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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nonki Cebu

Our family calls this restaurant "Big" Nonki because it has a sibling called Little Nonki. Little Nonki is the more affordable and quick service restaurant version of "Big" Nonki. However, if you really want an authentic Japanese eating experience, Big Nonki is the place to go.

This is the best Japanese restaurant in Cebu. In my youth, Ginza was the place to go. But when I ate there a few years back it paled in comparison to Nonki in food quality already. 

Nonki has the freshest seafood and the most delicately tasty Japanese recipes. Expect free mini appetizers when you visit. The freebies may surprise you. Pickled spiced okras stands out in my memory - I hate okra but this was quite palatable. Oftentimes it's regular, non-freaky, fare like spicy dilis -yum!

I recently had a seafood soup that may just have been the best soup I've ever tasted! This soup was a mosh-posh of string mushrooms, lettuce, salmon and shrimp cooking in a translucent broth. The soup comes in a thick parchment paper makeshift pot placed atop a Bunsen Burner. The waitress then lights the little Bunsen Burner and you get to watch the entire thing cook. Who knew waiting for soup to boil was so exciting?! It was really sooo good. Simple recipe + very fresh ingredients = perfection.

All the regular Japanese favorites are standouts here as well: tempura, maki, sashimi, Japanese fried rice -- all really good! The bento boxes are around P350-450  each but are delicious and come in generous portions.

The ambiance is authentic and unpretentious. Expect an initial bombardment of shouty Japanese greetings when you enter but it calms down up until the servers have to bid you shouty goodbyes again as you leave.

You'll see a lot of Japanese diners here, so it must really be good.

Nonki is located: A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue, near SkyCable.