MANILA – Here’s another reason to visit the new Ayala Malls Vertis North in Quezon City.
The second shopping mall in the Vertis North township complex (the first being Trinoma) is now home to Asakusa Home of Tempura, a homegrown restaurant known for serving authentic Japanese food.
Husband and wife team Jacob and Celline Bautista first opened Asakusa Home of Tempura at The Grove at Rockwell in 2015, initially catering to people who reside in the high-end condominium development.
It became a go-to dining spot even among non-residents, who continue to drive all the way to Pasig just to get a taste of tempura similar to the ones served in Asakusa, the Tokyo district that the restaurant is named after.
Particularly popular among customers is the Shogun 5 set, which has five pieces of black tiger prawn tempura. Each set comes with a choice of rice or noodles (soba or udon), and two different kinds of sauces – the traditional tempura sauce and the thicker and sweeter Asakusa sauce.
But Asakusa Home of Tempura is not limited to prawns. Those looking for variety can try the Emperor set, which has two tiger prawns, fish, kani, scallop, French beans, and zucchini; or the non-meat Geisha set with shiitake mushroom, squash, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and beans.
The restaurant also has uni tempura, or sea urchin that is wrapped in seaweed, then battered and deep-fried.
Restaurants in Japan typically specialize in just one type of dish, whether it’s tempura, ramen, or sushi. To cater to Filipinos, the Bautista couple opted to expand its menu, adding Kitayama Wagyu cubes, maki (sushi rolls), gyoza (pan-fried dumplings), and karaage (fried chicken), among others.
All these are served in an environment that feels modern but still unmistakably Japanese, with Jacob and Celline making sure that little touches – from the decor to the bowls and plates – are flown in from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Asakusa Home of Tempura is located at the second floor of Ayala Malls Vertis North.