People think that living in Tokyo would make me a Japanese food snob that scoffs at the thought of eating a California roll. But I can never stop talking about my craving for dynamite rolls from Omakase; needless to say, I love me some good “unauthentic” Japanese food. Enter, Kaito, a hole-in-the-wall carindiria in Bangkal, Makati that proves that cheap food doesn’t necessarily mean bad food.
Kaito snagged a snug spot down A. Apolinario street by the DMCI head office. The carinderia has about 4 tables, and can fit about 12-15 people, if they’re pushing it. Their sign isn’t lit so it’s easy to miss, but their stall is the only one decorated with lanterns, and has wooden boards with menu items written in English and Japanese.
A substantially sized bowl of basic shoyu ramen would throw you back PHP 50, the cheapest ramen on the menu. We opted for the tonkotsu ramen, which cost a little more than shoyu at PHP 90, and came with a slice of pork, fish cake, half an egg, and a leafy green. For a carinderia, their tonkotsu ramen is worth a try. Though the soup wasn’t thick like regular tonkotsu, it was milky like sopas, which I appreciated. The noodles had a bite to them, and while it could have had more toppings (or at least a fatter slice of pork), for its price, the ramen was tasty.
Omurice traditionally is ketchup-fried rice wrapped in an omelette, topped with mayonnaise and more ketchup. It’s a weird combination of flavors, but because I was told it was one of their best sellers, I decided to give it a go. Their omurice bulgogi is delicious—their rice didn’t have an overwhelming amount of ketchup, and together with a slightly crispy omelette, and some beef bulgogi, it was a delicious mouthful.
The chicken dynamite (PHP 90) is not in the menu, and is instead posted by the counter. This dish is another winner; crunchy fried chicken strips with a sweet and tangy sauce with a little spicy kick. The chicken strips were delectably crunchy, and burst with juicy flavor from the dynamite sauce seasoning. It was served with shredded cabbage doused with mayo, which made for a great dipping sauce.
Kaito opens around 6pm, which is a good time to come, because their gyoza gets easily sold out. If you’re ever in the area, their omurice bulgogi is enough to satisfy cravings for “unauthentic” Japanese food, and won’t hurt your wallet.
Have you tried Kaito? What dish did you enjoy the most or are most eager to try? Tell us with a comment below!
Address: Apolinario St., Bangkal, Makati