Go Go Boy
Sticking out like a sore thumb among the rest of the ambulant vendors manning spots along the sidewalk immediately outside Cebu IT Park, a distinctly non-Filipino Asian I initially mistook for a Korean national with bright orange coolers stood beaming to passersby. He was standing stationed under one of the trees across a couple of soapbox, radical Christian evangelists with his unwavering smile holding conversion at bay. I stepped in with the prospect of a purchase and his safety from the fires of hell had to wait.
Twenty-eight year old Go Morita of Osaka, Japan graduated with a degree in Business at the Hosei Graduate School. Previously in sales and with some restaurant experience, wanderlust and dreams beyond the horizon of the Land of the Rising Sun had him travelling across Asia in search of a new home and a place to start his Tonkatsu Sandwich and Onigiri empire. He hopped across Malaysia, China and Thailand for a year before finding his Shangri-la in the Queen City of the South, Cebu. “Great living conditions and more people speaking good English”, he said. Boy, was Aegis wrong.
Catching him about thirty minutes from setting up shop, he flipped open the bright orange coolers he now wants to be identified with now only half full of that day’s inventory. Extremely affordable at only P35 for either Chicken or Pork Tonkatsu sandwiches and P20 for a flavored rice ball, the slower weekend working crowd allowed us to catch what would have otherwise been a quick sell on a weekday.
Coated lightly in panko, the chicken and pork remained soft and flavorful even with the period of standing from the morning’s frito. Sandwiched between store-bought sliced bread with a rough slaw and patted with mustard and Tonkatsu sauce, it was surprisingly not oily for a fried item. A serving is light enough for a snack and two would be good enough for a light meal.
The Onigiri, conveniently labeled Rice Ball, features fragrant Japanese rice with a touch of vinegar. Bonito flakes and some nori add a salty, seafood flavor with the umami coming from a combination of salt, sugar and soy sauce while sesame seeds add a delicate, nutty almost impalpable crunch.
Go help make Go’s dreams come true and enjoy affordable, authentic Japanese street food while you’re at it. Go Go Tokyo!! can be found from around 10AM on most days on Salinas Drive, Lahug on the sidewalk just right outside Cebu IT Park’s entry arch. Check out his Facebook page for schedules.