Tuesday, July 5, 2016

First Bite: Chibo Okonomiyaki

I have been curious about S Maison ever since foodies bombarded Instagram with dishes from Uma Uma and Chibo Okonomiyaki. Since S Maison is not exactly walking distance from where I work, I decided to wait it out a bit. But food gods know better and organized it for me. 

Hello, S Maison!

The place is pretty posh with its high etched ceilings. Most of the retail stores and restaurants are still closed so it’s not fun to visit the new mall just yet. But if you can’t wait to get your hands (or tastebuds) on the talked about ramen and okonomiyaki, then do visit this place… soon. My first stop during my visit is Chibo Okonomiyaki
This okonomiyaki place is an upscale version of the well-loved Dohtonbori. The plush couch seats and shiny walls were elegant yet still exude a Japanese ambiance. 
Since this will not be my only stop and because I still had an event to attend to after (and I planned to visit Uma Uma! and Horse’s Mouth), I only ordered Butatama Okonomiyaki (PHP190) and Gyoza Teppan (PHP150). It was so hard to choose as they have a wide range of okonomiyaki and teppan dishes. 
I sat across the teppan area to see the chefs prepare my meal. Unfortunately, since there were only a few guests, they only used the teppan in front of the other diners near me. I had to move to another seat to see my orders get flipped and do all those delectable acrobatic moves. Knowing that it’ll be served a couple of steps away from me, I asked the server to signal me when my food was about to be prepared. After a few minutes, I got the signal from the server and I moved a few seats from mine.
The gyoza was already on the teppan plate and it sure looked flat and sad. This dish was ready in less than 5 minutes. 
It was on the dry side and despite its small size, it cannot be enjoyed in one bite. The thin crispy sides were a bit too wide for the mouth. Believe me, I tried and ended up hurting the sides of my lips. 

I dipped it in the thick gyoza sauce which reminded me a bit of McDonald’s nugget barbecue sauce and it helped a bit but not quite. 
The butatama okonomiyaki was prepared right after the gyoza and it looked promising. 
It was definitely bang for the buck with its definitely good for sharing size.
But I figured why it was priced so affordable. There was not a lot of ingredients to munch on. It was simply a Japanese style pancake with thin pork slices on top. 
It was different from Dohtonbori which had more veggies. 
Then again, perhaps I chose the wrong dish and expected too much from Chibo's cheapest okonomiyaki. 
The okonomiyaki itself was not exciting as there was no contrast in textures. But the pork slices were flavorful and brought character to the dish. 
The okonomiyaki sauce, just like the gyoza sauce, reminded me of McDonald’s nugget sauce. 
For some reason, I prefer Dohtonbori even if the quaint shop is more chaotic than Chibo Okonomiyaki. I’m not sure if it was because I was with other people when I dined in Dohtonbori or if it is because of its warmer ambiance. I will give Chibo Okonomiyaki another try though and try its more premium okonomiyaki. 

Tip: Ask for their house tea. It's good!

Chibo Okonomiyaki is located at 2nd Floor, S Maison, Conrad Manila, Coral Way, MOA Complex, Pasay. 

Chibo Okonomiyaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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