Hamaru Yakitori and Sushi is a new Japanese restaurant in Quezon City, hidden behind a bustling food park called The Food Hive in busy Visayas Ave.. It’s easy to overlook the exterior and think that it’s just a stylized art installation.
Open the doors and let the cool air conditioned air hit your face as your senses adjust to the neo Japanese look replete with wood, concrete, and black steel and a bright neon sign.
There’s a beautiful bar on the ground floor or you can head up the steps to the mezzanine for more relaxed seating. There’s a rocking samurai sword beer tap by the bar that I eyed with envy.
Chef Nino Lauz is the culinary brains behind this new age Japanese restaurant that feels out of place in QC and would be more at home in the hipper parts of BGC or Makati. The menu is composed of creative sushi and sashimi, small plates, skewers
Start off with the Salmon Aburi Philly Roll (P330). Salmon topped sushi roll filled with cream cheese and a surprising edadame hummus, sprinkled and rolled in their own furikake blend before torching the salmon to get a creamier and smokier flavor. The roll is hefty and satisfying with a mix of familiar and new flavors.
Hamaru Soft Shell Crab Roll (P430). Chef Nino takes the ubiquitous California roll and gives it his twist. He substitutes out the crab stick and fills it with deep fried soft shell crab, coats it with tobiko and tops it with crab stick tossed in aligue mayo. The soft shell crab provide both crunchy texture and a more concentrate burst of umami. A bit hard to eat because it’s so big, your efforts will be rewarded with this filling and tasty creation.
Spicy Tuna Roll (P370). This roll ditches the usual Japanese spices and instead looks to the Korean kimchi to provide the spicy and sour kick to make this a unique roll.
Tofu Pocket (P270). This is visually stunning that you’ll feel it a waste to touch it. A piece of tofu skin holds, sushi rice, tuna cubes in light dressing, sprinkled with house furikake, topped with popped rice and tobiko. As with many of Chef Nino’s creation, this one is a fun thing to eat, with different textures playing in your mouth.
Oyster Motoyaki (P195). Oyster on the half shell topped with chili garlic mayo, torched and topped with cauliflower puree. I’ve had oyster motoyaki before but never with chili and the interesting cauliflower puree. The cauliflower adds a a little sweetness to contrast against the introduction of the spice from the chili. Mix it and slurp everything up.
Nori Tacos (P310). Wasabi tempura battered nori sheets contain rice, salmon, bonito flakes and ebiko. The sheet is crisp but still has that fun, chewy feel. The taco is quite small, consumed in one to two bits depending on your ability. Once it hits your mouth, the combination of textures delight your taste buds with
Salmon Sashimi (P290). This is not your usual sashimi plate, salmon slices are topped with ginger, scallion, jalapeno with ponzu sauce. The fish is lightly seared with hot olive and sesame oil and topped with rice puffs. This technique is Chef Nino’s interpretation of Chef Nobu Matsuhita’s creation. This will appeal to people who don’t like the taste of raw fish.
Chicken Poppers (P155). Little chicken pieces tossed in an addicting sweet and spicy sauce and finished off with bonito flakes. I told myself to try just one piece because we already had so many sushi rolls but I absentmindedly found myself reaching for piece after piece. The sweet and spicy flavors were perfectly balanced.
Pair your bites with some of their inventive highballs and cocktails like the Matcha Nigori Sake (P220) or the Classic Suntory “Kabukin” highball (P240). They also have sake flight and Nomikai/” Happy Hour” from 3pm-7pm daily featuring Buy 1 take 1 on selected beers and cocktails.
For the carnivores, you’ll enjoy their kushiyakis especially the ButaBara (P95), served on a bed of sweet potato puree.
If you are still hungry then a bowl of Gyu Chahan or Salmon Chahan should fill you up quick.
Hamaru Yakitori and Sushi gives QC their own hip and happening Japanese izakaya without the need to traverse the metropolis. You’ll find creative Japanese food beyond the usual staples.
Hamaru Yakitori and SushiThe Food Hive
82 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Operating Hours: 12 pm to 12 am
Contact No. (632) 772-8582