Nihonbashi-Tei in Pasay Road, Makati – Cheap, No Frills, Damn Good

Categories: Gastronomy;

(Side note: Click this to open a new window to see an infographic on proper sushi etiquette.)

Every time the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi strangely pops up as the movie of choice for a stay-in night at home, the crazy cravings for Japanese sushi just comes out and holds on to the taste buds until the next day. It may be the cinematics, it may be the film treatment, or maybe just the thought that this is essentially the best sushi in the world. Whatever the reason, there is one truth: This is just some great sushi porn:


Strangely, also, the very first place that seems to pop up to mind in Manila would be somewhere along the Little Tokyo area. And for its undying fans of their lunch specials, it will definitely have to be Nihonbashi-Tei(Yes, to those who know where Nihonbashi-tei is, it’s not really located in Little Tokyo, but relatively close to it)

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4089

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4085What is it about Nihonbashi-tei that gains it fans? When you look at the place, it looks dated, smells almost like a market with an open grill, and basically, no frills.

But, of course, it’s in some of the no-frills place that you sometimes get the best thrills. And for Nihonbashi-Tei, it is their relatively cheap lunch specials that draws in the crowd.




Consider this Nigirizushi Platter (PHP 280.00)

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4101
Yes. That price is correct. For PHP 280.00 in Nihonbashi-Tei, you get fresh, hand-made sushi, some appetizers that seems to taste like the Filipino dish Afritada, a bowl of miso soup, unlimited tea (hot or cold), and iced coffee. The value is just so hard to beat. To get the best experience, eat at the sushi counter so that you can watch your sushi being made. If you are lucky, you can see some freshly delivered salmon or tuna being scraped and cleaned.

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4110

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4091

Since Nihonbashi-tei is an izakaya, you can also get to order some skewered grilled stuff. These cost about PHP 45.00 per stick during lunch time. Not bad at all! And you can see them cooked also as long as you eat by the counter.

It’s no Three Michelin Star restaurant. There will be some inconsistencies, like at times the fish is cut at different thickness, or-depending on the sushi chef-maybe dabbed with too much wasabi inside the sushi, or the acidity of the vinegar on the rice can be a bit off. But those small things are overshadowed with by the fact that at some high scale hotel restaurants, a platter like this is triple the price, and the consistency of the preparation may not even be any better.


Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4092 Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4095 Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4093

Since we are at the topic of service, they got commendable valet service. Even if their parking lot is cramped, just leave your car and the valet dudes will take care of them and with great courtesy, too! Tip them very well. You will feel happy seeing them very grateful that it just adds more to the fullness of the experience in Nihonbashi-Tei.

Do yourself a favor, visit them for lunch for their lunch specials (starts from 11am to 2pm), look into their cheap selections, and have one great and relatively cheap izakaya experience in the heart of Manila’s business district. Nihonbashi-tei will always be a crowd favorite.

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4097


Related Posts:

Nihonbashi-Tei is located at 806 Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road) Makati City, Philippines

Tel: +632-818-8893

Detour: The TV in the restaurant showing some interesting and quirky Japanese shows provides great entertainment. They really are a fascinating culture.

Nihonbashi Tei Japanese Restaurant Pasay Road Makati City Philippines-4108


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  1. Dude! the next time you guys are here ring me up!

    • lynne says:

      Oh right! You’re just practically nextdoor! Knowing Ray, he could very well be there tomorrow. 😛

    • rftreyes says:

      Oh yeah! I just realized this is practically beside your office! Lunch date tayo.

      Hope Love Lynne doesn’t get romantically jealous…. 😛

  2. Ray is always here di ba? (I see you on foursquare). I want to visit this place kasi parang ginagawang Jollibee ito ni Ray.hahaha. 😛

    • lynne says:

      Yes, he is! Kasi naman, P280 lang ang isang Nigiri sushi platter kapag lunch time. And that’s also because he keeps watching Jiro dreams of Sushi so he always craves sushi.

    • rftreyes says:

      And that 280 bucks can even be shared if you are a light eater. Super great value talaga! And I just love the ambiance. When Love Lynne first stepped in a few months ago, she went straight to the sushi counter to see the busy stuff happening in the somewhat open kitchen 🙂

  3. May says:

    I was blog-hopping and came across your blog. Thank you for sharing this restaurant! I’m always in the look-out for good value when I dine out, and I love Japanese food. Can’t wait to try Nihonbashi-Tei!

    • rftreyes says:

      Hey thanks for stopping by! Woah great travel blog! Never even knew that the Great Wall of China can be covered with so much snow. Ok gotta visit that with the wife (Lynne, who owns this blog, BTW 😀 )

      Nihonbashi-tei is a great value-for money place. Actually anything in near the Little Tokyo area will be a good visit (Kikufuji, Serena, and I heard the Takoyaki in Hana is a must-try). Let me know how it goes for you.

      On a side note, we just went there a while ago to order this sizzling teppan for 280 bucks as well. Can feed two with the strips of beef and sauteed vegetables. This place is a real gem 🙂

  4. I was able to check this place out when we had our food trip in Makati and Fort, and I can’t believe we only discovered it that time. You are right, the Nigirsushi is very affordable considering the cost of the ingredients of varying piece.

    I haven’t tried anything else besides the sushi and sashimi since we went to the place for appetizers alone. 🙂

    • rftreyes says:

      Another thing thats of good value is their sauteed beef with stir fried vegetables. 280 bucks and can already fill two people. This place is really great value 😀

  5. jcqwerty says:

    I always pass by this place walking to and from work. Will definitely try it thanks to your blog. I can almost smell the smoked fish and the zing of wasabi burning my tongue. Thanks!

    • rftreyes says:

      Glad we were able to give a little insight into this place. Hope it pleases you as much as it has pleased us in the many times we have eaten here 🙂

  6. That big plate of sushi just for P280??? Where is this again exactly? Will definitely drag my husband here very soon. He does not eat sushi so… MORE FOR ME! 🙂

  7. […] to look for it have not been disappointed. The prices are steep, especially once you compare it to Nihonbashi-Tei or Kikufuji, but the cash you shell out does give you some of the best Japanese cuisine this side […]

  8. […] You can rarely go wrong with any of the established Japanese Restaurants in Little Tokyo in Makati City. There will always be a natural tendency to weed out those that serve the same type of food that is inferior to its neighboring restaurant. And so it has come to pass that the frequent diners in the area will have their favorite. Some may go for the well balanced and clean looking Seryna, others probably with the not to far off yet great value-for-money Nihonbashi-Tei in Pasay Road. […]

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