Wafu Izakaya Festival: A Japanese Pub & Street Food Feast

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It was a night of irresistible Japanese food and overflowing drinks during the the launch of the Wafu Izakaya Festival in the midst of the colorful and busy street of Greenhills, San Juan this weekend.

Wafu Japanese Restaurant in Greenhills is launched an Izakaya, a Japanese-style pub slash street food festival, just right outside its doorsteps, to offer foodies the chance to try popular Japanese bar chow in the fun and informal setting that many have come to enjoy.

“The Izakaya is very much a part of Japanese culture,” says event organizer, Mavie Ungco. “A lot of Japanese, young and old, like to kick back and relax after work and unwind with their friends and colleagues over good food and drinks.”

“A Japanese izakaya is typically noisy, informal and fun. This is the same experience we want to bring to Wafu Japanese Restaurant through the Wafu Izakaya Festival. We are very excited because it’s the first festival of this kind to be organized in Manila.” adds Ungco.

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During its dinner service, Wafu transformed the area outside into an open-air Izakaya. A casual setup of wooden tables and chairs that provide pub goers with comfortable seating will complement the food carts and booths where chefs prepare your order in front of you.  Now, this is definitely one great reason to spend your weekends at Wafu especially if you love authentic Japanese cuisine.

All food items such as yakitori, kushiage, kushiyaki, sushi and sashimi were prepared as you order; thus, all snacks were served fresh or piping hot. Traditional Japanese menu boards and paper lanterns add to the authentic Japanese pub ambience to Wafu’s Izakaya.

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As in any Izakaya, the pub fare at Wafu Izakaya is reasonably priced and portions are smaller but filling. Diners can choose from a selection of plates of sushi and sashimi, maki, tempura, grilled (yakitori) and deep-fried items and other Japanese specialties. Items are conveniently priced at P120, P150 or P180, so, paying up after a few rounds of drinks with your friends will be easy.

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Pub Fare at the Festival is best paired with either a glass of cold Asahi beer or sake. And many items are not the usual Japanese fare served in typical Japanese restaurants.

For instance, Kushiyaki is not your typical barbecue. Skewers of meat, seafood or vegetables are grilled plain and seasoned with salt or your choice of sauce before being served to you. While kushiage has a heavier batter than tempura making it a more filling snack-on-a-stick.

Kushiyaki choices include chicken meat (breast, thigh, liver or tail), pork belly, shiitake mushroom, beef tenderloin and salmon belly. Of the kushiage items, try the skewers of chicken, pork belly, prawns, scallops, zucchini and quail eggs.

To up the fun, other popular traditional fare are also served as Wafu Izakaya. Okonomiyaki, or Japanese-style cabbage and meat pancakes, is also available, as well as gyoza, tofu steak and barbecues of grouper, snapper and salmon jaws.

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Ungco says the vibe of a Japanese Izakaya will present Filipino diners with a new, more exciting side to Japanese cuisine, one that is casual and entertaining.

“With this new offering, Wafu hopes to invite a younger crowd eager to hang out with friends and colleagues after a day’s work, or those Japanese fast-food aficionados eager to try something new and different from the usual Japanese fare that could be found around city,” she adds.

Wafu Izakaya Festival will opened last July 5, 2014 at Wafu Japanese Restaurant in Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, Metro Manila. For more details, please call WAFU at 0917 877 0101.  Follow www.facebook.com/wafughills; www.twitter.com/wafughills and www.instagram.com/wafughills to get updates of their upcoming promotions.

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