Foodtrip: Bono Tei Japanese Restaurant


Sadly, the Bono Tei branch in BF has closed down. There is however, a smaller branch near SM Bicutan.

Our food trip today takes our adventurous taste buds to the land where educational institutions, wellness spas, and restaurants abundantly sprouts like wild grass. Inside this jungle of business establishments lies one eye catching restaurant that would be the subject of our praises and scrutiny.

Fellow backpackers, join me as we visit Bono Tei Japanese Restaurant or simply Bono Tei in B.F. Homes, Paranaque City. 

Bono Tei is located in B.F. Homes 333 El Grande Corner Jakarta Street, Paranaque City. If you have the eye for outstanding architectural designs then it wouldn't be a problem looking for this restaurant. If you don't, there would be plenty of people to ask from (so don't worry). When I first saw Bono Tei, it reminded me of a Japanese abode complete with a zen garden. However, the only reference that I have are the images that I see in magazines, so I brought in someone who had already visited Japan to help me critic the place and its food.
It got me too! I thought I was in Japan!
But then again, it's not only the architectural design that matters. It's also about the food. Like in my other foodtrip blogs, I would like to clarify that I'm not a professional food connoisseur. The things that I'd write here are based only from observations and experiences in the restaurant.
My wife posing for my blog.
I have tried different restaurants serving japanese and pseudo Japanese food but most of the time it's in the form of eat-all-you-can and shabu-shabu restaurants. That's why I tend to "Filipinize" the way I mix the food, hence authenticity usually flies out the window. According to my "adviser" the Japanese consider food preparation as an art form. He said that when you see Japanese food you'd hesitate to eat it. 
Looks like a Zen garden to me.
When I visited Bono Tei, I tried to look around the venue first to see how things are set up. I find that the outer area is quite captivating. The decorative bamboo plants and the Japanese lanterns (minus the sand and rocks) all adds up to the Japanese feel of a zen garden. Although originally from Chinese origin, the koi pond creates additional attraction for the customers. 
Bono Tei's koi pond (drunk guys beware!)
Dining area in the outer area.
It is said that the best time to dine at Bono Tei is at night. It's also the time when most of the customers are Japanese. However, it was noon when I visited and it was too hot for me to even take pictures (selfies) in the outer area. So, my group settled in the function room inside the restaurant. You'd notice that the interior of the restaurant is a mix of Western and Asian design (sorry guys no chabudais here!) which would get you confused if you're looking for a 100% authentic Japanese restaurant.

Since there's no such thing as a 100% authentic Japanese restaurant (outside Japan). I came up with a list of Japanese-like stuff that I have seen and observed in Bono Tei. 
Check these out:
  1. Your dining experience begins with the waiters greeting you irasshaimase which means please come in.
  2. You'd have to go through a noren (the traditional Japanese fabric divider) before you enter the restaurant.
  3. The waitress would give you an oshibori (hot towel to be used to wipe your hands) before they serve your meal.
  4. A matcha or Japanese green tea is served to you minus the traditional Japanese sweets before meals.
The noren
The matcha or Japanese green tea
Now let's try out the food...
Bono Tei's menu (see how thick it is?)
Upon seeing the menu, you'd see list after list of food names that you couldn't even pronounce or understand (unless you're Japanese). I suggest that you ask the waitress to give you a brief description of the food. Most customers would order food that they are familiar with like the sushi, tempura etc. I suggest that you bring out your adventurous side and order food that sounds mysterious. Try out the sea urchin or uni and other unpronounceable food (Just be aware of the price though). In my case I was able to taste several dishes without ordering. Among the food served during my visit, I would never forget the tempura and the wagyu cooked ala sizzling plate.

Here's the list of dishes I've tried out (minus the wagyu): 

Overall, I had a wonderful experience eating at Bono Tei (friendly people, yummy food, scenic outer area). Given another chance, I'll go back there and try out different meals. Until I do so, my comments about Bono Tei would be limited to its architectural designs. (That's the draw back if it's not an eat-all-you-can restaurant.)

Getting there:

Overall rating


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