Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dining authentic Japanese food heritage at Ginza Bairin

Last week, Ginza Bairin was the first resto we raided when we had the "foodcrawl" in Trinoma Mall (North Avenue, Quezon City, Metro Manila). The event was co-sponsored by Yummy Philippines that invited us to join a group of select food bloggers.

Mr. Jimmy Tan, the Managing Director of Ginza Bairin, was our host.  He served us two of their authentic Japanese foods, the Special Katsudon and the Rosu Katsu Curry. What makes dining in Ginza Bairin special is that the ingredients in their dishes are directly sourced from Japan.  Eating here is like you are dining in Tokyo, Japan.

The pork and farm fresh chicken eggs, however, are sourced in the country. They are of premium quality and passed the quality standard prescribed by the Ginza Bairin bosses in Tokyo.

Jimmy Tan introduces the food and dining heritage of Nobukatsu Shibuya, a Japanese pharmacist and epicurean who founded the Ginza Bairin.
All the ingredients used in any of the Ginza Bairin dishes are meticulously sourced and scrutinized. Much more in handling their inventories of meat and other fresh produce. It is a rule in Ginza Bairin that pork must not be frozen and be brought to the kitchen from slaughter house fresh. If storing is required, the meat has to be kept in chiller not in the freezer and must not stay long in the storage.

Another challenging requirement faced by Ginza Bairin franchises here in Metro Manila is that the chicken eggs has to very fresh when used in cooking that it must be within 24 hours from the time it was laid by the hen.

Even the rice are passionately prepared that the cook is told to "cook it with your heart." 

Special Katsudon Set - The katsudon is made with tender hire katsu, fragrant Japanese Koshihikari rice, intensely flavorful sauce of broth simmered for hours, and double serving of golden farm fresh eggs
The special katsudon is served with a cup of miso soup,  slices of fresh fruits, a bowl of cabbage salad, a cup of Genmaicha (Japanese brown rice tea), and small bowl of Seasonal Tsukemono (Japanese pickles).
The fresh farm chicken egg has that enticing hue of freshness.
Ginza Bairin is an authentic katsu dining place in the Metro. The Trimona branch is the third branch in Metro Manila, the other branches are in UP Town Center, Quezon City and in Glorietta 2 of Makati City

It was very interesting to know that Nobukatsu Shibuya, a Japanese pharmacist of Ginza, Tokyo, first introduced the tonkatsu restaurant in Japan in 1927 and invented  the tonkatsu sauce.  

The Rosu Katsu Curry set with the same sidings. A delicious pork loin paired with spiced filled curry. A choice of regular sauce (the mild one) or spicy sauce will make the dish even tastes better  
A serving of sampler of Rosu Katsu Curry  that we tried. It' great tasting indeed. The katsu  tastes great even without the sauce. 

The tasty miso soup has an appetizing effect that I love sipping it before biting the katsudon and munch the Rosu Katsu 
A cup of Genmaicha (Japanese brown rice tea)
Bairin, which means "plum forest" is a place of elegant and stylish culture that inspired the Shibuya family in refining their recipe. As their tribute to the place, they integrated the shape of the plum's flower  in the insignia of  what became their Ginza Bairin restaurant. Ginza, Tokyo is now recognized as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world.
All the condiments, dressings, and sauces are original and come directly from  Japan.
The original tonkatsu sauce, the same quality, taste, and satisfaction when introduced in 1927 by its inventor, Nobukatsu Shibuya, who happened to be the founder of Ginza Bairin.  
A scoop of Himalayan Pink Salt.
Before we left the table, Jimmy Tan serves us this delectable Green Tea Ice Cream in its natural color and yummy taste. Their ice creams come all the way from Japan.

A bonus serving of Hire Katsu (tenderloin version of Tonkatsu) has a profile of spiky crisp breading with meat that is tender and juicy inside.  A bite comes with a crunchy sound and the dish can be eaten as is and still get that great taste even without the sauce. 

The quality standard and exquisite taste of their heirloom recipes were handed down to the next generations till to the present-day third generation with the grandchild, Masaya Shibuya, proudly taking over the stewardship of their family legacy.  Ginza Bairin has expanded internationally and has branches now in Honolulu, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and in Metro Manila.

The Ginza Bairin - Trinoma branch in Quezon City
Everybody in Ginza Bairin pays attention to every detail prescribed in maintaining the quality standard of the food they offered to diners. Their bosses in Tokyo are quite rigid in imposing their standard that every year, at least four times a year, a representative from Tokyo would come by in all the Ginza Bairin branches in Metro Manila to check the quality of their food by sampling the food, giving comments, and advising their areas of improvements. It is their mantra that "quality must come first before business."  No wonder the Ginza Bairin restos in Metro Manila are pricing their dishes way far below compared to their counterparts in other countries by more than half their prices though they are of the same exquisite tastes and quality.  In fact, the branches in Metro Manila has been recognized as one of the branches having the best Ginza Bairin's katsu in the world.   

Margette and I were pleased by the legacy of Ginza Bairin.  The authentic food and the story behind it was a great find about great Asian foods. We recommend that others has to try it and learn the value of Japanese meticulosity and passion on food. Here, Margette cannot hide that musing smile of gratitude to be at the place and be served with the real McCoy of Japanese katsu.     

It is guaranteed that real foodies could tell just by one bite or by merely looking at the texture and profile of the food that still Ginza Bairin has the best katsu dishes in the world. It's a great place for dining one great Japanese food heritage.

Ginza Bairin has many more authentic katsu dishes  and side dishes to offer. You need to download this image to get the actual size of the photo. Do it by clicking first the image and wait the full view to appear, then right-click the mouse and then select "Save Image  As..." 

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About Edgie Polistico

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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