Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Noteworthy Wakamatsu Experience

It was payback time for me, Patrick, and Hermie. We decided to pig-out big time at the expense of our 4 other Team Gusla members' (Donna, Sittie, Kteil, and Charles) savings. Initially, we thought of hitting YUGO for lunch. Luckily, however, since most of us have already lunched at the place, we agreed to pay its closest competition, Wakamatsu Yakiniku, a visit.

Wakamatsu is one of the few Japanese restaurants in Cebu that offers an all-you-can-eat option. It has been around town for several years already, feared not to last long, but stayed anyhow. I remember visiting the place a couple of times in the past but only to check their menu out and for simple reasons of curiosity.

Four years back, F. Cabahug Street was only interesting because of a few landmarks: Jazz n Blues, Pacific Square, and Castle Peak Hotel. Pacific Square looks like a cozy hotel that fronts a unique architecture. It catches attention also because it sits on an elevation at the roadside, accessible only by patiently climbing its significantly long stairway. I would cuss (if it wasn't a bad thing to do) if I was to run an errand that will require me to climb those steps at midday. The street stretch provides no solace of shelter nor shade unless you actually enter in one of the shops at the street side which weren't too many then. To top that, jeepneys are quite scarce in that part of Cebu. Only Route #03A and 03B jeepneys pass through F. Cabahug Street and mind you, they do not travel around Lahug, Capitol, and Cebu Business Park. In other words, it is unlikely for townsmen to frequent the place unless there are reasons for one to really be there. And when you do get there, you can't help but wonder whether the Japanese restaurant adjacent the hotel can save you from thirst and hunger or not. But I did take a look once only to cower from the price of the menu, strangeness of its meals, and its dimly lit interior. I didn't go back since then.

Things changed, however, when an office mate argued with tremendous conviction that Wakamatsu remains the better Japanese restaurant against YUGO. That and some hard to find internet reviews, seem to awaken the curiosity I have so long tamed to silence. When Team Gusla sought my suggestion for a new resto trip, I cunningly brought them into it.

All 7 of us readied for a feast. Armed with nothing but our hungry stomachs, we raided the place. Greeted then ushered into what looked like a quarter with a center table and missing chairs, we took our footwear off to dine the Japanese way. Just a few seconds after sitting, we were handed the menu. Unlike most all-you-can-eat restaurants, the food in Wakamatsu are not served in a ready-to-eat buffet. One has to order what he wants to eat from the menu but keeping in mind that any leftovers can likely be charged on him. Our orders consisted of:

- Beef strips
- Pork strips
- Steamed Shrimp
- Squid Sashimi
- Kimchi
- Ramen Noodles
- Japanese Chop Suey
- California Maki
- Tuna
- Rice, and Fried Rice
- Oolong, iced tea, green tea
- Ice cream for desert

If there were lessons to learn in this experience, it will be the following:
 1. The all-you-can-eat price entitles the diner one glass of any drinks from Oolong, regular iced tea, and green tea options. If uncertain of the taste of the other strange-sounding drinks, choose what is familiar.
 2. When grilling, avoid waving your food in forceps near the smoke suction pipe above the grilling pan. The pressure is a little strong that it can suction any object near its opening. I reached over to grill a shrimp and was surprised that nothing dropped on the pan. I thought that gravity shifted position all of a sudden.The pipe took my food away.
 3. Order lots of raw food early. Cooking time is fleeting and expensive when your doing lunch in between work hours.
 4. Learn to be in the rhythm of cooking and eating at the same time. You cannot wait for what you put on the pan to get cooked before you start eating. What you put on it can be gone in seconds especially if your friends dig in the same pan you dig on.
 5. If you are into maki or sushi, skip rice. They are mainly of the same ingredient with the former being more flavorful than the latter.
 6. Wear comfortable clothes. The place can get really warm when everybody's grilling.
 7. Make conversation fun while eating with friends. Just like you are on a picnic.
 8. Eat and care less whether you fumble using chop sticks or you smudge your face with sauce. Enjoy the unlimited supply or at least while it is available.

I personally had fun. It may have run short of variety in comparison with YUGO's but there is something good also about sitting and just identifying the food you want rather than taking the time away from the comfort of your table to keep coming back to the buffet minding what others might have to say about the frequency of your return. Besides, it was a treat and 3 of us only had to worry about taxi fare.

I left Wakamatsu with a changed notion. The stairs weren't actually too much to climb. The midday sun was not even that bad. These retrospect weren't quite as noteworthy as the Wakamatsu experience.

Budget Range: P400 - P500
Overall Experience: Recommended

Wakamatsu, Yakiniku
Pacific Square Bldg, 
F. Cabahug St Cebu City, Cebu  
Tel. No. (032) 232-5897


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  1. bring dad there someday igerts.. love u!

    1. I will, if dad visits Cebu one day. hehehe. love you, too! :D

  2. Yum! Looks really good. I should check out that place. I love Japanese food! :-)

    1. Yup. Please do and take more pictures for me. My LG fails me on clarity. :)

    2. Maski di kaayo claro, lami gyapon tan-awon! I'm drooling :-P~~~~

    3. Hahaha.. so that is how we represent drooling in symbol now? hahaha.. artistic gyud ka Khon. tsk. hurot na akong bilib. :D

  3. take me with you, Khon.
    Am prone to miss Jap food now.
    I gave up my perks of having free and unlimited supply when I gave up tutoring. :D

    1. Hahaha.. paparazzi invasion.

    2. Taralets! Unsa man di nalang ta magKorean, magJapanese nalang ta? Wahahahahahha Oink oink!!

    3. why choose when you can have BOTH! bwhahah! piggy!

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