food, but I didn’t really care at all – I was more than ready to fill my stomach with lots of Japanese food. Interestingly enough, some classic favorites, like Gyoza and Teriyaki Chicken weren’t included in the food items.
My first plate consisted of Tempura Sushi, two pieces of my usual maguro Sushi Moriawase, Kappa Maki, a scoop of Potato Salad, and Sake Gunkan Maki.
They don’t just serve Japanese food in this buffet – Here is a plate of fresh fruits…
Grilled fish and squid.
Mom’s plate, which consisted of California Maki, another piece of Tempura Sushi, and freshly-grilled shrimp drenched in tasty butter sauce.
She also liked their Kamameshi Rice.
More shrimp – This time in Tempura form! The three of us were given our own plates of shrimp and veggie tempura.
Sukiyaki with slightly sweet broth, a piece of grilled tofu, veggies, noodles, and the thinnest slices of beef.
Fresh Sashimi Moriawase for dad.
I absolutely cannot skip out on the Teppanyaki Gyuniku – Delicious cuts of grilled Japanese steak, served medium-rare. I was in pretty much in pure bliss while eating this.
Takoyaki, with actual chewy bits of octopus inside.
Cold Chasoba. Didn’t really like this very much.
There weren’t too many options when it came to the dessert, which was slightly disappointing… And none of them really stood out to me either.
We did like this small piece of coffee jelly dessert, though.
Green Tea ice cream, packed with flavor.
(Some of the dishes we missed out on: Yakiudon, Wakame salad, Tori Naruto maki, Kudamono moriawase, Zensai, Japanese-style carpaccio, Yanagi salad, Kurage salad.)
Well I did end up eating a lot (obviously), but one of the things that I love about Japanese food is that you can literally chow down on so many dishes and not feel full at all. And although I’ve been to better Japanese restaurants, my dining experience here at Yanagi is something I won’t forget anytime soon.
Food: 4/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)
Yanagi is located at The Midas Hotel and Casino, 2702 Roxas Boulevard Roxas Blvd, Pasay City. Tel no: (02) 902 0100. Links: Official Midas Hotel Website || Midas Hotel Facebook || Midas Hotel Twitter || IG: @midashotelandcasino