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:

Three reasons why Go Bento is your new go-to place for your quarantine Japanese food cravings

It’s been four months since we’ve been hit with this crazy pandemic and many of us foodies may be chomping at the bit. Four months of isolation, munching on the same lutong-bahay, or stressing on how to stretch our limited food budget may be taking their toll.

But take heart, fellow foodies!

Here are three reasons why Go Bento can be your new go-to place to give your taste buds a break from your usual ulam, without you having to break the bank.

One: It is the home of affordable, everyday Japanese food.

The resto takes its concept from the Japanese bento, a takeout or home-packed meal good for one person which already includes rice, a fish or meat viand and cooked veggies, all placed in a box that can be taken anywhere.

However, other food options such as donburi (rice bowls) and ala carte dishes are also made available to suit the tastes and budget of you Japanese food lovers out there.

Go Bento’s tasty offerings, all costing no higher than Php200, include:

Beef Misono Bento (Php190). Thin slices of beef stir-fried in a garlicky yakiniku style sauce, served with rice, stir-fried veggies and miso soup.

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

Mixed Tempura Bento (Php190). Japanese-style battered and fried shrimp and mixed vegetables served with tempura sauce, rice, veggie salad and miso soup.

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

Gyudon (Php155). Thin slices of beef simmered with onions in a mildly sweet, dashi-flavored sauce and served on top of rice.

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

Hambagu Curry (Php110). Japan’s version of the Salisbury or hamburger steak served with a fried egg in a sweet Japanese curry sauce over rice.

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

Miso Nori Hambagu (Php75). Japanese-style beef burger patty topped with nori, shredded cabbage and signature sauce served in a bun.

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

If you’re feeling just lightly peckish, you can also snack on:

California Maki (Php95/4pcs).

Go Bento, BGC

Chicken Thigh Yakitori (Php50/stick).

Go Bento, BGC

Chicken Skin Yakitori (Php35/stick).

Go Bento, BGC

Potato Takoyaki.

Go Bento, BGC

Two: You can Go Bento at home.

Go Bento delivers via GrabFood and FoodPanda so you can feast on your Japanese comfort food faves or take a break from your WFH tasks with a tasty snack.

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

Three: You can safely dine in at Go Bento.

Protocols are already in place to minimize physical contact and ensure your safety so you can dine in comfort.

So, foodies, there’s no need to stress yourself out on your dining options. The next time your Japanese food craving hits, you know where to go: Go Bento!

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento, BGC

Go Bento is located at 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open daily from 11am to 8pm for dine-in, takeout, pickup or delivery via GrabFood and FoodPanda. Safe cashless payments via GCash also available. For inquiries, reservations or orders, call +63 2 88651565 or +63 998 9529796.

It recently opened a new branch along Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City, open daily from 10am to 5pm. For inquiries, reservations or orders, call +63 998 5875592.

Download the Grab App and get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.

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

Go Bento Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with a fellow foodie, I attended a food tasting held at this resto where food items were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate our honest reviews, and were not paid for by the attendees.

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:

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Got a sudden hankering for Japanese food?

Why not drop by Hashi Donburi’s newest branch in QC?

Step up to the second floor of the building across ABS-CBN and you will enter what appears to be a laid-back izakaya where you can sit back and have a hearty serving of your favorite Japanese food.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Here’s a sampling of what you can enjoy here:

Salmon Sashimi (Php299). Slices of fresh salmon served that’s great for starters.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Tantanmen (Php299). Slightly spicy ramen with a peanut-based broth topped with pork slices and egg.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Tonkotsu (Php269). Savory miso-based ramen topped with pork slices and egg. This is quite hearty and well-suited for a rainy day.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Gyudon (Php199). Rice bowl topped with beef and onion simmered in a sweet sauce with dashi.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Tendon (Php179). Rice bowl topped with battered and deep-fried prawns in donburi sauce.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Oyakudon (Php159). Rice bowl topped with simmered chicken, egg and sliced scallions.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Chicken Teriyaki Bento (Php199). A meal set that includes chicken teriyaki, rice, sauteed veggies, potato croquettes and miso soup.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Chicken Karaage Bento (Php199). A meal set that includes chicken karaage, rice, sauteed veggies and potato croquettes. I suggest you request for a serving of Japanese mayo (and add a bit of wasabi to that) as your dip.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Among Hashi Donburi’s menu items, I found the bento boxes the best value in terms of price, serving size and taste.

I now count this resto among my lunch choices in the area.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Planning a party? Hold your gathering at Hashi Donburi and take advantage of these value-packed party packages:

Set A (Php4,499 good for 10-15 pax). Two servings each of edamame, ebi furai, yakisoba, tonkatsu, chicken karaage and chicken teppan plus three rice platters, 60-piece maki/sushi platter, four pitchers of drinks and 4 servings of tempura ice cream.

Set B (Php4,999 good for 10-15 pax). Two servings each of korokke, tempura, ebi furai, seaweed salad, yakiudon, beef teppanyaki, chicken karaage and chicken teppan plus two rice platters, 48-piece maki/sushi platter, one big ramen serving and 4 servings of tempura ice cream.

This Hashi Donburi branch is located at Second Floor, 139 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 77206040.

The original branch is located at 1607 Dapitan Street, Sampaloc, Manila.

Hashi Donburi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent to the Western pub or tavern: a place where people can hang out and drink after work.

The origin of these establishments can be traced back to 18th century Japan, at the time when sake – the Japanese rice wine – was also growing popular. In fact, the word izakaya is rooted on i (to stay) and sakaya (sake shop), because, in contrast to the previous practice in sake shops to drink alcohol while standing, patrons of izakayas can sit down, and even eat some finger food, while drinking.

In the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area is situated Nomiya Izakaya.

It veers slightly away from the traditional izakayas in that it serves full meals, which is quite fortunate as it recently served as the venue of a happy lunch among my officemates and myself.

Walking into the establishment, we were quick to appreciate its minimalist and industrial themed decor.

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

For our lunch, we took advantage of its donburi – Japanese rice bowls.

Chirashi Don (Php345). Chirashi means “scattered,” so this dish is basically a rice bowl with fish, vegetables and other ingredients.

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Gyudon (Php320). This Japanese beef bowl boasts of thin and tender beef slices on top of steaming hot rice and doused with mildly sweet sauce.

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Katsudon (Php290). This bowl of rice is topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, eggs, veggies and doused with sauce.

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Spicy Salmon Maki (Php250). Slivers of spicy salmon rolled in rice with some crunch from the tempura flakes.

Nomiya Izakaya, Tomas Morato

It certainly looks like we have a new go-to place when we crave for Japanese food!

Plus, since two of us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege in this resto, we got the gyudon and salmon maki for free!

Want to score a similar discount? 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.

Nomiya Izakaya is located at 36 Scout Tobias Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 9547055.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Surprisingly affordable Japanese fare at Isaribi, Tomas Morato

Somewhat hidden among the old and new eateries along Tomas Morato is Isaribi. Opened a mere 8 months ago, it is the second branch of the Japanese chain in the Philippines, with the other branch located in Legaspi Village, Makati.

Together with a group of officemates, I ventured to this restaurant right across Vitto’s along Scout Lozano Street to satisfy our gang’s craving for Japanese food.

“Isaribi” translates to “fishing fire,” a fire used to lure fish at night. It was taken from an ancient Japanese poem by Kakinomoto Hitomaru in the Manyoshu, a collection of writings reflecting 7th and 8th century life in Japan.

When we entered, we were welcomed by greetings from the servers accompanied by some beats from a drum. The place was quite spacious with tastefully laid out tables with built-in grills. When we sat down, were offered cold oshibori (“wet towels”) to clean our hands. Points of interest also include the walls decorated with what appeared to be sake bottles. All in all, the decor and the rituals contributed to a premium and authentically Japanese feel to the resto.

While my coworkers took advantage of rice meals that come with eat-all-you-can rice and soup (a really tasty miso broth), I decided to give in to my ongoing ramen phase. Our orders consisted of:

  • Tonkotsu Ramen (Php300). Milky-white pork-broth with firm ramen noodles, thin slices of green onion, half of a tamago (soft-boiled soy-tinged egg), and slivers of cha siu pork belly. While the pork slices are not as melt-in-your-mouth tender as I usually prefer, the broth had a strong garlicky taste which sets it apart from similar ramen I’ve tasted from other Japanese restos.
  • Gyudon (Php280). The Japanese beef bowl, with tender and slightly smoky-flavored grilled beef and a savory-sweet sauce.
  • Katsudon (Php280). A bowl of rice topped with sliced pork cutlets coated with flavored egg.
  • Tendon (Php280). Rice toppings with shrimp and vegetable tempura.
  • Tonkatsu Teishoku (Php280). Pork cutlet covered in panko and flavored batter, served with salad. This took some time getting to our table.

I look forward to coming back here to feast of the sashimi and grilled beef offerings.

Isaribi is located at the Belfrant Building along Scout Lozano. The street is one-way going towards Tomas Morato so plan your trip accordingly. For reservations, call 02 4415302.

Check out my previous reviews of Japanese restaurants:

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

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