The Jelly List: Countdown to sundown at Lamp Quarters, Marikina

The sun may rise in the East but that doesn’t mean that the fun stops here when the sun goes down.

Lamp Quarters in Marikina, for example, is one of the prime destinations east of Manila where things definitely liven up from late afternoon to late night.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Looking for a place to spend the waning hours of the day with friends? Lamp Quarters is your best bet, because:

  • Being located in the Marikina suburbs, it provides a welcome escape from the noise and traffic woes you experience in most parts of the metro.
  • It has a sprawling outdoor dining area where you can comfortably meet up with your pals over some brews, cues and even a bit of booze.
  • It houses several establishments that cater to diverse cravings.

So join me and my foodie friends as we count down to sundown at various foodie hotspots here at Lamp Quarters, Marikina!

4… Celsius Cafe Lounge for coffee connoisseurs

Get a taste of the sheer wondrous variety of coffee the world has to offer at Celsius Cafe Lounge.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

A third-wave coffee shop that serves handcrafted brews from single-origin coffee beans sourced from various countries, Celsius is sure to broaden your coffee horizons!

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Top coffee finds here include:

Filtered Coffee from Tanzania.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Espresso Affogato.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Spanish Latte.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Want some bites to go along with your brews? Then nibble on these sweet and savory snacks!

Pork Floss.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Danish Bread.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Grilled Cheese Sandwich,

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Ube Queso de Bola Cheesecake.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Celsius also offers all-day breakfast with free coffee.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

To know more about this extraordinary coffee shop, follow Celsius Cafe Lounge on Facebook and Instagram.

3… Tongara Ramen for ramen lovers

If you’ve been craving ramen then look no further than Lamp Quarters’ ramen destination: Tongara Ramen.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Lauded for its signature broth which is also its namesake – ton from tonkotsu (made from pork bones) and gara from torigara (made ftom chicken bones), it serves up ramen and other Japanese dishes that are sure to excite ramen lovers.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Check out its best-sellers:

Tongara Ramen.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Ebi Miso Ramen.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Tantanramen.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Tsukemen.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Karaage.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Spicy Chicken.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Tonkatsu.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Gyoza.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

To support the drive for herd immunity, Tongara Ramen is also serving free gyoza for every ramen purchase upon presentation of your COVID-19 vaccination card until September 2020.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

You can also enjoy Tongara’s signature dishes at home by ordering a Tongara Home Kit Bundle for pickup or delivery:

  • For 2 (Php1,800). Includes 2 Tongara Ramen kits and 1 frozen karaage kit
  • For 4 (Php2,300). Includes 2 Tongara Ramen kits, 1 frozen gyoza kit and 1 frozen karaage kit

For more deets on what you can enjoy here, follow Tongara Ramen on Facebook and Instagram.

2… Wing Commander for food trippers

Are you a kapakpak? Then hie yourself over to Wing Commander where you can embark on an unli food trip.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

For just Php198, bite into unlimited crispy fried chicken wings, coated in sauces of international flavors and accompanied by filling portions of fries and rice. Add Php78 and you can have a bottomless drink to go with your meal.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Wing your next foodie adventure with these flavors:

Filipino Barbecue.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

American Honey Mustard.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Chinese Szechuan.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Russian Thousand Island.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Japanese Wasabi.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Indian Cumin.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Fasten your seatbelts because at Wing Commander, the chicken bites and the chikahan are non-stop!

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

For the latest scoop on Wing Commander, follow it on Facebook.

1… Opening soon, Bar by East for cocktails

Want to cap the night with a drink or two? Pretty soon, Lamp Quarters will let you in on a little secret… a hidden bar!

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

The trendy office space of architectural firm Emerging Architects Studio (EAST) will give way to a hip and happenin’ secret bar at night!

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Here’s a sneak peek at some of its refreshing classic cocktails:

Whisky Sour. Made with whisky, lemon, brown sugar, bitters.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Cold Brew Martini. Made with vodka, cold brew and coffee liqueur.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Whisky Highball. Made with whisky, ginger ale and citrus.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Gin and Tonic. Made with gin, tonic water, and citrus.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Margarita. Made with tequila, orange liqueur, lime, and salt.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Daiquiri. Made with white run, lime, sugar syrup.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters

Negroni. Made with gin, campari, and sweet vermouth.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Not much of a tippler? Never fear because the barista can concoct a non-alcoholic beverage for you just like this “Gel and Tonic” (a mocktail jokingly named by the barista after me, hahaha!) made with cold brew, tonic water and citrus.

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

The good news is that you won’t have to travel far for a hidden bar adventure!

Sundown at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Bar by EAST will be opening to the public soon. In the meantime, it is available for intimate private events. For inquiries, send a message to EAST on Instagram.

So don’t let the sundown get you down: welcome the end of the day with good food, good fun and good friends at Lamp Quarters!

Lamp Quarters is located along Gil Fernando Street, Centro de Buenviaje, Bgy Santo Nino, Marikina City. For updates on its special promos and events, follow Lamp Quarters on Facebook and Instagram.

For inquiries, call Lamp Quarters +63 917 6520324 or email lamp.quarters@gmail.com.

Disclosure: Together with my foodie friends, I attended a food tasting held at this venue. Food items mentioned here were served to elicit honest feedback and were not paid for by the attendees.

Filling Japanese lunch at Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Back when my office was located in the Ortigas area, a lunchtime sojourn to SM Megamall was a frequent occurrence.

For one thing, it’s just a short cab (or FX) ride away; my officemates and I can easily grab a quick meal, enjoy the change of scenery, and be back at our desk usually before our bosses came back from their own lunch outs.

Another reason is the sheer number of affordable and delicious dining options available, which, sadly, far outnumbers those housed in our office building’s cafeteria.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

One of our favorite SM Megamall haunts is Yoshinoya, the second-largest chain of gyudon restaurants in the world. It makes Japanese rice bowls and more easily accessible to Pinoys through its affordable menu items that don’t scrimp on fresh ingredients.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Sadly, our office moved locations and a lunchtime trip to Yoshinoya is no longer as convenient.

Plus, with the quarantine restrictions still in place, I really haven’t been going out much.

That is, until my daughter #ExhibitA and I went shopping for supplies at SM Megamall.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Giving in to #ExhibitA’s request for us to eat somewhere which offers gyoza, I decided to treat her to lunch at Yoshinoya. There, we refueled after a round of shopping with these dishes:

Gyoza (Php79). Pork and vegetable-filled dumplings steamed then pan-grilled for a satisfying mix of chewy and crunchy textures and served with a dipping sauce.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

California Maki (Php79). A sushi roll containing cucumber, kani and mango bits.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Pork Tonkatsu Bento (Php189). Deep fried breaded pork served in a bento box with macaroni salad, tiramisu and served with Tonkatsu sauce.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Regular Gyudon Beef (Php159 ala carte | Php189 solo meal with with red iced tea and coffee jelly). Tender beef slices are simmered in a special herb and spice broth together with sliced onions and then served on top of a bowl of steaming rice.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Green Tea Ice Cream (Php50).

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Well, with these flavorful Japanese dishes that don’t burn a whole through my wallet, I am quite satisfied with my return to Yoshinoya!

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

This Yoshinoya branch is located at Upper Ground Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For delivery, call +63 2 2882888.

Other branches are located at:

  • Food Court, Level 1, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Annex Building, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Valero Carpark 2, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • Second Floor, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Fourth Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila
  • Ground Floor, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City

To know more about Yoshinoya, visit its website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Yoshinoya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Double servings of Ramen at Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Are you loving the recent spate of cold weather, foodies?

Chilly days like these make me want to slurp on some fully loaded and steaming hot ramen. When I’m feeling particularly ravenous, I don’t think a single bowl would suffice.

Well, wouldn’t you know it: at the newly opened Dabururamen at SM Megamall, I can get two bowls for the price of one! Yey!

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

“Daburo” is one way of saying “double” in Japanese. With its ramen dishes available on Buy 1 Take 1 deals, Dabururamen gives you double the flavor and double the ramen goodness with every order.

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Are you curious yet on what you can enjoy at Dabururamen? Here’s a sampling:

Daburu Ramen (Php358 for double | Php188 for single). The house special ramen with rich broth, chashu slice and marinated egg, resulting to a hearty blend of authentic Japanese flavors. Definitely incredouble!

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Kamabaku Ramen (Php348 for double | Php198 for single). Dabururamen’s version of the Tantanmen and my new favorite! Its blend of nutty and spicy sweetness can’t be beat!

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Melting Gyoza (Php98 for 6pcs | Php190 for 12pcs). The classic Japanese dumpling made with minced pork and chopped vegetables gets an upgrade with the addition of oozing melted cheese!

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

House Special Takoyaki (Php168 for 6pcs | Php298 for 12pcs). A mixture of wheat batter and chopped octopus formed into succulent and savory balls topped with special sauce and bonito flakes.

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

So the next time you’ve got a monster craving for ramen or just want to chase the chilly weather blues away, drop by Dabururamen!

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Daburu Ramen, SM Megamall

Update: I went back to Eatogether Food Hall with my foodie friends and was able to try more of Dabururamen’s dishes. Check them out!

Shoyu Ramen (Php328 for double | Php185 for single). Crispy pork katsu tops a bowl of savory clear soup, spring onions, nori and mushrooms.

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Cheesy Katsudon Poppers (Php275). Cheese-stuffed breaded pork roulade drizzled with Dabururamen’s Emperor sauce and served with cabbage salad and oriental veggies.

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

And again, more of that fabulous Dabururamen. Yey!

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Now I’m looking forward to more visits!

Dabururamen, SM Megamall

Dabururamen is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. For delivery, call in your orders at +63 917 1598522 or +63 9605151688. You may also course your order through FoodPanda, GrabFood and Poodtrip.

Disclosure: I attended a food tasting here together with fellow foodies. Food items mentioned here were served to let us sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Dabururamen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

No-stress meal from Jampax Foods Delivery

Momshies, just because you spend more time at home nowadays doesn’t mean you’re less stressed, right?

With all that juggling between working from home, and all the stuff you need to work on at home, it’s enough to make you get frazzled sometimes.

Fortunately, the folks over at Jampax can take stress out of preparing your family’s next meal.

Jampax Foods

A group of friends who used to work in food industry before the pandemic hit our shores banded together and put their skill sets to bear to whip up tasty yet affordable rice meals for online selling.

Jampax Foods

Here’s a sampling of what you can expect from Jampax:

Gyoza (Php45/5 pieces). Mini-versions of the popular Japanese potstickers made with ground meat and minced vegetables flavored by garlic and aromatics wrapped in thin dough wrappers. This is my daughter’s favorite dumpling and she considers no Japanese meal complete without it.

Jampax Foods

Jampax Foods

Katsudon (Php110). Tender piece of pork loin, breaded and deep-fried served with egg cooked in a sweet and savory sauce over steamed rice and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. My little boy can’t get enough of it!

Jampax Foods

Jampax Foods

Chicken Inasal (Php85 | Php100 with rice). A boneless quarter leg of chicken flavored in the traditional Ilonggo marinade of calamansi, pepper, coconut vinegar and annato then roasted until tender and flavorfully smokey.

Jampax Foods

Jampax Foods

Other dishes from Jampax’s home-cooked menu include:

  • Chicken Teriyaki (Php85 | Php100 with rice)
  • Karaage (Php85 | Php100 with rice)
  • Tonkatsu (Php85 | Php100 with rice)
  • Pork Siomai (Php40/5 pieces)
  • Japanese Siomai (Php55/5 pieces)
  • Lumpiang Shanghai (Php45/5 pieces)

These dishes are jam-packed with flavor and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways:

  • A single order can be a busy office worker’s hassle-free lunch
  • Several orders can be family’s quick and easy dinner
  • Large orders can be a crew meal for outdoor projects and or party fare for big celebrations

Want to stock up on food you can cook later? Jampax also offers marinated chicken wings and chicken breast fillets at Php200 per half-kilo pack (in flavors garlic parmesan, hickory barbecue and buffalo flavors), as well as frozen pork siomai, Japanese siomai, gyoza and lumpiang shanghai for Php70 per twelve-piece pack.

So momshies, kiss the stress away for your fam’s mealtime. Just order your food at Jampax by calling +63 915 5850297 or sending a message on Facebook or Instagram between 8am and 6pm daily with a two-day lead time (same day orders may be accommodated depending on stock availability). Cashless payments via BPI and GCash are accepted and encouraged. Delivery is free in selected areas in Cavite.

Jampax Foods

Jampax Foods

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Get your bowl of happiness at Hanamaruken

I wasn’t always a ramen lover.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t be able to differentiate among ramen varieties, nor appreciate the artistry that goes into crafting and delicious bowl of ramen.

That changed when I first tasted Hanamaruken’s Happiness Ramen three years ago.

Thus started my #RamenPhase that’s showing no signs of fading away.

Before the enhanced community quarantine, I was lucky enough to take my fam out to dinner one Saturday night at the place where my love affair with ramen started: Hanamaruken at The Grove along C5.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken is a ramen chain that originated from Osaka, Japan which was established in 1982 by Takaku Arakawa who belonged to a family of butchers. By drawing from its founder’s background in butchery, Hanamaruken became known for ramen dishes that feature choice cuts of meat and uniquely flavored broth.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

There, the fam enjoyed a meal that included:

Signature Happiness Ramen (Php445 half | Php580 whole). Arakawa’s ramen masterpiece features a combination of shoyu (soy) and tonkotsu (pork bone) broth topped with ginormous piece of tender slow-braised pork bone rib. This is still my benchmark when it comes to ramen.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Pot Belly Ramen (Php410). Another showcase for the tonkotsu and shoyu broth combo topped with roasted pork belly.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Spicy Tobanjan Ramen (Php320). Tonkotsu broth spiced by tobanjan paste. Hubby liked it so much that he ordered extra noodles (Php80) to savor more of the spicy broth.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Gyoza (Php240). My daughter #ExhibitA will not consider a visit to any Japanese resto complete without these Japanese potstickers.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Ebi Tempura (Php580). Large prawns battered and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown and served with umami-rich tempura sauce.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

I look forward to tasting this kind of happiness again and again.

And since my daughter and I both unlocked our Zomato Gold privileges at this Hanamaruken branch, we got two of these dishes for free!

Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks for dining in at partner restaurants. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use the code JELLYB to get 45% off the membership fee.

Wanna have your own taste of ramen happiness but can’t leave home because of the ECQ? Here’s a bit of good news for you: Hanamaruken Forbestown is now open for pickup and delivery via Grab Assistant or Lalamove. To order, call +63 917 6356254 or +63 916 2142208.

This Hanamaruken branch is located at The Grove by Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Barangay Ugong, Pasig City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 86953643.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Forbes Retail, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, Santolan Town Plaza, Colonel Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan
  • Hole in the Wall, Fourth Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
  • Second Floor, Garden Wing, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Hanamaruken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Hearty noodle meal at Marugame Udon, SM North EDSA

My friends know that I’m quite a ramen lover but I’ve also been known to expand my range when it comes to gustatory adventures.

One such expansion was when my officemates first introduced me to the delights of another kind of Japanese noodle dish at the Marugame Udon branch in SM North EDSA.

Udon differs from ramen in the size and texture of noodles: udon noodles are straight, thicker and have a softer and chewier texture than ramen noodles. They also tend to absorb the flavor of the udon broth more easily.

Marugame Udon is the largest udon noodles restaurant chain in the world with over a thousand stores worldwide where authentic udon noodles are freshly kneaded, boiled and cooked upon order everyday.

At Marugame Udon, customers get in line in front of the open-style kitchen to choose their udon according to the numbers displayed and then choose their desired toppings to customize their orders before they pay at the cashier.

Marugame Udon, SM North

Marugame Udon, SM North

Marugame Udon, SM North

Marugame Udon, SM North

Among the dishes my friends and I enjoyed are:

Beef Ontama Bukkake Udon (Php210 regular | Php260 large). Comes with marinated gyudon beef strips, Japanese poached egg, and bukkake soup.

Marugame Udon, SM North

Chicken Paitan Udon (Php200 regular | Php250 large). Comes with sauteed chicken, a soft boiled egg, and flavorful chicken soup with a distinct taste of cracked pepper.

Marugame Udon, SM North

Gyudon (Php170). Beef strips flavored with a sweet-savory sauce and garnished with onions on top of rice

Marugame Udon, SM North

Well, it sure looks like there’s a new addition to my Japanese food cravings!

If you’ve got a craving for udon but are stuck at home due to the enhanced community quarantine, you’ll be glad to know that Marugame Udon re-opened its BGC branch yesterday to cater to takeout and delivery customers.  It is open weekdays from 11am to 5pm and can take pre-orders via +63 2 77999184 or +63 916 6270275.

Marugame Udon also delivers via GrabFood.  Download the Grab App on the App Store or Google Play. Get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.

How about when the quarantine is done and we’re all back to our regularly scheduled programming, we go out to have another serving of Marugame Udon’s offerings, eh?

Marugame Udon, SM North

This Marugame Udon branch is located at Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City.

Other branches are located at:

  • Level 2, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Third Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, SM City Marikina, Marcos Highway, Calumpang, Marikina City
  • Ground Floor, O Square Building 2, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills
  • Ground Floor, Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, SM City Cubao, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
  • B7, Bonifacio High Street, Lane P, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Main Mall, Ayala Malls Circuit, Carmona, Makati City
  • Third Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Lower Ground Floor, Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Del Monte, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City

Marugame Udon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Ramen delivery from Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

My #RamenPhase has been going on for years (and I don’t think it will end anytime soon!)

With the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, it has been hard for me to get my ramen fix. Authentic ramen does not lend itself well to delivery: the noodles tend to get soggy if left in the broth too long. Due to this, many ramen restaurants refuse to offer their fare for delivery.

Well, the ramen shop near my home, Ramen Len, has found a way around that difficulty. Thanks to its ingenious packaging, the firm and chewy noodles, toppings (a slice of chashu, naruto, bamboo shoots and green onions) and broth are all kept separate until they get delivered.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

I discovered this when I decided to supplement our family dinner with some of Ramen Len’s offerings by ordering from FoodPanda.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Our ramen orders included:

Tonkotsu Shoyu (Php190). Thick and creamy pork bone broth flavored with herbs and Japanese soy sauce.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Tonkotsu Red (Php220). The pork bone broth combined with spicy sesame as well as various herbs and spices.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Tonkotsu Black (Php230). The pork bone broth made even more flavorful with the addition roasted garlic oil.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

We also ordered Special Gyoza (Php110/ 5 pieces) which is among my daughter’s perennial favorite Japanese dishes. These are Japanese dumplings filled with seasoned ground meat, finely chopped vegetables and aromatics.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Now, I know where to go when I get that ramen craving!

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len is located at 45 Countryside Avenue, Countryside Village, Barangay Santa Lucia, Pasig City. To order for pick-up, call +63 939 3357160 or have your order delivered to you via FoodPanda.

Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order

Ramen Len Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

 

Yokohama’s Sigekiya Ramen now at Estancia Mall

My #RamenPhase has already spanned years.

From the first time I had a taste of what real Japanese ramen could be (as opposed to the instant noodles the defined the term during my childhood) I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve always been on the lookout for places to enjoy those firm, freshly made noodles in hot flavorful broth. I’ve tried a number of ramen restaurants in the metro already but this is the first time I’ve tried Sigekiya Ramen.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

A franchise of the famous ramen chain in Yokohama, Japan, this shop opened in Estancia Mall’s East Wing in November last year. The place has a down-home izakaya feel to it, with colorful banners and lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a peek from the ramen bar into the hustlin’ and bustlin’ scene in the kitchen where the ramen orders are freshly made.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Last Sunday, together with my fellow East-based foodies, I had a taste of Sigekiya’s celebrated offerings, which included:

Sigekiya Ramen (Php325 small | Php375 regular | Php420 large). The store’s unique take on the shoyu ramen with pork meat broth taking the place of the pork bone broth resulting to a rich umami flavor. It comes with generous slices of char siu (seasoned and torched pork belly) which gives the ramen some added heft. Just imagine slurping this during these balmy January days. Yummy!

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Tsukemen (Php375 small | Php420 regular | Php500 large). The so-called “dipping ramen.” Instead of being immersed in the pork broth, the ramen noodles are eaten after being dipped in the soup which is more intense in flavor than the normal ramen broth. A version called Tsukemen Gyokai (Php385 small | Php430 regular | Php510 large) is also available wherein the pork broth is supplemented by fish powder, giving the ramen another dimension in flavor.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Tantanmen Ramen (Php325 small | Php375 regular | Php420 large). Sigekiya’s take on the spicy Dandanmian noodle dish which originated in China. With a hearty peanut-based broth, ground meat and chopped veggies, this is a filling meal for the ramen lover.

Gojira (Php380). The name sounds so similar to what the Japanese call the monster Godzilla, hehehe! (I wonder if that’s intentional, hmm…) Well, this ramen bowl is such a monster in terms of serving size. With all those noodles, meat, loads of garlic and veggies, you’ll really get your fill.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Shirunashi (Php380). Another ramen that has very little soup, just a bit of rich-tasting sauce that together with a freshly cracked egg, veggies and loads of garlic to bring flavor and texture to the noodles.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Gyoza (Php110 for three pieces | Php160 for five pieces). Pan-fried dumplings filled with seasoned ground pork flavored with aromatics. The gyoza here are larger than the usual gyoza and are among the most delish my friends and I have tasted.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Okonomiyaki (Php160). Sigekiya’s version of the savory Japanese pancake is served on hot plates and topped with Japanese mayo and smoky bonito flakes.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Chicken Karaage (Php215). This version of the Japanese fried chicken is served with a sweet chili sauce but, trust me, request for some Japanese mayo and dip the karaage there instead. Add a bit of wasabi for a bit of spice.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

With its delicious and affordable offerings and large portions, Sigekiya Ramen makes Yokohama’s celebrated dishes more accessible to hungry Pinoys.

Many thanks to Miguel Illescas and the crew of Sigekiya Ramen for the warm welcome and the delicious food!

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

This Sigekiya Ramen branch is located at Lower Ground, East Wing, Estancia Mall, Oranbo, Pasig City.

Another branch is located at Ground Floor, Commercenter, 1780 Commerce Corner Filinvest Avenue, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City.

Sigekiya Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a food tasting 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:

 

Unli Japanese Hot Pot at Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Nabemono (from the Japanese words nabe or “cooking pot” and mono or “thing”) is a variety of Japanese hotpot dishes. This is usually cooked on the table starting a flavored stock with diners adding pre-cooked and uncooked ingredients to the pot.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

I seldom get a chance to eat at hotpot places so I got all excited when I heard that the newly opened branch of Soru Izakaya in Tomas Morato offers a hotpot dish. Dubbed the Soru Nabe Special (Php599 per person), it provides diners unlimited refills of:

  • Broth: choice of two among Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu, Sukiyaki, Curry, Chicken, Miso and Spicy Miso
  • Meat: beef, chicken and pork
  • Seafood: shrimp, clams, mussels, squid and fish fillet
  • Balls: assorted balls and kani
  • Noodles: vermicelli, glass noodles and egg
  • Entrees: gyoza, yakisoba, tempura, beef bowl, pork bowl, smoked pork bowl, chicken wings, vegetable tempura, takoyaki
  • Vegetables: napa cabbage, carrots, squash, white onions, enoki, bokchoy, corn, taro, kangkong and black fungus
  • Sides: kimchi, potato marble, kakiage, cucumber, steamed rice and chahan

You know what got me more excited? The fact that from December 11 to 18, the Soru Nabe Special is at 50% off!

So off my office friends and I went to Soru Izakaya to enjoy this offer.

This resto boasts of the same colorful and visually appealing decor which takes its cues from bishoujo (pretty girl) manga, traditional Japanese art, the colorful Tokyo night life and the emergence of speakeasies.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

There’s a separate section for hotpot diners wherein two rows of four tables (total of eight tables) are equipped with table-top stoves which can accommodate the hot pots.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Each pot is divided in the middle to allow diners to cook using two different broths simultaneously.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

We found the Soru Nabe Special very filling and satisfying due the variety of its inclusions.

What can be improved, though, is the spacing of the tables in the hotpot area. They were placed too close together that we had to stand to allow other diners to pass thru to their seats.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Also, the staff took some time to fulfill our refill requests.

Still, this ain’t bad for lunchtime adventure.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

And here’s some good news: the unli hotpot is back from January 9 to February 9 with options for Php299 and Php399 packages, minimum of two people per table.

So what are you waiting for? Drop by with your friends and eat your fill!

This Soru Izakaya branch is located at Scout Torillo corner Scout Hernandez, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight.

Other branches are located at:

  • Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City

Soru Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Sate your Japanese food cravings at Hanako, Regis Katipunan

Japanese food remains to be among the most popular cuisines in the metro. With its focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients, simple yet meticulous food preparation that brings out the ingredients’ natural flavors, as well as the artistry involved in presentation and styling of its dishes, Japanese cuisine, has won the hearts (and tummies) of many Pinoys.

Hanako, for example, is a Japanese restaurant chain that’s geared to be among the metro’s go-to destinations with its focus on authentic yet affordable Japanese food.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

“Hanako” is actually a popular girl’s name in Japan which translates to “flower girl.” As the name implies, Hanako’s dishes exemplify the simplicity and beauty of Japanese cuisine.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Recently, my gal pals from #SaanSaPH and I trooped to Hanako’s branch in Regis Center Katipunan for a late lunch. We were treated to a wondrous array of dishes which included some of my old Japanese food faves as well as new discoveries:

Miso Soup (Php54). The staple soup of many Japanese restaurants wherein miso paste is incorporated into a dashi stock with some tofu cubes. Did you know that this soup can be filling despite being low in calories because of the high protein content?

Hanako, Katipunan

Kani Salad (Php174). A light and refreshing salad made with matchstick-sliced cucumber and carrots, shredded lettuce, strings of kani (crab) meat, tossed in Japanese mayonnaise.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Gyoza (Php89 for 2 pieces | Php159 for 4 pieces). Ground pork mixed with aromatics and spices and wrapped into dumplings which are first steamed then lightly pan-fried on one side for an interesting contrast in texture.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Sushi Rolls. One of the most popular dishes in Japanese cuisines, sushi rolls are made of specially prepared sticky vinegared Japanese rice served with other ingredients. These include the California Gunkan (Php219) – made with kani, fried salmon skin, tamago (seasoned hardboiled egg), mango, cucumber and ebiko (shrimp roe), Spicy Tuna Crunch (Php229) – made with tuna, togarashi (seven-flavor chili pepper) and tempura flakes, Philadelphia Roll (Php209) – made with salmon, kani, cream cheese, tamago and cucumber, and Five Star Roll (Php149) – made with fried salmon skin, salmon, kani, mango, teriyaki sauce, sesame and cucumber.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Salmon Tartare (Php224). Chunks of salmon mixed with Japanese mayo, togarashi, tempura flakes and chopped scallion.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Katsu Curry (Php229). Deep-fried, panko-covered pork cutlets covered in a slightly sweet curry sauce and served with rice.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Ebi Tempura (Php169 for 3 pieces | Php279 for 5 pieces). Battered and deep-fried shrimp served with a special sauce.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Fish Katsu (Php189). Fillets of fish covered in panko and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Karipunan

Beef Omurice (Php184). Classic Japanese omelette stuffed with savory beef fried rice and drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and homemade sweet umami sauce.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Grilled Salmon Head (Php149). Lightly seasoned salmon head served with homemade sweet citrus-sou dipping sauce.

Hanako, Katipunan

Yakitori (Php149). Chicken pieces in skewers seasoned with salt, pepper,l and teriyaki sauce, which are then grilled and served on top of a bowl of steamed rice.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Donburi. Traditional rice bowl meals consisting of meat simmered or doused in a sauce made of dashi, soy sauce and mirin (rice wine) and served on top of steamed rice. These include Gyudon (Php219) – made with beef and onions, and Katsudon (Php199) – breaded and deep-fried pork cutlets simmered with onions and egg. Diners can upgrade their donburi orders to meal sets by adding Php35 for a drink, Php75 for miso soup plus drink, Php105 for a 2-piece gyoza plus drink, or Php145 for miso soup, 2-piece gyoza plus drink.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Chahan (Php79). Japanese stir-fried rice with meat bits and chopped vegetables.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Meiji Madness (Php129). Moist and chewy lava cake topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Drop by Hanako for a taste of #HandsDownGoodFood and sate your cravings for Japanese dishes!

Many thanks to the management and staff of Hanako for the warm welcome and lovely food.

Hanako, Katipunan

Enjoy free dishes when you and friend dine at Hanako and unlock your Zomato Gold privilege. Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use the code VOLT0979 to get 10% off the membership fee.

Hanako, Katipunan

This Hanako branch is located at Second Floor, Regis Center, 327 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 907 4879346.

Other branches are located at:

  • 131-C Armstrong Avenue, Moonwalk Village Phase 1, Paranaque City
  • 30-C Dona Soledad Avenue, Bgy. Don Bosco, Paranaque City
  • SM Supercenter, Fontera Verde, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bgy. Ugong, Pasig
  • 2nd Floor, The Rock, Holy Spirit Drive corner Marcelino Street, Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City

Hanako Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  The food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo Gives You More Delicious Options at Budget-Friendly Prices

 

Just when you thought you’ve experienced all there is to it when it comes to ramen dining, in comes another concept from the same company that gave you the Tsukemen experience.

Infinity Foods Alliance, the firm behind Mitsuyado Sei-men: The House of Tsukemen, recently opened a cafeteria-style ramen shop at the Japan Town of Top of the Glo in Glorietta 2 that is reminiscent of the noodle houses in Japan.

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Mitsuyado Seimen is a concept that originated from Tokyo, Japan. It specializes in Tsukemen (dipping noodle). This is what it has been known for in the Philippines for the past six to seven years. It is known for making good quality thick noodles for Tsukemen. For Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, meanwhile, uses good quality thin noodles.

“Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo is a ramen house where you can choose your own ramen and pair it with your preferred topping,” explained Judy Kay C. Ang, representative of Infinity Food Alliance.

Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo was born because the company wanted to offer a fast-paced restaurant to satisfy the ramen cravings of Filipinos. In the Philippines, ramen has been priced on the average of P400-P500 per bowl. Through Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, it wants to bring ramen appreciation to a price level that is more affordable, which is about only P180 per bowl.

Their ramen offerings include the Hakata Ramen, a pork-based broth that originated from the Hakata District of Fukuoka in Kyushu in southern Japan. They also have the white original Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, Red Spicy Ramen (which makes use of the Japanese spice, karashi), Black Garlic, and Green Matcha.

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To add variety to the ramen they ordered, customers are encouraged to customize it by selecting from various favorite Japanese toppings. Choices include the Charsiu, Sukiyaki, Ajitama, and Boneless Pork Chop, among others. Ang said that there are currently 10 to 12 toppings, and this number can increase in the coming months.

“We want to offer something different to the popular ramen, and we want it to be very affordable. At Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, customers can enjoy good quality noodles at very budget-friendly prices,” said the company’s Marketing and Customer Care Specialist April Faith Alquiroz.

Now, if you want to enjoy your ramen with other popular Japanese food on the side, you can do, too! For Filipinos who love rice, meanwhile, there are donburi options available. There are the Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl Don, Ebi Tempura Don, Chicken Karaage Don, Boneless Porkchop Don, and Gyoza to choose from.

Ang said that after their Glorietta ramen shop, they will be opening another Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo in Vertis North. In the coming months, they will also be unveiling a CoCo ICHIBANYA Curry House in Top of the Glo before the end of the year.

Infinity Foods Alliance is among the many companies focusing on Japanese concept restaurants by entrepreneur Hubert Young, who has been credited for growing the UCC Coffee chain in the Philippines. He is also set to open the biggest Japanese fast food burger chain Mos Burger in the last quarter of the year.

Mitsuysado Ramen Shokudo is located at Top of the Glo, Roofdeck, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm.

Restaurant details and images provided by Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo in a recent press release.

Check out my posts regarding other Japanese restaurants:

 

 

A new foodie haven: Shizuka Cafe, Little Baguio

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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 Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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).

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Tebasaki (Php155).  Tender chicken wings glazed with a sambal sauce, an exotic take on the chicken wings dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Salad (Php180). Mixed greens with grilled chicken and miso balsamic vinaigrette.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Katsu Sando (Php190).  Breaded ground pork katsu sandwiches coated with house-made tonkatsu sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Pesto (Php165). Sandwich with freshly grilled chicken and shiitake tossed in pesto sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

The Nursery (Php115). Peanut butter cream cheese with chocolate soil. A real treat for a sweet tooth like me.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Chamomile (Php145). Refreshing loose-leaf chamomile tea and strawberries.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Sparkling Yuzu Mojito (Php220). This refreshing citrusy drink is made with yuzu and lime fruit juice, tonic water and white rhum.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

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.

No time to drop by Shizuka Cafe? Order what your craving for via Grab Food and have it delivered right to your doorstep.

Shizuka Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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:

Ramen time with Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

My #RamenPhase has been going on for years now and is showing no sign of waning.

And with the metro just entering the season of ramen weather, it’s only fitting that I start looking for new ramen places to try.

Friends who reside in Marikina have been giving me rave reviews about Tongara Ramen for some time now. Located in foodie haven Lamp Quarters, this new ramen spot is lauded for its special broth which is also its namesake: tongara – a mixture of tonkotsu, broth made from pork bones, and torigara, broth made from chicken bones. The resulting broth has an additional layer of sweet-savory flavor to it that differentiates Tongara Ramen’s offerings from those of other ramen places in the metro.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

During a recent foray to Lamp Quarters with my daughter #ExhibitA, we decided to have lunch at Tongara Ramen to taste its celebrated ramen for ourselves.

Our meal included:

Tongara Ramen Junior Bowl (Php220). Don’t let its junior size fool you. We each had a Junior Bowl of Tongara’s famed ramen and it was filling enough to sate our hunger. We loved its flavorful broth and firm noodles which are well complemented by the torched tender slice of chashu (seasoned pork belly), ajitama (seasoned soft-boiled egg) and crisp bamboo shoots.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Chicken Karaage (Php200). Tender and flavorful bite-size pieces of marinated chicken covered in seasoned what flour and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. These are best sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice upon serving and dipped in Japanese mayo.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Gyoza (Php200). Japan’s famous pot sticker made of minced pork, shredded cabbage and aromatics wrapped in thinly rolled dough skins which are first steamed then lightly fried on one side to achieve a slightly crisp texture that complements the dish’s garlicky flavor. Any meal at a Japanese resto with #ExhibitA will not be complete without this dish.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

So, thanks to Tongara Ramen for another mother-daughter foodie adventure unlocked!

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen is located at Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Santo Nino, Marikina, open Sundays to Fridays from 11am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3903773 or +63 917 1794718.

Did you know you that you and a friend can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Tongara Ramen through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Enjoy your ramen during the wet season with Tongara’s Rainy Days Special: get a free side dish or cocktail for a minimum single receipt purchase of Php1,200 or 2 free side dishes or cocktails for a minimum single recept purchase of Php2,000.

Tongara Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

Get ready for unli ramen at Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa!

The rainy season is upon us. With those rain clouds come a bit of cooler weather, giving us Metro Manila denizens a much-welcome break from the heat.

But with those rainshowers and cool breezes come the craving for something hot and hearty that will warm the stomach and soothe the soul.

What better way to enjoy the rainy season than to sit down and slurp on some tasty ramen?

How about taking on Yummy Tokyo’s Unli Ramen offer?

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

But first, let’s get to know Yummy Tokyo and its ramen offerings.

After meticulously developed his ramen recipes, self-taught ramen master Jin Chiba left his corporate research job, found a partner who helped him launch his own brand of ramen in the Philippines, and thus, Yummy Tokyo came to be.

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

My friends from #SaanSaPH recently visited its store along Maginhawa Street and sampled some of its dishes, which include:

Tantanmen (Php189). Did you know that this ramen dish originated from China where it was known as “Dandanmen?” It became popular in Japan’s northern prefectures where its miso, peanut and sesame base was perfected. I like the peanutty taste, its flavorful ground pork topping and its slightly spicy kick.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Miso Ramen (Php149). Initially having gained foothold in the Sapporo and Hokkaido prefectures, it is made by incorporating lots of miso (soybean paste) with meat stock, resulting to a hearty and slightly sweet soup. Topped with a slice of tender chashu, it is quite a filling meal.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Seafood Ramen (Php149). Originating from Nagasaki, this ramen dish with a scallop base and topped with shredded cabbage, kani sticks and narutomaki, it is lighter than the other ramen dishes.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Tonkotsu (Php129). One of my all-time favorites, the soup for this ramen dish originating from the Fukuoka and Kyushu prefectures is made by boiling pork bones, fat and collagen for hours, resulting in a creamy and flavor-filled broth.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Cold Ramen (Php149). The idea behind this ramen dish originating from the Tokyo and Honshu prefectures is to top cold ramen noodles with assorted vegetables and meat then toss them in a vinegary dressing which makes for a refreshing meal.

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Now, about that Unli Ramen. For only Php399, you can stuff yourself with all the broth, noodles and toppings your heart and tummy can hold.

Rainy days don’t seem so sad now, do they?

Want to take your ramen experience home with you? Why not bring home some of Yummy Tokyo’s Ramen Kits (prices range from Php149 to Php169) to enjoy the store’s tasty and authentic ramen dishes at home.

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Many thanks to the folks of Yummy Tokyo for having us!

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

This Yummy Tokyo branch is located at 103 Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village East, Quezon City (inside Moonleaf Tea Shop Compound), open daily from 4pm to 12 midnight.

Another branch is located at the Fourth Floor, East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange, Ortigas Center (inside Moonleaf Tea Shop), open weekdays from 11am to 6pm.

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers of #SaanSaPH, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held here wherein in food items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Yummy Tokyo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

Ramen dinner at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

I’ve been going through my #RamenPhase for several years now and it shows no sign of abating.

And why should it?

Slurping on some tasty, steaming-hot ramen is one of the most comforting things to do, specially on a chilly spring evening in the first week of my family’s visit to the Pacific Northwest.

That night, we ventured out to the beautiful city of Bellevue for dinner after a round of malling. From the mall, we walked across the Bellevue Downtown Park to the local branch of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka to enjoy the crisp spring air and to work up our appetites.

This ramen restaurant is quite familiar to us as it has several outlets in the Metro Manila.   It has become one of go-to ramen places because of its tasty ramen and katsu dishes that fave become family favorites.

The restaurant was founded in Asahikawa, Hokkaido in Japan by Hitoshi Hatanaka when he produced the tonkotsu (pork bone) soup, the flavorful base of the restaurant’s ramen dishes.  The soup is made by hand in all of the chain’s outlets in Japan and abroad; the process involves simmering the pork bones for twenty hours, then adding in vegetables, dried fish, kelp and other savory ingredients as well as seasonings, resulting in a mild but tasty broth. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s bowls are also specially made, with a specific thickness that slows the cooling down of the broth, allowing diners to enjoy their ramen in steaming-hot soup for as long as possible.  

Upon arriving, we entered our name in the tablet provided so that we can be part of the wait list, one of the innovations that we haven’t yet encountered back home.

The place was cozy and frenetic with activity, from new customers being ushered in and the orders and requests being called out.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

For tonight’s meal, our group got for ourselves several orders of our favorites:

Shio Ramen.  The restaurant’s signature dish featuring a milky white salt-based broth, firm hand-pulled noodles, slices of marinated chashu pork belly and more.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Neginanban Ramen.  The resto’s spiciest ramen variant topped with chashu, fried onions, onions and jalapenos.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Karamiso Ramen.  A miso-based ramen with bit of red chilis to spice it up.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Tonkatsu. Deep-fried pork cutlet covered in crispy panko breadcrumbs and served with a tangy katsu sauce.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

With our ramen and katsu orders, we also availed of sides such as the aji-tama (soft-boiled egg marinated in a soy-based sauce) and gyoza (pan-fried dumplings filled with minced pork).

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

With our dinner at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, the fam was able to enjoy some of the flavors we love back home right here in Bellevue.

This Hokkaido Ramen Santouka branch is located at 103 Bellevue Way, NE, Suite 3, Bellevue, WA 98004, open daily from 11am to 9pm.  For inquiries or reservations, call +1 425 4620141.

For more details, visit www.santouka-usa.com.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out the other restos I’ve tried in the Washington State area: