By Rosemarie Reyes – SouthTrip Editor-in-Chief
Thankfully, BOTEJYU and its authentic Japanese traditional cuisine is the newest addition to the mall’s lineup of Japanese restaurants. Even better, customers are spoiled for choice as their extensive menu spans many regions of Japan. Billed as a Japan Traveling Restaurant, BOTEJYU features dishes with mouthwatering names as Marinated Maguro Tuna Rice Bowl from Tokyo, Pork Tonkotsu Ramen with Grilled Char Siu Pork from Yokohama, Pork Belly Tonpei Egg Winding from Osaka, Exquisite Chicken Oyako Egg Teishoku from Fukuoka and Grilled B-B-Q Pork Hokkaido Style from that snowy northern part of Japan. Those are just a few of what’s in store for you.
When my family and I celebrated a milestone in Botejyu Nuvali, we got into a celebratory mood real fast. We can’t help it as we indulged in the wide variety of authentic Japanese dishes. Seeing generous serving portions and gorgeous plating techniques, as well as tasting sublime flavors made us quite happy. Definitely, Botejyu offers real value for the money.
Mr. MJ Cabinte, Area Manager of Botejyu, explained that Botejyu stands for the flipping motion when cooking Okonomiyaki (BOTE) and the sizzling sound it makes (JYU). It was founded in 1946 in Osaka as an Okos Specialty restaurant after the war when food was scarce and everybody was focused on survival. They introduced their pioneering dish, Okos or Okonomiyaki, an easy-to-cook dish, to a nation recovering from the effects of war, a time people when were kind and supportive of each other as they shared their Okonomiyaki. This soul food was a valuable source of nutrition at that time because it could be made with whatever ingredients were on hand. Eventually, the practice of topping this dish with mayonnnaise, a Botejyu invention, became popular and spread quickly throughout the rest of Japan.
More than 70 years after, the company has grown with the support of the people. Today, they have expanded their menu beyond Okonomiyaki, modern-yaki and teppanyaki to offer several dishes such as Ramen, Donburi rice bowls and more. Botejyu also offers unique local specialty food to help revitilize the local economy, collaborating with local regions and manufacturers to bring the authenticity of Japanese flavors to the rest of the world. Today, it is found in five countries outside of Japan, including the Philippines. Botejyu opened its first branch in MOA on July 16, 2016 and expects a total of 21 stores in the Philippines by the end of 2019. As Filipinos have fallen for the allure of dining Japanese, Botejyu adds the feature of traveling all over Japan to the dining experience. Through its vast menu, customers get to visit regions such as Fukuoka, Oita, Kagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Kanagawa, Tokyo, Fukushima, Aomori and Hokkaido, to name a few.
That day, we sampled some of the finest. Premium Mix Moonlight-Egg Okonomiyaki (Osaka) – the dish that started it all in Japan for Botejyu, a comfort dish that is well balanced and highly nutritious. Our bowl was filled with premium beef, pork belly, shrimp, squid and the fried egg did look like a full moon spreading its light. Fried Salmon with Spicy Tartar Sauce (Tokyo) was spicy and good, the crispy breaded Salmon had a slight kick from the spicy tartare sauce. Crispy Fried Prawn Mayo Roll (Tokyo) – light, crunchy, exploding in the mouth with flavors and textures of the crispy fried prawn, lettuce and Botejyu’s original mayonnaise. Seattle Roll (Tokyo) was the surprise discovery and hands down new family favorite! Cheese filling ups the level of our dish of the day. Eight good-sized rolls were filled with salmon cream cheese, avocado, lettuce and their original mayo. All Star Takoyaki (Osaka) is like a box of assorted chocolates – you don’t know what you’re getting until you pop one in your mouth. The wooden tray had a variety of their best selling Takoyaki on display. Pork Tonkotsu Ramen (Kagawa) – tender flavorful pork slices with a slight charring in a rich, creamy Tonkotsu base broth and firm Ramen noodles. The Special Assorted Sashimi (Tokyo) was an eyecatching array of fresh seafood: Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Scallop and Crab Meat. The Prawn Tempura Platter (Tokyo) offered fresh prawns fried in a special, crispy batter. The Pork Tonkotsu Cutlet with Egg Teishoku (Tokyo) was a complete meal set (and a steal at Php395!) with salad, miso soup, main dish, rice and kimchi. Very affordable and popular with the working set.
Suffice it to say that the authenticity of flavors can be credited to the expertise of Chef Reniel Beña and his team, as well as the use of spices, mayonnaise, sauces and a few of the main ingredients (like the octopus) all flown in from Japan. Kudos as well to Botejyu Nuvali Manager Maita Mendoza and her team for the attentive and warm service.
Unsurprisingly, we experienced food coma at the end of the meal. Then we realized that we “travelled” mostly to Tokyo. We can’t wait to explore other regions on our next visit to Botejyu Nuvali.
Visit BOTEJYU Nuvali at the Ground Floor, Ayala Malls Solenad 2 or call 0918.104.22.168 to reserve a table. For more information, check out their website at botejyu.com.ph. Start travelling all over Japan right now at Botejyu Authentic Japanese Traditional Cuisine.