Yaku Japanese Grill Review: Authentic and Affordable Japanese Dishes You’ll Absolutely Love

I enjoy eating. Though I’m not very adventurous, I do like trying out something new once in a while.

I’m not much of a fan of Japanese dishes but I won’t shy away from a plate of sushi or tempura, especially when they look delicious. Presentation plays a huge factor in my appetite. If I see something that’s nicely plated, my salivary glands will go to overdrive.

That’s what I experienced in Yaku Japanese Grill.


yaku plateThis plate is too small for my appetite.

Tucked in the 3rd floor of The Podium in Ortigas, Yaku can be easily missed if you’re just passing by because it’s kind of blocked from view by a huge pillar. It’s right next to Toy Kingdom. The first thing that’ll grab your attention is the nice interior of the restaurant. It’s something that’s great to dine in especially with friends and family.

These seats are comfortable. There are tables in the middle, couches at the window side and seats beside the glass wall, which are enclosed in wooden structures. The lighting is also perfect—not too dark nor too bright.

My friends and I settled for the window seats. It was a Saturday and there were not much diners since it was already past 2 in the afternoon. Good for us because I don’t really like eating in crowded (and noisy) places.

As we took our seats, I noticed something I haven’t seen before (yes, I’ve been living in a cave): a device that lets you call waiters without raising your hand or shouting. It’s got three buttons: call, bill, and cancel.

After bantering with the friendly server (whose name now slipped my mind) we finally ordered our food. Honestly, it was a little tough to pick which food to try because their menu has a lot of choices and all looked yummy.

While waiting for our order, the waitress served us with a complimentary starter: a plate of sweet and crunchy dilis. Being the tambay that we are, the first thing that came to our minds was “pulutan!”


yaku starterBeer na lang ang kulang!

yaku squid


Another item that’s also great with beer. This squid dish, Ika Teppanyaki (P195) is big enough for four and can get you through 2 cups of rice. I like the sweetness and its tenderness.

I know how tough it is to grill a squid because if you cook it too long, it’ll feel like rubber and if you cook it too quickly, you won’t be able to bite it. This one is just cooked right.


yaku quail wrapped in baconA more posh version of the toknene–a popular street food


Pardon the comparison. I just couldn’t help but think of this very popular street food when this plate of Uzura Bacon (P99) was served to us. Obviously, this one tastes absolutely one hundred times better. The bacon wrapping made it very enticing for us.


yaku pork tonkatsu


One of my favorites, the Pork Katsudon (P199) is enough to satisfy your hunger, even if you’ve done a very heavy physical activity. The pork cutlet is big enough to appease your growling stomach.

What I liked about Yaku’s katsudon is it’s not swimming in sauce, which is what I noticed with other katsudons I’ve tried (or maybe it’s because they’re from cheap outlets). This has the right flavor and tenderness.


yaku plate with sushi


I loved their California Maki.  I was converted after coming here.


yaku my plateDon’t be fooled. These aren’t all I ate.

yaku fried chicken



The Tori Karaage (P159) or boneless fried chicken appealed to the inner child in me. I so love fried chicken that I always order it no matter where I’m eating. If I see friend chicken in the menu, I’ll surely get that. Even if I get laughed at.

What’s great about this chicken dish is it’s very crispy but doesn’t have a very thick breading. We were able to really taste the chicken because of that. It’s tender and very juicy.


yaku ebi tempura



I wanted to order the Ebi Tempura but since we wanted to try the other tempuras, we opted for the Moriawase or assorted tempura (P195) so we can try the others. I wished I stuck with the Ebi tempura. But don’t get me wrong, the dish was good.

There were so many other items we’d love to try but even the big eater that we are, we can’t possibly consume half on the menu. We’d have to go back some other time.

What adds to Yaku’s appeal, aside of course from the really tasty food, is its very reasonable prices. I was surprised (and relieved) that our bill was just a little over P1,000! It’s absolutely affordable and something you all must try.

It definitely will give you the best bang for your buck.



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