Japanese food is available everywhere but the Japanese prefer to go to Little Tokyo in Makati. My close friend Arpee Lazaro and I went to Hana Little Tokyo for my pre-birthday celebration last April 8, 2011 to indulge on his favorite Takoyaki.
Little Tokyo is a place of Japanese specialties located along Pasong Tamo (Chino Roces Avenue) and Fernando Street in Makati. Located at the outer section are Sekitori, Seryna, Isakaya Kikufuji, Yamazaki, Fuji Spa and Fitness Center, Shinjuku Ramen House and Japanese Grocery and Ramen Bar. Inner section include Oishinbo, Urameshi, Kagura, Heijyoen, Hana, Noda Sho and Niko-Niko Tei. We've decided to indulge on Takoyaki at Hana.
Takoyaki (means fried or grilled octopus) is a popular ball-shaped Japanese dumpling or more like a savory pancake made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan with diced or whole baby octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion, brushed with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise. I've tasted takoyaki since high school and I often buy them when doing my grocery shopping in SM North EDSA until the kiosk disappeared. Hana's Takoyaki is bigger in size and freshly-made in front of customers so you'd really get to see what you put in your mouth.
Compared to other takoyaki in malls, Hana's Takoyaki is a bit pricey at P120 for 6 balls but the shape and taste was worth more. It's not too salty, the fillings are not powdered as they were all made fresh, vegetables cut in small bits and diced octopus is quite bigger. The size of the Takoyaki balls in Hana is like twice the size served in mall kiosks.
I also ordered this Shoyu Ramen (P220). Shoyu (means soy sauce) Ramen is a bowl of curly noodles in brown and clear broth with plenty of soy sauce. it's tangy, salty and savory yet still fairly light on the palate adorned with green onions, kamaboko (fish cakes), nori, (seaweed), boiled eggs and some sliced beef. Thinking it's soy sauce, I thought it would be really salty but it was surprisingly light and really flavorful. The serving was so big I had to share it with Arpee to finish.
We also had Gyoza, also known as Jiazi, typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping, Katsu Curry (P300), and Hana Joy Salad (P220).
Hana Joy Salad is fresh tomatoes, lettuce, fresh asparagus, cucumbers and thin-sliced carrots in a special crunchy mayo dressing that's really hard to forget. I really loved the asparagus here.
This is the Katsu Curry (P300) dish enjoyed by Arpee with sliced red ginger on the side.
We had 3 orders of Hana's delectable Takoyaki drizzled with mayo and tempura bits. It was hard to discuss any story about our lives because the dishes served totally silenced us with such joy. I was happy sharing a wonderful birthday feast again with him and I'm completely in gratitude to God for all the blessings. It's always a great experience eating with a friend who shares the same passion - food. I'd definitely go back to Little Tokyo to try the other stalls specialties - Gindara, Yakiniku and more grilled food.How to get to Hana Little Tokyo?
Here's the map ganked from Metro Manila Directions: