The Japanese word Nanban means “foreigner” and Tei means rest house or teahouse. So when put together, Nanbantei means a place where guests can unwind and have something to eat or drink after a long day of work. In the Philippines, the word Nanbantei has also become synonymous with great food and the best place to try out Japanese yakitori

When Nanbantei of Tokyo opened its first branch in Polaris St., Makati in 1998, it introduced Filipinos to a new way of enjoying Japanese Yakitori. Its popularity quickly grew and soon the restaurant opened its doors in Greenbelt 3 followed by the one in Bonifacio High Street.

Now, NANBANTEI OF TOKYO, purveyor of Japanese Yakitori culture, opens its much awaited branch at the Alabang Town Center.

Located at the Corte dela Palmas, it showcases yakitori items and other well-loved dishes hot-off-the-grill. The third Nanbantei of Tokyo branch spans two levels and can seat up to 90 guests, including those who would rather dine al fresco by the veranda on the second floor. And while its interiors are a mix of modern and classic, Nanbantei of Tokyo continues to provide provides guests with an authentic yakitori experience.

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“We have actually gotten a lot of requests to open further south. We see our opening here as the perfect opportunity to spread the yakitori culture to our guests in Alabang, Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Laguna and Cavite,” says Laine Vallar, Nanbantei’s Senior Marketing Manager.

With a new branch and exciting new items, Nanbantei of Tokyo Alabang is geared to please young professionals, businessmen, families, and just about anybody who loves grilled food the Japanese way.

Yakitori 101
In Japan, the term “yakitori” means grilled chicken. While there are many chicken items on the menu, Nanbantei of Tokyo has an extensive array of grilled beef, pork, seafood and vegetables as well.

As with their other branches, guests are seated and welcomed with complimentary fresh vegetables stick called Namayasai, great when dipped in their signature miso paste.

Now, on to the mains. There truly is nothing fancy about Nanbantei’s yakitori. They are simple and straightforward, yet extremely flavorful and satisfying. Browse the menu and discover bestsellers like Tebasaki (chicken wings), Aspara Maki (asparagus wrapped with pork), Pork Garlic Yaki (pork with garlic flavor), Tsukune (chicken meat balls) and Beef Yakiniku (thinly sliced beef with Yakiniku sauce).

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More pork, beef, and chicken yakitori items that are worth trying are the Shiso Maki (pork with Shiso leaf); Shiitake Maki (shiitake mushroom wrapped with beef); Leba (chicken liver); Bonjiri (chicken tail); and the Kawa (chicken skin). Ask for sticks of Shake KushiYaki (grilled salmon balls with teriyaki sauce); Yaki Ika (grilled baby squid) and Ebi Kushi Yaki (skewered shrimps), if you are partial to fish and seafood. And for veggie lovers, there are yakitori alternatives with corn, tofu and other healthier choices.

photo courtesy of Lou Ventigan of
photo courtesy of Lou Ventigan of

If you are lunching or dining with family and colleagues and can’t decide what to order, have a little of everything. Nanbantei of Tokyo has platters and sets with assorted varieties (Yakitori Set, Best Seller, Surf & Turf and Seafood Platters).

photo courtesy of Lou Ventigan of
photo courtesy of Lou Ventigan of

Great Flavors at Prices Within Your Reach
Nanbantei’s Great Flavors Selection are big on flavor but, thankfully, light on the pocket. It includes Sushi & Sashimi as well as salad and dessert.

The Wafu Salad, for instance, is a mix of ice lettuce, spiral carrots, slivers of leeks, drizzled with bonito flakes and bacon bits then slathered with Wafu dressing. The Aburi Salmon and Shrimp–Nigiri prawns and salmon topped with Japanese mayo—are new choices if you want something light. Aburi refers to the Japanese style of partially grilling (torching) seafood on top of nigiri sushi. Chicken lovers will be in for a triple treat with the three new chicken yakitori items: Nankotsu Yaki (a grilled combination of both chicken meat and soft bone), the Muru Kai or the grilled chicken mussels, and Momoniku (grilled chicken meat with garlic cloves). To end the savory meal, there’s no skipping a sweet ending. Apart from the well-loved Coffee Jelly, the new Black Sesame Ice cream is also a must-try.

photo courtesy of Lou Ventigan of
photo courtesy of Lou Ventigan of


“We make it a point to stay focused and maintain our core cuisine while coming out with new ones.,” Vallar explains. “For instance, our mouth-watering yakitori is best enjoyed with our hand-crafted cocktails.”

If you want to up your drinking ante, skip the same old vodka, beer or whiskey nights, and have a sip or two of fresh new cocktails. Generic_24X32
Say goodbye to your customary beer nights, or that glass of wine to try something fun, innovative and truly Japanese. Nanbantei has uniquely Japanese versions of mojito that you will surely love. The Hibiscus Mojito, a refreshing drink that combines Mojito mint, Bacardi White, hibiscus syrup, mint leaves, fresh lime juice, lime wedge garnish and topped with soda water, goes well with the pork skewers while the Japanese Mojito (Iichiko Shochu, fresh calamansi juice, simple syrup, green tea, ooba leaves & lime wedge garnish, finished off with sparkling soda) is best paired with meat items.

Relish the gentle and delicate mix of flavor of the Malibu Midori (a mixture of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu rum, Bacardi white, sweet and sour mix, pineapple juice) when you sink your teeth into the popular chicken and seafood items. Try the Tanqueray Basil, too. It’s a perfect blend of Tanqueray gin, sweet & sour mix, fresh basil, simple syrup, and a shot of sparkling soda.

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Try everything with anything, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Nanbantei of Tokyo’s cool cocktails will readily be your new favorite drinks.

Japanese elements
“We strive to maintain the authenticity of service and food preparation required by the franchise, and apply internationally accepted food handling and safety procedures,” Vallar says. Even the décor is precisely Japanese in more ways than one.

From the fresh earth tones of its other branches, Nanbantei of Tokyo Alabang sports a more modern look with its grey tones, modish droplights melding with the dominant colors of Japan. The individual organic-inspired chairs for four are made more vibrant by effervescent red and orange hues. Comfortable couch seating is embellished with red Sakura blossom prints. The overall look is tied in by light wood and a dash of grey to depict the industrial and modern, combined with a fresh and young Japanese vibe. IMG-20160722-WA0002Nanbantei of Tokyo Alabang is a breath of fresh air – its airy, cozy, uncluttered interior with minimalist modern accents and distinctive grilled yakitori dishes give one a glimpse of Japan’s culinary culture that can be savored and appreciated with every bite.

It is open from 11am to 11pm Sunday to Thursdays and 11am to 12mn on Fridays and Saturdays. For inquiries, call 772-0766. Like Nanbantei Philippines on Facebook, @nanbantei_ph for IG and Twitter or you may also visit our website



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