Hiro Tempura recently opened at SM City East Ortigas, well at least on soft opening, and we didn’t miss the chance to try out their offering. They offer, well, mainly tempuras but they do have other meals such as chicken teriyaki. We were really excited since it’s new and we love Japanese food.
First, let’s talk about the place. It’s just on the ground floor just beside Bread Talk. From the main Ortigas entrance, it’s on the left side along Dunkin Donuts/SM Supermarket. Their place is quite small, but you can easily identify them. They have wooden chairs and tables, which are not that comfortable, but were just okay. It’s a family-run business and they were manning the cashier that day.
Now, moving on to the food, I ordered their teriyaki bowl and my wife had the ebi tempura bowl with their Go Ninja promo that adds, if I’m not mistaken, miso soup and drinks. The price isn’t that high, however, we were disappointed with the taste.
You’ve seen our reviews over the past 1 ½ years, we focus on the overall dining experience. But of course, most importantly, the food should be the star of the show. Unfortunately, Hiro’s offerings had a pale shine and didn’t impress us at all. We’ve tried the likes of Yoshinoya, Tokyo Tokyo and even the restaurants at Little Tokyo, Makati and other Japanese restos and Hiro’s offerings fall below the expectations.
Quantity-wise, the serving is okay for the price. We were still full and thankful for the food. But again, the taste was unimpressive. The chicken teriyaki I ordered was bland. There should be this sweet thick taste from the teriyaki grill but it was like water. There’s a bit of taste, but maybe that was because we expected something good at least.
The tempuras were just okay, but the shrimp, or ebi, was quite small. As with my teriyaki, the tempura’s sauce wasn’t good as well. Even the miso soup was watery. The miso paste is lacking in flavor and the tofu was like sponge. The order also took a while.
The staff was just okay and the owners, the ladies manning the cashier, were just standing behind the counter. Their mom or aunt, most likely the owner of the restaurant, was observing the other customers. We were observing her and she did not help the other customers who were having issues. The couple’s order was seemingly wrong and she just passed by. She should have approached them. Well, that’s just a one-off, hopefully.
Overall, Hiro Tempura is a so-so Japanese fast food restaurant and if you’re in for great Japanese food, we do suggest you look somewhere else. It’s good that they are still on soft opening so that they have the opportunity to improve on their service and offerings. We wish them the best though. The menu is promising.
Hiro Tempura SM East
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