Peruse a Japanese dictionary and you won’t find the delightful word “Botejyu”. It’s because Botejyu is a whimsical mishmash of “Bote” (the sound of a just-flipped okonomiyaki) and “Jyu” (the delightful sizzling sound as it cooks on the teppan grill)—an appropriate, poetic, and appetizing way to describe Japan’s Pioneer Okonomiyaki and Okosoba Specialty Restaurant Chain.
Botejyu in the Philippines is one of Viva International Food & Restaurants, Inc.’s franchises, the same company that has brought unique and winning brands such as Wing Zone, Pepi Cubano, Paper Moon Cake & Boutique Cafe, and Yogorino.
As it opens its flagship store at the 3rd Level of One Bonifacio High Street, Botejyu is staying true to its promise: to offer authentic Japanese cuisine (with popular dishes from each prefecture) to wherever country it finds home plus a new premium selection.
The beginnings of Boteyju
Established in Japan by Eikichi Nishino in 1946, Botejyu takes pride in its name.
Botejyu was born in the gourmet city of Tamade, Osaka originally as a specialty okonomiyaki restaurant, which has been struggling to start over despite the harsh post-war aftermath. The emerging black markets in Osaka carried supplies and provision from the US and these included American flour which was then mixed with water to make pancakes as alternative basic nourishment.
Faced with food shortage, Nishino knew he had to be more innovative and enterprising so he developed this simple, easy-to-cook okonomiyaki, by throwing in whatever ingredient was available. He also set his eyes on mayonnaise, a condiment that until then was used only to flavor cold food.
After much experimentation, Nishino managed to market mayonnaise as an okonomiyaki topping at his restaurant. The evolution of this nutritious recipe quickly spread in Osaka, making this flour-based food as a staple dish. Nowadays, okonomiyakis are dressed with mayonnaise, but it was Nishino and Botejyu who first came up with the concept.
When Japan underwent rapid economic growth, and to meet customer needs during this era, Botejyu developed new items including the “okosoba”, which is basically okonomiyaki and yakisoba in one dish.
Over seven decades later, Botejyu still delivers authentic Japanese food in every single branch they open in Japan Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand and in the Philippines.
A bit of everything authentic Japanese…and beyond
What makes Boteyju special is that it brings the authentic taste of local Japanese food to more people in full support of regional revitalization. Thus, reading through its interesting menu, one can find all of Japan’s local specialty gourmet food from various regions throughout Japan.
To keep the original flavors consistent even to this day, Botejyu is particular about ingredients that go into every dish. Botejyu in the Philippines, in fact, imports 70% of its ingredients—from meats to sauces.
“Aside from our specialty okonomiyaki and okosoba, we also have ramen, tempura, takoyaki, wagyu beef, oko, gyoza, katsu, don buri, yakisoba,teppan, plus other Japanese comfort under one roof,” said Vicente Raphael “VR” del Rosario IV Senior Vice-President for Viva International Food & Restaurants, Inc.
Take note of these of some of the specialties:
Takoyaki takes center stage—if you can’t decide which takoyaki flavor you want, go for the All-star Takoyaki and enjoy six different variants of these sumptuous crisp on the outside, tender and chewy ball-shaped goodies on the inside. The wheat flour-based batter is a proprietary Botejyu ingredient, and goes well with the fresh tako (octopus) bits. It comes with six individual sauces and flavors: umami sauce and mayo, tomato sauce, spicy mentai mayo, thick spicy sauce, and salt and garlic sauce.
Move up to the mains and try Pork Paitan Ramen, a rich and delicious pork and noodle dish dashed with a trace of Botejyu’s magical oil that adds soul to the soup. The Shrimp Tempura Platter is also one of their best-selling dishes, a testament to the Filipino love for fried food. The batter is light and crunchy, with hints of natural umami flavors.
If you want something heavy and hearty, the Amiyaki Grilled Pork Rice Bowl beckons. A local specialty of Hokkaido, this rice bowl is topped with thick grilled pork slices and a special soy sauce that lends a sweet-savory flavor.
Boteyju’s Okonomiyaki, an original concept by its founder, is well-balanced and nutritious, having generous amounts of shredded fresh cabbage, and other ingredients melded into the house batter mix. The Premium Moonlight Oko, in particular, has caught everyone’s weakness for great okonomiyaki with its substantial mixture of beef, pork, shrimp, squid and fried egg cooked in a teppan grill and topped with signature secret sauces and white mayonnaise to produce konomiyaki that’s crispy on the outside but light, fluffy, and flavorful on the inside. You may choose from other flavors like Mochi & Gouda Cheese, Pork, Pork & Kimchi, Bacon & Cheese, the classic Osaka, among others. The light and creamy Original Osaka mayonnaise that can be found on top of the okos is a Botejyu house formulation.
Always say yes to their yakisoba and get warmed by their OsakaPremium Moonlight, Mixed Seafood, Beef Kalbi Sukiyaki, and the Pork flavors. Botejyu’s Karaage, meanwhile, is the number one karaage in Japan, and has become the favorite of chicken-loving Filipino foodies as well. Other famous dishes include the Teppan Pork Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Beef Sukiyaki Rice Set, Omusoba, and of course, the other original concept, their Okosoba. Also called “modern-yaki” by Nishino, this hearty dish is made with their house yakisoba noodles and cabbage that is packed in between the special batter and egg, a truly comforting dish.
New Premium Selection
“With the opening of our flagship branch in One Bonifacio High Street, we will also start to offer new premium dishes that can continue our founder’s mission of bringing the true taste of authentic Japanese traditional cuisine to more people,” del Rosario explained.
Visit Botejyu’s other branches at the SM Mall of Asia, Festival Mall, SM City Dasmarinas, SM Megamall, Robinson’s Galleria, Robinson’s Magnolia, Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Ayala Malls Trinoma, Ayala Malls Feliz, SM Pampanga, Solenad, and soon in Greenbelt, Greenhills, and Ayala North Exchange. Follow Boteyju on social media: FB – @Boteyjuph | IG – @boteyjuphilippines | www.boteyju.com.ph)