Mr. Kurosawa

Though not as stellar as its director namesake, Mr. Kurosawa definitely offers something good that I wouldn't mind coming back for.

Mr. Kurosawa is co-owned by Marvin Agustin,” the friendly supervisor at the reception told me at once when I asked for a little info about the restaurant. It was, as if, the name alone can convince me into trying the restaurant’s specialties. I don’t blame him though. With such a familiar celebrity as his boss, it’s hard not to namedrop.

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Mr. Kurosawa

East meets west in this Euro-Japanese joint found at the ground level of the Eastwood Mall in Libis. Restaurant Manager Rich Eleto showcases their specialties in this clip.


To those who were too young (or weren’t here) to witness the rise and fall of the “Marvin-Jolina-Forever” love team– back when full fringe bangs and multicolored highlights were considered “in,” Marvin Agustin is one of Philippine’s boy next door matinée idols. Fast forward to the recent years when, thankfully, the absurd hairstyle is already banned, Marvin has done some re-imaging himself and was branded as one of the metro’s young, successful entrepreneurs with a slew of businesses under his belt: a Mr. Donut franchise, Cafe Ten Titas, John and Yoko, Marciano’s, Sumo-sam, to name a few.

As I see it, Mr. Kurosawa’s being linked to the famous actor can work two ways. One, there’s definitely a recall. The charm of the name can still, somehow, convince people into trying Marvin’s third Japanese cuisine venture. Thinking that the resto will most probably be treaded by upscale celebrity heels (as that’s how most actor-owned restaurants are), people will likely give it a try. After all, Marvin has had many other restaurants already. No harm in trying this one, right?

On the uglier end of the spectrum, foodie snobs will likely ignore another incarnate of his Japanese hybrid idea. Mr. Kurosawa’s being co-owned by a famous personality, instantly strips the “indie” charm off. In film lingo, this is “too mainstream” for their taste. Therefore, is something not worth checking.

As for me, I can be categorized in neither of the two. I’m not into the whole “this-is-owned-by-insert celebrity name here” idea, be it an actor’s or some famous TV chef’s. However, my doors are not closed into trying them as well. After all, a foodie is called such because of his or her love for food, right? So along with my foodie friends, I went to Mr. Kurosawa, somehow hoping for something fresh to write home about. Luckily, though our meal wasn’t as stellar as its owner, we found some note worthy tummy fillers from its menu.

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We first got the Iwo Jima Pizza (P279), which according to the wait staff assigned to us that night, is made up of chicken, mango pieces, and teriyaki sauce.

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Iwo Jima Pizza

I would not say that this is the first time I tasted something like this. However, I wouldn’t also say that it’s forgettable. I personally found comfort eating the thin crust cheesy-sweet pizza, which my company found a tad too salty. I like how the mangoes are evenly put all over, so as to give one’s palate a pleasant and fruity break from too much sweetness care of the teriyaki sauce. Its inclusion, clearly, is what’s supposed to be the Asian twist to this all too common European fare. With it’s pleasing sweet-savory nature, it’s hard not to like it even if you are not schooled in this brand of pizza. The groups’ verdict? Not too original, but not bad either.

After the pizza, we decided to feast on Emperor’s Chicken (P428).

If you think we’d have something grandiose– golden, crisp chicken almost fit for an emperor, well, we thought so, too. It turned out that Mr. Kurosawa’s Emperor chicken is much grander: a bacon wrapped chicken fillet with a cup full of cream, cheese, mushroom, and, more cheese inside, and spinach on the side. Now that’s even better than a mere roasted poultry!


Emperor’s Chicken

The dish is pretty good, but with that much cream, I suggest you to get some dish else that would balance the flavors in your mouth. For instance, try ordering the Spicy Tuna Ledger, which comprises of four bigger than average maki-rolls that would cost you P228.


Spicy Tuna Ledger

Of all the dishes I’ve tasted that day, I would say that it’s the best dish that came out of the kitchen. I found myself enjoying every kick of the carefully spiced tuna chunks on top of the maki roll. For those who think that a decent Japanese restaurant dinner has an order of maki as a requisite, Spiny Tuna Ledger should be your best bet. Prepare to be messy with slicing though; these rolls aren’t small enough to pop into your mouth.

After something spicy, we had the Roponggi Braised Pork for P378.


Roponggi Braised Pork

Anything braised must be tender; this dish however, appeared to be lacking a few more minutes in the pot. But to make up for the lack in the tenderness department, this dish impresses with its heavenly aroma of pork fat and sweet spice. A chewy bite into a portion and it proved itself to be absolutely bursting with flavor. Yum, we all thought.

With flavorful dishes one after the other, I advise you to order whichever kind of Flavored Yakult (P108) you fancy. I got mine in Mango flavor, and it managed to last me through the entire meal.


Flavored Yakult

If sakes are your type, they also have Flavored Sake (P128) in martini glasses to offer. Sakes come in Rasberrry, Caramel, Cherry, Green Apple, Passion fruit, Strawberry, Watermelon, Lychee and Peach.


Flavored Sake

As our meal ended, the discussion went to theorizing why the resto is named as such. Apart from the few pictures hung high above with reference to the late Akira Kurosawa’s films, there’s not much clue for us to ponder on. Maybe, just like the names (Marciano’s and John and Yoko) they chose for their other restaurants, the owners liked its pop culture appeal. Or maybe they’re fans, to put it plainly.

We also had a discussion whether or not the eccentric interiors of the resto is appealing. If I were to translate Mr. Kurosawa’s interiors into a painting, I’d start with a jet black canvas. From there, I’d splash on bold colors: deep violet, fiery yellow, and hot red. I’d also put in a bit of mixed media magic by adding mirrors, bricks and iconic pictures which would give recall to Akira Kurosawa’s films. A little more black here and there and I’d be almost done.

Although not akin to my taste, I still admire how big a thought the people behind Mr. Kurosawa put into choosing its interiors. Though the look is not exactly original (John And Yoko looks pretty much the same), you still have to give it credit for being brave and eccentric.

Overall, I would say that the experience was worth it– dining in in a dark and edgy type of restaurant for a change, and feasting on some tweaked Japanese fares. And like I mentioned earlier, while Mr. Kurosawa isn’t stellar as its namesake, but it does offer something good that I wouldn’t mind coming back for.

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