It’s been a while since I’ve had sushi. And I just had GOOD Sushi!

Welcome to Sushi Ninja, the little sushi restaurant in Westgate, Alabang that could.

Here's the unassuming store front. I didn't notice it until my friend pointed it out, and I pass here all the time.
Here’s the unassuming store front. I didn’t notice it until my friend pointed it out, and I pass here all the time. Only the poster of a shuriken at the window betrays the true nature of this building.

When I entered I was greeted by a not-so-attentive staff that didn’t shout, “Irrashaimaseee!” in my ear. I like that. I never really could get into that Japanese vibe of being welcomed into the restaurant, I’m just a little too chill and can do without the extra energy, thank you.

Instead, they ushered me quickly to my seat, and there weren’t many, this place was packed on a weekday at lunchtime.

Surprised that there were so many people. Notice the ninja stars embedded in the wall, haha!
Surprised that there were so many people. Notice the ninja stars embedded in the wall, haha!

We quickly sat down and took a look at the menu. You can check the menu shots later to see what you may want to eat. The place is a bit pricey, expect to spend around 300-500 per head depending on what you order.  While waiting, I took some nice pics of the table, which were pretty zen in appearance.

Very nice zen feel to it.
Very nice zen feel to it. Excuse my military fatigue bag, hehehe.

I opted for three salmony treats, being the huge salmon lover that I am.

This is everything we ordered. It was too much for two people. That's the Ginza Toshi, Sakura Maki and Hiroshima Maki.
This is everything we ordered. It was too much for two people. That’s the Ginza Toshi, Sakura Maki and Hiroshima Maki. All this came out to 1190 bucks all in.

I love the arrangement of the food. All three of these had salmon inside, but each tasted quite different.

First off is the Toshi. Ginza Toshi.

ToshiSushi
The Ginza Toshi is a fried sushi with spicy salmon on top. It’s 350 bucks.

Toshi is a special invention of the chef, Mattew Floro. He graduated from the California Sushi Academy and the Tokyo Sushi Academy. Under the guidance of his teacher, Toshi Suguira, he created the Toshi Nigiri, which is a deep-fried sushi rice ball.

This one is topped with spicy salmon, ebiko and nori.  I love the taste of the salmon, as always, and this is pretty premium salmon. The nori and green onions add some green color to the look as well as a fresh zing to the taste. The texture of the salmon is soft and chewy and contrasts beautifully with the crispy batter on the rice.

It is not served with wasabi, but the soy sauce it’s drenched in is slightly thicker and tastes stronger and quite different from the usual Kikkoman.

This is a lovely sushi, and I would eat it again, but I didn’t feel it was particularly better than their regular Kindaiteki Sushi. Unfortunately, it’s significantly more expensive, as it’s smaller and only comes with four pieces. This is its real flaw.

 

Next is my favorite, the Sakura Maki.

SushiNinja-Maki
This is the Sakura Maki. Its 360 bucks. That’s eight slices of heaven!

The first thing I would like to emphasize is the value of this dish! The Sakura Maki is eight pieces of enormously sized rice rolls filled with delicious fat sushi! It’s about the same price as the Toshi, but twice as big.

Look at that big fat juicy slab of salmon inside!
Look at that big fat juicy slab of salmon inside!

You get the soft sushi rice topped with Bonito flakes, and a huge slab of delicious raw salmon inside, along with a slathering of cream cheese. Beneath is a bed of creamy cheese sauce. I love this maki, it’s modern, it’s huge, it’s delicious!

The bonito flakes give some salty flavor to the rest of it, which is quite smooth and creamy. This is my favorite of everything I ate here. Dip it into some delicious kikkoman dipped drenched in wasabi, and it’s a great treat.

I’d like to note though that these maki from Sushi Ninja are just huge! That’s actually a drawback in some ways…. I can’t eat the entire thing in one bite, so I have to bite it little by little, and the entire thing falls apart and becomes a mess on my plate. Well, small price to pay for the huge serving.

 

This last dish is Hiroshima Maki. This was RR’s favorite.

This is the most expensive dish at 380 bucks, but it was pretty good.
This is the most expensive dish at 380 bucks, but it was pretty good.

Unlike the Sakura Maki this one has a drastically different texture. The ebikko at the top is always a lovely popping texture, and it contrasts greatly with the crunchy tempura flakes around the rice. I loved this symphony of textures. Inside was the spicy sushi, which was soft and like a hidden treasure within the crunchy exterior.

Take a look at that beautiful layering of sushi and kani.
Take a look at that beautiful layering of sushi and kani.

The only reason I put the Sakura Maki above this one is that its cream cheese adds a beautiful, creamy texture that this mix doesn’t have. But the kani and salmon inside works great nonetheless.

Overall, I have to say that this was a very satisfying meal, I would eat here again, even if it’s a bit pricy. However, I have to say that I still enjoyed Kenji Tei’s Spicy Salmon Maki better than anything I ate here, and the price is about the same.

Come drop by Sushi Ninja in Westgate! It’s right across Fitness First, next to Conti’s.

 

Menu pictures follow:

This is the special toshi menu.
This is the special toshi menu.
Kindaiteki Sushi menu.
Kindaiteki Sushi menu.
2015-12-10 13.35.04_Snapseed
Appetizers and Nigiri.
Here's the special non sushi parts of the menu.
Here’s the special non sushi parts of the menu. I shall try this next time.
And here is the drinks and dessert.
And here is the drinks and dessert.

 

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Posted by Erwin Anciano

Erwin has been eating food for the past 30 or so years. Yes, he actually thinks that makes him an expert on all things food-related.

Website: http://emuncher.com

  • tvik

    I attended the program at the Tokyo Sushi Academy in 2016 and it is a total waste of time and money.

    They teach you how to pass their unrecognized, worthless certification test for $10,000+. You waste most of your time learning to cut daikon radish, taking useless speed tests that you have not had enough time to practice, and waiting around doing nothing. They do not teach you more than making rice & forming nigiri. They don’t teach you about fish quality and freshness and you don’t get that much practice breaking down whole fish as they promise. You do spend time cleaning their kitchen and grease traps. If you take the English version of the class don’t count on the translators, only 1 out of 3 of them actually translated what the Japanese speaking only teachers were saying. It is a total ripoff. you have been warned.

    I paid $10,000 for the 2 month sushi class at the Tokyo Sushi Academy. The class is not geared towards teaching you about sushi. It is geared towards passing their sushi certification test. Their certification is contrived of some arbitrary speed tests, not really recognized by their own admission even in Tokyo.

    They say you will break down whole fish every day. Not true. Most days fish was already fillets and taken out of plastic vacuum packed packages. The fish you concentrate on for half the class and the certification test is a horse mackerel that is ONLY popular in Tokyo, not even in other parts of Japan. The main focus is not even on the most popular way to prepare it.

    They test you on making 18 pieces of nigiri sushi in 3 minutes. They wastes weeks on this. You practice 3 rounds of this test for weeks. You make the nigiri for 3 minutes then spend an hour waiting for the teacher to go around and check everyone’s work. Then you clean up, including their grease traps and you are done for the day. They start testing you by the 2nd or 3rd week, not even enough time to acquire real technique before testing for speed.

    Only one of the 3 translators actually tried to translate completely. We we lucky if the other translators even translated 20% of what the instructors was saying. Often they would skip translating anything at all especially when the 2 Japanese students had conversations with the instructors 100% in Japanese in front of the rest of the class during our class time. Don’t know why they were even there.

    They don’t teach anything about the different tyes of fish, their flavors, what to pair them with and absolutely nothing about how to tell quality and freshness of the fish.

    This school is a TOTAL waste of TIME and MONEY. Avoid it. You can learn more from youtube.