Wednesday, December 24, 2014


With Christmas shopping comes the age-old question: where to eat?

Hubby and I found ourselves in the (not-so-new) east wing of Shangri-la Mall and decided to have Japanese at Akira. The restaurant looked spacious as it was well-over lunch time when we got there. There were some big tables with grill and exhaust combos for groups of  eight to ten people who would like to have their Teppanyaki, the restaurant's specialty, cooked before them.

Akira forntage and flatware details
We started off with a steaming bowl of miso soup while we waited for the  bento box and  mixed teppanyaki set. The dashi soup stock was flavorful ( I think they may have used clams)and the tofu cut into small bite-sized pieces, saves you from having to bite into a big piece only to find out it's burned your tongue.
Miso soup

The bento box was, literally, a big sumo-sized surprise.
Almost 2 feet across, it had maguro (tuna) and sake (salmon) sashimi, chahan (fried rice) topped with roasted black sesame, beef teppanyaki, shredded cabbage with wafu dressing (soy-based vinaigrette),  karaage  (bite-sized deep fried battered chicken), tin cups of pickled seaweeds and veggies, and orange and watermelon slices.
Beef bento box
The Teppanyaki platter had US tenderloin beef. The nice thing about ordering you beef at Akira is that they list the source and beef grade. You can Have A3 or A4 grade Wagyu or the pricier Kobe or Matsusaka beef at almost P5,000 a plate.
US Tenderloin Teppanyaki
All Teppanyaki platters are served with miso, gohan, vegetables, shrimp, chicken and beef cooked in a tepan (iron plate or griddle). These iron plates are flat and not to be confused with the hibachi grill often used for yakitori (grilled skewered chicken).
The wait staff will ask you how you like your beef done. I usually like my beef done medium-rare but this time I had my beef done medium. The usual problem with small bite sized pieces is that they tend to darken and dry out easier because the heat within the beef continues to cook it until the colder air in the room brings the beef temperature down. They do know how to serve their beef at Akira.  Upon serving, mine was still slightly pinkish and tender. 
The Teppanyaki platter can actually serve two (unless one of you is a sumo-wrestler who just finished a fight) and is served with a variation of dipping sauces.
To complete the meal, I had a cold Sapporo beer. I like this rice lager beer more than the other Japanese beers because it's light and leaves little aftertaste.  Other beer connoisseurs  may have a different opinion, but for me light beer lets me savor the meal without being too demanding on my taste buds.

If I have any beef against Akira it would be the chairs. Though they look great, they are rather uncomfortable.  Hard to enjoy good food when your arms keep hitting the armrests.

Address: 5th Floor, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, St Francis Street, Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila, Philippines

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