Pandie Rating: 👍👍👍👍
May 19, 2016 – As of this day, the head chef of Tempura Ishikawa resigned and is moving to a different restaurant. 🙁 Waiting to hear where he’s going! This is such sad news as we’ve become regulars to this place already
Only 6 more days until my Tokyo trip and I still haven’t packed! OH DEAR ME. I should start this weekend haha! Anybody seen this photo from The Oatmeal? It’s totally me.
Haha okay so going back to food, it’s like the universe is throwing hints of Japanese stuff in my way before my trip. I found some great articles on what I could do in Tokyo and also neat places on where to eat. Unfortunately my master plan to eat at Kurogi seems like a bust (I listed my top food places to try here) but it’s my first trip anyway. I can always go back and plan months in advance next time. Yes, that is exactly what I’m going to do!
And now my dad found this little hole in the wall restaurant in Malate near Korean Village. I was having dinner with a friend there and my dad ventured off to the side street of Bocobo and he literally saw this tiny neon sign with a tiny door. It’s like the restaurant is only known by some VIP or exclusive patrons. If you’re driving in a car, you’ll surely miss it but good thing my dad just walked pass by it.
Outside with tiny neon sign
Tempura Ishikawa is run only by 2 chefs – Mr. Ishikawa and his apprentice and served by 2 waitresses and it was only opened around a year ago. It’s a really small knit place reminiscent of the tiny specialty restaurant in Japan. I know that the Japanese strive for perfection and that’s why they have a lot of restaurants that specialize on a single dish. I can vouch for Mr. Ishikawa and say that he has the BEST tempura place anywhere in Manila. ANYWHERE. Forget about Little Tokyo in Makati and just go to his place. Just take note that the place is really small and a lot of Japanese people go here just to chill and read manga so it can get packed during peak hours.
Mr. Ishikawa in action! Bad shot but was too shy to ask him to pose haha
Yes, he has Japanese manga! A Japanese electric fan. Japanese menu! HAHA it really transports you to some quaint little place in Japan. I felt like I wasn’t in Manila seriously.
My best friend Steph who has been to Japan several times now swears on his version of tempura because Mr. Ishikawa has perfected the tempura frying method. You know it’s good tempura if the breading is thin and is NOT greasy or oily at all. Unlike other tempura, you don’t get a mouthful of breading but a sweet blend of tempura shrimp goodness. It’s also affordable to boot with set meals starting at PHP340 only. They also serve sashimi, katsudon and other Japanese dishes but I swear just go get the tempura.
BEAUTIFUL TEMPURA <3
Photo taken by phone camera thus the less than stellar photo quality but still kickass tempura
Tuna sashimi – not the best I’ve had but still good
Salmon sashimi <3
It may not be the “freshest” seafood because face it, we’re in Metro Manila were customs steal our stuff in the cargo so no way you’re getting get the same quality as Japan buuut this comes really close to it! If you just fly Mr. Ishikawa to let’s say the seas of Cebu or Boracay, I’m sure his tempura there will even be more stellar!
Some side dishes 🙂
No idea what this is but IT’S DELISH.
But you know what really makes a good restaurant famous? It is both the great food and the great service that matter to customers. It happened on the first time I went here and waited for almost an hour for my Tempura Soba set. The good sir gave us free tuna sashimi to make up for the lost time and I think he kept piling us with side dishes as well. I was touched that they thought of their customers’ well being so much. On the third visit with my family, we were seated at the “bar” watching him cook right in front of us when he heard that I didn’t like mushrooms (yes, I eat ANYTHING but mushrooms. I just don’t like the taste. I can even smell the mushroom a mile away!) and gave my portion to my mom. He chuckled and asked me what I wanted. I being the shy eater just mumbled “Pumpkin” or something insignificant when he smiled and said, AHA! SALMON! Tempura Salmon at that!
So what restaurant will let you trade mushrooms with salmon with no additional charge? THIS RESTAURANT.
I can’t believe that no one has done a write up for this little gem yet. It truly is a Hole in a Wall. Please do visit this place when you get to Malate. 🙂 You’ll be happy with the tempura for sure!
Tempura Isikawa is beside a Japanese Karaoke place
1718 Jeorge Bocobo St. Ermita Manila
Tel: +63927 701 0090