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)
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.
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.