New eats: Mangetsu Osaka chef opens restaurant in BGC

Anne Marie Ozaeta, FOOD Magazine

Posted at Sep 06 2017 11:18 AM

The teppan counter at Teppan Okochi. Handout photo

If you’ve been to Osaka and dined at the famous Mangetsu Osaka, then you can rejoice as its executive chef Akihiro Okochi is now here in the Philippines. You’ll find him cooking up a storm at the teppan counter of the newly opened Teppan Okochi by Mangetsu Osaka in the heart of Bonifacio Global City.

This Japanese restaurant’s not-so-secret weapon is Chef Okochi himself who displays an absolute mastery of the iron plate—a grill that extends the length of the 15-seater teppan counter. The best seats in the house are here, the better to watch Chef Okochi and his chefs expertly cook just about everything on the menu.

Caesar salad. Handout photo

For our meal, he crisped up bacon and croutons for our Caesar salad on the iron plate. He then warmed up a whole Camembert until oozing for his Tomato and Camembert Salad. He lightly cooked salmon fillet, seasoning it with his special spice blend with a deft turn of hand.

He presented a gorgeous slab of Wagyu A5, first searing it, covering it with a copper dome to continue the cooking, then cubing it for a final sear, resulting in a buttery soft steak elevated even more with a sprinkling of smoked salt or a dip into sweet sauce.

Grilled lobster. Handout photo

He grilled half lobsters on the shell, cooked abalone and oyster to top on sushi rice, and yes, even made thin crepes to serve with prized Miyazaki Caviar 1983. (Note: Miyazaki is the first farm-raised caviar in Japan, a luxurious delicacy available only at Teppan Okochi—if you can afford it!)

Mizayaki Caviar. Handout photo

The offerings are extensive, from extravagant multi-course set menus, to à la carte options and lunch sets that are a veritable steal.

On one end of the spectrum is Chef Akihiro’s Wagyu Steak course featuring six appetizers, a salad, grilled abalone with garlic butter, grilled lobster with black pepper, Wagyu steak or sukiyaki, a choice of okonomiyaki or yakisoba, garlic rice or unajyu (unagi rice), soup, assorted Japanese sweets, and coffee or tea.

Wagyu steak. Handout photo

On the other end, lunch sets can feature such comfort food classics as chicken karaage, yakisoba, omelette or curry, served with appetizers, salad, rice and soup.

And for unagi lovers, you’ll have a field day with a whole menu page dedicated to eel. It so happens the restaurant owners breed eel locally for export to Japan. So there’s no scrimping on unagi here!

Unajyu. Handout photo

The drinks menu is quite impressive, especially its fine selection of Japanese sake and Napa Valley wines. Chef Okochi plied us with sake to pair with our appetizers, followed by a crisp, fruity Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc for the seafood dishes, and a rich, smooth Navigator Cabernet Sauvignon paired with the Wagyu steak.

Sake. Handout photo

Whether you’re seated at the teppan counter or booked at one of the six private rooms, you’ll find yourself transported to Osaka, delighting in the perfectly executed dishes of a Japanese teppan master in his element.

*****

Teppan Okochi by Mangetsu Osaka
One Central Building, 9th Avenue corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City