When I was invited to lunch at Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro, I got really excited. This was because a few days after I got back from my Japan trip, I was seriously craving for Japanese food. I just miss the deliciousness that reminds me of Kyoto, Fukuoka, and the other cities I’ve visited in the Land of the Rising Sun. My cravings were definitely satisfied by Skillet’s chef!
The fact that Skillet was located in Norkis Cyber Park, Tipolo, Mandaue City made me even happier. It is just beside J Centre Mall. The restaurant was so close to my address and I didn’t have to deal with too much traffic to get there – definitely a plus!
The Mouthwatering Main Dishes!
One by one, the main dishes arrived at our table. Everything that was served was really delightful.
Roast Beef on Fire
First up was the Roast Beef on Fire. It is a dish made of thin and soft strips of beef that are set on fire once it arrives on the guest’s table. It is set alight using flaming vodka.
This experiential way of dining is actually one of the reasons why I immediately fell in love with Skillet. They do their own version of show cooking, a hallmark of Japanese cuisine. Not many dining establishments do this here in Cebu and I am glad I found a restaurant that does so right here in Mandaue.
Back to the Roast Beef on Fire. It is actually a rice dish, much like a Gyudon in concept but has its own unique charm. The beef strips are soft and easily melt in your mouth, giving you that satisfying umami flavor. To round out this dish are the rice and thick sauce that serve as the perfect background accompaniment to the loud and delicious tones of the beef.
Spaghetti Tuna with Eggplant and Tomato
The next dish that I had the pleasure of tasting is the Spaghetti Tuna with Eggplant and Tomato. Yes, pasta in a Japanese restaurant. Well, Skillet is a fusion food establishment after all, so this is not a surprise.
This pasta is not your typical Napolitan, oh no. It is a white-sauce pasta with hints of the sea and embodies the freshness of the local land. Every bite is all about tasting the full-bodied tuna complemented by fresh chunks of eggplant and tomato. Honestly, I did not know one can use eggplants in pasta, so this dish was a pleasant surprise!
Pork Tomahawk with Demiglace Sauce
This dish is a winner! Skillet offers this robust pork steak with a slightly sweet demiglace sauce. Every bite is an explosion of flavor. Meat lovers will surely appreciate this. Feel like a victorious hunter devouring this tomahawk-shaped hunk of meat. Go ahead and scream internally to express your carnivorous satisfaction!
It also comes with a generous serving of side dishes. The sweet corn kernels and crunchy cabbage strips provide a variety of textures as you chew, all while elevating the tastiness of the pork steak.
Omurice (a portmanteau of omelette rice) is one of my favorite Japanese food. When I visited Kyoto, I had the pleasure of tasting an amazing omurice from this restaurant at the Kyoto train station. Ever since then, I’ve been on the lookout for a great omelette rice dish here in Cebu. Finally found one at Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro! <3
You get everything that is expected from an authentic omurice – rice coated in tasty tomato catsup, carefully wrapped in a fluffy omelette. Add Skillet’s special sauce and I’m a happy diner!
if you want something that’s unique and full of cheesy goodness, I highly recommend Skillet’s Cheese Risotto. This is yet another of their experiential dish. The chef will actually come out and cook this on your table. He won’t use any pot or pan but a huge bowl of Parmesan cheese. Yup, you read that right.
This dish looks quite simple on the pic, much like a porridge. But it’s anything but. It is a very hearty risotto that will blow the minds of cheese lovers. I certainly enjoyed it and it was one of the favorites among our group. Definitely a must-try!
The Delectable Desserts
There is always room for dessert! After eating all of those flavorful main dishes, it was time to indulge in sweet treats. Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro does not disappoint in this area as well.
This was, hands down, my favorite dessert during that memorable lunch at Skillet. Dew Droplet is basically their version of a Mizu Shingen Mochi (aka water mochi, glass mochi, Japanese raindrop cake). It is served with Kinako powder (roasted soybean flour) and black sugar sauce.
It is a transparent treat with sexy curves and an enjoyable sweet taste. It looks beautiful, much like an ephemeral jewel or like the fleeting morning dewdrops that welcome the sunrise. True to its name, the Dew Droplet is water-based, so you can’t let it sit on the table for too long. Otherwise, it will melt. Quickly take photos and then let your taste buds do the rest!
Dessert Ramen with Mango Syrup
Think halo-halo but Japanese-fusion style. That is what the Desert Ramen with Mango Syrup is. It is a cold dessert perfect for hot afternoons. If I am not mistaken, it is made up of Shiratama Dango (a type of mochi made using glutinous rice flour). The mango syrup makes it one refreshing dessert while the dango gives you that satisfying chewy experience.
Melting Chocolate Orbs
What is dessert without chocolates, right? Of course, Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro also offers chocolate treats in the form of Melting Chocolate Orbs. Even better, these desserts are also part of their experiential gastronomy.
To melt these chocolate orbs, you can choose between using a hot caramel sauce or fiery vodka. The taste will vary depending on your choice, but both are still sinfully good! Plus, it is so enjoyable to watch the chocolate orbs melt. Do try them for yourself!
Clearly, I enjoyed my lunch at Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro. Aside from the delicious food, the restaurant’s ambiance was quite cozy as well. The seats were comfortable and the lighting pleasant.
There’s even a huge mural on one of the walls depicting anime-inspired art. The cafe and bistro also has a sort of a second floor where private seating for groups is available. More wall art can be found there.
All in all, Skillet is a nice restaurant for anyone who enjoys Japanese cuisine and experiential gastronomy. They have a wide selection of dishes on their menu. The chef is Japanese so authenticity is not a problem.
And since they are a fusion restaurant as well, expect uniquely prepared and presented dishes that are not only a delight to the palate but are visually appealing, too. To top it all off, expect experiential and interactive dining that will put a smile on your face!