Kessaku Japanese Restaurant

My foodie friends and I had another great experience recently at this Japanese resto up at the South named Kessaku. The English translation of the word is 'masterpiece' or 'best work'. To name an establishment something that encourages a lot of expectation is both scary and intriguing. You have to live up to that presumption, otherwise, your name will just come out as a clever boost.

Kessaku is owned by the same people behind Yumi and Munchtown. I go to both places quite often, and have a good experience each and every time. I'm actually more amazed now by their consistency than by the dishes 'cause it's rare. Anyway, I was anticipating the same thing from Kessaku. Was it at par? Read on! 

Smoked Salmon Roll Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Smoked Salmon Roll  PhP 267

I've never been finicky when it comes to presentation. As long as they don't look like they've been stepped on then plated, it's fine. Don't get me wrong though; I do appreciate a good one, of course. Kessaku's styling is superb; very enticing.

First dish to devour: Smoked Salmon Rolls. Mixed with togarashi, it had a meek smoked flavor, preserving its amazing salmon taste. Great for light lunch or in our case, a starter.

Hot Tuna Taki Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Hot Taki  PhP 270

The tuna tataki alone makes me happy. I love seared tuna, especially if it's lightly done such as this one. Doused with a little sriracha sauce, the soft, buttery meat becomes fantastic! 

Sashimi Moriawase Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Sashimi Moriawase  PhP 770

A fine case of edible art right here. It doesn't take a genius to know that the freshness of the ingredients is paramount. Should it be otherwise? This mix {maguro, sake, ika, uni, tamago, tako, kani, unagi shime saba, ebiko} is undoubtedly that. The individual flavors, under toned with freshness, made this dish a big hit with my glutton family and yours truly.   

Manhattan Roll Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Manhattan Roll  PhP 240

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and chives are coated with tempura batter then deep-fried. Each roll is ample enough in size {not to mention, delicious}, making one order very satisfying. 

Tartufo Hotate Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Tartufo Hotate  PhP 610

Another winning piece on Kessaku's menu: Japanese scallops with shitake mushrooms and truffled brown butter. It's a battle between smoky, salty, and sweet. Fortunately, all came out as winners.  

Rainbow Maki Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Rainbow Maki  PhP 257

Rainbow Maki is salmon, mackerel, cucumber in special mango sauce. Yes, they're all great, but something else commands a special mention, and that is the sumeshi {vinegared sushi rice}. It had a very good bite, with a light hint of chewiness, but not the doughy kind of texture.  

Green Tea Soba Noddles Tempura Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Ushi Ebi Tempura Soba  PhP 236

Unless you live in the boondocks, the boom in ramen places is evident. I'm not really big on ramen. Soba, I like! This ~ cold mugwort noodles served on zaru {bamboo mat}, paired with ebi tempura and soba tsuyu dip ~ was refreshing as it was tasty. They say soba noodles are healthy. I'm not sure about that. Nice to know though. All I care about is if it's done right and taste good. 

Ushi Ebi Tempura Soba Kessaku Japanese Restaurant

Shishamo Smelt Fish Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Shishamo  PhP 295

First thought: these can't be eaten without steamed white rice! Actually, it shouldn't be, but I'm from a nation of rice devourers; this is pretty much part of our natural thinking. One of our favorite pairings {probably mine only} is fried fish and steamed white rice. Any given day, it's G double O D Good! Again, the fresh quality of these smelt fishes amounted to it's deliciousness. Head-to-tail eating is encouraged for this small and tasty fish.

Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Pan Seared Foie Gras  PhP 645

Foie gras' buttery texture {combined with a savory, sweet tang} is gastronomically pleasing. The way it was cooked and paired with sweet mango purée and shari at Kessaku makes this extra gratifying, bordering addicting.

Pan Seared Foie Gras Kessaku Japanese Restaurant

Gindara Teriyaki Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Gindara Teriyaki  PhP 495

My Dad would've loved Kessaku's version of Gindara Teriyaki. It's always included during our Sunday family lunch dates at Kimpura. 

The sauce had the right kind of consistency {not sticky} for me, and had a good balance of sweet and salty. That over plump and juicy grilled gandara is heavenly.

Kamameshi Rice Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Mixed Kamameshi  PhP 450

My sister mouthed 'yuuuuuummmm' with wide eyes {let it be known that she's slit-eyed, so her version of wide eyes is a normal one for you and me...that's all}. This one-pot meal {broth-cooked rice mixed with shrimps, pork, enoki mushrooms, julienned veggies} is small, but comes with a great promise. The whole dish is flavorful and very much filling. This is one of Kessaku's best sellers, by the way. 

Gyudon Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Gyudon  PhP 240

Aside from the meat being tough, one of the things that kills a good gyudon experience are those small, dense, and hard fat that gets caught in between the teeth. This doesn't have those, thankfully. The whole thing mixed with raw egg yolk is rich and just plain delicious!

Special shout out to Studio A Photographics. When I get too lazy to shoot, my sister takes over. These are all hers. Big thanks!

Kessaku Japanese Restaurant
Ground Floor, Commercenter Building, Filinvest Avenue, 
Filinvest Alabang 1781 Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.: (+632) 403 3445
Operating Hours: Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 2:30 pm 
                                                      5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Facebook: Kessaku Alabang
Instagram: @kessakualabang

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