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June 15, 2017

IKOMAI & TOCHI by Chef James Antolin: Japanese Street Food & Solid Desserts (First Look)

June 15, 2017

IKOMAI & TOCHI by Chef James Antolin: Japanese Street Food & Solid Desserts (First Look)




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IKOMAI  is a collaboration of Chef James Antolin and Nagoya Chef Hide, serving progressive Japanese street and comfort food. The premium casual concept is an extension of their Saturday Salcedo market stall of the same name, which means "Let's Go" in Japanese. TOCHI, on the other hand, is the raved about dessert line of Chef James, co-located in the same restaurant. The name literally translates to "Land", an allusion to it being a "Land of Desserts." 

It's a nice place to hang out for good conversations, approachable Japanese food, and solid desserts in Makati.

Here's what to expect at Ikomai x Tochi...

 

IKOMAI x TOCHI
ACI Group Building, 147 HV Dela Costa, Salcedo, Makati
Telephone: +632 816-4588
Operating Hours:
Monday to Friday 11:00 am - 12:00 mn with lunch, high tea, and dinner service
Saturdays 6pm until midnight (dinner only)
Closed on Sundays
Email: ikomaistreet@gmail.com
Facebook:@ikomaistreet
Website: http://www.ikomai.today




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The 70-seat restaurant is located on the ground floor of this standalone building beside Smith & Butcher Steakhouse along HV Dela Costa.

 

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Ikomai Menu: Today's Specials | Salad, Donburi Set Meal | Kushikatsu |  Tochi Dessert | Drinks

Ikomai's menu is initially geared towards the lunch crowd, with Donburi and today's specials from 11 am to 2pm, and the evening crowd with Japanese street food and desserts from 5pm onwards.

 

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You can sit at the counter table to get a front row seat to the finishing of the dishes (and maybe even meet a random new acquaintance).

 

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Make sure to reserve the best table in Ikomai, located at the back corner framed with a backdrop of their urban garden. 

 

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Some people prefer the al fresco smoking/garden area.

 

IKOMAI JAPANESE STREET & COMFORT FOOD

Chicken-Wings
Tebasaki (P380 - 5pcs). Choice of Sweet Sesame or Spicy

Tasty chicken wings best eaten while hot. Use your hands to pull the bones out while you bite into the juicy meat and flavorful skin. Oishi!

 

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Wasabi Salad (P250)

We like the lightly battered and crunchy shrimp on a bed of fresh vegetables with a light wasabi sauce. 

 

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Tuna Poke (P320). Tuna Tartare.

A healthy appetizer of tuna and avocado to kick off a great conversation with friends.

 

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It's always great to see the chefs in action with a friendly approachable vibe and not hiding behind the kitchen. 

 

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Tachidon (P400). Inspired by the Nagoya-style of eating unagi, a serving of chopped grilled swordfish on rice with a sweetened soy-based sauce. 

The swordfish has an eel-like texture and flavor. It's just like eating unagi but with a more fishy flavor. 

 

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The Donbori Japanese Rice Bowls are served with green beans with grounded sesame and Japanese soup marinated in miso for 24 hours and mixed with okra and kalabasa.

 

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Karaage (P100)

I like how the chicken is not bready and still crunchy and juicy inside. Served skewer-style or on top of a rice bowl.

 

TOCHI DESSERTS

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The Tochi baking studio is located in front. It's hard not to be seduced by the smell of freshly baked chocolate cookies.

 

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Don't forget to buy Chef James' raved about macadamia salted caramel cookies.  

 

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I love Japanese restaurants that make their own ice cream! Try the macha and passion fruit flavors, each served on a bed of meringue! 

 

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Chocolate Symphony (P180)

Simply good--not too sweet with a pure flavor of chocolate.

 

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Bavarian Lychee with Guava Gelee (P180)

Satisfyingly sweet and refreshing at the same time. Best to be shared so that you can taste a few other desserts.

 

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We like the overall vibe of Ikomai x Tochi. It's conducive for conversations and hanging out with friends over quality Japanese food. Make sure to reserve seats if you're going with a group of friends or family, especially if you plan to go for dinner.

I recommend the Tebasaki, Wasabi Salad, Tuna Poke, and Karaage for a light dinner, and ending with the satisfying Tochi desserts (they are known more for their solid desserts than their food). Budget about P700/head.

I do hope they offer more dinner a la carte-type menu items in the future that are fit for celebrating special occasions with friends and family. 

Congrats to Chef James Antolin and Chef Hide for the opening of Ikomai!

 

IKOMAI x TOCHI
ACI Group Building, 147 HV Dela Costa, Salcedo, Makati
Telephone: +632 816-4588
Operating Hours:
Monday to Friday 11:00 am - 12:00 mn with lunch, high tea, and dinner service
Saturdays 6pm until midnight (dinner only)
Closed on Sundays
Email: ikomaistreet@gmail.com
Facebook:@ikomaistreet
Website: http://www.ikomai.today

Note: Cash only.

 

Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com  

Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Chef James Antolin. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. Trivia: Tochi is also a play on an old nickname Chef James' friends gave him: "Chiquito". It then evolved to "Toquichi" and was finally shortened to "Tochi".




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