Izakaya Kikufuji has been around for a while. It’s located along Little Tokyo, just a street away from Seryna. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about the place especially about their Wagyu sticks and sushi so me and Jeff decided to try it out.
This is both a rave and rant so please bear with me.
We called to make a reservation at 8:30pm but according to them, they don’t accept reservations anymore after 7:00pm but we could simply walk-in because not a lot of people reserved for the night.
We got there around 8-ish and the place was packed! I was ready to tell Jeff that we should go some place else because the girl who was at the reception area was not very friendly. We wanted to sit on a regular table but they didn’t have an available table for two. She offered to let us sit in the smoking area but we refused because we don’t smoke. She said there were no smokers there at the moment but when we checked it out, there were lots of smokers. We then just agreed to sit by the bar.
There was a table that was about to leave but it was for four so I asked if we can sit there but according to them, we couldn’t because it was reserved. *I THOUGHT WE COULD NOT RESERVE TABLES AFTER 7PM*. But we didn’t let that ruin the night. We proceeded to order.
The Goten Mori (Php560 + 10% Service Charge) is a plate of 5 kinds of sashimi. We wanted the 9 kinds but it wasn’t available. No doubt the quality of their sashimi is good. It was served in fresh and chunky slices. We were told that it would have a hamachi together with salmon, tuna, ika, and mackerel. But when it was served, they put in a sort of seared tuna instead of hamachi. We asked why and they said they don’t have hamachi anymore. *Note: They served it without informing us about the change. Not that I would cancel the order, but I thought it was a bit weird and rude.
They serve Ebi Tempura (Php205 + 10% Service Charge) by 4 pieces only. The size of the shrimp was as thick as the breading. It was quite crispy.
They serve two kinds of California Maki.The regular one is topped with mayonnaise. The one we ordered was the Special California Maki (Php450 + 10% Service Charge) which was topped with tuna, mayo, strips of mango, and caviar. It had a little spicy flavor to it. I liked this maki.
This is the Beef Kushiyaki/Wagyu on a Stick (Php125/stick + 10% Service Charge). Now this is what we really came for. Everyone was raving about how great this is but frankly, Jeff and I were a little disappointed. The beef was soft but I now know that grilling does not do Wagyu Beef justice. It lost it’s flavor and tasted kind of burnt. It was still juicy though.
The Gindara (Php395 + 10% Service Charge) took a while before it was served. We thought they forgot about it because we have almost finished everything when it came. It was big and tender. Smother it with the sauce if you like your fish really sweet. But follow up on your order before you finish. They might end up serving it as soon as you’re ready to leave.
We ordered two kinds of Sake: The Sakari (Php160/glass + 10% Service Charge) and Gekkeikan (Php200/glass + Service Charge). There’s not much difference between the two (or maybe I just don’t know how to taste it. lol) One glass is enough though. It comes with a little shot glass.
They don’t serve fried rice. They have plain Japanese rice (Php62 + 10% Service Charge) only.
The Miso Soup(Php60 + 10% Service Charge) was served hot and had lots of sea weed and tofu.
Jeff and I sat by the bar.
The place is quite big and was decorated with lots of Japanese elements.
The smoking area.
They have a collection of Japanese wine which have been labeled with names of some random people. Some were labeled after local celebrities too.I’m not sure if they were drunk from by these people or have been donated to the place for display. Lol.
Overall, I think I would have enjoyed the place if not for the crappy impression they initially gave us. The quality of food is okay and I would have raved about it more but I just can’t get over how unprofessional the staff was. They were just all over the place, talking and shouting at each other while serving customers. Since we were seated by the bar, the waitresses would often write down orders RIGHT BESIDE US while we were eating which was a little unnerving.
Usually, I like it when the staff is upbeat and cheerful but as soon as the waitress noticed I was taking pictures, she started making unnecessary comments like ‘Pa-picture tayo kay maam’ and even called the cooking staff. I was game to take pictures of them. It was just weird. Oh well.
I couldn’t help but notice also how they place the order slip on top of the actual sashimi (That means the paper touches the fooooood. Not sure if that’s sanitary) then just takes if out when they’re going to deliver it to the table. Is this normally done in other sushi places? I don’t really know.
I couldn’t understand the menu because they were all in Japanese but the waitresses might be able to help. Disregarding the bad service, the place has the ambiance that is great for catching up with friends or even for dinner with the family.
Have you tried out Kikufuji? Hopefully your experience was better than ours.
If you want to try out Izakaya Kikufuji, they’re located at
2277 Pasong Tamo, Makati City
Tel. No. 02 893 6131