RESTAURANT REVIEW: Kureji Japanese Restaurant at SM Megamall

Dane and I had our 50th monthsary celebration—aka our last monthsary before tying the knot next month.

But to be honest, celebrating our monthsary wasn’t on the agenda. We were just really hungry and Kureji had an interesting interior design very similar to Japanese restaurants in Japan so Dane wanted to try it out. LOL. We just realized it could be a nice date experience.

They have a good selection of food, including classics you’d expect from Japanese restaurants like karaage and ramen.

They also had a couple of dishes that were pretty unique that Dane and I decided to try some of them.

Dane loves gyoza a lot. One of Kureji’s gyoza varieties is the Manila-inspired chicken gyoza. Very different from your usual gyoza served in both Chinese and Japanese cuisines.

It’s tasty and unique, and it isn’t spicy so I can eat it also.

Manila-inspired Chicken Gyoza: P180 (5 pcs)

Dane and I’s Rating: 4/5

Kureji’s Bacon Asparagus Cream Cheese Roll was my pick as someone who loves everything in that dish’s name.

Typically when bacon and asparagus are served, it is usually in the form of the latter being wrapped by the former. This is also the first time I encountered this variation of sushi. Definitely a modern take.

This sushi roll is delicious, though the cheese does overpower everything once it hits your tongue. However, the mouth feel given by the textures in the dish makes for a good experience.

Bacon Asparagus Cream Cheese Roll: P180 (4 pcs)

Dane and I’s Rating: 4/5

Kureji offers a different experience for their ramen through the fact that it’s served sizzling hot in a stone bowl. It definitely piqued my curiosity despite it being more expensive by roughly P100 than their normal ramen options. Once a minute is up (to avoid overflowing) on their timer, you can add in the rest of the soup broth to the bowl and enjoy your meal.

The Garlic Miso Sizzling Ramen by Kureji hits you differently on the first sip, even if you have a level of expectation as to how a garlic miso soup would taste like.

The sauce is creamy and filling. However, the rest of the ingredients weren’t anything out of what you’d expect from a ramen bowl. My only notable comment is that the thinly sliced meat doesn’t melt in your mouth with its tenderness.

It also has an umay factor. I do suggest ordering a palate cleanser if you decide to try this.

Garlic Miso Sizzling Ramen: P420 (good for 1-2 people)

Dane and I’s Rating: 3.5/5

Another staple when we go to new Japanese restaurants is the classic Pork Tonkotsu—deep-fried breaded pork cutlets.

While there is nothing wrong with Kureji’s Pork Tonkotsu, it’s also not anything unique. It may be a tad underseasoned so it relies on the tonkatsu sauce it comes with for flavor.

The short version of the review is: Yabu is still the number 1 for us as nothing beats the uniformity and quality of Yabu’s portions through and through.

Pork Tonkatsu: P340 (rice not included)

Dane and I’s Rating: 4/5

We also ordered miso soup (P80, good for 1) though we forgot to take a photo. It might have been a bit heavy on the other ingredients and it overpowered the miso taste. It’s a good savory soup, but we’re rating it 3/5 because if a miso soup doesn’t taste like miso, then it’s not miso soup. Their house blend iced tea (P80 per glass) was also refreshing but nothing special and is also at 3/5. Though our standard for iced tea is pretty high because of Raffaele’s.

Dane and I’s date in Kureji SM Megamall was still great. The service of the wait staff is superb. Definitely a Japanese restaurant we’ll visit again in the future.

Overall Rating:

  • Taste: 4/5
  • Bang for Buck: 4/5
  • Ambiance: 4/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Would we eat here again? Yes, primarily because of their unique dishes.

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