Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Manila’s Home of Contemporary Japanese Cuisine
Unit I-112 Greenbelt 5
Ayala Center, Makati City
(632) 757-5209

How to get there:
Kai Map
From EDSA going south:

1. Turn right to Ayala Avenue;

2. Turn left to Makati Avenue;

3. Turn right to Dela Rosa Street (right after Ramon Cojuangco Bldg.);

4. Turn left to Greenbelt 5 Basement Parking or turn left to Legazpi Street for Greenbelt 5 drop-off point.

First impression:

Kai's Table Setting
The place has the feel of a fine dining establishment (a little classy) but had too many of its wait staff congregating near the bar.   It looked more contemporary with hints of Japanese culture fused into the design.


Kai offers contemporary Japanese Cuisine with some American dishes and Steaks mixed into the menu.

What we had:

Kai's Maguro "Tuna" Sashimi
We were having a late dinner and while waiting for the rest of the crew, we ordered Maguro “Tuna” Sashimi - 5 slices (Php220).  The Tuna was fresh and served in an appetizing manner, in fact it was so appetizing someone ate a slice before we were able to take a picture!  But yes, they do serve 5 slices; someone was just faster than the one taking the picture!

Kai's Lychee Shake with Lime
The wait staff recommended Lychee Shake with Lime (Php80) surprisingly the shake went well with the dishes we had for the evening.  Primarily, sashimi and rolls.

Kai's Hamachi - Aji - Shake Sashimi
When the rest of the group arrived, we ordered Hamachi “Yellowtail” (Php360), Horse Mackarel “Aji” (Php180), and Salmon “Shake” (Php220) Sashimi – 5 Slices of each order.   The sashimi were really good, you can taste the freshness in every slice.  But the slices were a little thick for us.  The entire bunch would have been better served in 6 slices rather than the 5-slice order.  Then again we were only paying for 5 slices, so we really didn’t think of complaining much.

Kai's Dragon Roll
We tried Kai’s Dragon Roll (Php 240) since it sounded cool!  We were not disappointed.  The roll slices were just the right size and the combination of the ingredients mixed well with one another. And again, the group was faster than the one taking the picture!

Kai's Jumbo Prawn Tempura Roll
We saw a Jumbo Prawn Tempura Roll (Php390)  and we just had to order it as well!  We are sure glad we did.  The Tempura roll slices were a little big and almost missed the point of being bite-sized(!), but we have to say the roll tasted great.

Kai's Soft Shell Crab Roll "Spider Roll"
Our last roll for the night is a Soft Shell Crab Roll “Spider Roll” (Php330).  We loved the old presentation better than the current one, we have to say, however, that the current order offers more pieces.  Not to take anything away from the great taste, but the slices of the roll are a little too big for comfort.  We had to take two bites to finish one slice/piece.

Kai's Cha Soba
Kai's Ebi Tempura
And our only non-sashimi/roll order for the night was Kai’s Cha Soba (Php270) with Ebi Tempura - 2 pieces (Php140).  This was truly a delightful experience.   Cha Soba is cold “soba” noodles that you dip in a sauce.  The combination with the Ebi (Shrimp) Tempura added the flavor that the soba lacked.  Where else can you eat soba deliberately served cold right?

Kai's Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar
We started dessert with Kai's Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar (Php110) which was very disappointing.  This dessert was too sweet for us.  You could hardly taste the peanut butter and the chocolate has vanished due to the sweetness of the chocolate bar that made it almost tasteless.

Kai's Banana Nutella Harumaki
The Banana Nutella Harumaki (Php180) is Kai’s version of the banana split with the bananas cut into 4 small slices and rolled in a sesame filo and topped with small “tablespoon” scoops of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and strawberry ice cream.  It is slightly better than then the Chocolate bar, if you like the taste of sesame and ice cream, this one is for you.

Kai's Tofu Cheesecake
We were a little disappointed with the two desserts so we had to order our all-time favorite Tofu Cheesecake (Php180).  We know what you are thinking, how could you mix tofu and cheesecake to make it work?  Trust us, you have to taste it to believe it.  The texture is unlike any of the cheesecake you’ve tasted before.  Truly one of the best cheesecakes we’ve tasted so far.

One of us had to abstain from this one due to personal issues (ahem!) and had to suffer a disappointing dessert the rest of the night, but the rest of us had a blast.

Estimated cost:

A budget of Php400-Php1000 should be adequate to try some of Kai’s offerings.

For more of Kai's menu, you can check it out here.


5.5: We have to say the desserts, apart form the Tofu Cheesecake, were disappointing.  The wait staff congregating at the bar was an eyesore and one of the wait staff was overly eager in cleaning up our table that she took the tempura sauce away just as one of us was about to dip in it!  But overall, the wait staff were courteous, though a little lost and distracted at times.  The overall experience was good.  The food is a little pricey, but they have some great dishes.  The roll slices should be reduced and the desserts improved, but the Tofu Cheesecake is a must try.

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