Smack dab in the middle of Makati (unofficial business and financial district of Manila, Philippines) lies this tiny little nook known to food aficionados as Little Tokyo, a jumble of small restaurants and izakayas surrounding a little zen garden. It serves one of the most authentic Japanese cuisines in the country, more so because these small shops are owned by an association of expatriate Japanese chefs who’d made the Philippines their home. Little Tokyo hosts a yearly Children’s Day festival, a national holiday in Japan. This year’s festivities comes a week earlier than usual (Children’s Day is normally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month) but that just means I get to wander around sampling Japanese street fare and play Japanese games this month.
A balloon-game (called Yoyo Tsuri) where you’ll need to successfully ‘hook’ a balloon floating on water to keep it.
Goldfish scooping game (Kingyo Sukui)
Toys and Japanese candy. Dried squid flavored candy is actually pretty good.
Yakitori (skewered meats)
I think this is a kind of obanyaki, (a kind of batter cake) with a sweet filling
Takoyaki (octopus balls)
More seafood on a stick
Spicy tuna sashimi on a bed of coleslaw with sesame dressing
our personal favorite – okonomiyaki (this one’s got shrimp and noodles inside)
A very odd panda. All the more odd because this panda suit was on auction during the event
And of course, being a Japanese occasion, there’s karaoke.