08-08 (lucky combination) or August 8, 2015 was the official grand opening of Maisen in Greenbelt 5. The hardworking group of Ben Chan brought this franchise to Manila. For those who have been to Tokyo or familiar with the city, you know for a fact that Maisen is dubbed as one of the finest tonkatsu restaurants in the tireless city.
On the other hand, for those who don’t have a clue what Maisen really is, I would say we have been knowledgeable on how to appreciate tonkatsu recipes. Several tonkatsu restaurants have already opened in the heart of Metro Manila and we could probably determine which one fits our taste or which one stands out. Besides, we live in a country where pork is a staple in a typical pinoy’s home. Pork stays part of our culture, no matter what.
As of today, Tokyo is still on my long list of cities to wander. So I have no expectation on how Maisen should be like. No point of comparison from my side but I could measure whether my experience in Maisen Philippines was a delight or not.
Here it is, I’ll be sharing with you my Maisen experience during the soft opening in Greenbelt 5.
 I was given the privilege to take a sneak peek of Maisen before its doors officially open to the public. Windows were still covered, which made the dining room appear darker than it should be. There were no prepared dishes as I arrived, and so I dined like a normal customer where I took time to browse through the menu on what to eat for lunch.
While I waited patiently for my orders, Maisen’s Signature Spiced Salt had my attention. A mixture of citrus and turmeric imported from Maisen Japan, additional spices that suits the taste of Maisen’s tonkatsu variants.

The Food:

Katsumabishi Set (Php 390)
Rate: 5/5
When I asked what’s the special choice in Maisen, Katsumabishi Set was suggested to me. As set of bite-size Tenderloin Katsu chops served with rice, Onsen Tamago and Dashi Stock. There may be different interpretations of tonkatsu, only one could stand from the rest. The impact of Katsumabishi Set strongly magnetized my favor towards the dish.
The reason for that is the enjoyment of Katsumabushi in 3 ways.
First, scoop out the tonkatsu and rice into the bowl for a simple yet savory dining experience. Second way could be the use of garnish – sesame, wasabi and green onion – for extended flavor.
Lastly, the genius and best way I prefer, is to pour the dashi broth from the pot on the tonkatsu and rice bowl. Don’t find it odd but you should mix the egg to finish the masterpiece.
Kurobuta Tenderloin Katsu Set (Php 630)
Rate: 5/5
 Don’t frown with the high price attached. Maisen covers it by using high quality pork sourced from the U.S. known as Black Berkshire to maintain the same quality of Kurobuta meat in all Maisen franchises. I immediately reacted with a smile after I sensed the strong umami flavor in that savory meat.
Staying away from the typical katsu sauce, Kurobuta Tenderloin Katsu is served with its own Kurobuta Sauce. A generous amount of freshly grated apples added on the karakuchi (spicy) sauce.
 To complete the reasons of my infatuation towards Maisen tonkatsu is the special panko (breadcrumbs) used. Paper and crispy thin breadcrumbs wrapping the tonkatsu meat, steadily rises without falling flat on the plane. It leaves a heavenly taste and not an oily aftermath.
Cheese Minced Pork Katsu Set (Php 390)
Rate: 4/5
Cheese doesn’t go out of place in a tonkatsu restaurant, especially when injected in carefully minced pork meat. Cheese Minced Pork Katsu Set, like any other sets, are served with unlimited cabbage, Japanese rice, pickle set, fruits and miso soup. You could choose to add any of Maisen’s sauces -Amakuchi (sweet sauce) or Karakuchi (Worcestershire) – as it will give bolder flavors to your tonkatsu.
Tenderloin Katsu Sandwich Set (Php 295)
Rate: 4/5
 In Japan, Maisen is also known for their bento meals and on-the-go snacks like this Tenderloin Katsu Sandwich Set, served with salad and fruits. With its sweet tonkatsu sauce, you’ll get the right cut and the right blend. Once you’re familiar with Maisen’s meat, it’s probably your tonkatsu standards moved one notch higher.
Suntory Whisky High Ball
 Whisky over Japanese meals? Why not?
Suntory Whisky High Ball, sparkling and fresh whisky with soda water, gets the limelight for beverages and not ordinary fruity juices.
Calamansi Sorbet (Php 65)
Rate: 4/5
Sweetening to say adieu in Maisen is not the way to go. Calamansi Sorbet, a refreshing sour sorbet, cleanses the palate from an overwhelming tonkatsu meal.

The Ambiance:

The dining space is quite intimate, boxed in one area, where everyone gets interrupted as you open and enter the door. Eyes all over you as you catwalk to your seat. If you prefer staying outdoors, without the air-condition, you’ll find your space outside with Greenbelt’s garden view.
The logo of Maisen reminds me of Tory Burch. 🙂
What do you think of Maisen?

Share with me your thoughts! 🙂

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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout
Location: G/F Greenbelt 5, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00AM-11:00PM
Contact: (+632) 777-7888
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maisen.jp
Budget: PHP500++

Food 9/10
Ambiance 8/10
Service 9/10
Cost 8/10
Overall 8.5/10