The food court of a mall is normally NOT the place to look for decent Japanese food. Almost always, the “food court pricing” automatically means that the food outlet would scrimp on ingredients or cut corners, ergo less satisfying Japanese fare. But happily, we found an exception and it was literally right under our noses – Banzai Japanese Kitchen in the food court of Cash & Carry Mall.
Ironwulf said: True to its Japanese meaning, Banzai is a delightful find. Food choices are similar to some popular Japanese food outlets but on a much affordable price point. I got to try a variety of their Yakimono Bento (grilled meats) like the Chicken Yakitori which has become a staple order for me here. The marinated chicken meat was grilled just right, staying juicy and tender. Though the Beef Teriyaki was cooked the same way, I’m a bit wary about it since it has more fat than meat. Bento Meals come with a pair of gyoza dumplings and miso soup. Their Miso Soup is one of the better ones I’ve tasted.
Lagal[og] said: The first time I ate here, I was surprised at how few people patronize Banzai. The meals are exquisitely prepared – the Kakiage (deep-fried vegetable patty, a side order) is light, not too oily. The gyoza almost melts in your mouth when you bite into it. The sauces are not run-of-the-mill types you normally encounter in food court and fastfood outlets. The Miso Soup isn’t the watery kind you find served in other places.
Ironwulf said: Other set meals are also worth a try like the Teppanyaki Tenderloin Tips which is also delicious especially with the sauce it comes with. But a surprisingly good find was the Banzai Tofu Steak.
Lagal[og] said: That’s one of my favorites. The tofu is cooked just right, not too soft, but not tough either, then sprinkled with chopped onion leaves. And talk about the flavorful soy-based sauce! Oh, I can use the sauce as a viand for my rice. I agree, the Chicken Yakitori was also delightful.
Ironwulf said: We honestly were not expecting much about the desserts here. But when the order came, we were again surprised. The Green Tea Ice Cream was well presented on the plate, much like how some expensive restaurants would serve their desserts. Not only does it look good but it taste good as well. The taste of green tea was evident without being too sweet. And the topping of rice wrapper shavings add a crunchy texture to its smooth taste.
Lagal[og] said: I can’t help but agree as their desserts are too good to pass up. I love mangoes and I must say that their Banzai Mango Jelly is really superb. It is creamy, laden with bits of mango jelly that really tastes like mangoes and topped with crunchy rice wrapper shavings.
Lagal[og] said: I find the presentation of the food very impressive. (Maybe it’s because the traffic of diners is still manageable). Even the desserts are wonderfully and artistically-presented. The Green Tea Ice Cream looks like a Japanese garden topiary as the scoop of ice cream sits in a sea of rice wrapper shavings. As my buddy here said, the food not only looks good, they taste good, which makes the dining experience all the more worth it.
Ironwulf said: Banzai Japanese Kitchen currently has one branch. I hope they grow more so more people could sample their affordable but good Japanese meals. And with it, maintain their quality dishes and serving presentations.
Banzai Japanese Kitchen
Food court of Cash & Carry Mall
Palanan St. cor. South Superhighway, Makati City
Open Mon-Sun during mall hours