Restaurant Review: Kushiyaki Chikuzenya
AS Fortuna is interesting because every time I pass by this street in Mandaue, I am under the impression that it has more Japanese restaurants than I can count with my bare hands.
Kushiyaki Chikuzenya, the restaurant my friends and I tried last night, was one of these. It’s set back a few meters from the road but even so, word still got around. That’s a good thing especially if you have neighbors that serve the same ramen, the same sushi and the same sake.
You can also find these and other usual suspects at Kushiyaki Chikuzenya’s two-page menu. I’ve been to a nearby Japanese restaurant that has a full clearbook that probably enumerated every Japanese dish in the universe. I enjoyed my time there but it took us quite awhile to decide what to pick from that karaoke-esque menu.
We were at Chikuzenya primarily for the Buta Bara Nabe. One of my foodie friends specifically advised me to find one or two more persons to share this hot pot with. Thankfully, my housemate agreed to accompany us on such short notice.
Boy, I’m glad I heeded that warning. I am not kidding when I say that this enormous mound of bacon and cabbage could be enough to feed an entire Von Trapp family. The rich miso soup and the vegetables are actually ‘bottomless.’ You can then order wagyu motsu (beef intestines) and other sides in your succeeding refills.
I wish we only had this crowd pleaser that evening but no, I also ordered an excellent platter of sashimi, a spicy tuna maki and tori karaage. Although the sashimis and makis were reasonably priced, you can skip these raw fare if you are not in the mood to splurge. The rest in the menu are quite affordable.
Had it been that the heavy Buta Bara Nabe was served first, we’d ditch the other 3 dishes. It’s not that we didn’t enjoy the miso soup or the strips of bacon or the lone tamago. It was just a struggle to find space in our stomachs after the deep-fried chicken, the maki and the sashimi.
I think our table begs for 2 more friends and a bottle of Sochu, which is said to be national spirit of Japan. The latter would help round up our meals and our evening that’s getting more interesting by the minute.
We clearly have overfed ourselves at Chikuzenya but none of us cared at all. Maybe because in between slurps, we shared travel plans for the summer and laughed hard over massage anecdotes. One of the waitstaffs even chimed in our discussion over those viral Jollibee commercials.
This casual, wholesome vibe is then one of the reasons why this restaurant can hold off on its own despite their competition along AS Fortuna. No one reeks of smoke here. The servers are also clad in pretty, unrevealing kimonos. In other words, you won’t be embarrassed to bring your entire family at Kushiyaki Chikuzenya.
Kushiyaki Chikuzenya Japanese Restaurant
G/F GASVI Building
AS Fortuna St. Banilad, Mandaue City
Opens daily 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 5:30-10:30 PM
Reservations and inquiries: +63 32 239 8976