Cebu Food Restaurants

Nonki Japanese Restaurant

By on March 18, 2014

nonki - front page

I closed my eyes as I savored the uni sushi that I shoved in my mouth. For a few seconds, the taste of the ocean exploded with that small bite – unctious, velvety and almost surreal.

If I had my way, I would have the remaining sushi for myself. But since I dragged my friend to try out Nonki Japanese Restaurant, then I must allow him that same experience as well.

It was also both our first time at this Japanese restaurant along AS Fortuna in Metro Cebu. Its reputation among hardcore foodies, I learned, has been overwhelmingly positive. It is said that they only use the freshest ingredients and their dishes are all reasonably priced.

Uni Sushi.

Uni Sushi.

The place was almost full that Saturday evening. Most of the tables have been reserved already, but luckily, we still found a spot.

The sushi counter was vacant, but I convinced my friend that we’ll stick with the table this time. That way, we can take all the food porn photos that we want, without having to explain to the sushi chefs or the strangers beside us why it took us very long before we could finally eat.

My fellow food pornographer and a slice of maguro sashimi.

My fellow food pornographer and a slice of maguro sashimi.

From Nonki’s extensive 15-page menu, we also ordered the Sashimi Special and two kinds of bento – Tonkatsu Teisyoku and Csusume Teisyoku. I figured out that we may have ordered beyond our imaginary budget, so I said to our kind waitstaff that we’ll have the cheapest sake that they have.

This my friends, could be my deathrow meal - the Sashimi Special.

This my friends, could be my deathrow meal – the Sashimi Special.

The Sashimi Special was just impeccably glorious. It had fresh slices of quality maguro(tuna), sake (salmon), tai (sea bream) and a gratuitous dollop of uni (sea urchin). I said to myself that next to my dad’s halang-halang, I’ll choose this to be my deathrow meal.

For the bentos, I wished I had what my friend ordered. Don’t get me wrong as my tonkatsu was good, but the deep-fried porkchop was simply no match to what was on his plate. Aside from the soba, he had a smorgasbord of exquisitie sushis, sashimi, tempura and some grilled items such as the sake shioyaki (grilled salted salmon) and aspara bacon (asparagus rolled w/ bacon). The latter two in particular were both revelations. These were properly seasoned and perfectly grilled.

This is how your next bento should look like.

This is how your next bento should look like.

I quickly proposed that we’ll split the bill as long as he’s kind enough to let me sample what’s on his bento. He readily agreed or maybe he was too full to reconsider. Either way, I am glad that I was able to taste a few more dishes in the Nonki’s menu. Maybe next time I’ll try their ramen and their kushiyaki options.

This may come as a surprise, but I would not describe Nonki as an ‘authentic’ Japanese restaurant. It’s a rather contentious description because when you come to think of it, what’s ‘authentic’ anyway? I leave that for the purists to decide and for food critics to ponder on.

But this I can say with much conviction, that all my Japanese meals from this point forward will be compared to Nonki. It’s certainly the best I’ve had so far.

nonki - footer

Nonki Japanese Restaurant
219 A.S. Fortuna St. Bakilid
6014 Mandaue City
+63 32 422 3159

  1. Reply


    March 18, 2014

    I will have to agree with you bren… this Nonki restaurant is the closest i've probably tasted of authentic Japanese cuisine.

  2. Reply


    March 19, 2014

    My favorite Japanese restaurant! Maayo nalang wa ka na disappoint didto 😀

    • Reply

      brennan mercado

      March 19, 2014

      So far your recommendations have been really helpful. 🙂
      Looking at something Korean next…


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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