The Jelly List: Extraordinary sushi picks for International Sushi Day

Did you know that there’s such a thing as an International Sushi Day? On the 18th day of June every year, food enthusiasts the world over celebrate one of the jewels of Japanese cuisine: the sushi.

Made with vinegared rice, seafood, vegetables, and even tropical fruits, sushi has embodied several tenets of Japanese food such as the use of fresh ingredients, simple and natural cooking methods, exquisite presentation and portion control.

A well-made sushi is akin to a work of art.

So on this day of all days, we can’t just have any ‘ole sushi. Nope, on International Sushi Day, we deserve sushi with that extra oomph to elevate our sushi experience.

Plus, given the restrictions on movement and dining out in the metro due to the community quarantine, we need sushi that is can be delivered to our homes.

Oh, how to solve this quandary? Well, allow me to share with you my top picks for extraordinary sushi in the metro for you to enjoy on International Sushi Day.

Soru Izakaya’s Lava Maki

Soru Izakaya’s has long been known for playful and whimsical takes on sushi and it’s Lava Maki is no exception. Salmon skin, crabsticks and mango are topped with cubes of salmon and tuna doused with a mixture of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce, making it a savory and slightly spicy treat for the palate.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Maginhawa

To order your Lava Maki from Soru Izakaya, fill up this form, or text +63 917 7040515, +63 917 6363526 or +63 935 7830298.

Read more about Soru Izakaya here.

Omakase’s Spicy Maguro Roll (Php310).

This deep-fried sushi roll made with spicy tuna topped with ebiko and scallions is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, quite an exciting contrast that adventurous sushi fans love!

Omakase, Greenhills

Course your order for the Spicy Maguro Roll from Omakase through GrabFood or FoodPanda or call the Omakase branch nearest you (Marikina +63 2 86316588 or +63 917 5590746 | Don Antonio +63 2 77995891 or +63 977 3881954 | Molito +63 2 84033279, +63 2 87711443 or +63 906 4917798 | Il Terrazo +63 2 83324115 or +63 905 3369648 | Ayala Feliz +63 2 82536354 or +63 956 0164604).

Read more about Omakase here.

Icho Japanese Restaurant’s Foie Gras Aburi (Php250/pc).

Every now and then, you want to treat yourself to something indulgent, right? Well, this Foie Gras Aburi is your best bet. Lightly broiled goose liver with balsamic teriyaki sauce placed on top of sushi rice make for a decadent sushi experience.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

To order your Foie Gras Aburi from Icho Japanese Restaurant, call +63 2 85350020 or +63 917 1346027.

Read more about Icho Japanese Restaurant here.

Hanako’s Five Star Roll (Php149).

Made with fried salmon skin, salmon, kani, mango, teriyaki sauce, sesame and cucumber which made for interesting contrasts in textures and flavors in each mouthful, this sushi roll deserves its five-star moniker.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Course your order for the Five Star Roll from Hanako through GrabFood or FoodPanda or call the Hanako branch nearest you (Better Living +63 2 88280189, +63 2 75010189 or +63 917 7144278 | SM Pasig +63 2 85848708 or +63 917 7144287 | Regis Katipunan +63 2 83323626 or +63 907 4879346).

Read more about Hanako here.

Fukuruo Nihonryori’s Yaki Samon Mayo Nigiri (Php145).

With two hefty slices of salmon draped over balls of Japanese rice and complemented with Japanese mayo and fish roe, this made for a decadently delicious sushi dish.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Course your order for the Yaki Samon Mayo Nigiri from Fukurou Nihonryori through GrabFood or call +63 2 82866662 or +63 915 5451245.

Read more about Fukurou Nihonryori here.

Grillin’ Ape’s Lava Sushi Donut (Php230).

This dish is a modern take on how to enjoy sushi: a donut-shaped sushi rice base topped with tempura, egg, yuzu kyozu mayo and mozzarella cheese. It’s quite a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Course your order for the Lava Sushi Donut from Grillin’ Ape through GrabFood, FoodPanda or LalaFood, or call +63 2 83677135.

Read more about Grillin’ Ape here.

Meatsumo’s Sushi Bake (Php480).

One of the food items to gain prominence during the quarantine, the Sushi Bake combines the exotic flavors of sushi with the comfortable homeyness of baked casseroles. Meatsumo’s Sushi Bake is made with sushi rice, kani, mango, zucchini, Japanese mayo and tobiko, the flavors we expect from California Maki but packaged in a half tray good for four people, with portions to be scooped out and placed in nori squares for maximum enjoyment.

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

To order your Sushi Bake from Meatsumo, fill out this form, send a message via Facebook or Viber +63 933 1346534.

Read more about Meatsumo here.

So on International Sushi Day, get your hands on these extraordinary sushi!

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

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

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The Jelly List: The best of my foodie adventures in 2019

As we enter into the new year, it’s nice to look back on what made it so special.

I was lucky enough to take part in foodie meetups and special events that opened my eyes to new ways of enjoying good food.

Here are ten that are especially memorable:

1. Teavana TEA-volution Seminar at Starbucks, SM East

TEAvolution, Starbucks SM East

Starbucks is always associated with coffee but I learned that it also has a lot to offer when it comes to teas.

Last February, I joined the Teavana TEA-volution Tea Tasting Seminar, a Tea 101 if you will, where Starbucks Tea Master Jonas Velgado took my fellow foodies and I on guided tour through the history of teas, the tea-growing regions of the world and three flights of tea tasting which included full-leaf brewed teas and tea lattes.

Read more about it here.

Starbucks branches may be found all over Metro Manila.

2. Summer Menu Launch at Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina has a modern take on Filipino cuisine: infusing classic Pinoy dishes with new and exciting cooking styles and influences. These help to make Pinoy cuisine fresher and more relevant to a growing number of foodies, who are looking for their next food adventure.

Last March, it launched its summer menu which included new takes on the Pinoy classic halo-halo, which made use of the use of flavored ice: the flavors are infused into the ice, resulting to a more intense taste and creamier mouthfeel. I’m glad that my favorite among the three halo-halo flavors – the Tres Leches – have been included in the regular menu.

Read more about it here.

Ombu Kusina is located at the Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel, Mother Ignacia corner Timog Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 6.30am to 10.30am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 84411789.

3. Sunset Dining at Padi’s Point, Antipolo Sumulong

Padi’s Point, Sumulong Highway

The original Padi’s Point along Sumulong Highway in Antipolo is known for its magnificent sunset views. It has long been considered a landmark in the area, with families, barkadas or even couples, making the trek up from all over the city to this restaurant to enjoy the chill ambiance, the homegrown food served here and, of course, the amazing scenery.

Padi’s Point offers a wide array of homegrown dishes that are best enjoyed family style.

Read more about it here.

This Padi’s Point branch is located at Alpha D Compound, Sumulong Highway, Santa Cruz, Lower Antipolo, Rizal, open daily for 24 hours. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 83443028.

4. Breakfast at Sammy’s Restaurant, Cainta

Sammy’s Cainta

Sammy’s serves a carefully thought-out curation of Asian cuisine influenced, no doubt, by the seventeen years the couple spent in Jakarta where the chef obtained his diploma at the Jakarta Culinary Center in between gigs as singers in the Hotel Mulia Senayan Jakarta.

Sammy the Singing Chef and his wife Dorothy even serenede diners during dessert!

Read more about it here.

Sammy’s is located at 14 Raspberry Bend Street, Valley View Executive Subdivision Phase 3, San Juan, Cainta. The restaurant is open Tuesdays to Saturdays for breakfast from 7am to 11.30am and for dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm, and on Sundays for breakfast from 7am to 11.30am. Seating is strictly by reservation so call +63 939 1483960 to book your table.

5. First taste of isaw at Mang Ding’s, Marikina

Mang Ding’s, Marikina

The Filipino street food scene is quite storied and vibrant, a showcase of the Pinoy’s creativity and resourcefulness.

At Mang Ding’s Pinoy BBQ, diners can rediscover Pinoy street food, touted as MASARAP, MALINIS and MURA, in a pleasant al fresco setting.

Here is where I had my first taste of isaw (grilled pork and chicken intestines looped in skewers).

Read more about it here.

Mang Ding’s Pinoy BBQ is located at Block 3, Lot 13, C. Buenviaje Street, Santo Nino, Marikina City, open Mondays to Wednesdays from 4pm to 11pm and Thursdays to Sundays from 4pm to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 1659872.

6. Brunchin’ at the Beach at Saltitude, Anilao

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Anilao in Batangas is home to all sorts of fun beach activities: swimming, diving, snorkeling and windsurfing, just to name a few.

Aside from their proximity to the clear sparkling sea, those activities have another thing in common: they do work up quite an appetite.

Fortunately, Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort recently launched “Brunchin’ at the Beach,” a brunch buffet experience that takes place every Saturday, from 6am to 12.30pm at its Mingle restaurant.

Read more about it here.

Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort is located along Manini Road in Mabini, Batangas. To book your stay or reserve a table at the restaurant, call +63 43 4101857, +63 927 4220428 or +63 939 9088843, or email info@saltitude-anilao.com.

7. #ZomatoXListerine Foodie Meetup at Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne offers classic dishes we grew up with but prepared using French cooking techniques and presented in a deconstructed manner, adding a veneer of sophistication and excitement to familiar viands while still remaining affordable for families and friends to enjoy.

During a foodie meetup hosted by Zomato and Listerine where my fellow foodies, I tasted Kusina Moderne’s unique take on Filipino food and I also learned the importance of mouthwash, especially among foodies.

Read more about it here.

Kusina Moderne is located along Caceres Street, Poblacion, Makati, open Sundays and Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 927 0830688.

8. Foodie Meetup at ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO is named after the gingko trees in Japan. Known to be highly resilient as they can withstand pollution and salt in their native environment, they also beautify their surroundings and as well as provide nourishment and medicinal benefits.

ICHO brings the metro’s diners a piece of the serenity that gingko trees have come to symbolize through its calm and peaceful premises with which to enjoy the restaurant’s flavorful food creations.

Read more about it here.

ICHO Japanese Restaurant is located at 6 Annapolis Street corner Purdue Street, Greenhills, San Juan City, open daily from 11am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 85350020 or +63 917 1346027.

9. Night out at Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo serves a thoughtfully curated menu of local fare which takes the best representations of Philippine regional cuisine and painstakingly uses traditional ingredients and cooking methods, and yet has reinvented and served these dishes with a modern flair.

And the craftsmanship does not stop with the food. Tiyo’s bartenders also whip up exciting craft cocktails for the thirsty but exacting diner. These concoctions are designed around local spirits, highlighting their unique flavors while demonstrating their versatility.

Read more about it here.

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar is located at Second Floor, CKB Centre, Tomas Morato Avenue Corner Scout Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Sundays to Mondays from 4pm to 1am, Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4pm to 2am and Fridays to Saturdays from 4pm to 3 am.  For inquiries or reservations, call +63 932 8642593.

10. Foodie Meetup at Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

I introduced my immediate and extended fam to the joys of dining at Bistro Charlemagne in Ayala Malls Feliz and the in-laws at its branch in Solenad, Nuvali early last year. Since then, we have enjoyed its Asian fusion cuisine time and time again, making this resto our go-to place for intimate family celebrations or get-togethers.

And now, with the opening of its third branch in Ayala Malls Manila Bay, it just got easier and more enjoyable to meet up with family and friends in the South for great food and great times.

Read more about it here.

This Bistro Charlemagne branch is located at Lot 2, Third Floor, Cinemas Building, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Entertainment City Paranaque, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 79149082.

Many thanks to all the restaurants that hosted foodie meetups and my fellow foodies who extended their invitations!

Looking forward to more exciting foodie adventures in 2020!

What’s your “best of 2019”?

Check out my other Jelly Lists:

Zen dining experience at ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Located along the busy Annapolis Street, no more than a minute’s ride after turning right from the traffic-infested EDSA is a haven for Japanese food lovers.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant is named after the gingko trees in Japan. Known to be highly resilient as they can withstand pollution and salt in their native environment, they also beautify their surroundings and as well as provide nourishment and medicinal benefits.

ICHO brings the metro’s diners a piece of the serenity that gingko trees have come to symbolize through its calm and peaceful premises. Lightwood furniture, a tatami area and simple murals against concrete walls create a Zen-like atmosphere with which to enjoy the restaurant’s food creations.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

The restaurant’s menu, designed by Executive Chef Rico Panoy, showcases the versatility and artistry of Japanese cuisine. The mix and match of ingredients as well as the time-honored cooking methods produce a well-curated list of dishes that appeal to both the eyes and the palate.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Together with my fellow foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I visited ICHO Japanese Restaurant and sampled some of its bestsellers which include:

Drinks: Icho Iced Tea (Php100), Matcha Milk Smoothie (Php200), Ripe Mango Shake (Php110) and Watermelon Shake (Php110).

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Kani Salad (Php235). Crabsticks with Japanese cucumber and bits of mango that features the interesting interplay of salty-sweet flavors.

ICHO Japanese Restaurant

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Spicy Tuna Salad (Php340). Spicy tuna tartar served with mixed greens. This one has quite a spicy kick but diners can always request for the spiciness to be toned down while ordering.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Hiroshima Kaki Motoyaki (Php285). Baked oysters with creamy mayonnaise-based sauce. Very rich and flavorful!

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Sashimi Goru Mori (Php720). Five kinds of sashimi which illustrate the freshness of the ingredients and the chef’s mastery of presentation. I may have developed a taste for sea urchin because of this dish!

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Salmon Saikyo Miso Aburi (Php110/pc). Lightly grilled pieces of salmon on top of sushi rice topped with sweet miso paste.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Foie Gras Aburi (Php250/pc). Lightly broiled goose liver with balsamic teriyaki sauce on top of sushi rice. Definitely a tasty indulgence!

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Roll (Php260). The house specialty maki sushi that has the right combination of textures and flavors that got me reaching for more.

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Chef’s Special Nabe Hot Pot (Php695). Mixed seafood and assorted vegetables in light uni broth. Simple in taste and presentation but very comforting.

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Robata Platter (Php885). Mixed grilled meat, seafood and vegetable skewers which include tender wagyu cubes and the resto’s namesake: gingko biloba!

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich (Php300). A delightful confection made of vanilla ice cream in between slices of chocolate and vanilla sponge cake with mochi. A sweet and fitting end to a lovely meal!

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

So the next time you have a hankering for tasty Japanese food, head to ICHO where you can enjoy it Zen-like surroundings.

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

Many thanks to Chef Panoy, JM Tan and the crew of ICHO for the warm welcome and delicious food!

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant is located at 6 Annapolis Street corner Purdue Street, Greenhills, San Juan City, open daily from 11am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 535 0020 or +63 917 1346027.

ICHŌ Japanese Restaurant 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: