This humble Japanese food spot in Marikina is serving the best takoyaki

Published August 8, 2022, 1:52 PM

by John Legaspi

Young entrepreneur Bianca Marie Pascual launches Tako Bar Manila, a celebrity-approved Japanese food brand

After spotting an IG-worthy resto in Tagaytay, discovering a new recipe to enjoy instant ramen, and feasting on the best wagyu dishes in town, our craving for Japanese cuisine leads us to this humble food spot serving mouthwatering takoyaki.

Anyone who is passionate about Japanese food is definitely familiar with this ball-shaped snack. And if you’re craving it, look no further than Tako Bar Manila.

Tako Bar Manila’s takoyaki

Established in 2017, this food spot in Marikina City first started as a catering service. With P1,500 as startup capital and her passion for Japanese food, young entrepreneur Bianca Marie Pascual, 29, built a brand that champions authentic Japanese flavors. 

While Bianca was already comfortable with her career in sales, she left her job to create something that is truly hers. From serving just family and friends, her clientele grew from corporations, soon-to-be-wed couples, and Filipino celebrities like Kim Chiu, Dingdong Dantes, and the Gutierrez family, among others. 

Bianca Marie Pascual (in white) and her team

In order to serve food that is close to how Japanese people serve them, Bianca traveled to Japan for research. “To sell the legit you need to try the legit,” she says. Today, her business earns P150,000 to 180,000 per month just from doing events.

Tako Bar Manila’s store

Last May, she soft-opened her physical store in Marikina City to offer dine-in service. While the past years in the pandemic marked the peak of e-commerce, Bianca believes that there are still advantages in having a physical space that people can visit to get a better understanding of her brand. 

“I think that the store makes us more credible as a business,” she tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “I also want to push the aesthetics of the brand—to create a more Japanese setup.”

“It is hard managing a store. In events, they already pay you whether the food is consumed or not. There is a span of time that you work,” she adds. “There is pressure in brick-and-mortar. It is different when you’re waiting for orders online or from people passing by.” 

The store’s donburi offerings

During the store’s official launch last July, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle got the chance to try the brand’s signature takoyaki dishes. First is the traditional octopus with vegetables, which can easily become diners’ favorite. But if you’re looking for something new yet not far from the traditional takoyaki, its crab and corn variant is the perfect pick. The sweet taste that comes from the corn bit truly rounds up the umami flavor of the dish. Also, what people shouldn’t miss trying is the store’s donburi offering. Its chicken teriyaki is good! The rice bowl is a generous serving of savory and moist chicken with stir-fried vegetables over warm rice—a true comfort food. 

Apart from the donburi and takoyaki offerings, be sure to try its miso soup to go with your meal and its special milkshakes to bring the experience to a full circle. 

Tako Bar Manila, located at #207 Southeast Dao, Marikina Heights, is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 1 to 8 p.m. For events services, you can reach them through Viber (0977 836 0507) and @takobarmnl on Instagram.

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