Beyond sushi and sashimi, there are far more interesting dishes that Japanese restaurants offer. One such must-try meal is “Teishoku” 定食, which Yayoi takes pride in. Teishoku is a type of Japanese set meal, where all of the dishes in the course are served together as a set. Teishoku dining is based on the ichiju-issai (or “one soup, one side”) traditional meals offered at Zen temples, which included a main, soup, rice, and pickles. The concept eventually spread throughout Japan and transformed into the convenient meal sets found at restaurants and cafeterias today.
Yayoi Philippines in SM Megamall Building B has just celebrated its first-year anniversary last September 16, 2017. We were one of the many customers who availed of their “buy one take one of teishoku” promotion that was valid only on that day, “Yayoi Teishoku Day,” as it was called.
Review of Yayoi Philippines (SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City)
The vibe was buzzing and the venue was packed with quite a lot of people, but noise level was tolerable. For the most part, Yayoi’s ambiance conveys clean lines and abundant lighting, and the palette is inspired by wood. Revealing a zen-like appeal with sleek, minimalist style with no superfluous decorations, neutral, subtle colors throughout the restaurant were pleasing and easy to the eyes. Walls were creamy white with wooden panel accents.
Since it was their anniversary day, operations looked very busy. The queue of customers outside was long, but it moved quickly since service was fast and efficient. The ordering process was a product of innovation. Customers choose food and drinks and submit their selections through an iPad. A few presses on the screen and a confirmation message will appear.
There’s no need to ask for the staff; they’ll serve the dishes momentarily on the table, and then come back later to process the bill when customers press on the “Pay Now” button. The menu on the iPad comes in English and Japanese languages. A physical menu is also available for less “techie” customers.
Common types of teishoku include tonkatsu (pork cutlet), yakizakana (grilled fish), and tempura (deep-fried battered fish and vegetables). We decided to try Yayoi’s best-sellers. Here’s the food rundown:
Sukiyaki Teishoku (PhP 595) was presented as beef hotpot with assorted vegetables stewed in teriyaki sauce. The slices of beef or the noodles were the main event, but the accompaniments (tofu, mushrooms, and miso soup) were equally upstanding. The sweetness of sukiyaki and teriyaki sauce and the savoriness of beef came together as basically more a feeling than a flavor. Adding beaten egg to the beef was part of the enjoyment.
Mix Toji Teishoku (PhP 475) is a mix of everything you would describe as Japanese comfort food: breaded pork loin, fried shrimp and sukiyaki beef simmered in special sauce and egg. I love how each piece had its own integrity and flavor. The sauce was rich and just gloriously creamy. Delicious.
Namban Teishoku (PhP 450) is a succulent chicken dish drizzled with special sauce and topped with Yayoi dressing. The fried chicken steak was amazing with the crispy skin combined with the meat. If you feel like it, place the chicken on the lettuce leaves and you’ve got a nice chicken salad!
Teriyaki Salmon Teishoku (PhP 595) was served with stir-fried salmon and vegetables with teriyaki sauce. When it comes to teriyaki salmon, I like the glaze sweet enough to cut through some of the fattiness of the fish. Sadly though, the pieces of salmon were neither juicy nor moist but too dried up for my liking (might have been a bit overcooked).
Price for Value:
Our dining experience at Yayoi in SM Megamall wasn’t life-changing, but overall it was satisfactory. You’ll be glad to know that they don’t skimp on the good stuff. Their #YAYfor1 promotion was a great deal! If you’re into Japanese food, you’ll love it here. Stick to their teishoku and you’ll be in good shape. Food tastes and quality of dishes served are worth the prices, with discount or without. 🙂