MANILA -- (UPDATED) Japanese restaurant Ikinari Steak takes off with its first branch in the Philippines at MOA Square.
Ikinari rose to popularity in Japan with its relatively affordable steaks that make for filling meals for the average Japanese salaryman. It became viral with social media posts showing Ikinari restaurants with no seats and patrons standing up finishing up their meals.
Thankfully, the Philippine Ikinari branch has seats and resembles more of a casual dining restaurant. It uses Certified Angus Beef (CAB) for all the steaks and do have touches that add a Japanese twist to steak. Instead of the usual steak sauce and ketchup, diners have the option of adding wasabi, karashi (spicy mustard), garlic, as well as Ikanari’s own sweet or spicy vinaigrette-like sauce to your sauce.
The main item on Ikinari’s menu is the Wild Steak (P599 for 200g). The chairman of Ikinari called this wild steak because it uses chuck, a cut of beef that is not usually used as steak. These are grilled then sliced to preserve the tenderness of the beef. It’s then topped with a dab of white pepper garlic butter that, when spread all over the steak, ups the umami of the steak.
All of the steaks have corn, carrots, and a sprig of broccoli, and come with a cup of rice.
The steakhouse also has more premium cuts of meat on the menu. Guests can choose from ribeye, striploin, and tenderloin. These are served on rectangular cast iron trays to slow down the cooking.
A recommended way of trying these out is the Assorted Cuts menu option (P900) which is 200 grams divided among the premium cuts and wild steak. That way, one can sample all the premium cuts and maybe decide to get a full portion on the next visit.
Ikinari’s lunch sets offer value for money. A sample of this is the Wild Combo (P777) with 150g each of Wild Steak and 150g of Hamburg that comes with a cup of rice. Salad, soup and a can of soda can be added for a minimal additional cost (P100).
Ikanari has a Japanese drinks selection of its own matcha, cold brew coffee, and Japanese beer. It will be adding more drinks such as yuzu soon.
EasyFoods is planning to put up at least four more branches in the coming months and are currently scouting for locations around Metro Manila. They are also studying other Japanese concepts to bring to the Philippines
The first branch of Ikinari Steak can be found at MOA Square at the SM Mall of Asia complex and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.