Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tempura Japanese Grill (Trinoma)

Beloved and I had dinner at Tempura Japanese Grill the other night. It's been a while, and I guess I was wondering if it was still the pretty darn good Japanese restaurant we always found it to be. Okay, actually, we were just looking for a place that served bottomless drinks and wasn't feeling Bigoli. Also, Beloved mentioned that she tried their bacon-wrapped asparagus here and found it better than the one at Kimono Ken, so I guess I wanted to try that.

We soon find out that they were out of bacon, and we didn't get to try out their Ebi-Aspara Bacon Maki. So instead, we ordered their Gyu Aspara Maki (180 Php). Of course, we had to order their Tempura, and go 5 pieces for 300 Php. Beloved also wanted Miso Soup (50 Php), so we ordered one. We also ordered a couple of their Chahan, or fried rice, for 55 Php each. Finally, aside from the bottomless iced teas (65 Php each), we also asked for an order of their Temari Sushi (115 Php).

Our last order came first, and I found it to be a bit smaller than I remember. Also, because all 5 sushi-balls were different, we had trouble deciding how to share it between ourselves. Anyway, from left to right, there's salmon, shrimp, crab, tuna, and squid. But the real star of this dish is the way it's prepared. The ball-shaped sushi makes for a fun treat. Although it no longer has the surprise inside the ball, maybe running out of it as well, I still find it a pretty good value.

Their Miso Soup I found to be much milder than the competition. Still, I thought it made for a soothingly good soup. It's also a pretty decent serving comparing to a puny cup the usual restaurant serves.

The Chahan, well, it's okay. Nothing spectacular here. There's the soy taste hiding the blandness of the rice and the random bits of veggies and meat every once in a while. I cannot call this a meal on its own, however.

Their tempura is still as big as I remember them to be. However, after having Oki Oki's tempura, I guess they're much shorter. Still, it maintains the meaty amount inside the crunchy buttery batter.

Finally, the Gyu Aspara Maki. The beef tasted pretty good as with the sweet sauce. The sharp, watery taste of the asparagus was okay as well. What brings this dish's score down a bit was the texture. I guess I wanted something soft and tender wrapping around the crunchy asparagus stems. Sadly, beef is no bacon and had a slightly tough, chewy texture instead.

Overall, an okay stay. We've still yet to try the "grill" part of Tempura Japanese Grill. Yet, I don't feel enticed to actually try it out. The other parts of their menu are much more appealing to me, specifically their tempura, ramen, and sushi. I still find this restaurant a pretty good value especially for the quality you're having. However, I'm also starting to look at Tempura Japanese Grill just another one of those countless Japanese restaurants with similar prices and more or less similar quality. That aside, I'm sure to go back here someday just because I wasn't able to try their Ebi Bacon Aspara Maki.

Worth a try

2nd floor Alfresco area, near the front entrance of Trinoma
200-300 Php
Recommended for:
Tempura lovers.
Not recommended for:
Tempura and Japanese food haters.
Smart nomnomnom tip:
Their tempura comes in different varieties; try the others out if you're getting tired of the usual.