I usually avoid going to Ayala, unless someone volunteers to drive for me (and search for a much coveted parking slot) or unless I'm meeting my girl friends from UP, who are all well worth braving the Ayala traffic for. Last Saturday was one of those moments when friendship beckons amongst the Makati weekend crowd, and I was too much of a weakling (and a good friend, I hope) to resist.
Our Saturday affair was thankfully not one of those times where the indecision about where to eat forces us to walk aimlessly and waste twenty minutes of our time ping pong-ing the words, "where do we eat?" and "up to you" amongst ourselves. I guess I have my good friend Emy to thank, as she sent me rather insistent text messages to get my fat ass to John and Yoko the soonest possible time or risk her wrath.
John and Yoko is an upscale Filipino owned restaurant serving modern Japanese cuisine. It boasts of bringing to life the slightly overused concept of East meets West, by serving Japanese food tinged with Western influence. Allow me to post this well written excerpt from their menu:
"John is from the West while Yoko comes from the East. As John is bold, modern, and fresh, Yoko is guarded, conservative and traditional. He is sunset while she is sunrise or the dawn of a new day! In essence, johnandyoko is a successful union of the two worlds. It is union where the new embraces the old and the innovative features the authentic."
The restaurant was dimly lit, with bare black ceilings and patterned walls. It looked very modern and industrial, without losing the casual vibe.
For starters, we had New York Fried Maki, which was rice rolled in tempura-batter-coated-Nori and stuffed with mango, cucumber and unagi. You have to put the whole thing in your mouth to experience the burst of flavor and amazing mixture of textures of this maki variant. The crispiness of tempura batter, the sticky familiarity of rice, the firmness of unagi, the pleasant sweetness of fresh mangoes and the crunchiness of cucumber all blended perfectly well to make one bombshell of a maki.