Watami Grill and Sushi Bar Serves Japanese Style Pulutan

Japanese restaurants are popping up like mushrooms all over Metro Manila. Frankly, I’m not complaining. The latest chain that I tried is WATAMI GRILL and SUSHI BAR in Uptown Ball, Bonifacio Global City.

What drew me to this place is the kushiyaki, better known to Filipinos as yakitori. I’m a huge fan of this salary man staple in Japan. In the Philippines, this would be referred to as “pulutan.” In Japan, office workers often flock to a tiny alley somewhere along their route home from work. They would sit around a cramped bar and have a few drinks while watching the lone chef grilling some skewered meats on an open charcoal grill.

In Watami, the vibe is quite different. The Bistro Group (Famous for brands such as Friday’s, Italianni’s, Krazy Garlik etc.) has positioned this Japanese Grill to be more of a casual but bordering on high end family dining establishment instead of a hole-in-the wall, budget destination.
Before I get more into the boring stuff, let’s first talk about the food.

My meal started with some SALMON BELLY SKEWERS (PHP95). The dish didn’t look promising because of the pale color of the grilled salmon skin. However, I turned into a believer as soon as I took the first bite. The skin was crispy and well-seasoned while the interior was soft, juicy and perfectly medium rare.

Salmon Belly (Php95)

Before trying out more grilled skewers, my friends and I shared a bowl of the ASSORTED SASHIMI SALAD (PHP425). This is quite pricey for a salad, but you’ll see why when you start picking out the fresh slices of sashimi. The tart vinaigrette dressing reminded me of a ceviche. Overall a good dish.

Assorted Sashimi Salad (Php425)

Our next appetizer was the ANGEL ROLL (PHP375). I didn’t really find anything special with this dish and was slightly underwhelmed. The other rolls with the raw fish slices could be a better option for next time.
Angel Roll (Php375)

Rolled Omelette (Php175)

The ROLLED OMELETTE (PHP175) was a nice side dish that provided a light, sweet bite in between the chicken skewers that we had next. The SKEWER RICE BOX (PHP395) was composed of the following skewers: Chicken thigh, Chicken wings, Chicken balls and Chicken liver. That’s right, all chicken.
Skewer Rice Box (Php395)

Everything tasted great, but I think the skewer rice box could have been better if there was some pork or at least some kind of variety offered. Chicken in four iterations wasn’t so imaginative in my opinion.

Nevertheless, this is a hefty meal and the individual skewers were all good. All their skewers were also fairly large compared to many other yakitori spots in the city. Luckily, there is an option to order skewers a la carte. Clearly, we had to have some WAGYU SAIKORO STEAK CUBES (PHP195). If you’ve tried this elsewhere, the difference will mainly lie in the seasoning and the way it was grilled. They do it well here at a slightly higher price than you would get it in many other places.

Wagyu Saikoro Steak Cubes (Php195 per stick)

While still hankering for some beef, we also tried the BEEF SUKIYAKI RICE BOWL (PHP345). It is exactly what it says. Think of your bowl of sukiyaki and pour it over your rice…noodles and all. I like sukiyaki, and I like rice. I’m just not sure if the noodles should be left on there since you already have rice. Noodles on rice… hmmmm…..not exactly my cup of tea, but I must say that the flavors were spot on. I love sukiyaki, so I still enjoyed this.
Beef Sukiyaki Rice Box (Php345)

Overall, the flavors were great and the servings were hefty. The skewers were reasonably priced but some of the other dishes were on the more expensive side and unlikely to be your daily workday lunch.

See the full menu and other reviews on Zomato:

Watami Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato