Last Saturday, my family and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in my favorite mall in the Philippines, and yes, that’s SM Mall of Asia. 😛 There were too many people everywhere. Queues to the mall entrances, restaurants, and cashier counters were way longer than I have ever imagined. We managed to grab dinner in Tokyo Café at 10PM, an hour before the mall closed. Still, we could not escape the streams of diners in line that seemed to just keep coming and coming. After the 20-minute waiting game, we were finally led to a table at the center of the buzzing atmosphere.

Tokyo Café has been established in the country since 2006. It has been nine years! Taking into account Filipino’s innate penchant for food, this restaurant offers a full menu featuring Japanese-Western fusion dishes, complemented with an array of desserts, pastries, and drinks (must-try: charcoal-roasted coffee).

Review of Tokyo Café Flagship Store (SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City)

Service: ★★★★☆

Despite the packed place, we did not feel suffocated with the surroundings. The staffs were able to handle the customers well, by providing seats in the waiting area, handing out menus and allowing customers to make advanced orders, and serving food fast. Our server got one of our orders wrong and was quick to alter the food in the kitchen before serving. Apart from the small mistake, everything was well organized and ran like clock work. The waiters were knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive.

Food: ★★★★☆

This was actually our third time dining at Tokyo Café in SM MOA. This time, we ordered the Kiddie Set Meals (each with a scoop of ice cream and a glass of iced tea), as they appealed most as a favorable light meal for our late dinner. We didn’t set the bar high for the taste and portion but enjoyed eating food supposedly for “kids” as adults. 😛

My sister had the Hamburg Steak and Rice (PhP 160). It’s the familiar burger steak patty with a good char. It didn’t taste anything special, but we were positive that the patty was cooked well and the ingredients were blended nicely. Not too greasy, it didn’t have an alarmingly strong and persistent aftertaste that burger patties from fast food joints normally serve.

My mom had 1 pc. Chicken and Rice (PhP 160), which must be an ultimate comfort food and go-to meal preferred by any kid. It wasn’t the best and there’s nothing unique, but it was okay.

For myself, the Chicken and Cheese Roll and Rice (PhP 160) hit the spot and the cheese inside the chicken was pretty solid. It was salty, sweet, and comforting, all wrapped up into one.

We also shared a plate of Garlic and Shrimp Pasta (PhP 290) with tomatoes, garlic, and shrimps seasoned with herbs and spices. The pasta was so flavorful and we appreciated the combined tastes of garlic and shrimp to the core.

Dad had the Margherita (PhP 265) (vegetarian pizza), an elegant play of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Topped with light sauce, the crust was soft and crispy, with mozzarella seriously elevating the flavor. We loved it.

Tokyo Café was running a promotion and we were lucky to have chanced upon the great deal: “Get a free crepe of choice with a minimum single receipt purchase of PhP 1,000.” Out of the six options/flavors of crepe, we chose Very Berry (PhP 160)—blueberries and strawberry ice cream drizzled with strawberry syrup. The crepe had a silky crisp bite to the dough, a nice offset to the the sweetness of the ice cream and whipped cream that wasn’t too overpowering. This dessert was definitely a sweet ending. 🙂

Price for Value: ★★★★☆

All prices were affordable and reasonable, and there are enough choices for everyone. Tokyo Café dishes run on great value. This café is recommended for those who are in budget and who love to try Japanese food with a twist.

G/F SM Mall of Asia, Main Mall Bldg., South Wing, Seaside Drive Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay
For inquiries, call 556-0517
Date Published: 02/19/2015
12 / 15 stars

About 

An IT person by profession; Foodie by nature; Wushu athlete by training; Dancer by heart; Writer by passion; Hasn't met a piece of cake she didn't like 🙂

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95 Responses

  1. mr_jeng

    WOW that long… I remembered my college days and i would sneak out to MOA and enjoy a little meal in this resto…. hmmmm kiddie meals are a. joy to order… the only thing I don’t like with em is that its a bit small in terms of quantity … especially when IM the one eating LOL….

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah grabe sobrang haba ng pila. One of the reasons why we chose to dine at Tokyo Cafe was that the line outside appeared to be one of the shortest. Haha. We felt hungry na after strolling around the mall for so many hours. One kiddie meal set was enough for me, but yes, I’m sure that it won’t fill you up completely. The good news is that there are more options to choose from and they all look pretty good on the menu. 😆

      Reply
  2. Nancy

    Despite the long lines at the mall (and everywhere else!) it looks like you all had a nice feed for yourselves. The hamburger steak and rice looks really yummy. Is that gravy on the side in those little dipping bowls? Looks like it, but I can’t tell 🙂

    Oh, and I’m all over that pizza.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Are you referring to the 1 pc. chicken with rice set? If yes, my answer is that you’ve assumed it is correctly. 🙂 The pizza was really fresh and one of the tastiest Margherita pizzas we’ve ever had.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      There are many branches of Tokyo Cafe around the metro, mostly inside SM malls (MOA, North EDSA-The Block, Megamall, Southmall). Enjoy your shopping and come down to visit any one of those for dinner. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Beth

    This looks amazing! I can’t believe it’s been in the country for so long, do you know if there are any in the Cebu area? At least I didn’t see any 🙂

    I’ll have to give this a try the next time I’m in the Philippines (which will probably be in November!)

    Reply
  4. Bailey K.

    You’re quite brave to venture to a crowded mall on one of the busiest days of the year! But it sounds like it was worth it. Tokyo Cafe sounds great! I’ve never heard of charcoal-roasted coffee, but it sounds awesome!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It was a day with a lot of festivities and a series of shows in the same area. Since it was Valentine’s Day, many restaurants offered promotions but even without discounts, I think people will still come in and celebrate the special occasion. Also, it was a Saturday night so the pyromusical competition at SM By the Bay was held. There were also mini band concerts around. Love was in the air! <3

      Reply
  5. Jeanine

    Looks really great! Long lines are a pain but I looks like a great time despite that! The food looks wonderful! I’ve never heard of Tokyo cafe before but it sounds really great!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Our hunger from long hours of walking and searching for a restaurant to dine was definitely fully satisfied. Fortunately, they also serve kiddie meals since it was already late for us to eat a heavy dinner. 😀

      Reply
  6. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    Thanks so much for sharing your review of Tokyo Cafe Flagship Store. It looks like everyone was having a great time. The food all looks amazing, especially that desert. I’ve now got a sweet tooth and want some iced tea as well.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Sure! Having dinner here in Tokyo Cafe gave us a nice experience to end the Valentine’s Day celebration happy. And yeah, their iced tea has become one of my favorite versions of iced tea I’ve had. Not too sweet and has a little tangy taste. 😀

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I certainly did! I’ve always celebrated the Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend for the past consecutive years, but since we decided to celebrate it on the next day, I was able to enjoy the day with my family once again.

      Reply
  7. Cebuana Mom

    Food here must be really great for people to spend a lot of time (and patience) lining up. I personally hate waiting that long but if the food and service is great then it’s worth it.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      All the restaurants were actually full that day since it was Valentine’s so we felt so fortunate that Tokyo Cafe had a shorter line even with its great food. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Fernando Lachica

    Looks like you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day with your family, even though “waiting game.” Well, I saw this place last week but I preferred to eat pizza.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The waiting game was endurable since I was with my loved ones. They also have a few pizza choices in their menu which taste good though there’s nothing more special with their flavors. 🙂

      Reply
  9. papaleng

    Nadaanan na rin namin yan, but dami tao that time so me and my wife decided to eat na lang sa ibang food establishment. Nice review, The Margherita seems a good one to try. I don’t know if my wife will like the price. Medyo up ang rate nila.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Ohh siguro kasi late na kami naghanap ng restaurant kaya mas maikli na ung line pagpunta namin dun. But still, yeah, there was a line haha I guess medyo pricey nga siya compared to other restaurants but their food was definitely worth it naman that makes it affordable to dine there na rin. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Kristen

    My husband and I have been married 9 years. We still love celebrating Valentines with our friends! It’s a great reason to get together with people. This food looked amazing. I love Asian food. wish we had more of it where I live. ( Iowa)

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Well I agree that V-day should not be exclusive to couples only. I bet it’s also a fun experience to celebrate it with close friends and get a little crazy. 😛 Hope you could visit here someday and try our food delicacies. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Ron Leyba

    There is no Tokyo Cafe near our place. I guess I can only try their foods when we visit MOA sooner or later :). Looks really delicious!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh they also have a branch in SM The Block (North Edsa), Mckinley Hills Piazza, Robinsons Cybergate Plaza, and SM Megamall. But the only branch I’ve always tried dining is here in MOA since it’s nearest to us. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Pal Raine

    Since we don’t have Tokyo Cafe here in Davao, I will base my comment on your review.

    You said that, one of your orders is wrong and was quick to alter the food in the kitchen before serving., does it take to long for them to change it? I mean how quick and how good is the taste of the food? Because I have this experience in another restaurant( obviously not Tokyo Cafe), it was very quick but the problem is the food taste bad.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It took them about 15 minutes to change and serve the right order (Hamburg Steak and Rice) for my sister and it still tasted great. The steak was tender and was very easy to chew. It didn’t seem/taste like a rushed order so the waiting time and mistake were compensated well. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Freya

    WoW that place looks really crowded. If the food is good of course it is all worth it. The Garlic and Shrimp pasta looks delicious, I guess I would pick that dish when in the Tokyo Cafe

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup! The Garlic and Shrimp pasta was really full of flavor that you’d be able to taste its “seafoodness” and freshness from the sea. They were also not stingy in serving the shrimps because most restaurants would only put 2-3 shrimps in the dish but here in Tokyo Cafe, there were about 5 fat shrimps to enjoy that made us very satisfied. 😀

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      They also have another set of menu that caters more to Japanese food and seems very interesting to try but we chose to eat the kiddie meals since we only wanted a light dinner. Hope you could try it soon! 🙂

      Reply
  14. Natalie

    I wouldn’t dare step into a mall on Valentine’s Day, that’s like going on Black Friday, okay maybe not as bad but still, lol. Those are some pretty big kid portions, I gotta say. The chicken & the steak patty didn’t look too great. I’ve never heard of a chicken and cheese roll, that looked pretty interesting to eat. I also love that shrimp pasta! YUM! Also the pizza looked really good, now I’m hungry for pizza at 7am!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The mall was indeed crowded even during the late hours that made it seem like the people were never gonna go home. 😛 Yup, the kiddie meals were actually enough to satisfy and fill our hungry tummies, and presentation wise, I agree that they weren’t that artsy at all. But their tastes are actually good. Like for the hamburg steak, it didn’t look any special but it was actually juicy, tender, and flavorful especially with the gravy. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Carlo Olano

    I always love it here. I love to eat breakfast in their branch in Go Hotel Mandaluyong. It is an excellent alternative to fast-food. 😉 i wanna try the pasta next time.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh I didn’t know they have a branch there hehe hope you could try their pasta too. They put a generous amount of ingredients like the shrimps on the Garlic & Shrimp Pasta we ordered. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      It actually also has other branches around the Metro (North EDSA-The Block, Megamall, Southmall) but this branch in MOA is the most famous one since it’s the flagship store. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks! They also offer other pastas but we wanted to try this seafood pasta since it was quite interesting. Fortunately, it was not a letdown with its flavor and a generous amount of shrimps put in the pasta. 😀

      Reply
  16. Mazino Oyolo Kigho

    Nice review Tokyo cafe but I’m wondering how deos garlic and Shrimp Pasta with tomatoes, garlic, and shrimps seasoned with herbs and spices taste. Hope to really taste it.

    Reply
  17. Jonas Labagala

    I think the Hamburg Steak and Fried Chicken with rice are overpriced. The dish looked ordinary. I was expecting something more of it but well.. I would just order something else.. 😀

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      We actually still enjoyed and found its price reasonable because the food tasted nice. The kiddie meals were punctuated with ice cream and iced tea! The steak was also tender and juicy with full of flavor so we were satisfied with it.

      They also have other Japanese dishes and set meals but for that night, we just chose to eat the kiddie meals. 😛

      Reply
  18. Raymond Vasquez

    I’d love to try this soon. I hope this would fit my schedule. The place looks great and as you mentioned the price is reasonable. So might be a good place to dine.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Some people think that this restaurant offers pricey food but considering the serving size (at least in their kiddie meals and the shrimps in the pasta) and the taste of their food, the price becomes an affordable and reasonable one. Hope you visit this place soon! 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The Garlic and Shrimp Pasta does taste great! And we enjoyed it more because of the number of shrimps served that were also in big fat sizes to make it affordable. Hope you try it soon! 🙂

      Reply
  19. Yona Williams

    I wish we had ‘kiddie’ size meals for adults here because sometimes that is all you need to tide you over. I like the Chicken and Cheese Roll and Rice meal that you had, and those shrimp look delicious – I might have ordered that if I was there. Also, that iced tea also looked mighty refreshing.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I actually felt full after eating and first thought that it’s because I have a smaller appetite. But my mom who likes eating more was also satisfied with the amount of food she had so the size of the kiddie meals was really enough. 🙂 Hope you could try it here sometime! 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hehe it was also fun celebrating V-day with my family with their craziness. 😛 They also have another menu with the Japanese dishes and set meals available but we decided to order the kiddie meals, pasta and pizza for sharing because we wanted to go for a lighter meal. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, I think it ranks as the second largest mall in Asia so almost all great finds and famous restaurants can be found here. Hope you could drop by in this mall again and check out new restaurants and attractions as well. 🙂

      Reply
  20. Lauren

    Wow! It’s hard to believe from that picture that you arrived at the restaurant an hour before closing time! That pasta and pizza in your pictures look amazing though! I’m sure they have a lot to do with the popularity of the restaurant.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The mall and restaurants were still busy even at that time. It didn’t feel like the closing time was already near with the number of people around. We even felt fortunate enough to be able to eat at a decent restaurant considering the big crowd present especially in other fast-food restaurants.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh, I haven’t tried their coffee yet but I agree that their crepe does taste great. We only usually stare at their sample fake crepes outside because they look very pleasing and delicious so we really enjoyed it when we finally got to try one. 😀

      Reply
  21. Mia Foo

    20 minutes is pretty okay actually, especially when it’s a ‘peak period’ for dining. the longest i’ve ever queued to dine in at a popular dimsum restaurant in my country was 1 and a half hours. haha!
    when i read the cafe name, i thought the food will be japanese cuisine or at least japanese fusion…. still looks yummy, but i wonder why they’re called tokyo cafe now.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Woah, 1 and a half hours is already enough to finish the meal. I bet each second ticked loudly and significantly while you were already waiting for the food you ordered.

      They actually have a separate menu for their Japanese dishes but we just chose to eat their non-Japanese food for a change and since we only wanted a light dinner (thus, the kiddie meals haha). 🙂

      Reply
  22. Fari Wu

    I expected the Hamburg Steak and Rice to be more like a hamburger. I’ve never seen the hamburger patty being eaten together with rice, quite unexpected! The dishes all look really good.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Really? Well here in the Philippines, rice is more preferred than buns or bread to have a complete satisfying meal so most dishes are always accompanied with rice. Hope you could try it someday! 🙂

      Reply
  23. Fred

    Long wanted to try. But looking at the menu prices, discouraged by the expensive prices for what looks like common food. Will take your review into consideration.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I guess the line in this restaurant was shorter than most because of its known pricey food. But they’re actually quite affordable considering the serving size and their good taste and flavor. Hope you try it! 🙂

      Reply
  24. Prasad Np

    Looks like a place that knows their food very well and has a steady flow of patrons who enjoy coming there. You guys actually ordered a kid meal! I would love to do that sometime when I need a light meal ( actually for ice cream 🙂 )

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I was actually quite hesitant to order a kiddie meal because I thought that they would still have to confirm whether the customer is really a kid. But hooray because we were allowed to order them. Haha 😀

      Reply
  25. Modern Pilgrim

    Ha ha! How funny that you ordered from the kids menu! I guess they didn’t mind. Oh, and that pasta looks amazing. The restaurant seems to be a nice place with good food. How fun!

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Thanks! The place is nicely designed with warm lights that make the ambiance comfortable. Considering that the food we ordered aren’t their specialty (Japanese dishes), they must still be applauded for being able to cater such different kind of flavor and cuisine.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The serving size for us was actually satisfying enough to make us full so we were okay with it. They also have other dishes with a bigger serving size and more Japanese variety but we just chose the kiddie meals since we wanted to go for a lighter meal. 🙂

      Reply
  26. Eliz Frank

    I love places that offer a kiddie menu for those days when we want to eat something but not have a huge meal. All of it looked delicious and the crepe was a lovely treat.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This was the first time we ordered a kiddie meal because we thought that they would be exclusive for kids. To our surprise, they didn’t mind the age of the customer ordering those meals. 😛

      Reply
  27. Vanessa Ally

    I love promotions and the fact that the Tokyo cafe offers such definitely got me curious visiting the place. The food seems freshly cooked and delicious, and the ambiance is friendly and cozy.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      We were also surprised and felt excited to learn that they have such a promo/freebie because the display of their promo was not put on some tables. Luckily, we noticed it on our table and confirmed it to the waiter. Hope you could try out this place someday. 🙂

      Reply
  28. Karen of MrsLookingGood

    My bad! Had no idea Tokyo Cafe has been in the Phils for almost 9 years? When I saw your post title, I thought you’re reviewing a new place.

    Glad your family had a great Valentine’s Dinner although a bit late. I guess everyone was out celebrating too.

    Reply
    • Karen of MrsLookingGood

      Of everything you’ve ordered, I must say that the most appetizing is that Garlic and Shrimp pasta. The one piece chicken meal reminds me so much of a typical fast food offering and based on your review, it wasn’t mind blowing either.

      Reply
      • Rochkirstin Santos

        You’re right. That pasta should not be underestimated. I really loved it, considering that I’m not much of a pasta fan. <3

  29. Sumi Go | The Purple Doll

    Eek! To think that you still had to wait in line kahit 10PM na. >.< We went to MOA too on Feb 15 naman, and it was still pretty crowded!

    Anyway, I used to really like Tokyo Cafe when I was in college. Over time though, I feel like their food quality has diminished already. Not sure if it's just inconsistencies at their SM MOA and SM North EDSA branches, but that's how I honestly feel about them for the past few years. 🙁

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I think it depends on what you order. Last time, we had their Japanese meals and I also did not like the food tastes. These kiddie sets are not too Japanese and they’re surprisingly nice. 🙂

      Reply
  30. marichu

    i also love tokyo cafe especially their carbonara. but i havent tried MOA branch since i am nearer Megamall.

    Reply
  31. Badet Siazon

    I tried Tokyo Cafe at their SM The Block’s branch. I used the vouchers I bought from a deal site. I think I need to eat there again to refresh my memory.

    Reply
  32. Louise

    We have tried Tokyo Cafe years back but in their Pioneer branch, next to GoHotel. I really love their garlic pasta!!! Their meals are quite pricey but very delicious.

    Reply

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