Savor The Masterful Touch Of Chef Kamito Katagiri
If there’s just one reason to visit Minami Saki by Astoria, it’s to savor the masterful touches of its executive chef Kimito Katagiri. He may be 100% Japanese, but after 33 years of living in the Philippines, he has found that magic formula for pleasing the Filipino palate, while still staying true to his Japanese roots.
Since it opened in late 2014, this intimate 50-plus-seater adjacent to the lobby of Astoria Plaza has quietly gained a loyal following that can’t get enough of its topnotch offerings at less-than-outrageous prices. Credit goes to Chef Katagiri who used to head many of the city’s top Japanese hotel restaurants, and who has trained his all-Filipino kitchen staff to execute the classics with “old school” precision and exacting standards.
For something traditional, you can’t go wrong with the Take Sashimi composed of delicate slices of fresh salmon, tuna, mackerel, lapu-lapu, squid. Or try the Ebi Tempura, large succulent prawns, lightly battered and crisp to the bite. Other bestsellers include Soft Shell Crab Karaage, US Angus Tenderloin and US Scallop with Tamago Sauce. Or else, just choose from the extensive menu of grilled dishes, tempura, teppanyaki and noodles.
But for something a bit different, Chef Katagiri has what he calls his “Japinoy” creations that cater to Pinoys’ predilection for the sweet, salty and creamy. His Aburi Sushi is eel, tuna, yellowtail, salmon and lapu-lapu, doused with his secret aburi sauce, raw egg and cheese, then slightly burned for an umami-laden take on sushi. Topped with fruit, it’s quite outrageous and even decadent, but this dish is one reason why diners are flocking to Minami Saki.
Astoria Plaza, 15 J. Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, (02) 687-1111