Filipinos have always been a fan of Japanese food. From sushi and sashimi to ramen and even with the whole katsu craze nowadays, Japanese food is a sure fire hit with Pinoys. If you’re craving for Japanese, I would have to recommend that you skip JohnAndYoko at Greenbelt 5 altogether. You’re better off at a cheaper fast food Japanese place than here.
Not everything is horrible though. I would have to say that the interior design of the place is cute and quirky. Reminds me of those chic boutique cafes and restaurants in NYC. The projected black and white Japanese samurai film on the wall was a nice artsy touch as well. The hostesses out front, beckoning those who were walking by to come in were friendly and nice but that’s about it. On that note, I really don’t get why they have to call on walking traffic to go in the place. Seriously? It cheapens the place. For the prices that they’re charging, it’s sort of nakakahiya to call on people to come in. It reminds me of the small eateries and canteens that call on their “suki” to come in and eat. You’re in Greenbelt 5.
Now, on to the bad experience: I was seated and was attended to by this waiter who was in my opinion, a newbie but was trying to project that he was not. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as knowledgeable with the menu or the drinks as he would like to lead on. I asked what Zen on the Rocks was and I swear he said “Alcoholic, ma’am” So I said “I’m sorry?” To which he replied “I’ll go ask, ma’am” He came back and said “It’s alcoholic, ma’am.” Well, yes, I am quite aware of that since it was under the alcoholic drinks category on the menu. Turns out that they didn’t have it so I just asked for sake. I asked what kind of sake they had and the waiter rudely cut me off and said “It’s like a gin ma’am. It’s gin.” No sweetie, it’s not like a gin. It’s sake. So I smiled and said “I know what sake is I’m asking what type of sake is it” I mean, after all, they’re a Cosmopolitan Japanese Cuisine Restaurant, right? Waiter insisted that it was sake. That they have sake and that it’s like gin. “Is it like Ginjo or Daiginjo?” He just cut me off again and said that they only have shiin or something. At this point I was getting frustrated and just told him to bring the damn sake over. I’ll most definitely need it now. I also reminded him that cutting a customer off is not the best way to start a meal in their restaurant.
Disclaimer: I am not a terrible customer. I just really don’t like wait staff that cut me off and pretend to know what they’re doing when clearly they’ve got no inkling of what they’re supposed to do or say. Had he said he was new and just needed to ask the more experienced staff, I would’ve cut him some slack. But he was always cutting me off as if he were psychic and knew what I was going to say. So there. Disclaimer over.
The food arrived and I ordered for the tuna and kani sashimi and the wagyu ramen. The sashimi was passable. It’s raw fish and processed crab meat, so there’s really nothing to expect. The wagyu ramen was a huge let down. First off, the wagyu was almost blasphemous. That’s not wagyu – or at least it didn’t taste like wagyu at all. The broth was bland – so bland in fact that the seaweed overpowered the taste of the broth. The noodles were starchy and too soft. But a woman has got to eat to have energy for her other meetings so I lumbered through it. After a few more bites, I really couldn’t take it anymore and just had about a quarter of it. I knew I was done.
I asked for the check and a woman gave it to me. I just wanted to get away from this bad food and find somewhere else where I can be happy. The bill came out to 1,199.00. I paid the lady and she just took it without a thank you. She came back about a minute later, without saying excuse me or anything and just started counting the money in front of me and said “Ma’am, kulang pa kayo ng 100 (Ma’am, you still lack 100 pesos)” I apologized and fished the hundred from my bag and told her “You know, your place is very well decorated and it looks nice…” The girl smiled as she took my money, as if she knew a compliment was coming. “…but your food is mediocre and the service is terrible.” The girl was surprised and then she scowled (No kidding, she scowled) and left with the bill. No apologies, no nothing.
I could not get out of that place any faster as if my behind was on fire. I felt like the food I ate was all bad juju and had to be washed down immediately with actual decent Japanese food. So, if you want real Japanese food, I’d recommend that you skip this place altogether and trek to Little Tokyo instead or Yabu or even Teriyaki Boy! Trust me, the interiors are not worth it.