I don’t usually go to Poblacion. I have probably only visited a few times since it became a well-liked Makati hangout for a night out with friends. It has altered over time, according to a number of my peers who frequent the area. Some businesses were forced to shut down due to the problems caused by the pandemic, but others expanded and reinvented themselves to survive.
Despite the global occurrence that has hurt sectors like the food and restaurant industry, some of Poblacion’s streets are thriving. Restaurants and bars operated by Notorious Concepts can be found on Don Pedro Street in Poblacion. A part of Jeff Oh’s Brooklyn Industries Group, the intricate parent company of the area record label Careless Music, this food and beverage company is run by CEO James Thomas. They run West32, a bar and restaurant with Korean-American influences, as well as Alamat, a restaurant recognized for its craft beer and inventive Filipino cuisine. Additionally, the company owns HQ, a bar and lounge on Kalayaan street.
I decided to take some of my friends to their restaurant, Japonesa (Japanese woman), which is located on Don Pedro and Jacobo Streets. It’s barely been a month since they started serving meals and drinks, and they’re open daily from 11 a.m. till the early hours of the morning. They used to open at 5 p.m. till 1 a.m. (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday), 5 p.m. until 3 a.m. (Friday to Saturday) before that adjustment. The restaurant is spacious, with enough tables and chairs for both small and large groups. The color choice of the restaurant’s interior is eye-catching and reminds me of old Aztec hues. I arrived early and was still able to take photos of some areas of the restaurant but it eventually got busy come lunch time.
My friends arrived just in time for lunch. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve tried Peruvian cuisine before, but I am however familiar with Japanese food since it is one of my favorite fare. So here are some of the restaurant’s must-tries:
The Japonesa Signaturas
The Meinkosus (Main Course)
Signature Cocktails / Drinks
In comparison to other restaurants, Japonesa’s food is pricier, but the restaurant’s high standards for food and atmosphere make up for this. My friends and I had a fantastic time at Japonesa and we stayed there for hours just catching up. If you’re at the Poblacion area and looking for a place to dine with delicious food and good ambiance, drop by Japonesa.