Kushikatsu Daruma

2/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th St. cor. 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila

Kushikatsu Daruma
4.3
4.5 Stars

22 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 12
  • 4 stars 5
  • 3 stars 5
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 23 Reviews
  • 181 Recommend
  • 22 Reviewers
Category:
Asian
Business Hours
Reopens: 11:30a - 3:00a
Phone
+6329467374

Hours

  • Sunday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a
  • Monday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a
  • Tuesday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a
  • Wednesday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a
  • Thursday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a
  • Friday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a
  • Saturday
    • 11:30a - 3:00a

Payment Options

Cash

Most Recent Reviews

Christina R.
3.0 Stars
2

Breaded and deep fried. I had a feeling I would not enjoy my dinner here and sadly it was just ok for me. The company was great as always 128521 Maybe I can eat about 3 max. It's the oiliness I think. I did like their chicken bituka. Tasted clean. But I prefer everything they served grilled. The fish I ordered was so tiny at 60 pesos.

My kiwi chu-hai needed more alcohol. For that price it should have more. Tried the matcha and it was too bitter for my liking.

I can't see myself returning for dinner. But drinks with friends will probably get me back here. With a beer instead of the chu-hai. I'm happy for everyone else that enjoyed their time here 🙂

Came in here a week after they opened.

  • No. of Comments: 8
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Yshkael C.
4.0 Stars

I came here as soon as they opened. 11 am.

Haha we were the first customers. I was pretty excited to try this place out ever since they opened. In Osaka, I heard people had to fall in linw just to eat here so I was pretty sure it was darn good.

We immediatelu chose the set for 480 pesos- 9 sticks. Pretty pricey don't you think but oh well.
It was worth a try.

I do love the interiors on this place. We get it haha no double dipping ! From the staff's shirts down to the tissue it says it.

Our orders came in quick.
My fave was the beef one! The first one on the list. That one was yummy and the best out of all that I've tried.

Final verdict: the sauce really is soo goood. A combination of sweet, salty and sour! Haha i love it. Pro tip: ask for a spoon so that u can scoop the sauce because nakakabitin talaga. The sticks were good but to be honest di siya nakakabusog eh...

  • No. of Comments: 7
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Weena D.
5.0 Stars

I loved it.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Karissa M.
3.0 Stars
4

I thought it was OK.

  • No. of Comments: 1
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Muffy T.
5.0 Stars
3

Finally brought Alec C here! He loved it too. He said the sauce was awesome with the katsu chicken hearts and gizzard.

  • No. of Comments: 4
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Abe C.
3.0 Stars
6

Kushikatsu Daruma is a Japan-original concept, brought to Manila by the ever growing and evolving Tasteless Group (Bad Bird, Fowl Bread, HITW, partly Le Petit Soufflé, Ping Pong Diplomacy, Wrong Ramen, Hanamaruken Ramen, Freezer Burn, to name some), and led by its owner Charlie Paw. Like Hanamaruken Ramen, Kushikatsu Daruma is of Osaka origin. The Kushikatsu is said to have started in Osaka almost 100 years ago in 1929 at a bar; the term is derived from two words in Japanese, kushi (or skewers) and katsu (deep fried and breaded cutlet of meat). Unlike the Robatayaki or Yakitori style sticks, Kushikatsu typically has only one food item per stick.

Kushikatsu Daruma, at a Glance:
> Food & Beverage: 1277751277751277751/2
> Service (Dine-In): 127775127775127775127775127775 wait staff are very attentive, enthusiastic, and they even holler per drink order! "(unintelligible Japanese), Super Dry!," shouted one, and the others chimed in unison as well)
> Kitchen Service: 127775127775127775127775127775 the kushikatsu's were impeccably and consistently panko covered, golden in color and crunchy outside but rightly cooked inside; delivery of orders exceptionally fast, and this included additional orders
> Ambience: 127775127775127775127775 just on a few weeks' run, it has a cute casual dining feel, but there's a homey atmosphere to it, just like an establishment I'd walk in on a busy night in Osaka or Tokyo after work; but it's really at the 2/F of Uptown Mall which is fairly swanky. Simple decorations with extra emphasis on No Double Dipping (on the katsu soy sauce) in many many signs inside and out.
> Value for Money: 127775127775127775127775 sticks are cheap seemingly at P39 to P59 per stick. P39 for a range of selections and P59 for the 2nd range. Only two sticks skew away, a foie gras at P199 (the most expensive stick) and Japanese Oyster at P129.
OVERALL: 1277751277751277751/2 (round off to 3 coz a 4 just seems too much praise)
___________
> Worth a try - Yes (for those who appreciate Japanese food, skewered food, and most especially panko-crusted deep fried food, so this is like the next evolution of the katsu craze that started about 5 years ago with Yabu)
> Worth a return - So-so for me. To explain, it's got nothing to do with quality of food, variety of selections, price and service. I'll explain more under Verdict.

> TIPS:
>> if you're looking to eat a decent amount and don't want to overthink things, try their Beginner level or Advance level, giving you a no-brainer variety of sticks. The Beginner level (9 sticks for P480) doesn't save you much money but the Advance level gives your taste palette a bigger challenge for deeper or stronger tasting items while providing you a bigger savings (11 sticks for P480 vs. around P560+ than if you ordered these separately).
>>The Foie Gras stick was good but less satisfying since it was breaded. Ironically. The camembert stick, the fish cake, the garlic chicken were good, too.
>> Do order the chain rice, it was awesome! Plus the Yakiniku rice or just Yakiniku ala carte to lessen the cloying taste of breaded deep fried stuff. The pork intestine (isaw) is better than the chicken I saw.
>> It's at the 2/L beside Fely J's, overlooking the fountain side. Park underneath the mall or have your car valeted along 36th Ave.

> VERDICT: Admittedly, I'm not a fan of the katsu craze. While I eat deep fried & breaded, I'd like a variety of textures and tastes, and it normally doesn't permeate across all of my orders. In Kushikatsu Daruma, everything is deep fried (uhhhhhh, except the drinks and sides), so there's a cloying feel to my eating everything breaded and fried, and an uneasy homogenous taste of the breading after a while, despite the great flavors within and the good balance of the dip. Oh did I mention the dip? The katsu soy dip's flavor-- slightly sweet, salty and tartness -- is very good. But perhaps a variety of 2 more sauces would help but I'm guessing they have to stick to the original concept first before suggesting tweaks to better suit the local market.

It's not as big a home run as Bad Bird, Fowl Bread, Freezer Burn or Ping Pong Diplomacy for me. It'll be a hit among those looking for a next step to the katsu craze and a great choice for drinking sessions what with offices nearby. But I'd be satisfied to have tried it.

  • No. of Comments: 7
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Pam L.
5.0 Stars
3

I've been looking for a legit kushikatsu place in Manila since I've first tried the dish back in 2015. I was really excited for Kushikatsu Daruma to open that we went there on their opening day. 128517

I'm happy to say that for me, it tasted the same as the ones served in Japan. And there's not much difference with regard to the price per stick. I like that they have a recommended set of sticks to order for beginners. I really liked the garlic chicken, classic kushikatsu, and the camembert cheese. The dipping sauce is also on point. They serve a free bowl of lettuce, carrots, and another veggie (singkamas? I forget!) instead of usual cabbage as appetizer.

They also serve rice, dessert, and alcohol here. For those looking for a more Filipino-style meal, you can order a side of rice with your kushikatsu for that ulam-and-kanin feel. For me though, it's better to eat them as is. 127842

I'd say that this is the nicest Daruma branch -- it's decked out in bright colors and "no double dipping" signs. They even have screens playing animations of what may happen if you dare double dip. 128541 The place is also decorated with modified daruma dolls bearing the face of Kushikatsu Daruma's angry chef mascot, who's prominently displayed in their restaurants and store fronts in Japan.

Service here is really good! I will be back again soon! 9996🏽

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Dennis O.
4.0 Stars
4

I've been waiting for this place to open since I heard about it. I love japanese yakitori and was curious what it was to have a katsu version of it. The place is located in Uptown mall. The place is decorated beautifully and better than its Japan branches. As you order the waiter will orient you of their special sauce no double dipping rules. I got to try out their Chicken Gizzard, Camembert Cheese and Chicken Intestine. I love all of them and I bet this is best eaten with a bottle of beer. The downside of it was the flavor of each stick was not too distinct since they all tasted katsu compared to having them yakitori style. Pricewise per stick was around 40-60PHP so be careful you might not notice a get a bill shock in the end haha..

Overall this place is more of a 2botts kind of place and will not suggest for lunch/dinner. Plus point each table got its own power outlet. Hooray for the lowbatt peeps. Haha..

  • No. of Comments: 10
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Muffy T.
5.0 Stars
9

A little taste of modern Osaka right here in Manila - say hello to Kushikatsu Daruma!

Kushikatsu Daruma is a franchise from Osaka, which serves little deep fried skewers of fried meats, vegetables, and other bite-sized ingredients.

It was an enjoyable visit because of the good food and great ambiance of the place. A few stand out dishes for me were the:
- chahan rice: smokey fried rice with bits of beef and vegetables
- yakiniku beef: melt-in-your-mouth beef cooked in a sweet soy sauce
- kushikatsu sticks: potato, onion leeks, camembert cheese, chikuwa (rice cakes), prawn, tonkatsu (pork), chicken and pork isaw, and shitake mushroom.
- DESSERT (which i hope is on the menu by now): matcha ice cream with crumbled sesame cookies
- beer number 1: light and slightly fruity

The kushikatsu sticks are light and flavourful! Very enjoyable and currently priced between 39php and 59php. Aside from what was on the menu during my visit, there are also plans of offering premium ingredients like foie gras and oysters *fingerscrossed*

As you walk in you would see many MANY reminders not to double dip! The sauce (think sweet, a little tart, and slightly runny pork tonkatsu sauce) for everything is placed in the middle of the table and used by everyone - so dont even think about double dipping 128581🏻

Another fantastic restaurant concept brought in by the Tasteless Group, Kushikatsu Daruma is a fun must-try in Uptown BGC.

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Kwokie K.
5.0 Stars
7

I found out about Kushikatsu Daruma from the previous #looloorendezvoos I was privileged to join, the group's owner and restauranteur Charles Paw said that it was opening soon - given the experience I've had from his other restaurants, I knew this place would also be a hit.

When he's thinking of new concepts (like Ping Pong Diplomacy) or he's bringing in a franchise from his travels (like Hanamaruken) - he has made them successful with well-thought of menu creations and one can expect well-trained staff on each dining experience as well.

Now on the the restaurant review - the is famous for the line "no double dipping" as the restaurant motto, this is made evident by the fact that the sauce is the specialty of the whole chain. The combination of the sauce with the breading creates that special unique taste - that it actually does make you want to double / triple dip it! There are signs / posters / video animations of why you shouldn't double dip, so make sure you follow the rule else you'll get launched into space!

The menu is very simple, with you ordering kushikatsu sticks either as a "beginner set" or by piece individually. We didn't order the set since there are some variants that we don't like nor were we adventurous enough to try their "advanced menu" which has the innards as the kushikatsu sticks. We ordered the gyudon as our carb for the meal to complete the experience.

We found the classic kushikatsu as our favorite, together with the chicken breast, the kurobota, the tuna and the chikune. (Fish dumbell dumpling) The veggie kushikatsu sticks give you that other taste you're looking for as you eat your meal. Now, they're of course nice enough to give you options for that wonderful dipping sauce - you get a bowl of lettuce with carrots and 'siniguelas' to complement your meal. The carrot sticks balances your palate, while the lettuce leaves give you that opportunity to get some more of the sauce onto your kushikatsu!

Now, granted that you're a fan of fried food, you'll probably enjoy it very much! But I gotta admit, even if we prefer grilled yakitori skewers over kushikatsu - it's the sauce that makes the meal great!

Service as expected was top notch, interiors well-thought of, and the best sign forever of a good Japanese restaurant - is when you have Japanese diners. When we ended the meal, we probably had more than a dozen sticks, but those Japanese folks by the bar area probably had 20 sticks each!

Over-all - flavor, taste, and value for money are all present in another restaurant of the Tasteless Group. Admittedly, it's not your "daily fare" type of meal but it will be that type of "craving meal" that you tell yourself that you want every now and then!

  • No. of Comments: 3
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Jayson J.
3.0 Stars
5

I was really excited for this!
Kushi (skewed) katsu daruma is the latest from the tasteless group. They say it's popular at japan.

I say that the place is large. It can accommodate about 70 pax. And for those who needs charging station for their dead electronics, this could be a place for you because, it's full of power outlets, talo pa ang cafe.

Well, kushikatsu comes in bitsize.
128204 camembert cheese @59PhP
128204 classic kushikatsu @59PhP
128204 tsukune (chicken ball) @59PhP
128204 pork loin @59PhP
128204 shiitake mushroom @59PhP
I liked them all. Border of it's okay.
They're all pulutan guys!

128204 matcha chuhai @280PhP
My drink for the night. I say mas matapang pa yung nasa can. It's bitter because it's matcha. But i liked it that way.

They got rice meals if you want your stomach to get filled.
No double dipping here. Lol. Because they just leave the dip on the table. No refills or change dip or whatsoever. It's like "communal" dip, next customer uses your dip. The dip tastes sweet btw but i prefer it thicker.

Oh, the can next to it are for your empty sticks. I suppose they're clean naman? 🤣

It's a little underwhelming. 2.7-2.8?

  • No. of Comments: 0
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Patrick V.
3.0 Stars
4

It was another biglaang kitaan with Jayson J, Christina R and Norman Lester T.

I was really full from having dinner that night so I just ordered Chicken Gizzard, Quail Egg & Chicken Heart. Everything was just OK for me. Usual fried food on a stick. The signature sauce was good though. It was a good mix of sweet, sour and savory.

Maybe I just picked the wrong ones?

I loved the interiors. The neon signs and cute designs made the place very vibrant and appealing sa mata.

Overall, it's a good place to have beer (But I don't drink alcohol anymore. Lol.) and meet-up with friends. I would probably come back, but not anytime soon. 9996🏻

PS: All other sticks on the photos are Norman's.

  • No. of Comments: 4
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Kiko G.
4.0 Stars
8

Even before Kushikatsu Daruma opened, I was already eyeing to try this restaurant because of curiosity - why "no double dipping"? Well, I am not very knowledgeable about any other Japanese fares except for ramen, katsu and tempura which is why I got very excited when I got the invite for another looloo rendezvoos at Kushikatsu Daruma.

The restaurant is a stunner with its modern Japanese set up. The place looks amazing and every section is highly instagrammable. It's no longer a surprise as any restaurant associated with Charles Paw and Tasteless group is one for the books. The place looked busy with staffs going here and there taking orders and serving food and people having fun.

I did a little bit of research while we were eating. Kushikatsu is also called Kushiage and is any skewered meat or vegetable covered in panko crust that is dipped in a thinner sauce shared by customers - the very reason why it's not allowed to double dip. It's hard when you're a Filipino fond of eating street food like kwek kwek, proben and fishball because contrary to what Japanese think that double dipping is a disgusting manner, Pinoys find it normal and a communal way of enjoying the food. As Muffy T said, resist the urge to double dip. Ilang beses ako muntik sumawsaw but thank you to Muffy and Ruth S. 128514 With 90% of the diners being Filipinos, I think that not all customers are compliant to this rule. I suggest that they should install an alarm system when someone flouts.

The restaurant offer more than 30 kinds of Kushikatsu, for PHP39 or PHP59 per stick, and they're still planning to add a few more on the list. Kushikatsu Daruma also offer sets; Beginner Level with 9 sticks and Advanced Level with 11 sticks both priced at PHP480.

My top 3 Kushikatsu favorites:
•Shiitake Mushroom - not sure if they infused it with truffle oil
•Prawns - bright pink and white, signs that the prawn is properly cooked
•Chicken Intestine - unlike the one sold in the streets, Kushitasu's chicken intestine has a clean taste but still managed to season it perfectly so it won't taste dull.

Although each one of us have our own favorites, one thing is for sure, each kushitkatsu is perfectly made with just the right amount of panko crust firmly hugging the meat or vegetable. You do not have to worry about the crust falling off even after you dip it in the sauce.

On the side, we were served with Chahan and Yakiniku Beef. I find the latter a little bit disappointing. The beef was good but the taste do not play along with the pronounced flavors of the kushikatsu especially when dipped in the sauce. Also, the serving size was too small for the price of PHP190. The Chahan Rice on the other hand tastes really good and was the perfect pair no matter what Kushikatsu you pick. You will love its smokiness.

I paired my Kushikatsu with Lychee Chu-Hai. I don't like fruity-carbonated drinks and I hate lychee but this one I enjoyed, surprisingly.

Chef Noel gave us a sample of Beer Number 1? Haha I don't know if that's the brand name please feel free to correct me. Not pilsen, not light. Somewhere in the middle and it's really good with their Kushikatsu.

We were lucky to try their desserts after some "parinig". 128514 They served us their Matcha and Salted Caramel (ata). Sorry forgot to take note of the desserts but both are delicious.

Thank you looloo, Charles and Tasteless Group for having us that night. It was really fun and filling. Was nice meeting other looloo reviewers for the first time, Unisse C Bernisse C Julie L Rocky R and of course haha Ruth S Mary Love S EJ B Muffy T Marjorie G Kristin A

  • No. of Comments: 4
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Reich T.
5.0 Stars
5

The Tasteless Group brought an Osaka native to our shores. Kushikatsu Daruma is the newest kid to grace Uptown's block. I'll be honest, i don't have the faintest idea what Kushikatsu is but i believe in The Tasteless Group. I am operating on faith when it comes to Tasteless, the secular part of me is sitting on the corner chilling with a Hitchens book. My faith is supported by their consistency is introducing bold and innovative restaurants.

Wait. What is Kushilatsu? Beats me. Imma google that for y'all

Kushikatsu also known as Kushiage is a Japanese dish of deep-fries skewered meat and vegetables. Kushi refers to skewers used while katsu refers to deep-fries cutlet of meat.

Ignorance resolved. Let us talk interior, shall we?

Almost all of the restaurants under The Tasteless Group has beautiful interiors. What is awesome is that each has a unique characteristic that is incomparable with the rest. Kushikatsu Daruma has the best interior. It is a mixture of traditional and industrial, a marriage between modern and classic - a wonderful fusion of opposites. Think Allan Ginsberg meets Walt Whitman with a dash of Sylvia Plath.

Traditional x Industrial. The usage of bright red Japanese Lanterns and the metal shakes is a play on how opposites work well together.

Modern x Classic. The make-shift partitions made of bamboo atop a concrete foundation. The walls adorned with quirky Japanese illustrations - some are framed and some are hand-painted on cheese cloth ("katsa" in the vernacular)

Anyway, the mixture of different elements create a beautiful juxtaposition. It is weally hard not to ogle.

I hope you still have the patience to continue reading. I tend to talk too much when i see something i like.

Food.

Beginners Sampler (Php 480, 9 sticks).

| Classic Kushikatsu (Beef)
| Prawn
| Chicken with Garlic
| Tonkatsu
| Leeks
| Potato
| Camembert Cheese
| Chikuwa (Fish Cakes)
| Tsukune (Chicken Meatballs)

I loved all of the skewers under the Beginner Sampler. One thing i like point out is the way dem babies is cooked. Get the meat or veggie, coat with batter and fry and voila! As simple as it sounds but in reality this requires technique and expertise. The size of the skewer and how long do you dip it in batter before frying is carefully calculated. All of the meat-infused skewer is moist and juicy. Man, the camembert cheese is insanely delicious. And let us not forget the fish cakes and the chicken balls, it took me massive amounts of self-control not to order rice. And...and...the potatoes are friggin awesome (biased opinion as I live for potatoes)

| Chicken Intestine. "Isaw" for the layman. This is the quintessential street food that is very dear to my heart. I've spent so many drunken nights with isaw and had one too many isaw dinners while i was trying to figure out how can i incorporate Noise Distortion Theory with good old fashioned SMCR in my thesis. Kushikatsu Daruma set the bar really high (off the scale high) with the infamous Pinoy street food. The technique involved in cooking these babies is precise. Picture this - flavorful isaw coated in batter then deep fried until golden brown.

Other stuff you need to know:

Oh, Double Dipping is frowned upon here. The Osaka Branch is stern on this rule as the dipping sauce is shared by everyone. Fret not, the MNL branch replaces the dipping sauce religiously.

As i was on my fourth skewer, o noticed that the sauce tastes so much better. Charlie Paw mentioned that they cook the skewers in beef lard, hence some of its flavor gets transferred in the sauce - that's what makes it taste better.

For the hardcore IG users, taking your sweet time snapping pictures is not advisable as dem skewers are best eaten hot.

The flour used in batter and the dipping sauce are all from Japan.

P.S. On behalf of my homies Clarissa Pand Ruth D thank you Charlie Paw for your generosity.

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Marjorie G.
5.0 Stars
9

When I went to Japan one of the most memorable foods that I tried is the breaded skewered meats that were deep fried, which you can only dip once in the brown sauce. I don't even remember what the resto is called until it reached the Philippine shores. It's called Kushikatsu Daruma, and I was able to try it last week thanks to Peanut D who invited me for a Looloo rendezvous.

The interiors don't look anything like I've seen in Japan. Honestly, the Philippine branch at BGC Uptown Mall is better. But the rule about dipping only once is still observed rather strictly. So strict that they even have animated ads playing on digital screens depicting what would happen if you dip more than once, for example, getting punched by Manny Pacquiao. This digital ad had me transfixed as I was sitting right in front of it. I watched every ad in amusement.

The dipping once policy has more to do with hygiene. We pinoys like them sauce so I think this policy will be a bit of a challenge especially to those who will eat there for the first time. In fact, some of us almost forgot about it a few times.

We were able to try a lot of them but I will only mention those that I love best. Note that most of them will be unrecognizable when they are covered with breading, so I'm pretty amazed by the staff who served our food because they are able to tell one from another. According to a female staff, they are required to know exactly what each stick is about.

The first one is the Chicken with Garlic, based from the taste and the meat itself, my bet is it's made from my least favorite chicken part, the breast. Despite this, I find it delicious. It's also one of the favorites of the people in our table.

I also love Camembert Cheese (this should come as no surprise, cheese lover here). It's basically like mozzarella cheese stick.

My third favorite, Pork Intestine, surprisingly, it's not as oily as the regular skewered pork intestine that you can buy on the street. It's yummy!

But not as yummy as the Chicken Intestine, in tagalog, isaw. It's not as thick as the deep fried isaw you can buy on the street though, the intestines are rather thin.

Next fave, prawn. If like me you love tempura then this is for you.

We were also served with chicken fish (which is basically breaded fishball). I wasn't so crazy over it. There's also cherry tomatoes, mushroom, potato, and quail egg. Some of them I wasn't able to try because I was already stuffed, some I didn't like that much.

And my ultimate favorite, foie gras. I was actually surprised that they have this on the menu. EJ B said that it's not included in the menu and that it's some sort of a secret offering. I happen to love foie gras and this one is as of soft, succulent, and flavorful as I remember it to be.

I met other Loolooers in this rendezvous but I didn't have time to get to know all of them as I was pressed with time. You see I had to go to work after this event. But it was very nice to meet them all and I sure want to have a chance to talk to them next time.

I recommend Daruma for friends who want to hang out. They have alcohol drinks by the way, so the kushikatsu are perfect for "pulutan."

  • No. of Comments: 5
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Kristin A.
5.0 Stars
6

I noticed a lot of reviewers on |ooloo seemed very knowledgeable on Japanese food. Like when all these Japanese ramen brands first came, and before that the #TeamYabu and #TeamSaboten - I was amazed that people seemed to know them even before they got here! Sadly, all I knew about Japan before I really got into their food were the old robot cartoons and those 5-minute segments on Japanese living I saw on Channel 9.

Point is, I wasn't aware Kushikatsu was a thing, until my fellow |oolooers talked about the new baby of the Tasteless group. So when Peanut asked if I wanted to try it, di na ako nagpakipot 128514 I figured, if it's on a stick, and it's breaded, there's nothing to worry about 128556 I managed just fine with streetside fishballs and kwek kwek, after all.

It wasn't long after I got there that they served us the Beginner Level set in batches. It was the ideal temp - fresh off the pan - so we got to appreciate the food at its best. The set had 9 sticks with these variants:

128046 Classic Kushikatsu (beef)
127844 Prawn
128020 Chicken with Garlic
127845 Chikuwa (fish cake)
127841 Tsukune (chicken meatballs)
128055 Tonkatsu (pork loin)
127841 Leeks
🥔 Potato
🧀 Camembert

If you're a little more adventurous, try the Advanced set instead, which includes those wonderful cholesterol-filled Chicken and Pork intestines. Or why not pick among the a la carte list and have 10 of the same kind if you wanted 128556 which should set you back Php 39-59 per stick.

We also got to try 128020 and 128055 intestines, as well as 127813 cherry tomato 127812 shiitake mushroom and 128038 foie gras! The last one is yet to be part of the menu, but I hope pricing will be at the Php 200 range 🤞 Needless to say, the latter three are my favorites. We also had some Chahan and beef stir fry to pair, but plain rice would have been enough, honestly. I washed these down with Lychee Chu-Hai, which turned out to be popular among our group.

The interiors were said to be a little more flashy than the usual Daruma branch, but I loved the mood lighting - seemed like I could have eaten a ton of kushikatsu (and I felt like I did) and no one was the wiser. It did help that there were medium-height walls grouping tables together and offering a bit of privacy. The wall art kept us entertained while waiting, for its aesthetics alone and as background for our food pics 128514.

As is usual for these events the staff were very attentive and accommodating, but I did notice the same attitude with the other guests that night. It was my first time to meet Charlie Paw, and it was great to hear him talk not just about Daruma and its origins, but also the local food scene, and a myriad of topics really. Thanks for a great dining experience! I really enjoyed our sneak peek, but more importantly, I know I'll enjoy it too when I come back as a regular diner.

Cheers to Peanut D (natuloy din!) and great to finally meet Pam L! And a shoutout to these wonderful fellow |oolooers: EJ B Kiko G Mary Love S Ruth S Unisse C Bernisse C Rocky R Julie L Muffy T and Marjorie G. Until next time!

  • No. of Comments: 6
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Bernisse C.
5.0 Stars
10

I find myself slowly being drawn into being a Japanese food fanatic. Just when I think that Japanese cuisine is already awesome as it is, chefs continue to prove me wrong by coming up with even better and improved versions. I had no idea as to what Kushikatsu Daruma offered. At the back of my mind, I thought it was going to be another mainstream katsu place, but boy oh boy, was I wrong. I absolutely loved everything about Kushikatsu Daruma! 128149 Starting from the ambiance and interiors of the place, to the great service and ultimately to the oishi dishes that made my taste buds dance in joy.

Kushikatsu literally means katsu on a stick. One of the misconceptions by the Filipino Community, myself included, is that we think we know what Katsu means - any deep fried meat in a breading. I didn’t know katsu applied to vegetables, eggs and even livers! Or maybe that’s just me 128517 Anyhow, I loved the concept of katsu on skewers. It’s quite similar to our isaw, squid balls and kwek kwek. BUT! It’s also different as they do not allow to people double dip in the communal sauce. If you think about it, it’s nice to know that the sauce your dipping in and consuming is clean. Yay for hygiene!

As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by Mr. Charlie Paw, one of the partners who brought KushiKatsu Daruma to the Philippines. It’s my first time meeting him and I must say, he is very accommodating and kind. I can also see his passion for food and the gleam in his eyes as he observes the people enjoy food.

Before we got seated, we were handed with menus to order our preferred drink. I wanted to try something new and the LYCHEE CHU HAI | [PHP280] instantly caught my attention. If you are new to the term, Chu Hai is a Japanese canned alcoholic drink. I liked how the drink was not overpowered with alcohol taste as some cocktails can be and how the lychee was really complementing it. Really really good and really really recommended! 128077🏻

To start, we were served with the BEGINNER SET [PHP480] with nine kushikatsu:

• Classic Kushikatsu (Beef) | [PHP59]
• Prawn | [PHP59]
• Chicken with Garlic [PHP59]
• Chikuwa (fish cakes) [PHP59]
• Tsukune (Chicken meat balls) | [PHP59]
• Tonkatsu (Pork) [PHP59]
• Camembert Cheese | [PHP59]
• Onion Leeks [PHP39]
• Potato [PHP39]

To add, we also tried:
• Gyoza | [PHP59]
• Foie Gras [PHP59]
• Asparagus [PHP59]
• Aubergine (eggplant) [PHP59]
• Shitake Mushrooms [PHP59]
• Pork Intestine [PHP39]
• Cherry Tomato [PHP39]
• Quail Egg [PHP39]
• Chahan Rice | [PHP150]
• Yakiniku Rice Bowl [PHP220]

My top five favorites were the classic kushikatsu, prawns, tsukune, camembert cheese and gyoza. Beef was really tender, prawns were really flavorful, tsukune had a nice pepper flavor, camembert cheese was really cheesy and deep fried gyoza? Yes please! 128587🏻 Their version of the chahan rice was really flavorful and can be eaten on its own. Rice itself was not too mushy nor dry.

Nonetheless, everything was delicious! 128069 Their batter and sauce combination is crazy good. Despite being deep fried, I find the batter light and crispy! Their sauce had a more watery consistency than your usual katsu sauce but not a bit lagging from quality. Not gonna lie, the prices can be quite intimidating but I promise it’s worth the try.

11088️ Tips and reminders:
🚫 No double dipping! It’s the restaurant’s only commandment.
128205 If you think a dip is not enough, leave the kushikatsu ten seconds longer in the sauce before taking it out. It’s like marinating it lightly.
128205 Kushikatsu is best eating when hot, so resist the urge to taking too much snaps and just munch away!

Overall, it was a really pleasant and bloating dinner. Thank you | looloo (Peanut D and Pam L) for the invite and to Kushikatsu Daruma for the treat! It’s nice seeing everyone again! 128149

  • No. of Comments: 3
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Unisse C.
5.0 Stars
10

I already saw that a KUSHIKATSU DARUMA was going to open in Uptown Mall way way before the |ooloo rendezvoos last Monday. I was already ecstatic when I saw the sign, but I was even more ecstatic when Peanut D invited me for the rendezvoos! 10084️ (Thank you so much for remembering me!)

On my recent trip to Japan, I was able to visit Osaka and was dying to try some kushikatsu but was not lucky enough to find open shops at Shinsekai (where kushikatsu originates) or to get some seats at DARUMA. 128584 I ended up eating at a kushikatsu place at the indoor food street – Tamiki Koji Gourmet Street – at the basement of the Umeda Sky Building. IT WAS SO GOOD! It was a great experience so I was really looking forward to have the same dish here in Manila. 127881

In Japan, what I had was a set meal, and I think that's how they usually do it. Though you can order a la carte too. 128540

For our meal, we were served the BEGINNER SET (PHP 480) which had the following:
• 🔺Classic Kushikatsu (beef)128155
• 🔺Prawn128155
• 🔺Chicken with Garlic
• 🔺Chikuwa
• 🔺Tsukune (Chicken Meat Balls)
• 🔺Tonkatsu (Pork Loin)128155
• Onion Leeks
• Potato
• 🔺Camembert Cheese128155

Additional sticks served to us were:
• 🔺Asparagus
• 🔺Aubergine
• Pork intestine
• 🔺Shitake Mushrooms128155
• Cherry Tomato
• Quail Egg

The ones with 🔺 are priced at PHP 59 per stick while the others are priced PHP 39 per stick. The ones with 128155 are the ones I really loved.

There were some interesting ones too: Gyoza and Foie Gras. I didn't get to try the Foie Gras anymore. 128514 And the gyoza was just too huge for me and came later on since we ordered extra. 128517128540

We also got to enjoy their selection of Chu-Hai. I loved the Mikan (Orange) Chu-Hai. 10084

As an additional, we also got some Chahan which I absolutely LOVED. It was so flavorful and good to serve as a filler for all the kushikatsu. We also got a bowl of Yakiniku Beef as a topping to the rice 128540

One thing I'd love to have when eating kushikatsu is some miso soup though. 🤔 It would just be the most complete Japanese meal 128514 But that's just me.

The interiors are really great! It has this rustic and rugged feel to it but it does bring you to Japan. 🇯🇵 The cartoons are also amusing! And DARUMA plastered all over!! 128077🏼

So to recap...

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN EATING KUSHIKATSU:
✔️ Eat when served. It's best eaten when hot.
✔️ Dip the kushikatsu in the sauce, as much as you want ONCE!
❌ Double dipping!!! THIS IS HARD TO RESIST. But it's plastered all over the store, so you shouldn't forget. 128514

Thanks to the Tasteless Group and the Kushikatsu Daruma staff for the food and taking care of us for the night! And to |ooloo for the invite and great company!!

  • No. of Comments: 7
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Ruth S.
4.0 Stars
10

There's more to Japanese food than just sushi, sashimi, poke bowls, takoyaki, gyoza, cheese tarts, katsu, yakitori, ramen. If you think you've tried them all? Well, think again. 128540

It's my first to hear about KUSHIKATSU. I know KATSU but what's KUSHIKATSU? According to the www, Kushi = skewers and Katsu = deep fried meat, vegetables, and fish. And you'll get to enjoy a lot different kushikatsu here.

DARUMA KUSHIKATSU is the newest Japanese restaurant brought to us by the Tasteless Group. This is located in Uptown Mall. Once you enter the place, you just can't help but love every detail and every corner. Very chill, hip, and young. 128525128077🏼

They have a total of 30 different skewers available. The "simple ones" are priced at 39php per stick while the "not so simple" are priced at 59php per stick. It may be pricey for just a single stick but it's worth it. Especially since you're paying for the service and the assurance that what you are eating is fresh, clean, and cooked only w quality ingredients, and the communal sauce is clean. 128540

If deciding what to get is hard, they have the BEGINNER (9 sticks - 480php) and the ADVANCED (11 sticks - 480)php) sets. The Beginner set is composed of basic Kushikatsu skewers while the Advanced set is for the adventurous (i.e., deep fried gizzard, heart, and pork/chicken intestines). 128563

We started the feast with a bowl of vegetables - fresh crisp lettuce, raddish, and carrots. You can either eat them as is or dip them in the sauce. This is not refillable,
btw. #SharingisCaring

The process is just simple: DIP THE KUSHIKATSU > EAT > RESIST THE URGE TO DIP AGAIN.

The most important rule is #NoDoubleDipping. Admittedly, I had a hard time following this rule because the SAUCE was just so good... IT WAS AWESOME AND AMAZING and MAGICAL! 128525 It made everything so goooooooood and extra tasty. I wish they can
provide small bowls so you can dip-all-you-can. 128514

TIP: since #NoDoubleDipping, make the most out of it. 128521 Not sure if it's allowed but we asked for a "serving spoon". #Paraparaan 128586

We tried the BEGINNER SET first (9 sticks). Instead of serving them all at once, the kushikatsu are served by batch, 3 skewers at a time. This is to ensure that you get to enjoy it hot and fresh. 128077🏼 I lost track and count of the skewers I tried but these are my favorites:

CHICKEN w GARLIC and CHICKEN MEATBALLS.
FISHCAKES.
CAMEMBERT CHEESE.

Just like Chicken Nuggets but fresher, better and yummier. It was not bland nor dry. I usually like my chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce but I think from now on, I'll be looking for the Tonkatsu Sauce. It's my first time trying a fishcake and it was surprisingly good. It was kind of weird and chewy at first but I liked it. And lastly, the Camembert cheese!! Cheese sticks but 100x cheesier and more awesome! 128155 Actually, they were all good and yummy. It would just depend on what you want and prefer. 128521

Other favorites are the prawns, beef, pork, and chicken intestine. Even the quail eggs, shitake mushroom, leeks, and potatoes were all delicious! 128077🏼

You may think that since they were all battered and deep fried, they'll be too heavy or nakakaumay, but surprisingly, it wasn't as heavy and no umay. The batter was actually light and very crispy. It was not too oily and not too thick. It's easy to be carried away since you just want to eat and eat and eat. It's very addicting. 128563128523

TIP: Please please make sure to eat them right away. While it's still fresh and hot because they're so much better that way and that's how you're supposed to eat and enjoy the kushikatsu. Aside from resisting the urge to double dip, you must also resist the urge to take photos for too long. If you can't resist taking photos, make it really fast! Okay? 128521

To make your dining experience even better, order the CHAHAN RICE (150). I was not able to try it anymore but Kiko and Muffy LOVED IT. Chef Noel is thinking of changing the recipe but we don't think change is needed anymore because it was already good. It paired well with the kushikatsu. 128077🏼 We also tried the YAKINIKU BEEF which was just okay. Nothing extraordinary. 128542

For our drinks, we got to try the CHU HAI. Japanese Vodka x Carbonated Water x Fruits. Lychee was highly recommended so I got one. It was good, kind of strong (for me) but refreshing. 127864

TIP: Chef Noel said that the skewers are best enjoyed with a glass of beer. Not a beer drinker (never will be) but the beer was surprisingly good, it was not bitter. It's the tolerable kind of bitter. Just like the rice, it paired well with the kushikatsu. 127867

Of course, the feast wouldn't be complete without dessert. They let us try 2 flavors - Miso?? and Matcha. They were both really good and weird. 128518 The "odd" taste (c/o the sesame seeds and the "unknown" crumbs + walnuts) made all of us eat more ice cream. 128523

Overall, I enjoyed and liked almost everything. Can't wait to bring Ony and my friends here soon. 128521128513 And as always, it was a fuuuun and awesome night w the looloo foodies! Thank you Sir Charlie Paw and the Tasteless Group, Peanut D and Pam L. 128153

  • No. of Comments: 8
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Rocky R.
5.0 Stars
8

Last night, I, again was honored to join some of the reviewers for another looloo rendezvoos at Kushikatsu Daruma sponsored by Mr. Charlie Paw & the good folks of Tasteless Group. I was taken aback to find that there's more goodness aside from the everyday Japanese restaurants we frequent.

I'm not knowledgeable when it comes to Japanese cuisine. Like many, I enjoy a good sashimi, nigiri, rolls, gyoza, ramen, and katsu. Never in a million years would I ever thought there was anything more to that until I was introduced to kushikatsu.

Some may ask what kushikatsu is. According to tsunagujapan.com, "kushikatasu is a dish of meat or vegetables that has been cut in mouthful portions, skewered, battered and deep fried. Kushikatsu is said to have originated from Shinsekai in Osaka."

Also, according to the same site, "When eating kushikatsu, you dip it in a sauce. While it isn’t necessarily the case in all kushikatsu restaurants in Osaka, the sauce is usually shared between the customers, so for hygienic reasons, you aren’t supposed to dip kushikatsu that you have put in your mouth into the sauce. This is a rule you have to abide by." In other words; NO DOUBLE DIPPING!!! 128514128514128514

Throughout our adventure here, I was introduced to a smorgasbord of delicious deep fried kushikatsu that will surely make your heart stop; metaphorically and literally once you take a bite into one, two, twenty, or even more of these delectable skewers. 🙃🙃🙃

Though breaded the same way, and each being perfectly deep fried in the same beef lard (yes, beef lard), each kushikatsu delivers its own distinct flavor without having to guess what you're eating. That's what I enjoyed the most about this place.

With all that I've tried, and with all I believe were sinfully delicious, the following kushikatu stood out for me, which I hope many of you should try as well.

*Foie Gras (not yet on the menu, but can be ordered)
*Chicken with Garlic
*Pork Intestine
*Shiitake Mushrooms
*Classic Kushikatsu (beef)
*Onion Leeks
*Lotus Root
*Yakiniku Beef
*Chahan Rice
*Suntory High Ball (a refreshing Japanese Whiskey with lemon)

This by far was the most excited I had become in eating fried food. Each lush skewer tasted fresh, and light. If I hadn't asked what oil was used to deep fry these flavorsome meats and veggies, I wouldn't have stopped eating and would have just died and gone to kishitasu heaven! 128519128519128519

Many [many] thank you's again to looloo, Mr. Charlie Paw, and for those whom I've met for the first time on making this happen.

Happy Eating!!!

  • No. of Comments: 9
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