With all the frenetic activity at work and at home, don’t you sometimes for a place where you can just relax and enjoy your time alone or with a few close friends?
Well, look no further than this relatively new cafe located a few minutes’ ride away from Greenhills.
From the outside, Shizuka Cafe may blend in among the many dining establishments in Little Baguio, but inside is a welcoming and cozy haven. Muted lighting and artfully displayed Japanese-themed bric-a-bracs make it a comfy and relaxing place, in line with the meaning of its name – shizuka, which means calm, peaceful, silent and quiet.
Shizuka’s Chef Paul Tan and his partners introduced quite a lot of innovations and advocacies to the local dining scene which include Shitzuka’s drives for artisanship (by carefully crafting its food and beverage offering), sustainability (through minimizing the use of plastic in its operations), local commerce (by sourcing its ingredients for its homey Japanese cuisine and finely craft coffee beverages from local merchants) and diversity (by employing differently abled staff).
Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I was able to sample some of the well-crafted dishes that Shizuka brings to the table. Check them out:
Onion Tempura (Php125). Onions coated in tempura batter then deep-friend and served with wasabi aioli. I love how texture of the onions and the flavor complexity that the wasabi aioli adds to the dish.
Pork Gyoza (Php150). Five pieces of the popular pork and vegetable pot stickers. In contrast to the usual gyoza from other restaurants, these come in pretty square shapes.
Nachos (Pho180). Crispy wonton wrappers doused with a sauce made from three cheeses and topped with soy Bolognese and parmesan cheese. I found myself reaching into this bowl and popping those nachos into my mouth again and again.
Tori Tebasaki (Php155). Tender chicken wings glazed with a sambal sauce, an exotic take on the chicken wings dish.
Tori Salad (Php180). Mixed greens with grilled chicken and miso balsamic vinaigrette.
Katsu Sando (Php190). Breaded ground pork katsu sandwiches coated with house-made tonkatsu sauce.
Tori Pesto (Php165). Sandwich with freshly grilled chicken and shiitake tossed in pesto sauce.
Nori Mac and Cheese (Php190). Shell macaroni in a cream sauce made of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan served a crispy nori. I tried this hearty pasta dish with both with a touch of seven spices and without and I like it better without the spice.
Gyu Salpicao (Php290). Flavorful tenderloin in garlicky salpicao sauce over rice served with a sous vide egg. Salpicao is oftentimes a hit or miss with me: any excess in salty, sweet or spicy flavors tends to detract from my enjoyment. I’m happy to discover that this version of the dish is very well-balanced with added richness from the sous vide egg.
Tori HBS (Php210). Crispy fried chicken tossed in honey butter glaze over rice, also served with sous vide egg. What makes the Gyu Salpicao a standout also applies in this dish.
Big Breakfast (Php230). Imagine waking up to a hearty breakfast of hefty pancakes smothered in premium butter, generous slices of Italian sausage and fluffy scrambled eggs. Heck, fill yourself up with this meal any time of the day.
The Nursery (Php115). Peanut butter cream cheese with chocolate soil. A real treat for a sweet tooth like me.
Better than Doughnuts (Php100). My first taste of freshly made Southern American-style beignets more than met my expectations. Fluffy and chewy and perfectly complemented by matcha or chocolate ganache, this serves as a wonderful cap to the meal.
Shizuka Cafe also brings imaginatively crafted beverages to the table. These include:
White Genmaicha Cha (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). One of the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this features a not-too-sweet earthy rice and green tea flavor. I would have loved it sweeter but this would be good for those who are managing their sugar intake.
Strawberry Milk (Php118 for 16oz | Php138 for 22oz). Fresh strawberries blended with milk and also topped with Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese. I wish it could have maintained its consistency (we took a long time taking pictures) but it is sweetly refreshing just the same.
Cold Brew Latte (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). The more caffeinated among the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this is good for those looking for a pick-me-up.
Strawberry Chamomile (Php145). Refreshing loose-leaf chamomile tea and strawberries.
Sparkling Yuzu Mojito (Php220). This refreshing citrusy drink is made with yuzu and lime fruit juice, tonic water and white rhum.
Strawberry Sakerita (Php230). Loose-leaf chamomile tea blended with fresh strawberries and sake served in a glass with salted rim. A sweeter and milder Japanese version of the margarita, one I can imagine myself enjoying again and again.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to unwind in a relaxing and welcoming environment, head off to Shizuka Cafe. Bring your friends with you for an extra good time!
Shizuka Cafe is located at 709 Jose Abad Santos Corner F. Calderon, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open daily from 8am to 10pm. For inquiries, reservations and pick up arrangements, call +63 926 0792964.
Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant. All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:
- Hodai, West Triangle
- Tori Chizu, UP Town Center
- Yabu, Robinsons Place Magnolia
- Sandaya Yakiniku, Fisher Mall
- Dads-Saisaki-Kamayan, SM Megamall
- Katsu Sora, Greenhills
- Cafe Shibuya, Glorietta
- Ariake, Tomas Morato
- Rai Rai Ken, SM Taytay
- Tokyo Bubble Tea, Tomas Morato
- Ramen Nagi, SM North
- Yoshinoya, SM City North EDSA
- Hiro, SM East Ortigas
- Ramen Nagi, Robinsons Galleria
- Katsu Sora, Trinoma
- Isaribi, Tomas Morato
- Zipang, Tomas Morato
- Omotenashi, Tomas Morato
- Saboten, BGC
- Osaka Takoyaki, SM East Ortigas
- Tenya Tempura Tendon, BGC
- Hanamaruken, Trinoma
- Teriyaki Boy, SM East Ortigas
- Ramen Kuroda, SM Marikina
- Don Bao, Kapitolyo
- Ramen Nagi, Greenbelt
- Menya Noodle & Bento Bar, Greenhills
- Kazoku, Tomas Morato
- Izakaya Flame, BGC
- Dohtonbori, SM Megamall
- Dohtonbori, Greenhills
- Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall
- Soru Izakaya, Ugong