New Manila food court offers top-class fare at bargain prices.
Yokocho opened on Feb. 1 at a commercial complex in the Baclaran district. There are 160 seats on a floor of 800 sq. meters, which includes an outdoor terrace. Customers pay in advance for their meals.
Yokocho is operated by Japan Food Chidori, a Japanese distributor of commercial ramen noodles. The company leases the entire floor, partly operating stores itself and contracting others.
The stalls make use of inexpensive local ingredients. The company sought ways to turn a profit while keeping the prices low, for example, by not requiring each stall to have Japanese staff at all times.
The court has about 10 restaurants, including ramen restaurant Chidori Seimen, Takoyaki Maru, Yakisoba Mori Mori and fried chicken joint Umemonya Kyu.
At other shopping malls in Makati City, home to many office buildings, most stores offer a bowl of ramen noodles for around 400 pesos ($7.96).
At Yokocho, on the other hand, the same dish with rice goes for 159 pesos, while a plate of stir-fried yakisoba noodles costs 143 pesos, less than half the price in Makati City.
“With Japanese cuisine already becoming widely accepted in the Philippines, I want to pitch it to lower-income people,” Japan Food Chidori President Yoshitsune Toyoyama said. At the moment, Yokocho is still relatively unknown, advertising through flyers and on Facebook. Some 100 customers visit Yokocho a day, but Toyoyama wants to increase the number to 1,000 soon.
Source and image: Nikkei