Tucked in a narrow alley in Barangay Poblacion, Makati is a hidden gem of a tempura bar aptly named Ebi10, which, if read phonetically in Japanese (ebi-ten), literally means batter fried shrimp.
The intimate joint, swathed in colorful Japanese prints, has accomplished a mean feat in less than six months since it opened—being ranked as serving the most delicious ebi tempura in Metro Manila by SPOT.ph, besting even the more well-known, more well-established, and definitely more expensive Japanese restaurants in the capital.
Each tempura order is done on a per piece basis, and Ebi10’s jumbo shrimp tempura takes the jumbo in its name seriously, unlike the tempura served in other restaurants which, I suspect, is closer to suahe coated in thick batter to make it appear like it is prawn.
The idea of opening a tempura bar was hatched during a trip to Osaka in 2016 by siblings Joey, Marco, and Celine Viray, whose family is also behind other Poblacion establishments, Joe’s Brew and Kampai Bar.
“The tempura bar we went to was really simple and only offered three things on their menu, fresh oysters, sashimi, and tempura (shrimp, mushroom, and egg, among others). In terms of seating, it was a small restaurant that sat around 20-30 people, with a bar and maybe four other cocktail type tables with bar stools, and that was it,” said Celine.
“You order your tempura per piece and it’s freshly fried in front of you. We all loved the simplicity of it, and being able to control your own order and customize your own tempura basket. That’s why we thought of opening a similar experience in Manila,” she added.
Having grown up in Poblacion, the siblings decided to set up shop in the area.
“We grew up here. Aside from it being one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods for chill nights with your friends, our dad and his family actually lived here way back when and even up until today. Poblacion has really become a home to us and was really a no-brainer to why we decided to open establishments in the area,” said Marco.
The tempura bar offers favorites such a shrimp, agedashi tofu, eggplant, sweet potato, ika (squid), and kisu (asohos) as well as unique items such as pork stuffed mushrooms, scallop corn, scallop nori, soft boiled egg, bird’s nest (similar to kakiage or vegetable tempura), and, when available, uni shiso nori. Each item ranges from P35 to P150 per piece, giving customers full control over their own tempura basket.
“We wanted to make sure we had at least 10 different items to tempura, to not only own the name Ebi10 but to also be called an authentic tempura bar. Currently our menu has around 15 different tempura items,” said Joey.
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Makati residents and Makati-based workers, including myself, are happy to note that Tim Hortons, the iconic Canadian café and bake shop, has opened two new branches at San Lorenzo Place and Glorietta 4.
“We want to create more vibrant communities in the metro and to continue spreading warmth by being closer to the neighborhoods around these branches,” said Stephanie Balois-Guerrero, marketing director of Tim Hortons Coffee Services Philippines Corporation.
Concrete jungle workers can now enjoy a grilled tuna wrap, with light mayo dressing, cheddar cheese, sliced onions, and fresh lettuce—perfect for the always on-the-go, especially when paired with freshly brewed iced tea.
“Opening our San Lorenzo Place and Glorietta stores is a testament that Tim Hortons is always ready to serve meals with only the freshest ingredients any time of the day, to cheer up and treat more people who are working hard everyday,” added Balois-Guerrero.
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