Aozora Japanese Restaurant is considered to be the first authentic Japanese restaurant in Tagaytay City. This restaurant is created by Chef Seiji Kamijo Kamura and still getting attention from locals and tourists in the city. You never expected this kind of restaurant wherein mostly local Filipino food are served. Their location in the roof deck of Domicillo has been closed and they transferred to a less crowded place along SVD road, right in-front of Starbucks Coffee heading to Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Here is my experience at Aozora Japanese Restaurant.
THE EXPERIENCE and FOOD
The place is neat and clean like you are entering a Japanese onsen. Option to seat indoors or Al fresco is available depending on your group. But I prefer indoors as it is well-lighted compared to the Al fresco area which is really dim. Probably they want to set a tone, but it was way too dim for me. We were welcomed by a server who walked us on our table and listen attentively as we begin to order food.
| GYOZA (Php 280)
The slightly fried wrapper wrapped the perfect mix of ground pork and vegetable. The taste really stand out even without the soya sauce served on the side. The only thing I noticed would be the inconsistent presentation of the gyoza because some of them are easily torn apart. But nevertheless, I really enjoyed it.
| TOFU STEAK (Php 235)
This healthy protein-packed cuisine is surely not to be missed by health conscious people. Although added with pork, it is served mushrooms, strips of carrots, and chopped green onions for topping. The tofu was created light on the outside but really soft on the inside and sauce was not overpowering. They really did well on this one.
| GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD (Php 290)
This is one of the most enjoyable treat. This salad is a combination of chicken, lettuce, avocado, mangoes (I think!) dressed with roasted sesame. Surely another treat for health conscious people.
| SALMON SASHIMI (Php 310)
The orange colored raw fish really looks great and fresh to taste. No foul odor and did not tasted frozen to me. Although this is for personal preference, I would love to have the sashimi to have more thinner slices than like a box-typed one like a wagyu beef cube. But then again, this is a favorite.
| CRISPY KANI MAKI (Php 290)
This is the complimentary dish they gave us for mother’s day celebration. The maki roll really great as the Japanese rice holds well the kani, mangoes and cucumber. On top of it was a combination of cripsy kani and tobiko. However, when you are about to it, either you start first with the roll and then eat the topping or vice versa. It is not a bad thing, they gave you an great serving! They also explained how you can get this for free with your meal, but cannot remember the amount. I think you must have at least Php 2,000 or Php 2,500 in total amount. I will update this if I received a feeback.
| JAPANESE OMELETTE RICE (Php 275)
Well, this is just a normal offering for me. If you do have kids who love eggs and ketchup, then this would be the best option. You could probably ask the chef to design it for kids to make them interested to eat it.
| CHICKEN TERIYAKI (Php 290)
This one tasted the same as the one on top of grilled chicken salad. I know the teriyaki sauce is normal, but really enjoyed this eating it with the chicken. The chicken was done well and did not tasted bland.
| KATSU CURRY (Php 325)
Japanese curry is my comfort food. I even cook this at home when I need to have a dose of it. The rice serving was perfect with some greens on the side. But, what could have work better, would be the katsu size, katsu preparation and curry taste. I felt that the katsu size is too small and thin for the given price. A lot of katsu stores and Japanese restaurants have the same price with a good quality size.
About the preparation, the breading is somewhat not sticking to the pork, I am not sure, it could be the pork was frozen when it was cooked so water seeps out which makes the breading a bit untidy. If panko crumbs was used, then definitely was not able to notice it. Lastly, would be the curry taste. It was unique and probably made to match the Filipino taste. It tasted sweet to me with just a small hint of Japanese curry. I hope they make time to adjust the taste to match the authenticity of the Japanese curry. Level of spice is at 0 level but you can request for togarashi if you wanted it more spicy.
| CHICKEN KARAAGE (Php 310)
This offering perfectly goes well with the Omu rice. It was served with some chips on the side which makes kids eat it immediately. Both my nieces loves the chips on the side. And I have to admit, I also did enjoy it!
Overall experience is really enjoyable. This authentic Japanese restaurant in Tagaytay City is definitely a must to visit when you are in the area. My family really enjoyed their food and what a great way to have a post Mother’s Day celebration.
Jya Mata Ne,