Fast forward several years later, and he is now in this ebi tempura business:
Tokyo Tempura was actually a spin-off of his dad’s business Jap-OK! Instead of a full-blown restaurant, however, the concept is quite similar to those shomayans (xiu mai food carts) you see in malls and MRT/LRT stations.
That’s Mickey up there. We agreed to meet at the Cash and Carry branch, which is just walking distance from where I live. The stall sits right in front of Timezone. How appropriate because we ended up discussing about video games as we were catching up.
This is my first order of the day, 4 pieces of tempura for about P49. Not bad! They have their own sauce, which I think caters more to Pinoy taste. I think it’s brilliant, how they’re targeting customers. This really is meant for students on a budget and people who are looking for quick bites of delicious shrimp.
We discussed about how they’re also helping (shrimp) growers. These are white shrimp, not the big ones (tiger prawn) we usually order from authentic Japanese restaurants. The basic orders cost about P49 for 4 pieces, P69 for 6 pieces and P99 for 9 pieces.
Aaand I bought this for lunch, which I took home:
The rice meal, which consists of 4 pieces of tempura and a cup of rice, costs P79. For someone like me who has a constant craving for tempura but would not always have the budget for the authentic tiger prawn ones in expensive Japanese restaurant, this is perfect! They’re small but you can see that they’re not all batter.
They already have 15 branches metrowide, though their Tokyo Tempura Facebook page currently lists 10:
1. Sta Lucia Metro East (Old building)
2. Malabon City Square
4. Shopwise Alabang ( within Festival mall)
5. Rustan’s Pontevia
6. UP Diliman, Area 2 J.P Laurel St.
7. Robinson’s Ermita
8. Robinson’s Galleria
9. MRT Edsa Central
10. Cash and Carry (2nd floor food court area infront of the video game arcade)
I told his assistant and his friend that Mickey is one of my more diligent students, though it isn’t really obvious if you just look at him. I’m so happy that he seems to be successful in this venture so far, though of course, I would still like to support him via this blog because not everyone can easily spot the Cash and Carry stall. So proud of you, Mickey! Keep up the good work!
I swear, this is one of the best things about being a college/university professor: seeing your students reaping the rewards of their hard work.