Mabolo’s Hidden Japanese Taste

Joed's Luton Hapon
Joed’s Luton Hapon


Japanese cuisine has been making quite a buzz recently and we do not want to miss out on this trend so, we think that it is just timely for us to have our take on it. But, browsing all the numerous articles around the internet, we decided to sprinkle some unusual twist. A friend told us about a Japanese Restaurant without air-conditioning and is also pocket-friendly. Desperate for uniqueness, we opt to feature the first-ever non-air-conditioned Japanese restaurant in Cebu.



So, there we were walking on the streets of Panagdait determined to find this feature-worthy Japanese Resto when our friend cut us off our conversation saying we have already arrived. Momentarily, we were quite taken aback at first sight of the resto’s façade. It looks so Pinoy! Knowing it was a Japanese restaurant was almost impossible without the Japanese characters surrounding the entrance door. Located at the heart of Mabolo, across Sarrosa International Hotel stands JOED’s Lutong Hapon.


Inside Joed's
Inside Joed’s


There is nothing striking in the way the place was designed. Tables and chairs were made of wood, or make that everything was made of wood. There were some spots we consider interesting but it was not full on Japanese. Since it is not air-conditioned, the place is great under a fine weather. However, if it is too hot outside or if it is about to rain, it gets humid and sweating should be expected. Though there were a few ceiling fans, they were barely noticeable.


Today's Special
Today’s Special


Joed’s Lutong Hapon’s menu is the catch! Price ranges from Php30.00 to Php300.00 and a party sushi package worth Php1,250.00. Because of that, we ordered a lot. We had Tuna Sashimi, two Joed’s Special, Mixed Sushi, California Maki, Beef Teriyaki, Oyakudon, Katsudon, Japanese Rice, and Crispy Crab Roll which only amounted to Php 1,300.00 which is reasonable considering we were eating Japanese food. If we have to choose one favorite, it would surely be Joed’s Special. It costs Php 100.00/serving and offers six pieces of sushi with mango slices and mayonnaise as shown on the photo below.


Joed's Special
Joed’s Special


What we love most about Japanese food is that it is healthy and using chopsticks can be fun if you know how to use them. If you don’t, they have spoon and fork so there is no need to worry (phew!).


Mixed Sushi
Mixed Sushi


Beef Teriyaki, Katsudon, Oyakudon and Japanese Rice
Beef Teriyaki, Katsudon, Oyakudon and Japanese Rice


Crispy Crab Roll, Tuna Sashimi and Joed's Special
Crispy Crab Roll, Tuna Sashimi and Joed’s Special


The service was pretty speedy too. Our orders were served in less than 10 minutes (we timed it from when we finished placing the orders until the first dish was served). The servers were also kind and polite to their customers. They were willing to answer all our questions and they immediately tended our requests.


Positive Comments:

  • We agree on how great and simple the place looks like. The perfect Japanese attempt of meeting Filipino standards.
  • What I like most about small restaurants is that the servers always have time for you. You do not need to beg to get their attention. They are just a call away.


My suggestions:

  • Music really sets the mood in any establishment. I can barely think of an establishment that does not play music. In the case of Joed’s, it would have been better if they played some real Japanese music. It would definitely intensify the authenticity of the place since the look was not so dedicated.
  • As shown on the photo above, the facade does not look as appealing as seeing it in the flesh. I think that is because of the untidy surrounding. If they could just clean it up a little bit and put more decors, it would totally do the magic.


Go ahead and try Joed’s Lutong Hapon and tell us what you think about it! You can like their page of Facebook at Joed’s Luton Hapon Official. Drop your comments and/or suggestions below.


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To know more about the authors, follow them on instagram @hejonsdotcom and  @keepsafe_celes.

Amping ug hinay-hinay sa inyong adventures mga Laagan!



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