Saturday-morning badminton enables me to touch base with other badminton buffs. We enjoy each other’s company, and it often happens that the discussion drifts to food.
From Jing, a foodie, I always get feedback on dining experiences, good or bad. Another intense but fun player is Hariko, a Japanese national who’s predictably a great source on any new Japanese restaurant around. Her contagious laughter disappears the moment she steps on the court. And like all of us, we play hard to compensate for our food indulgence.
On one Saturday, Hariko was very excited to share her new find. A new Japanese restaurant had just opened. It has a 24-hour fast-food shop on the ground floor and a fine-dining restaurant on the second, she reported.
I don’t have breakfast before I play Saturday and Sunday mornings, so after the hard games, I get hunger pangs. So one weekend after freshening up, I headed to Sekitori alone.
Manning the counter was a non-English speaking Japanese chef. To me, this added to the seeming authenticity and reputation of the establishment.
I first looked over the fast-food menu. Interesting, but I was set on the fine-dining place upstairs. So I found myself alone upstairs for it was only 11 a.m. I looked over the menu and found out the a la carte menu was served only in the evening.
Prices were quite reasonable and the pictures helped in visualizing what to order. There were meal sets for lunch. There was Tonkatsu meal, the chicken version of it and a few others.
After a nice healthy activity, I thought I would continue with my healthy binge by zeroing in on the sashimi set. I was so hungry and thought the set menu would not be enough. So I ordered the spicy soft tofu with those creepy moving fish flakes. Good but I thought they were a bit bland. A little dip in the soy sauce brought it to life.
Then came my order. My gosh, I was so shocked to see how much it was. These are what I got: a salad of marinated sayote and carrots; Japanese cabbage salad; another tofu with the same scary moving fish flakes; potato salad; an udon soup; two prawn tempuras; an eggplant tempura; and a beautiful huge plate of sashimi made up of salmon, squid rings, uni, tuna and toro on a bed of shaved radish. Every single one of them was extremely fresh and yummy.
Beautifully plated, it also came with sticky Japanese rice and pineapple for dessert. Chop sticks in hand, I was humming in satisfaction.
I was so stuffed but guilt-free, having eaten healthy. So Sekitori will be my next destination after Saturday and Sunday badminton days for the next few weeks. I intend to bring my family, especially in the evenings.
Thank you, Hariko.
Sekitori is at 2B Hanston Square, San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Call tel. 9563233.