MANILA -- Getting your Japanese fix in Alabang had just become easier.
With a comprehensive 10-page menu of Japanese staples and some tweaked favorites, Kessaku is a family-oriented restaurant at the newly opened wing of Commerce Center with more than 50 choices for maki, sashimi and sushi alone.
Unagi with Foie Gras. Photo by Donny Elvina
Sushi lovers should try the Unagi with Foie Gras with the smoky texture of the Japanese eel complementing the smoothness of the foie gras, accentuating its nutty flavor, with the rice adding the right amount of acidic balance.
The Ushi Ebi Tempura Crunchy Roll is a combination of prawn tempura with the rice, offering a nice play on texture. Similar in texture with a different taste is the Spider Roll that features soft shell crab and crabstick instead.
The Symphony, meanwhile, is a must-try -- fried sushi rice is topped with layers of spicy tuna, spicy salmon, and a crabstick and ebi roe.
Kessaku also has a great selection of temaki, or rolled sushi, from California (kani and mango), Unagi (Japanese eel), Tekka (yellow fin tuna), Uni (sea urchin) and Spicy Tuna. Most interesting of the temaki choices is the Foie Gras Temaki, where foie gras is joined by apple, mango, and strawberry with a balsamic vinaigrette, a salty-sweet bite, with the balsamic adding a balancing acidic touch.
Moriawase platter. Photo by Donny Elvina
In true family style, Kessaku also offers Moriawase or combination platters. While some platters can be all sashimi or all sushi, diners can opt for the New Style Moriawase Maki, which feature interesting maki selections such as beef teriyaki rolls, crispy kani rolls or Parisian rolls, which are covered in crepe instead of nori.
Ebi tempura. Photo by Donny Elvina
Among the tempura favorites, the Ushi Ebi Tempura (prawn) and Soft Shell Crab Tempura are divine with their accompanying tempura sauce. But try dipping them in lemon juice and then lightly in salt. Somehow the tempura experience is better as the taste of the prawn and the soft shell are heightened by the salt-lemon juice combination.
Kessaku’s Mixed Kamameshi Rice is filling and enough for two diners with pork, beef, shrimp, vegetables and sticky sweet flavorful Japanese rice.
Gyudon. Photo by Donny Elvina
Four types of donburi or rice bowls are also available. The Gyudon (Japanese beef) and Katsudon (pork cutlet) are topped with egg and mixed with the Japanese rice. The two other available donburi are Prawn Tempura” and Tori Teriyaki (chicken).
Dessert can be a scoop or two of a variety of ice cream choices. Or it could be the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee, the crowd-pleasing Crispy Banana with Mango Ice Cream or the Green Tea Tempura Ice Cream, with the tempura getting an almost mochi-like texture.
Kessaku also has an extensive drink list from non-alcoholic delights such as the Four Seasons Shake, coffee and mocktails to cocktails and wine like the Stawberry Cheesecake Martini or the Saketini.
G/F Commerce Center Building
Filinvest Avenue, Alabang