Kimpura Celebrates 50 Years In The Industry—Learn About Its History Here
Since its establishment in the 70s, Kimpura has carried on the legacy of consistently providing excellent Japanese food and exceptional service to countless customers through the years.
Where did the name Kimpura originate from? Kimpura was coined from two words: “kim” meaning gold and “pura” from tempura.
The Early Days
As this iconic spot celebrated its golden anniversary on 10 October 2020. Peter Ng, president of Kimpura, recalled the early days.
“It was Mr Luis Yulo Sr, Mr Gilbert Teodoro Sr, and my father Mr Joseph Henry Ng who grouped themselves to form a Japanese restaurant. The idea of having a Japanese restaurant appealed to them. My father liked the idea. When they put up the restaurant, there was no enterprising purpose. It was the love and enjoyment of Japanese food.”
At that time, Ayala had a space available. There was the opportunity. “I was in college when Kimpura was formed. I would go there to eat and we’d have get-together with friends and a lot of family gatherings. All the owners were very ‘hands-on’ and extensively assisted in the business. They would frequently go to Japan, source ingredients, equipment and other materials needed. They also sourced several Japanese cooks for the restaurant. During that time, my father handled operations. He took care of everything – from the selection of people and attending to the different concerns of the business" Peter reminisces.
Since its opening, the restaurant's growth in the business has been impressive, as it has become a favourite for many and expanded to Kimpura Garden after only three years.
Peter shared, very thankfully, that “Kimpura started quite successfully. It was widely accepted by the public since day one." To date, Kimpura has three branches; one in Makati, one in Greenhills which opened on 17 March 1988 and Kimpura Trinoma with its opening date 25 February 2010.
Strong Family Connection
Kimpura’s patronage grew over the years as the restaurant became a preferred venue to celebrate many family milestones. For many of its guests, Kimpura plays a starring role in fond memories as it has a very strong connection to the family moments.
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Redefining Japanese Dining Experience
Over the years, Peter has observed that customers prefer a dine-in experience. "They always prefer to dine-in, share meals with family, friends or business associates. It is very important that the dining experience is an enjoyable experience. We always maintain a level of consistency in food quality and customer service." To him, the restaurant experience plays a pivotal role in enjoying a meal, from meal preparation to service.
"When we started the business, sushi and sashimi were not as popular compared to tempura and teppanyaki. People were used to eating traditionally cooked meals. They were not accustomed to eating barely cooked or raw dishes. But as years went by, our customers were able to enjoy the fine taste of these dishes." Educating their diners and expanding their eating preferences has made sushi and sashimi must-haves items at Kimpura now.
Turning Gold During A Pandemic
Turning “gold” this year has been difficult. 2020 has been a challenge and Kimpura is not exempted, Peter shares. He pointed out that: “we are trying to continue our business under these unprecedented conditions even if we are operating on a limited basis. Now that we are on the seventh month of lockdown, business is slowly picking up. Customers are still not yet comfortable dining in restaurants even with stringent rules."
In the past years, Kimpura relied on big celebrations, something that the new normal has banned. "We are sacrificing a lot these days because of this pandemic. But looking ahead, I know this is just a temporary setback. I remain optimistic about the future” Peter adds positively.
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Peter sincerely expressed his appreciation and support to Kimpura’s team, all of whom played a vital role in keeping the business afloat. “We asked for everybody’s cooperation. We have to help each other out especially in this pandemic. We have to make sure of Kimpura’s continuous success in the next 50 years.” He also of course thanks the restaurant’s loyal diners: "Our customers are important. We want to continue living up to their expectation. We want to continue serving them in terms of good food and service."
The on-going crisis needless to say, will not hinder their vision for Kimpura as Peter has his eyes set on expansion. "Timing is everything” he adds.