July 14, 2018

Octoboy Japanese Takoyaki Restobar’s New Tomas Morato Location

There are so many things why a lot of people love Japan. Their attitude, culture, traditions, arts, literature, fashion, work ethics, craftsmanship, discipline, technology and food are among the aspects that they take much pride of and also what citizens of other countries so admire about this country and its people. ICYMI, Japan went viral a few weeks ago during the 2018 FIFA World Cup because of how such class acts the Japanese are. Even after their defeat, Japanese players apologized to their fans by bowing quite low, leaving their designated locker room in pristine condition and even leaving a note in Russian saying thank you. Moreover, Japanese fans in turn stayed after the games to pick up and collect trash left behind by other game attendees. These gestures warmed the hearts of many around the world. 

Like many people, I have always dreamed of traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun. My dream hasn’t happened yet but you know what drives it? Primarily 3 things: food, Kimono and Sakura. I had a phase in my life where I was so obsessed with its literature and culture. It’s in my bucketlist to undergo a traditional Kimono wearing ceremony (or like how Geishas would do the dressing up ceremony). I also want to witness when the Sakuras are blooming. Many have told me it is a sight to behold. And of course, eating my way around Japan and trying the best and authentic Japanese cuisine. 

Of all the international cuisines that I love, Japanese is on top 3 in my list. I have tried tailor-fitted-to-Filipino-palate and authentic versions of Japanese food and I dig them both. So whenever or whosoever suggests to eat out anything Japanese it’s hardly that I decline. I’m the biggest sushi, sashimi, katsu, tempura and okonomiyaki fan if you ask anyone close to me. Wait, wasn’t that almost all the major Japanese dishes? See how a big fan I am? Thus, when I was invited by a vlogger friend Jace of jacexperience via Wazzup Pilipinas to check out Octoboy, I couldn’t say no.

Octoboy Japanese Takoyaki Restobar was once a nondescript kiosk ever present in many food parks across the metro and then later on ventured into a small express food restaurant in Tomas Morato. Because of its quality and great tasting offerings, Octoboy slowly and surely gained patrons. As a result, its owners braved an expansion by moving to a bigger & better space with a broadened menu at a prime location on the corner of Tomas Morato Ave. and Scout Lozano in Quezon City.

Octoboy’s interior would give you some izakaya feels. You know, those places in Japan that are informal pubs which typically are casual places for after-work drinking. I just love the mural that they put up on one of the walls representing the Japanese Anime culture. Seating spaces are varied; they have traditional tables and chairs but the booths caught my eyes especially that they are decorated with akachochin (red paper lanterns) probably as ode to Japan’s izakayas. They offer all sorts of dishes -- some traditional, some fusion/modern, and drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic from local and international brands.

Chicken Liver Bacon Yakatori - grilled chicken liver wrapped in bacon brushed with sweet soy glaze topped with spring onion. I love this yakitori variety as the chicken liver tasted fresh and had the perfect bitterness to it. The chicken liver was also super soft almost buttery. To be honest I could seriously finish a dozen sticks of these and would still end up wanting more. This was one of my favorites. Highly recommended!

Chicken Ass With Garlic Cloves Yakatori - grilled marinated chicken ass with garlic cloves. I don’t usually eat chicken ass because its oiliness kinda grosses me out. This one though, was an exception. It wasn’t that oily and the grilled garlic cloves added a lot of flavor to it. It’s a good thing that they paired garlic with this; because eating garlic is believed to combat high-cholesterol levels. So these skewers kind of make you less guilty about eating something quite oily.

Sausage and Pineapple - grilled Japanese sausage and pineapple brushed with chili oil and garnished with toragashi. A rather typical skewer but made good by adding the sweetness and tanginess of pineapple and the pack-full of flavor of the seven-flavor chili pepper.

Octopus Takoyaki - is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. Takoyaki is a very casual fast food in Japan and this was the primary offering of Octoboy. What people love about Octoboy’s takoyaki is that it uses real octopus bits unlike others who utilize mostly octopus flavorings and use too much cabbage and batter. Their takoyaki was tasty, has a bit of crunch on the outside but super soft on the inside. The bonito flakes topping also gave it a nice additional texture.

Shrimp Filled Takoyaki - these on the other hand was topped with pork floss, Japanese mayo and takoyaki sauce. I love that the toppings: takoyaki sauce, cheese sauce, crispy tofu skin and nori flakes complimented the base flavors. 

Bacon and Cheese Takoyaki - these takoyakis were filled with bacon and cheese, two of my favorite things in the world. These were also so good.

Meaty Bomb Bakudanyaki - bakundayaki is a jumbo takoyaki. It was the size of my clenched fist filled with beef, bacon, corn, kernel and cheese. The outside skin was crisp but the inside was somewhat super soft. This was so fun to eat and was an explosion of flavors in my mouth. 

Tuna Ceviche - tuna sashimi topped with crispy hamon, grilled green peppers, mango cubes and red onions in Yuzu Aonori sauce. I liked that the tuna was fresh and had this super soft buttery texture  to it; which I believe how a good tuna sashimi should be. I usually would eat sashimi as it is but having tuna as ceviche was great too.

Salmon Uniaburi - salmon roll torched with Uni sauce topped with chorizo bits. I’ve always loved salmon and uni and combining them in one sushi roll was such a treat to the palate. 

Double Spicy Tuna Roll - marinated spicy tuna with sweet inari and mango coated with togarashi. Surprisingly, this sushi wasn’t that spicy as what I expected so I enjoyed eating every piece that I popped into my mouth. 

Unagi Philadelphia Roll - grilled unagi with tamago, cream cheese, cucumber and coated with crispy tempura bits. Of all the sushis that we tried that afternoon, this was my favorite, most likely because of the cream cheese. I would be likely to order this again if when I find myself back at Octoboy. Definitely a must try!

Sizzling Angus Ribeye Steak - this is one of the newest dishes that Octoboy is offering. This was with Miso butter and served with buttered corn, seared onions and garlic chips. Though the meat was super tender and soft, it was kinda overcooked since it was served on a sizzling plate. I like my steak, especially if it’s beef, to be medium rare. So that might be why this as a bit of a letdown. But don’t get me wrong, this was super tasty and good. 

Baked Seafood Doria - another new item on the menu composed of a mix of salmon cubes, shrimp, squid over bacon ketchup rice baked with a cheesy top. This was easily a crowd favorite. Not something that will remind you of anything Japanese but if you’re a fan of any of the ingredients  in there, you’ll surely enjoy it. As for me, I loved it, simply because it has all the things that I love to eat. 

Black Hawaii - another something new on the menu and is only available at the restobar. Every Goth kid’s dream come true! This is made up of activated carbon/charcoal (thus making it black) and coconut water and guess what, it is milk free and gluten free. Taray diba? The coconut flavor was pretty mild and overall refreshing. It tasted pretty similar to “latik” (a syrupy condiment derived from reducing coconut milk and sugar aka coconut caramel). It’s the best way I can describe it. 

Hot and Cold Sake - Japanese rice wine that is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in fruit, typically grapes, sake is produced by a brewing process more akin to that of beer, where starch is converted into sugars which ferment into alcohol. They come in 2 sizes, single and double. Both the cold and the hot Sake were good, but they were quite strong and had the taste that is similar to Vodka. 

Everything about Octoboy’s new restobar worked out for me: great location, great food & drinks and great ambiance. Their expanded menu is a wave of cross-culturalization taking place. Also the idea of a business growing from a humble food stall to a full-blown restobar is a success story to love. Don’t you just admire stories like that of Octoboy’s? Well, if you ask me, I surely do.

114 Scout Lozano, Tomas Morato, 
Kamuning, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact No: 990-23-57
Facebook: facebook.com/octoboyrestobar
Instagram: instagram.com/octoboy_takoyakirestobar
Twitter: twitter.com/iamoctoboy

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Octoboy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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