Thursday, January 30, 2014

Food Trip: Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant - First Visit

I love Japanese food, so I'm always on the lookout for a nice Japanese place. That is why when my college friends had a meetup, I suggested Watami. It's a new Japanese restaurant at the new Glorietta wing that is not a katsu place.


At first we actually walked into Lugang Cafe next door by mistake. The two restaurants had signs on a pole between them that were a little confusing. When we walked into Watami they said people going to Lugang sometimes end up at their restaurant too.

Watami looks really polished, but manages to maintain a casual vibe. It's large and comfortable, with lovely dim lighting. It's a franchise from Japan (with over 700 branches all over Asia) so we expected authentic Japanese food, and we weren't disappointed.

Our table


The food was amazing! The flavors were somehow different from other Japanese restos in the metro. The menu was extensive and everything looked attractive, so we had a tough time choosing what to order. While waiting, they served us some lovely house tea.


We started with the drinks because those were the easiest to decide on. A lot of Watami's drinks are huge, which we liked. I chose the Green Citrus Yuzu Marmalade Soda, Kitch went with the Fresh Kiwi Squash methinks, and Payi and Yong shared the Milk Tea with Black Tapioca. We all liked our orders. Mine was full of citrus-y goodness. I felt like I loaded up on Vitamin C that day, heh. 

Humongous glasses

I went with the Cold Soba because I have to try every single cold soba dish I come across. Watami's was great! I would say it's on the same level as Sumo Sam's. The sauce was on point, and the noodles were wonderfully firm. It was a really large serving too, and it took me a while to eat it, but I finished the entire thing because it was so good.

Cold Soba

I also ordered the Grilled Scallop Irodori Sushi on the side. Though it was tasty, I found it lacking in scallop flavor. Scallop has a mild flavor, but I thought there were too many things inside and on top of the sushi that took away from what should have been the star of the dish.

Grilled Scallop Irodori Sushi

Kitch had the Stir-Fried Udon with Seafood, which she found to be tasty. She was really amused with the moving bonito flakes on top of it. I always love it when people see that for the first time. We had a "Your food's moving!" moment.  

Stir-fried Udon with Seafood

Payi ordered the Salmon and Vegetable in Rice Paper. I got food envy when I saw it because it looked scrumptious, and it was. It came with a sort of potato salad on the side, which made it a filling dish.

Salmon and and Vegetable in Rice Paper

Payi's boyfriend Yong got the Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot. It was enormous but he said it was good as well. It had me making a mental note to order a stone pot dish next time.

Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot

My friends ordered dessert, but I passed because I was crazy stuffed. Kitch had the Vanilla Ice Cream, which she expected to be run-of-the-mill vanilla, but she said it was a bit different and nice. Payi and Yong had the Maccha Tiramisu which they raved about so much. They even said they were going to go back there just for that.


The restaurant crew was very attentive. They were always refilling our water glasses or putting empty dishes away. They patiently answered our questions and explained the dishes to us. They were a smiley bunch also. We had no complaints. 

Happy me + Kitch

Happy Payi + Yong


Watami does good food! I'm glad there's another Japanese restaurant that I can add to my list of go-to places. Just writing this post made me crave so much. It's a little pricier than your everyday Japanese restaurant, but it's worth it. The place is warm and inviting, and the food is something I'll come back again and again for. 

My lovely meal

Watami is located at the Ground Floor of Glorietta 2 (the new wing), Ayala Center, Makati. The entrance is outside, along Hotel Drive. 

Have you been to Watami? What's your favorite dish from there? 

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