KATE Tiffany Yu and chef Masaki Tsuji introduced yoshoku (Western cuisine adapted to the Japanese taste) to Cebu in 2016 through their first business venture, Skillet Japanese Cafe and Bistro.
Famed for its yoshoku dishes like omurice, spaghetti Napolitan, stewed hamburger steak, creamy crab croquette and potato gratin, to name a few, Skillet quickly became a hit among locals and tourists. Today, the business partners are making their restaurant more accessible to more people by opening a second branch, The Meat Master by Skillet. Now in a more central location on the ground floor of Merise English Academy, The Meat Master has the same offerings as Skillet but with the addition of more meat dishes.
“The owner of Merise once dined at Skillet and asked us to operate their kitchen so their students could have someplace to eat. So initially, Meat Master was like a canteen for the Japanese students of Merise,” shared Kate.
With a more casual vibe than Skillet, The Meat Master is now a full-grown restaurant that seats up to 80 diners. Its open kitchen allows guests to watch the chef in action. For starters, order the roast beef sushi and try your hardest to eat each piece whole. Wait for the miso paste to hit and work its magic on your palate.
Its other bestsellers are the sous-vide tenderloin steak, cooked for five hours so it’s unbelievably tender, and served with a demi-glace, one of the Meat Master’s best-kept secrets; the miso-glazed pork belly, grilled then glazed and best eaten with a bit of the apple sauce that’s served on the side; and the sous-vide ox tongue steak, the cooking process of which has turned its texture into something that even non-tongue fans can appreciate, topped with negi-shio which is similar to chimichurri but is made with leeks and sesame oil.
For dessert, one shouldn’t miss the dew droplet cake, a blob-like, translucent and guilt-free “cake.” Guilt-free because it’s made of just water and agar (seaweed version of gelatin). The soybean powder and black sugar syrup are the only source of flavor of this delicate yet refreshing dessert.
Another inventive item on the menu is the ramen dessert, the “noodles” of which are made of water and agar. It has mango, watermelon and mochi balls, plus milk and nata de coco. You can also choose from three syrups to go with it—brown sugar, matcha or mango. The fun is in the mixing of the ingredients and slurping of the dessert noodles.
The Meat Master by Skillet is located on Juana Osmena St., corner M.P. Yap St., Kamputhaw, Cebu City. Drop by any day of the week from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.