As a person who loves Japanese cuisine, it is inherent for me to try as many restaurants as I can to find that authentic taste of Japan. Outside the Land of the Rising Sun, it is a challenge to discover where to dine in and experience gastronomic delight that is faithful to the original Japanese palate. After a lot of misses and few hits, alas, I think I finally found a gem right under my nose.
Introduction to Banzai
Claimed as the biggest teppanyaki buffet restaurant with a total area of 1200 square meters and capacity of 300 people in one sitting, Banzai: The The Great Teppanyaki Theater has started and continuously capturing the attention and appetite of locals and tourists here in the metro. Strategically situated in front of SM Mall of Asia and along the Bay Leisure Park, Seaside Boulevard, Banzai is bringing the Little Tokyo experience in the core of Metro Manila by serving almost all the most-celebrated and famous Japanese dishes.
Banzai: The Only All-authentic Japanese Buffet
How can one assure the authenticity of the taste of a foreign cuisine? Banzai prides itself by using ingredients all imported from Japan. They do not use alternative spices; the restaurant requires the use of only Japanese materials.
Also, I saw that only several pieces of food were displayed on each counter. Then it hit me that I had the same strange observation when I was in Japan. As it turned out, Banzai also prepares food the Japanese way – cooked upon request without warming of dishes. That explains the limited food on display. It seems that the restaurant values quality of food over quantity – an attitude quite uncommon with their competitors these days.
Moreover, to ensure that the dishes served are of the best quality and taste, Banzai is proud to have its two in-house Japanese chefs who train and supervise junior cooks, and prepare dishes by themselves.
I was very fond of seeing those two and how I wished my Nihongo was polished so I could’ve started a conversation with them.
Banzai: The Great Japanese Buffet
Banzai is proud to have several food stations to cater almost every Japanese dishes people love – from Teppanyaki, Sushi, Sashimi and Rolls, Pizza, Takoyaki and Kaniyaki, Gohan, Noodles and Ramen, Yakitori and Grill, Tempura and Tonkatsu, Salad, to Desserts and Beverages. Each has a unique appeal and organized in such a way that is appropriate to the food being served.
With a wide selection of food, an eat-all-you-can meal here in Banzai is totally worth every peso. Weekday lunch costs Php 699 and Php 899 for dinner. Weekends and holidays lunch and dinner charge Php 1088 per person. For a group of diners wishing to experience an authentic Japanese buffet, regular promo is also available.
Banzai: The Great Japanese Restaurant Experience
Authentic and tasty food fills the stomach, but great ambience makes an entire trip an unforgettable experience. Here at Banzai, I had the chance to have both gastronomical delight and intercultural understanding.
Upon entering the restaurant, the interior made my jaw dropped to the floor. Or so I thought. Picture frames were located in some pillars, exuding a minimalist design typical in Japan. When I looked up, red and white Japanese hanging lanterns decorated the ceiling. I really felt I was back in Tokyo!
Also, in my entire buffet experience, I freely interacted with the chefs in various food stations. When I wasn’t sure of the ingredient of a dish, I openly asked them and they were very accommodating to answer.
Chefs performing the great teppanyaki show
One of the Japanese chefs, Hiroshi-san, even showed us how to cook tempura. Lucky me to end up with the plate he made!
In addition to that, Banzai also considered Filipinos’ love for taking pictures. In one corner of the establishment, a trick art gallery was settled to provide photo opportunities for guests. Moreover, diners can also borrow Japanese costumes like yukata for free and pose against the creative backdrops in the gallery.
Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater
Banzai is by far the best Japanese buffet restaurant I ever had outside of Japan. Not only does it have an authentic Japanese taste, but it also offers a wide array of dishes to sample with. For all the positive things I have experienced and noted in this post, let me have some suggestions for improvement:
- Have a huge printed map or kiosk for food stations. I was given a pamphlet with a map, but I left it at my table.
- Offer additional beverages. As a tea person, I suggest different kinds of tea.
- Hold a tea ceremony for guests – complete with thin matcha tea (usucha), sweets (mochi), and diners in Japanese traditional clothes.
Special thanks to Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater Marketing and Public Relations Teams for warmly welcoming us.
With my fellow bloggers
To cap it off, I had a very filling and culturally entertaining trip to the best and only all-authentic Japanese buffet, Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater. Can’t wait for my next visit!
Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater
Building J By The Bay Leisure Park,
Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia complex
Open Monday to Sunday 10 AM ~ 9 PM
For inquiries, reservations, and corporate bookings please call 5527368 / 09177067328
Do you also like Japanese food? Which is your favorite?