Latest Stories

Word of Mouth

Japanese and Filipino fusion cuisine–it works!


What happens when you combine Japanese with Filipino cuisine?

If you had mentioned this combination in the past, I would immediately say, “No dice.” I love good old oily Pinoy food and authentic, neat and delicious Japanese dishes. But combined, I don’t know.

I am also not a fan of fusion cuisine. I do enjoy it once in a while, but given a choice between authentic cooking or fusion cuisine, I would much rather have the authentic one, the way the locals eat it. For a restaurant owner to say “We cooked it to suit the local palate” is one of the biggest turn-offs for me. Though if it has to do with the level of spiciness, then that’s acceptable.

Another turn-off for me is a restaurant sign that claims to specialize in two or more cuisines. More often than not, it’s a letdown. Yes, I hope to be proven wrong someday.

Recently, I got a text from one of the people I envy. Elaine is a full-fledged jogger. I envy her because she eats whatever she wants, no holds barred. Her text was about a new dining place that specializes in combining Japanese with Pinoy cuisine. My thought bubble: “Not too promising.”


It’s a good thing I keep these thoughts to myself, because—what a surprise—Manila Maki is a restaurant that does well in combining popular Japanese dishes with many Pinoy ingredients. It works!

I was amazed at the creativity put in by owner Deanne Panlilio Montoya. Sometimes I wish I could just enter the brain of people like her to see how these ideas pop up. Very interesting.

I started with a Spicy Tuna Salad—fresh tuna sashimi tossed with some Japanese mayo dressing, taba ng talangka, crunchy tempura flakes, hot chili and nori strips. If this was any indication of the dishes to follow, then I was in for a winner meal again.

Then came the other dishes, like the Tinapa Maki—tinapa kani with fresh mango, kesong puti, sushi rice, tobiko and topped with pinoy teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayo. My gosh, this works!

The other rolls served were the Manila Maki and the Laguna Roll—crispy salmon belly with kesong puti, bacon bits with spicy salmon, all rolled in sushi rice; and Tuna Maki—prawn tempura with kani salad rolled in Japanese rice and panko bread crumbs and topped with taba ng talangka.

I noticed all the flavors and textures in all the dishes—sour, sweet, creamy, crunchy, etc. The Talong Teriyaki was also delicious. You could almost taste the burnt taste of the talong.

The Longgaiyoza was made of Cabanatuan longganisa and leeks dumplings, steamed then fried and served with spicy soy vinegar.

There was Aligue Yakisoba or pancit and Bistekdon, Adobo Don and Chicken Adobo Don; Sabahidon or bangus belly (instead of the eel) topped over rice with egg and drizzled with teriyaki sauce; and Aligue Chahan or fried rice.

I loved the combinations. There are a lot more interesting dishes on the menu, though I felt the desserts needed work a bit more.

That was a delicious meal. I didn’t think the combinations would work, but I was wrong, so check them out!

Happy eating!

Manila Maki is at G/L, Elizabeth’s Place Condominum at H.V. De la Costa St., Salcedo Village in Makati; tel. 8227319. For catering, call The Urban Feast at 7107563 or 8892066.

Visit sandydaza.blogspot.com; follow on Twitter @sandydaza.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: dining , Filipino food , Fusion , Japanese Food , Lifestyle , Manila Maki

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  6. She has become the sex slave of her best friend
  7. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Most criticized books list includes Hunger Games, Perks
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • US weighing military exercises in Eastern Europe
  • Rains loom in Surigao as LPA nears
  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week
  • 2 suspected victims of summary execution found dead in N. Cotabato
  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Sports

  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus