Photo lifted from Christian's blog, tianxproject.blogspot.com
It's been a while since I've had a wasabi buzz. You know the feeling, the way it clears your sinuses and tears your eyes as only genuine wasabi can. As I was saying, it's been a while, and that probably owes more to the cheap substitutes that faux Japanese restaurants put on your plate.
Well, last night broke the dry spell. It came by way of a light coating on roll of onimaki. After that bite, I was in tears...tears of joy. Genuine wasabi at last! And, of course, I went back for more...and more...and more.
The place where all this happened was at Zakoya, a Japanese restaurant that's as close to the real thing as you can get in Davao City. It was my first time to eat there. A round of thanks goes to Blogie for arranging the dinner and to Yakoya-san, Master of Zakoya, for being such a gracious host.
Now, one thing about Zakoya is that it's a Japanese buffet. There's no menu to speak of, but you are guaranteed the typical Japanese restaurant staples: sushi, maki, sashimi, onigiri, onimiyaki, gyoza, and, of course, fried rice. There were also a couple of pleasant surprises, like a dish of kimchi, wakame, and Chicken teriyaki. The wakame was an instant favorite, and the Chicken teriyaki was just splendid!
There were so many dishes to choose from that I ended up loading my plate (mind you, they have big heavy plates, and that's before you put any food on it) to the max on my first pass. And I still didn't get a sampling of all the dishes! I was so full from the first plate alone that I had to pace myself on the sushi and maki in smaller helpings during my second, third, and, er, fourth passes.
One thing deserves comment: even after round after round of savory dishes, I did not end up with any greasy, queasy feeling as sometimes happens with other buffet dinners. I don't know what their cooking secret is, but it works! No wonder I was able to pack it away.
The restaurant layout is quite tasteful, and the ambience is perfect for business meetings with clients. Acoustics are arranged so that you only hear a slight unintelligible buzz from the other tables. There are conventional tables as well as traditional low Japanese tables. The traditional tables, though, have a recessed pit where you can hang your legs and sit normally. It's a thoughtful concession for those not used to sitting that way.
All in all, an enoyable evening!
Zakoya is along F. Torres Street, Davao's food street. Buffet is P375 per head (and worth every centavo.)