Led by its main man, Grand Chef Akihiro Okochi, the Teppan Okochi (TO) restaurant in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) brings Osaka City’s traditional cuisine specializing on food cooked on the iron plate.
The Japanese fine dining experience restaurant is located at the Ore Square Building, facing the Titan love courts on 9th Avenue, just near several parking areas. It serves lunch and dinner, open from 11 AM to 2 PM, and 5:30 PM to 11 PM.
Okochi, who hails from Osaka, Japan, is touted as TO’s “secret weapon” ― a man with a golden hand in cooking ― because he can release the natural flavor of a product without adding too many sauce and flavors. He used to be the executive chef of Mangetsu in Osaka which is popular to Japanese.
TO’s vision is to introduce guests to the world of authentic Osaka cuisine with which the following dishes are only some of Grand Chef Okochi’s acclaimed recipes ― Okonomiyaki, Wagyu Beef, and Eel. These dishes represent luxury dining at its finest and are freshly prepared right in front of your eyes over the magnificent Teppan Counter. TO also offers rare Japanese Sake, Napa Valley wines and Premium French wines.
What’s Up BGC went to sample some of TO’s menu and met with chef Okochi himself and the restaurant’s co-founder Daniel Labudahon, a lover of Japanese food and culture. He is one of the partners of TO by Mangetsu Osaka alongside with the grand chef. Daniel used to be in the real estate industry but when one of the partners introduced chef Okochi to him and invited him to open a restaurant, he grabbed this opportunity and joined the group. TO opened in BGC on June 30, 2017.
Okochi’s three pillars are: fresh imported authentic vegetables common in traditional Japanese cuisine (weekly shipped from Japan), fresh seafood especially Unagi or eel (seafood sourced from southern Philippines), and then traditional authentic Japanese flavors in everything, be it beef, fresh wagyu, sauce, desserts, rice, among others.
TO has full courses of Japanese dining dishes as well as lunch sets for busy executives, namely:
– Unajyu set
– Angus steak set
– Pork shogayaki set
– Okonomiyaki set
– Chicken karaage set
Okichi, meanwhile, has his own recommended dishes which he calls his four big pillars, namely:
– Wagyu dipped on smoked salt
– Japan imported vegetables
– Wagashi, seasonal japanese dessert
“They prepare the food fresh from the kitchen, as it is a teppanyaki style, you can actually see the cooking, the careful craftsmanship and genuine look and even very Japanese taste of each dish. You would know instantly how authentic the dishes are. It is like you’re dining in a typical Osaka restaurant. The chef himself, Okichi, is very involved and hands-on. He talks to the Japanese diners,” said Tara, a staff of What’s Up BGC.
“Patrons are a good mix of expats, Filipinos, and Japanese citizens who reside in BGC. I believe they want to tap more Filipino patrons. The vicinity of the restaurant itself is very Japanese, minimalist but highly efficient design in space. There is a mini bar facing the teppanyaki area, designed bar type too, so the patrons dine around it. There’s I think two private function rooms but for small groups only, I think maximum of 10. So, overall, it was an authentic Japanese experience. The restaurant manager herself is pure Japanese too,” Tara added.
TO also offers other services such as Catering, Good For Groups, Reservations, Take Out, Waiter Service, and Walk-Ins Welcome.