Did you know that while the doria, or the Japanese version of the baked rice casserole, did originate in Japan, it was actually invented by a Swiss chef who worked in a hotel restaurant in Japan in the 1930s?
It is considered an example of yoshoku – Western food in Nihonggo – which take the form of Japanized Western dishes.
Today, Tori Chizu, a new restaurant brand under the same company that manages Korean fastfood chain Bon Chon, brings this Japanese dish and more to foodies the metro, with most of its dishes served with its signature cheesy chizu sauce.
(This got me all excited because, as most of my friends know, I’m an avid cheese lover. Yeah, cheesy talaga!)
Together with my fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH, I visited its UP Town Center branch to get a taste of its offerings.
Our meal included:
Chicken Katsu Curry Chizu Bowl (Php139). I never developed a liking for curry but, at least, the Japanese versions leans more towards sweet rather than spicy. Still, when taken together with chizu sauce, I found the combination to be quite overwhelming. The chicken katsu, however, is well-seasoned with a crisp batter covering and tender meat.
Chicken Karaage Chizu Bowl (Php129). Karaage is a way of lightly coating meats – most often chicken pieces – in seasoned flour or potato starch then deep-frying them in oil. Today, it is one of the most popular Japanese chicken dishes, no doubt due to its versatility and near-universal appeal. The addition of the chizu sauce to the rice bowl adds a layer of decadence to the dish.
Beef Chizu Bowl (Php149). This is another dish with wide appeal which feature strips of sauteed sukiyaki-cut beef, whose relatively mild flavor is complemented by the chizu sauce.
Baked Pasta with Egg (Php135). The tomato-based sauce does not conform to the expectations of the Pinoy palette. If you don’t like pasta sauce that tends towards the sour rather than the spicy-sweet we’ve grown used to, this pasta dish might not be for you.
Chicken Racks (Php554 for 8-piece combination of Umami and Spicy). I got intimidated by the color and presentation of the spicy chicken pieces so I just took a bite of the umami chicken. Thankfully, it was juicy and tender: just well-seasoned enough to go well with rice.
Desserts: Double Cheese (Php55) and Ube Macapuno Soft (Php62). We capped our meal with soft-serve ice cream: one was topped with lots of cheese powder resulting in an appetizing mixture of sweet and salty flavors while the other features the local flavors of ube (purple yam) and macapuno (soft and chewy coconut flesh), adding a very Pinoy spin to this dessert.
I found Tori Chizu’s menu to have quite a lot of variety so you can definitely come back several times to have a taste of something new while you’re deciding on which dish is your favorite. Its offerings are also quite affordably priced, making its dishes accessible to more people.
Tori Chizu is well worth a visit for cheese lovers and those on the lookout a new take on Japanese cuisine.
(And also those who are feeling a bit cheesy…)
Thanks to Shishi of Shi’s A Mom for extending the invitation!
This Tori Chizu branch is located at the Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.
Other branches may be found at:
- Upper Ground Floor, Outside Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
- Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City
- Ground Floor, Security Land Center, VA Rufino corner Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati
Disclosure: Together with other #SaanSaPH foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. 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:
- 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