Kiwami Food Hall: The Best of Japan!

Kiwami is currently the Best Food Hall concept in Manila and the number 1 restaurant in Bonifacio High Street in the post-pandemic era.

This “extreme” concept by The Standard Group features the best of authentic Japanese food recognized as one of the best Ramen, Katsu, Tempura Tendon, and Yakitori concepts in Japan.

We had an ultimate taste test at Kiwami Japanese Food Hall, and here are our favorites.


ABOUT KIWAMI FOOD HALL

Kiwami Japanese Food Hall represents the best of Japan in one space that houses 4 notable and well-loved brands under one roof.

It features two new concepts: Hachibei, serving butabara-style yakitori and Hannosuke, serving authentic tempura tendon; and two old concepts: Yabu, serving authentic katsu and Ippudo, serving Hakata-style ramen. Plus a killer Hokkaido soft serve stall.

KIWAMI JAPANESE FOOD HALL
Four Masters, One Space: Ramen, Tendon, Yakitori, and Tonkatsu
Lower ground, C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig
(Beside St. Louie, Beyond the Box and near Mango Tree in Boni High Street)
A concept by @standardgroup.ph
Instagram: @kiwamifoodhall
Facebook: Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Operating Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm Monday to Sunday
(closed from 2:00pm to 5:00pm on Monday to Thursday)

Four Masters, One Space

The food hall is operated as one sit-down restaurant with one consolidated menu where you can order based on the best Japanese food you are craving for.

Kiwami Food Hall Menu:
Starters, Extras, Ippudo Sushi
Hannosuke Tempura: Tempura Meshi Sets, Tendon Set, Tempura Platter
Hachibei Yakitori Beef, Pork, Chicken
Hachibei Yakitori Seafoods, Vegetable
Ippudo Ramen Shiromaru Motoaji, Akamaru Shinaji, Karaka-men, Special Ramen
Yabu Katso: Premium Kurobuta, Katu Sets, Seafood Katsu Sets
Dessert: Soft Serve Ice Cream, Pastries, Beverages

Chef Lee Jose, Executive and R&D Chef of Standard Hospitality Group

Congrats to John Concepcion and Chef Lee Jose for
✅ creating Yabu with Kazuya Takeda’s Katsu and
✅ successfully bringing Shigemi Kawahara’s Ippudo Ramen to Manila and now
✅ opening Shinka Kaneko’s Hannosuke’s Tempura Tendon and
✅ establishing Katsunori Yashima’s Hachibei Yakitori at the Kiwami Food Hall.

I loved the high standard of sanitation, the strict adherence to Covid protocols, and the 100% vaxxed team.

Reserve the al fresco dining tables for added protection, but I felt secure eating in the air-conditioned area with the Concepcion expertise in mind.

(Note: There are no private dining areas but you can reserve this al fresco section for your family.)


HAKITORI HACHIBEI

For us, this is the best concept in the food hall where you get to enjoy the best of grilled Japanese creations.

The Kiwami condiments are the most extensive, with all the different Japanese salts, Katsu sauces, Japanese mayo salad dressings and sesame seeds for your dining pleasure.

(Note: Please don’t bring them home.)

Fresh Hokkaido Oyster (1 piece – ₱455, 3 pieces – ₱1,320). Jumbo oysters from Hokkaido. Served with Ponzu sauce, with daikon oroshi.

My wife loves oysters, and Hokkaido Oysters are the best in the world because of their milky sea yumminess!

This is heaven for Oyster lovers, and a trip to Kiwami won’t be complete without trying one.

Hokkaido Oyster Grilled over Binchotan.

Rache loves her oysters fresh, but we discovered how the right grilling technique and charcoal can enhance the flavor of Hokkaido oysters.

Thanks to Chef Lee for recommending this. He explained how this special Binchotan charcoal imported from Japan was able to produce intense heat with less smoke—the secret of the yakitori.

You could taste the Binchotan difference compared to other yakitori places in the metro.

Sukiyaki Spinach Enoki (₱270). Premium beef belly rolled with spinach and enoki mushrooms glazed with special yakitori sauce. Served with cured egg yolk for dipping.

Grilled bacon mushroom roll with a special egg yolk dipping sauce—our Hachibei yakitori favorite!

Platter (5 Sticks – ₱480). Buta Bara Tare (Yakitori Sauce), Tomato Bacon Roll, Tsukene (Meatball) Tare, Tebasaki (Chicken Wings) Shio, Tori Momo Mentaiko (Salted fish roe in Japanese mayo).

Get the platter of the yakitori best sellers. The Buta Bara or Tsukene tare were our favorites.

Sapporo Premium Beer (₱270). Beer Below Zero.

Yakitori goes well with high balls or an ice cold Sapporo premium beer! Ah, so good!

Salmon Shio (Salt) (₱295). Norwegian Salmon fillet topped with crispy salmon skin and leeks.

Loved how the salmon was grilled just right, the juices intact even with the crunchy salmon skin. Yum!

Iidako Shio (Salt) (₱185). Juicy tender baby octopus, grilled with sweet cherry tomato.

Best to eat the baby octopus with sweet teriyaki sauce together with the grilled sweetness of the cherry tomato.


HANNOSUKE TEMPURA TENDON TOKYO

The yakitori goes well with a bit of tempura and rice so make sure to order a premium bowl from Hannosuke.

Premium Tempura Meshi Set (₱685). Unagi, ebi, squid and scallop kaki age, onsen tamago, eggplant, sweet potato, and nori.

Loved the thin tempura coating using a special Japanese flour cooked in sesame oil to make it crunchy good.

This bowl comes with a shrimp tempura, a nice mix of squid and scallop tempura, and the special eel tempura, locally sourced eel but Japan-export quality.

We loved the egg in tempura coating. Best to mix it with the rice—tempura silog style.


RAMEN IPPUDO

A lot of people are craving for ramen during this pandemic and you can get your Ramen Ippudo fix here!

Tokusei Tantanmen (₱550). A mix of pork tonkotsu and paitan broths infused with sesame oil.

The best ramen for us is the tantanmen with rich, creamy and spicy tonkotsu sauce.

Just happy to enjoy a delicious hot bowl of Ippudo ramen with noodles with a good bite and a big slice of chashu braise pork belly.


YABU

Remember how Yabu started the katsu craze in Manila? It’s gotten even better over the years.

Rosu Kurobuta Katsu (₱650). Kurobuta, also known as Black Bershire Pig, is the world’s finest pork. It is called the “Kobe beef” of pork, due to its rich marbling, softness and flavor.

The Kurobuta Tonkatsu is tender, fatty, and juicy with a crunchy finish.

The cabbage is shredded finely and you can enjoy it with their wasabi mayo dressing.


HOKKAIDO SOFT SERVE

The Hokkaido Soft Serve Ice Cream is creating a buzz a la Cremia. Best not to compare with the original Japanese version though.

Hokkaido Soft Serve in Lengua de Gato Cone (₱125).

This in-house soft serve version is milky and creamy with a thicker consistency and comes in a sweet lengua de gato cone.

Hokkaido Soft Serve in a Cup (₱150) with Kuromitsu Boba (Black Honey Pearls).

I loved the soft serve with a generous serving of chewy black boba. Yum! Yum!

Hokkaido Soft Serve in a Cup with Lengua de Gato (₱150).

Yes, you can enjoy the soft serve topped with lengua de gato in a cup.

Nutella Cheesecake (₱280).

Don’t miss their cheesecake made with the delicious goodness of Nutella. Ang sarap nito!

Lava Cake with Hokkaido Soft Serve (₱280).

Also, order the lava cake oozing with chocolate, served a la mode with soft serve ice cream.


Final Thoughts

The Japanese food hall concept is a brilliant winning concept and worth the risk to go to during these pandemic times. Budget about ₱800/head for your Japanese craving fix.

Make sure to enjoy the Hokkaido Oysters, Sukiyaki Spinach Enoki and the yakitori platter from Hachibei to start and pair it with the Premium Tempura Meshi Set to enjoy the tempura and the rice. As your main, enjoy the best ramen, Tokusei Tantanmen from Ippudo, and the best tonkatsu that you can get in Manila, Rosu Kurobuta Katsu from Yabu. End with the Hokkaido soft serve ice cream with boba and don’t miss the Nutella Cheesecake.

It would have been perfect if they could serve the Elephant Grounds coffee to pair with the Nutella Cheesecake.

Congratulations to The Standard Group on this awesome Japanese food hall concept! This food hall was almost 9 years in the making, starting with creating the gold standard for Tonkatsu in Manila with Yabu, bringing the best ramen with a foodie cult-following with Ippudo, and now successfully opening the yakitori standard Hachibei and Hannosuke tempura tendon.

Best to go during off peak hours Monday to Thursday before 2pm. There’s a long line on weekends because people will wait in line to enjoy Japanese food this good in one place.

KIWAMI JAPANESE FOOD HALL
Four Masters, One Space: Ramen, Tendon, Yakitori, and Tonkatsu
Lower ground, C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig
(Beside St. Louie, Beyond the Box and near Mango Tree in Boni High Street)
A concept by @standardgroup.ph
Instagram: @kiwamifoodhall
Facebook: Kiwami Japanese Food Hall
Operating Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm Monday to Sunday
(closed from 2:00pm to 5:00pm on Monday to Thursday)

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our taste test was courtesy of the good people of The Standard Group.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Their Japanese Bar serving high balls will open in November. Watch out for this.

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