Monday, December 5, 2011

Japanese Ninjutsu Why not?

In the world of international cuisine, one of the rather popular would be that of the Japanese.  Almost every place has this ‘Nippon-inspired’ place to eat.  True enough, the Filipino taste buds are almost always accustomed to the taste of Japanese cuisine, with few having discriminating taste to things raw (I’m glad that I am not included).  This restaurant captured my attention from the start that this ‘new’ structure was just them being constructed in an already familiar place.  The location I am referring to is 1st street, Balibago, Angeles City.  The place is not hard to find as it is within the usual route of the gray-colored C.Point Balibago jeeps and the blue-colored C.Point Hi-way passenger utility jeepney.  Those coming from the north won’t be having a hard time too as it is within walking distance from the city limit stop of jeepneys.  Yu-Fu-In is very near SM Clark.

The Name
Yu-Fu-In, according to the Facebook information was from Mr. Otsuru’s (which I think is the owner, I hope to get to meet him soon) hometown Yufuin in Oita, Japan.  The official name of the place is Yufuin Yakiniku and Japanese Restaurant. The term Yakiniku, on the other hand, refers to a method of cooking which is ‘meat grilling’.
The History
Yu-Fu-In was actually the former Yakiniku Tombo (another popular resto at its time) located near Friendship Hi-way in Angeles City and had its roots set as far back as 1995 (they must really know their cuisine then, ehe).  The owners decided to move the place and transform it to the now Yu-Fu-In restaurant.  This restaurant claims to be the BIGGEST and the FIRST authentic Japanese restaurant in Angeles City.  And I have to concur because it is currently housed in a three (3) storey facility and I tried asking my parents, uncles, aunts and some senior colleagues and yes, they know of ‘that previous name’.  The organization’s mission and vision is also ‘blog worthy’ and would be a nice thing to know for fellow foodie and those that just like to explore finding good food and a good place to share it with.

Vision:  To be the No. 1 Authentic Japanese Restaurant in the Philippines
Mission:  To serve the most exquisite and satisfying Japanese dishes that will make customers feel like they are dining in Japan and to give first class service to its customer.

Isn’t your mouth salivating yet from these mission/vision statements?  Mine is, just from writing about it.

The Place and Ambiance
The three-storey building is divided into several areas that match the type of mood the resto wants its clients to experience.  Initially, the place may somewhat intimidate a guest but rest assured that its ever friendly staff will immediately take that away.  

Image of the façade (photo credits from Yu-Fu-In Multiply account)
On with the specifics: The ground floor boasts of its Izakaya or bar for the sake lovers.  This is a nice place for those who want to view how some of the food are made.

 (photo credits from Yu-Fu-In Multiply account)
The 2nd floor is a haven reserved for Yakiniku lovers.  The interiors and the over-all set-up really shout authenticity to the core.  There are also some VIP Yakiniku rooms.

(photo credits from Yu-Fu-In Multiply account)

Lastly, a new function room was recently created for more private affairs and gatherings.

The promise of the place is for its customer to feel like eating AND being transported in that old Yu-fu-in town in Japan.  Hold your horses, I am still just talking about the place.  On with the star of this post:  THE FOOD.

What I particularly like about Yu-Fu-In is that there are options --- A LOT of them.  This can be both friendly to the unfamiliar/first timers and at the same time, extensive to those who know nihon ryori / washoku (roughly translated as traditional-style Japanese food), would agree.  An additional trivia, Japanese cities has the most Michelin stars of any country in the world. (Wikipedia even notes of Tokyo having more Michelin stars than Paris, Hong Kong, New York, LA and London combined).

For my top picks I have sampled the following so far:

True to my alter-ego of being a corporate ninja, ramen is a core food I sample every opportunity I get.  From the menu, the prices are quite affordable considering the 'quality ramen' one will taste.  Costs range from PhP 190-280.  Who wouldn't want to try this?

Their kimchi and side dishes are one of the best I’ve tasted so far.  The one I do not fail to have, but always forget what the name is so I always end up just describing it to the staff is the SANCHU? (I had to email them again just to ask, as I forgot it again, for the name :) )  But there is more to their  menu than the photos below, ehe...

I will let the photo below speak for itself.  I remember heaven whenever I try this. Check them out from Yu-Fu-In's menu and let your imagination take you places. Do I hear fellow ninjas out there shouting for joy?

Photo below shows my first try of yakiniku.  I dared, I tried and conquered.  Yum!

I recently went back to the place but this time with the invitation from the daughters of the owner.  I initially exchanged email with Ms. Mitch Otsuru regarding a meet-up with friends who wanted to try the place.  It so happened that Ms. Mitch was not in Pampanga during the meet-up and instead endorsed me to her sister Ms. Aiko.  We were greeted by her when we arrived and was shown a place in the 1st floor to accommodate my questions and take a few pictures of the place I need for this blog entry.

There have been several changes and addition in their menu.  I want you readers to try and sample below line-up especially those who are still not yet that familiar with Japanese cuisine.  These will give you at least a bit of many things before deciding to go and explore the other items in the menu.

Ever wonder how far your PhP158 can stretch in an authentic Japanese restaurant?  Go to Yu-Fu-In and the table shall turns a whole 360 degrees.  You will instead find it hard to decide what to get. Below is a picture of the menu’s first page on this offering.

In closing this blog entry, I would say that it is one of the definite must try here in our metro.  According to Ms. Aiko, most of their clients are really foreigners from 25 years old and above.  Crowd is relatively good and ambience is perfect for those who want a break from the usual available meal offerings around.  Lastly, I won’t fail to mention how good their staff were whenever I visit the place.  Below are the collection of pictures I have of the place from my previous visits up to the most recent one I had last December 4.
Yakiniku -- an experience more than just eating
My 1st ever try at Yu-Fu-In I immediately tried something new
Salmon & Tuna sitting on the grill... Yum!
Only experts touch my choice of food.. who touches yours?

TONW blog meets the FOOD!!!
Me with the ever accommodating crew
Amae & Ida, college friends w/ the crew, hope u enjoyed the experience


  1. WOW!:) This is probably the best blog I have read so far.;) Thank you so much!

  2. thanks for the comment! Do add yourself up by clicking on the 'Join this site' button... would appreciate hearing more from you guys on what topics you want featured in the future.