We venture to Mile Long and Makati Cinema Square every now and then and pass the small road leading to Makati Square. We often see the SERYNA signage flanking the side entrance to the Little Tokyo complex and wonder what’s inside. Not that the place has received little media publicity but we always wanted to sample what’s been written about and what the steady stream of diners (evidenced by the endless flow of cars parked on the strip) has been dropping by for. Last weekend, we got a chance to do just that when a trip to another restaurant didn’t go as planned.
Lagal[og] said: Oh, we got lucky that somebody canceled as every table was reserved. We were ready to find another place to eat in but happily, the friendly staff was just eager to find us a table. We perused the menu for familiar stuff but we also wanted to try other fare. Good thing the staff was especially helpful in recommending what to try. Contrary to popular notion, the place has affordable stuff if one looks past the items like the P2,000+ Wagyu.
Ironwulf said: I must admit that at first look, the restaurant can be intimidating. The place has the expected modern Japanese style interiors mostly in earthen colors. Very nice lighting on the table and the wares have an exquisite quality to them. Browsing through their menus we found out there’s a wide variety of choices at different price ranges. There may be more expensive ones but there are also affordable sets.
Lagal[og] said: It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite because everything we ordered were simply delicious. But if I’m going to be pressed for an answer, I must say it’s the Spicy Tuna Maki. I’m not a big Maki eater but this one left a most delightful impression on me – crunchy on the outside and savory on the inside. The addition of crispy tempura batter gave it an interesting, crunchy twist. I highly recommend it.
Ironwulf said: I loved that Spicy Tuna Maki. That mixture or soft and crunchy texture to your bite with a touch of spice sure is worth raving about. Sprinkles of sesame seeds covers the rice covering the nori wrapper underneath. Their Prawn Tempura, though deep fried, doesn’t seem to be smothered with oil and I could still taste the flavor of the fried prawn under the flour covering.
Lagal[og] said: I’m big on Pork Ton Katsu so I inevitably order it from every Japanese restaurant I visit and this place is no exception. The pork is very tender, the breading crisp, thin and not at all oily. The sauce has a lump of wasabi-like stuff on the side which gives the sauce a big, spicy kick.
Ironwulf said: I enjoyed their Pork Ton Katsu very much as well. The really thick but tender meat and flavorful sauce with wasabi make it really, really good. Their Chicken Nankatsu Karaage also delivers on the spice with crispy fried chicken, very soft bones and skin. We also tried a couple of their Yakimono. The Negima Yakimono, pieces of grilled tender chicken meat separated by onions is good but I enjoyed the Torikawa Yakimono more which is grilled chicken skin bathed in barbecue sauce.
Lagal[og] said: We spoke with the affable owner, Eva Maru, and she told us they serve affordable set meals during lunchtime (P220+ up). It’s definitely something to incentivize us to come back again.
Ironwulf said: It was amusing to learn that Eva Maru is the sister of the famous Filipino photographer, Manny Librodo. It seems the siblings own ventures which have been successful so far. SERYNA has been around for 4 years and didn’t do any marketing or promotional efforts to promote their restaurants but the number of their patrons have grown throughout the years by sheer word-of-mouth. Just goes to show how good their food offerings are by letting them speak for themselves.
2277 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
at the Little Tokyo Complex
Tel. 894.3855 • Open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Sunday
(Best to call ahead for reservations)