Aguirre’s Kantori Yakitori is a Non-Traditional Approach to Japanese IzakayasJuly 7, 2020
- Pamela CortezWords
What’s up with yakitori? It’s the latest Japanese craze to hit Metro Manila, and has become the restaurateur’s default concept of choice. From street eats to Pinoy izakayas, yakitori joints are the new ramen shops. Along BF’s eat street Aguirre is Kantori Yakitori, the latest one to enter the fold, which seems to have taken much influence from Hong Kong’s Yardbird. There’s flavored sakes, sticks which seem to share similar traits (the meatball with tare and egg yolk in particular), and aims to have the same laid-back, izakaya cum dining space vibe.
The menu is succinct and as affordable as places in BF usually are. A selection of starters join both yakimono and yakitori, and are quite reasonable offerings, although a salad with chicken skin and mango-lime vinaigrette could have been much better. It is, of course, with their skewers where things get interesting and, at times, delicious. The Butabara (PHP 58) was tender, with the fat of the pork belly melting into the meat and creating more moistness in often rubbery meat.
There are some missteps of course, but none that make a huge dent in the quality of what Kantori Yakitori has to offer. The Hato (PHP 38) or heart, and the Sunagimo (PHP 38) or gizzards, were a little unsubstantial and unexciting, but their more well-developed offerings were worthy of a great after-work meal. Their take on the Japanese tori meatball was a sumptuous bite, with the meat ground to an excellent texture with a rich, sweet tare sauce thickened with a raw egg yolk. The breading of a tofu tempura was light and did not weigh down the softness of its protein, and a chicken intestine was cleaned so well that the funk was almost absent. For a neighborhood place, Kantori Yakitori has some impressive dishes, and a vibe that will turn it into a watering hole for the residents it caters to.