There is a place at 2277 Chino Roces Avenue Pasong Tamo, Makati called Little Tokyo. It's found in front of the Soliman Corp Center, 2182 Chino Roces Avenue Makati where PSI Leadership Seminars are also held. Amongst the different restaurants available at Little Tokyo, we chose RioZen to celebrate my graduation from the PSI Leadership Seminar.
When you enter the gate of the restaurant, the first thing you will appreciate is that the place is bigger than what you expected. After passing a hall which gives you already a Japanese feel of the place you will be brought to a common area. There are tables outside where you can enjoy to eat under the starlight surrounded by Japanese lanterns. If your sensitive about smoke though, you might want to consider eating inside the restaurants. According to the waitresses stationed beside the restaurants' doors, there are about six to seven restaurants inside the compound. Each restaurant has a Japanese vibe which reminds me of stores you see in Japanese cartoons or animes. For that night we chose to eat at RioZen. According to Riozen, their specialties include Chanko Nabe, Sushi, sashimi, tempura, kushi Katsu, udon, soba, ramen and about 200 kinds of ala carte. For a specialty, they have a wide range of specialties they claim for.
I encouraged my husband to try something new from RioZen that night. My husband being a Japanese cuisine aficionado, he has his all-time favorites but since it was my PSI graduation day, he agreed to take some risks.
For drinks, he ordered yellow mango shake (P120)while I chose fresh grape fruit juice mixed with soda water (P100). I highly recommend the grape fruit juice if you want to try something new but I have to warn you it is really sweet. You might want to opt to mix it with plain water instead of soda water if your counting calories.
For appetizers, we ordered Tamago Sashimi (P160) while for main meal I ordered Kisutendon (P280) which included miso soup and pickles. Kisutendon includes one serving of onion tempura and 3 fish (osoho) tempura with japanese rice.
For my husband he chose, 2 pieces of Yakitori (65 x 2 = P130) and Chicken curry rice which included a bowl of clear soup (P280).
Our bill was P1070 for two which is about P535 each. RioZen prides itself also for not asking for a service charge and all items are VAT inclusive. Hence, its up to you to decide how much tip you are leaving. For us, we consider our dining experience at RioZen to be a very comfortable. We can also say that it is a very affordable Japanese meal to think that we both have drinks, soup, appetizers and a main meal. It is not cheap but also not expensive. It was for us value for our money.
The owners for RioZen, Ms. Zen and his son Mr. Tatsuya made our experience more valuable by giving us complementary coffee jelly desserts. It truly made our Japanese dining experience at RioZen unforgettable.
For reservations in RioZen, the contact numbers are 8943915 or 09285061910. RioZen is open 5:30 until 12:30 am. If you really want to dine Japanese style you can reserve their Japanese rooms which can accommodate until 22 people. However, you have to do this early as the rooms are made available for smoking customers. The inside of the restaurant is for non-smokers. However, if there are not many customers and the rooms are available, you can request to use the rooms. This is something my husband and I plan to do the next time we visit RioZen.
Mr. Tatsuya has only one request, he wishes that more Filipinos would be open to try the Japanese cuisine at Riozen. That night we were his second Filipino customers and that was already 11pm. He said that most of their patrons are still Japanese. He hopes that one day more Filipinos would get to appreciate Japanese food in his authentic Japanese restaurant, RioZen.