Is Manila ready for another tonkatsu brand?
Ginza Bairin is the latest tonkatsu restaurant to open at the new Glorietta 2.
What sets it apart is heritage that goes back to 1927, when the first Ginza Bairin opened in the now-posh district of Ginza in Tokyo.
It was founded by Mr. Nobukatsu Shibuya, who formulated the first tonkatsu sauce, prior to the invention of Bulldog sauce. Watch this:
Last Tuesday we got to meet the founder’s grandson, Mr. Masaya Shibuya, who was in town to open the first branch in Manila. At right is Mr. Tetsuya Oyabu of Ginza Bairin Japan.
We started off with a bowl of ligtly salted edamame
and got acquainted with the sauces on the table
Grind your own sesame seeds
Add the special sauce
Also on the menu is this unique-looking gyoza
Kushi katsu with meat and onion inside
Meet my lunch: a sampler set of prawn, rosu, and hire katsu. The price is surprisingly affordable (around Php 475) for this and unlimited unlimited Japanese rice, fresh cabbage salad and dressings, miso soup, seasonal tsukemono (Japanese pickles), and genmaicha (Japanese brown rice tea).
All teishoku (set meals) also include a serving of seasonal fresh fruit.
Ginza Bairin uses only the freshest meat using Japan-approved quality standards.
For its Kurobuta Tonkatsu, it uses Black Berkshire pig—prized for its marbling, juiciness, flavor, and tenderness. For frying, they use only cottonseed oil, a healthier alternative with zero trans fat.
The panko (breadcrumbs) used to coat the katsu is imported from Japan, made from an exclusive, in-house recipe especially made for katsu.
International Head Chef Yoshijiro Miyakozawa flew in to Manila to train the Philippine chefs the Ginza Bairin way
Now you can enjoy authentic katsu in three delicious ways:
First, as tonkatsu, or pork cutlet
Secondly, as Bairin Katsu Sando, or hire katsu sandwich
Third, as katsudon, particularly the Ginza Bairin Special Katsudon, often hailed as “Number One Donburi in Japan.
It combines tender hire katsu, Japanese rice, special sauce, and farm-fresh eggs.
From a small store in Ginza, Tokyo, Ginza Bairin has branched out to Honolulu, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and now in Manila.
And for Scott Tan, Philippine Managing Director, Ginza Bairin is a passion project. “I recall eating at Ginza Bairin as a young, katsudon-obsessed boy on family trips to Japan. Ginza Bairin pioneered the katsu house as we know it—and today, I am deeply honored to have been chosen by Shibuya-san to be part of his family’s legacy.“
From L-R: Mr. Yukio Hayashi (Ginza Bairin Philippines head chef), Scott Tan and Jimmy Tan of Ginza Bairin Philippines, Mr. Masaya Shibuya (President of Ginza Bairin), Mr. Yoshijiro Miyakozawa (Ginza International Head Chef), and Mr. Tetuya Oyabu, also of Ginza Bairin.
Ginza Bairin is at the Ground Floor, Glorietta 2, Palm Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City.
For inquiries and reservations, call 553-7350.