Named after “Komoro,” a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, Komoro Soba Japanese Dining serves Japanese food at affordable prices. This restaurant was established in the Philippines on the same year my sister was born: 1992. Yet, it was only two Sundays ago when we took our chance to dine in as we incidentally had an appetite for some Japanese food, after pampering our nails at Nails in Style in SM San Lazaro.


Note: Komoro Japanese Dining’s first branch is in SM Megamall.

Review of Komoro Japanese Dining (SM San Lazaro, Manila)

Ambiance: ★★★★☆

Decked out in earthy tones and illuminated by ambient lights, Komoro Soba Japanese Dining has a cozy setting with an attempt to give a “Japanese” feel as seen through the minimalist decors on the walls. Furnishings consisting of regular and cushioned chairs provided comfort. The side interior featured an understated backdrop for the open kitchen where we saw how the food were being prepared. So at any point in time, guests could be entertained with some action and activity while waiting for orders.

Service: ★★★★★

Komoro Soba Japanese Dining worked mostly as a fastfood restaurant. Diners have to order and pay upfront at the counter, while taking food references from the menu behind the cashier. Our orders were served fast and the servers were alert enough to keep their eyes on the tables. They took initiatives on their duty roster (e.g. taking away done dishes and refilling water to our glasses) even when no one else offerred.

Food: ★★★☆☆

The Tentoji Don (PhP 125) consisted of an assortment of a piece of deep-fried prawn tempura, okura and seaweed tempura. The tempuras, considering that they were freshly served from the kitchen, failed to please. They were not crunchy and flavorful enough. Objectively, the batter was not light, flaky, and fluffy as it should be. Dipped in soy sauce, the okura wound up being a nest of deep fried veggies stuck together.

The Gyu Don (PhP 99) was also not up to the standard. The meat in the beef bowl was not of good grade; most of the flavor depended just on the sauce that provided a right degree of fragrance.

The broth in Niku Udon (PhP 128) was light and clean, and the thin beef slices went well with the udon. It was good that the noodles were not overcooked but kept its elasticity and firmness. There was a subtle taste of the miso on the soup which didn’t create a lasting impression.

Price for Value: ★★★☆☆

Komoro’s food prices reminded me of Don Don, the Japanese restaurant we used to frequent in EGI Taft Tower (now closed) when we were still in college. Food here are really affordable and okay even for a student’s budget. However, one can’t expect much out of it. Komoro Japanese Dining has satisfied our hungry stomachs, but overall tastes of the dishes—at least of what we had—were not all that great.

Second Floor, SM City San Lazaro, Santa Cruz, Manila
For inquiries, contact (02) 5242296
Date Published: 11/14/2014
15 / 20 stars

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118 Responses

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yes, they have a branch in SM Megamall which we had always tend to overlook. 😛 Fave din namin Don Don. Yung Japanese stall sa Animo canteen once lang namin natry kasi nagiba na agad pag balik namin haha.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Go for it! It’s like typical fastfood that’s not really elevated in any way. What’s commendable is that orders are set out fast. Plus, food are decently priced.

      Reply
  1. Pal Raine

    Honestly, I don’t like Japanese food. But base on the place, I personally think it is a tight place but they have a cool ambiance. 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah, the ambiance is so agreeable, a pretty convenient place to stay away from the crowd. well, we dined in too early for the peak of dinner so that might be the reason why there were not so many people.

      Reply
  2. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    I’ve never tried Japanese food before. I think my fiance would love this restaurant.

    Reply
  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    The only Japanese food I have ever had was at Epcot in Disney and it was fantastic.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I’m assuming that those food in Disney were high quality and really expensive. 😉 If you’re craving for simple and fair Japanese fast food, Komoro is the way to go.

      Reply
  4. papaleng

    A very honest review. you rate the foods 3-Star but the price is reasonable naman for such rate. The Niku Udon seems a good try.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh if you’re in the area, then please stop by and try Komoro Japanese Dining’s best recommended dishes. Their staff will help you choose which ones to order in a very professional and friendly manner.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah actually the prices of the food were what initially got us here haha. I was so hooked and interested on how good the dishes will be considering the budget. 😀 It turned out I wasn’t too pleased with the food but it wasn’t so bad because they didn’t dent my wallet.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      These food are quite bland without the sauces but I think they’ll be fine if you have a growling stomach. We had a good experience in terms of ambiance and customer service so this place isn’t so bad after all. It’s worth a try. 🙂

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re welcome! In most restaurants I visit, I care less on the authenticity of the food since since mixed/fusion/modern cuisines have been emerging and are rampant nowadays. What I focus more on is the taste and the quality of the food regardless of cuisine/cooking. 😀

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re welcome. Yup, they’re yummy but just not as spectacular as the really good Japanese dishes I’ve had in other restaurants. Feel free to dine in here to see if Komoro has the chance to be listed as one of your favorites. 🙂 The tastes may be favorable for you — you won’t know unless you try.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I see you get a good impression of the spot. Find your way to a seat and maybe try the bento meals. 🙂 You can count on Komoro for a convenient meal of goodness that’s inexpensive.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re right. I just appreciate that Komoro Japanese Dining has gone out of the way to offer a very good vibe in its laid-back and quiet ambiance. The interior design’s got taste, as compared to other fastfood chains! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Nancy

    On second thought, I don’t think I have had Japanese food before. I totally would love it by the looks of your pics.

    Reply
  6. Kori

    I’m half Japanese and I’m very picky about the Japanese restaurants I’ll visit. My mom and I walked out of a restaurant once after realizing that the sushi chef had no actual training in making sushi.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Haha there may be those who are not trained but they have acquired natural skills in making sushi. Different cases apply in every scenario. Preparing sushi should be done carefully and it’s not supposed to be easy.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yup, they have good food. Get a load of different stuff and try a bit of everything. This is a Japanese restaurant that won’t put a dent on your bank account. 😛

      Reply
  7. Julie

    I have not had much Japanese food but this looks very good. I need to go and seek put a local restaurant and open myself up to the Japanese food experience now.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh wow you should know what you’ve been missing. Try the Japanese dishes here for a good intro on how Japanese food tastes like. But there’s more restaurant you’ve gotta go to heighten your experience and impression in this cuisine. I don’t know anyone among my circle of friends and even third-degree network who have not tried Jap food at least once.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      My standards for Japanese food are admittedly quite high. This failed to meet the bar on many levels. Anyway, we had a good time with overall dining experience because of the good customer service and casual ambiance.

      Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This joint is as good as it looks. The interior is actually very clean and looks quite fancy with ambient lighting. However, if you want a more traditional, higher quality dining experience, it would be safer to go elsewhere.

      Reply
  8. Myrabev

    The food looks delicious though I do not believe I have ever tried japanese foods before I guess now is a good time as any

    Reply
  9. John

    I am not a fan of Japanese foods. I find them not appealing in taste although I must say that their presentation, say for instance sushi, is really amazing. But seeing your photos could mean a change of heart. Glad I stumbled upon your newest post.

    Reply
  10. Rebecca Swenor

    This looks sounds like you get what you pay for from your review. The place looks nice and the food looks good though. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Right. I’ve come to realize that I personally prefer eating at cheaper restaurants at times to have different experiences and so that I would have a better appreciation of high-quality Japanese food next time ’round. You’re welcome, Rebecca.

      Reply
  11. Rosey

    I’m sorry to hear it didn’t deliver flavor-wise. It’s def. win some, lose some with trying new places to eat.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      That’s true. I haven’t read any reviews of this restaurant before and just based our decision to come in by the presentation of the food on the menu and the interior of the restaurant. It was a good try after all.

      Reply
  12. Risa

    I have never tried Japanese food before. This looks like an interesting restaurant. I will have to try Japanese food sometime.

    Reply
  13. Dawn McAlexander

    It’s bad when things that are supposed to be light and crispy turn out to be a mess with soy sauce. Still, though, the review was pretty good overall, so I think I would try the place out anyway.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Yeah it was saddening that the tempura was heavily battered and the pieces in the vegetable tempura stuck together. I also got the sense that the pieces were fried too long.

      Reply
  14. Shiela Aballa

    Your picture of Gyu Don looks yummy but you said it does not pass your standard. 🙁 But since you said its affordable, we’ll try this too 🙂

    Reply
  15. HilLesha

    I have actually never tried Japanese food, but everything that you featured in your post looks scrumptious. There’s a Japanese restaurant within my vicinity that’s quite popular. If I knew that they have vegetarian or vegan food, I will definitely try it! 🙂

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      My dad is also vegetarian and almost vegan so we always request for the meat or seafood in sushi and other Japanese dishes to be taken away from the ingredients. I think you can also do the same.

      Reply
  16. Bonnie @ wemake7

    I’ve never tried Japenese food before. I have got to give it a try sometime.

    Reply
  17. Marc Teng

    Hello. :)) Is there a different branch of this restaurant because I live in Manila, and this is too far from my place. Japanese cuisine is my most favorite because it really is innovative!

    Reply
  18. Michelle

    I am such a huge fan of Japenese food! I’m sure I would be a huge fan of this place!

    Reply
  19. Sumi Go | The Purple Doll

    It’s really different eating out back when we still have a student’s budget, compared to eating out now. I can still remember Don Don, although I think it was open for just a year when I was a student in DLSU. ^^ Though the food there didn’t really impress me, pwede na for the price. Haha! I think that’s the case with Komoro too. You literally get what you pay for. ^^

    Reply
  20. Maica

    I have visited the restaurant last week after seeing your blog. I actually like the food very much and thought the food was very similar to the one I used to eat in same Komoro stores in Tokyo. I use to eat there when I was living in Tokyo for studying. I would recommend Katsudon(P105) or Gyudon(P99). My wife and I ate these two items during our visit and we were in love. Yeah I agree the service was very nice. Im glad you posted this blog since its very rare to find Soba or Udon restaurant in Manila. Looking forward to see your other blogs. 🙂 Im ganna try going to Saboten next.

    Reply
    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hi Maica! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Truly appreciated. Hope you also enjoy dining at Saboten as their dishes are incredibly good as well. 😛

      Reply
  21. Jaime Hualde

    i will try this tomorrow not expecting much for the budget….

    Reply

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