UNANI Yakitori + Sushi, Sikatuna Village

There is a sudden rise of more casual dining versions of the international cuisines we love. These are micro restaurants dedicated to unsung dishes of, say, Japanese and Korean cuisine.

Case in point is UNANI Yakitori + Sushi that recently just opened along Maginhawa. This is from the people that brought us RUB Ribs in dear Kapitolyo and Tomas Morato.

UNANI mainly offers yakitori and kushiyaki, which basically are grilled skewered meat, Japanese style. In here you can find other casual Japanese favorites.

I keep repeating the word casual because it is Japanese cuisine boiled down to a very relaxed and modest space, meant to make diners focus on the food.

On to the food. The gracious owners prepared the store’s best sellers for us to sample. From the Kushiyaki section, we had Chicken Thigh (Php 40), Chicken Skin (Php 35), Japanese Beef Wagyu (Php 125), US Beef Rib Fingers (Php 70) and the Salmon (Php 80).

The serving is impressive for its price. Perfectly well-done meat that covers almost the entire stick with the right thickness for a whole lot of chewing. As compared to other existing yakitori/ kushiyaki restaurants, UNANI takes the cake on generosity. Must-orders are Chicken Thigh, Chicken Skin, and the US Beef Rib Fingers.

Flavors are very well intact. Don’t forget the two sauces you could use these with Wasabi Lime and Roasted Sesame.

The California Aburi Maki (Php 220) and the Spicy Tuna Maki (Php 230) are both a sight to see. Both look scrumptious in their own right. The California Aburi Maki keeps the cream cheese inside that melds really well with the seafood taste from the kani and the seaweed. It is accentuated by the sharpness from the Wasabi Lime sauce, which it is smothered in. the Spicy Tuna Maki heaps with the spicy tuna mix on top of it. Both have very considerable sizes and really packs a bite. Really just filling and delicious.

And what is eating at a Japanese establishment without having Ebi Tempura (Php 330 for 6 pieces)? Apart from the crisp and tender shrimp inside, its batter stays crunchy even after a long while. And that miso-ginger dipping sauce just brings it home. We were also served the Seafood Stir-fry, which is just about to be put on the public menu. A healthy option for the more conscious diners. It’s a mix of tuna cubes and shrimp with half of the bowl taken by the freshly made Yasai Itame.

Delicious, quality offerings at a price range that doesn’t intimidate. It’s this type of establishment that makes more people fall in love with food and eating out again. Unani delivers in the casual dining aspect and packs a one-two punch on serving size and the taste.

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