Tori Tori

Getting to go to Wilson in San Juan is always a treat for me – It’s one of the more underrated neighborhood destinations in Metro Manila, in my opinion, along with its sister streets, P. Guevarra and Little Baguio. It was already known as a food hub, even before the other popular food hubs came into fruition.

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Tori Tori is one of the more recent establishments opened up in Wilson. It’s a tiny Japanese barbecue spot that specializes in Kushiyaki, a term that translates to ‘grilled on a stick’. So they don’t just serve your plain ol’ chicken yakitori here – There’s also grilled beef, seafood, and veggies.

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Interior was a bit cramped.

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Menu: Kushiyaki, Sushi, Sashimi, Makimono, Wrap it up, Others, Rice, Drinks.

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Spicy Tuna Sashimi, fresh tuna sprinkled with tempura flakes. Very tasty. I was slightly hesitant about wanting to try out sushi/sashimi at a place like this, but I decided to just go for it. I actually ordered this by mistake – I wanted to order their spicy tuna roll, but I mistakenly ticked off the one found in the ‘Sashimi’ category. Hehe. Oh well. At least it was delicious!

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Light-tasting Kani Salad.

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And here’s our beautiful set of Kushiyaki! First we have mom’s Fish Tofu which was served first, and on a separate plate too (probably because it’s not made from meat). It tasted like regular grilled tofu to me.

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… Our second plate of Kushiyaki is the big kahuna: Starting from right you have dad’s orders, the Chicken Thigh and Chicken Heart(!). The thigh was pretty delicious, but it could use a little bit of salt. I skipped the heart entirely… Sorry!

Anyway, I ordered the last two sticks on the plate – Namely, Butabara and Japanese Wagyu. I’m sorry, but you can’t expect me to not order meat at a place such as this! The Butabara (pork) had this rich, flavorful smokiness to it tasted vastly different from the Pinoy-style barbecue that I was so used to.

And then there’s the wagyu. Goodness gracious. So soft, it felt like I was eating a piece of beef-flavored tofu! I’m not really too sure if the beef that Tori Tori uses for their Japanese wagyu comes from actual Kobe beef (TBH the price makes me skeptical – A stick costs less than 200 pesos), but if it does, then I feel really honored to have finally tried it. If not, then I’m sure real wagyu is just as good as the one used here, if not better.

Honestly I’ve been wanting to visit Tori Tori since last year, or perhaps even before that (I even dreamt about visiting it a couple of months before this entry happened), and I’m so glad that everything was worth the wait. Not only is their Kushiyaki finely grilled, it’s easy on the budget too.

Ambiance/Interior: 4.5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Tori Tori Kushiyaki is located at 197 Wilson St Greenhills, San Juan. Tel no: (02) 370-7017. Links: Facebook.

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