Yakitori with Wagyu in San Juan
Having visited House of Wagyu Stone Grill, Mamou and Hai Chix (fine, maybe theirs is actually quite reasonable), I can say that good meat is expensive. A year ago I won’t be spending thousands of pesos for a piece of meat but one can experience bliss in this good mixture of fat and protein.
This new Yakitori place in San Juan, Tori Tori Kushiyaki Snackbar, serves good quality beef (japanese wagyu!) priced well. We don’t frequent Wilson as there is limited parking space and the traffic is bad but Tori Tori seems worh the effort. We timed our visit during off peak hours as a work around.
The place is small. I think the dining area is around less than 20sqm. At most the place will be able to accommodate 12 people.
All of the Above Please Tori Tori
I initially ordered the angus beef and japanese wagyu, 4pcs each (for me and my girlfriend!) but eventually ordered all the kushiyaki (grilled skewers) available. Hehe.
The Japanese Wagyu is japanese wagyu. Simple, straight to the point, and accessible. Most people will have a hard time spending 5k++ on japanese wagyu and Tori Tori gives us the option to experience this. At P125, it is the most expensive among the kushiyaki but is totally worth it. This is highly recommended.
Next on the list is the Angus Beef. At P55, this pairs well with their Japanese Rice. Fatty and tender with just the right amount of salt. Definitely next in line after the Japanese Wagyu in this Yakitori in San Juan.
Before I forget, they also have Spicy Japanese Mayo. Garlic Japanese Mayo and Sesame Mayo that is to be used as dipping sauce for the skewers.
Moving on, the Shishamo (saltwater fish) is light. Just a hint of fish taste blended with the smokiness from charring. The calamnsi might have counteracted the taste a bit.
Chicken thigh, liver, and heart were nothing extraordinary. If you’re not a fan of beef, this will be you order of choice.
Bacon Enoki is just mushroom wrapped in bacon. The enoki mushrooms give crunch and a burst of freshness that will contrast the fat and salt from the bacon.
My girfriend doesn’t eat vegetables but was willing to try the Eggplant kushiyaki. Accompanied with their sauce, she was able to down a piece. But even on its own, the Eggplant is cooked well – not too mushy.
Tori Tori’s Sausage was recommended by their staff. It is unlike the sausages you get from the deli. The one in the middle kind of tastes like kikiam, while the one on the right (red-pinkish) tastes like sweet longanisa.
Their seafood, Ebi and Salmon, are quite good. I liked the Salmon as it still retained its freshness. Wished there was a bit of fat in there though. The ebi is good but doesn’t really stand out.
The Butabara is like our local version of barbecue. A bit sweet but with the right amount of fat (our local version has the fat concentrated at the end of the stick).
We also ordered Ramen but as this is not their specialty, it can never compare to ramen retaurants such as Oyasumi Ramen.
If not for the limited parking space and the general traffic in the area, I would love to visit more often. The Japanese Wagyu is a winner and gives this dish a wider audience. Basing on the price alone, they might look cheap but if you take into account the serving size, it’s just fair. This new Yakitori restaurant in San Juan has shown its promise and I would like to schedule a visit again sometime.
Girlfriend recommendation: If you’re hungry, for less than 500 bucks, order a bowl of Japanese rice plus 3 sticks of angus belly, and 2 sticks of wagyu beef (skip all other skewers). Ask for their yakitori sauce so you can mix with your rice. Winning combo, I swear.
Price to Taste Ratio – 4/5
Budget Per Person – P300
Monday – Sunday – 11:00am – 12pm
Location – 197 Wilson Street, San Juan (near Gloria Maris)
Facebook – Tori Tori Kushiyaki Snack Bar