Take a gastronomic trip around the world at Passenger Seat, Marikina

If taking a tour of the world to experience the cuisines that each country has to offer is included in your bucket list, you’re in luck. You actually won’t need to leave the metro to do just that. Simply hie on over to Passenger Seat at Riverbanks Center and begin your journey.

The restaurant’s plane-themed decor stems from the owner Mayee’s original ambition to be a flight attendant. As she couldn’t pass the qualifications for this job, she decided to establish a plane-themed restaurant with the help of her parents and her boyfriend after graduation instead. This was inspired by a similar eatery in Taiwan that she saw online.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Her boyfriend Ralph, a Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate, helped her develop the menu. Encompassing both local and international cuisines, Passenger Seat’s food offerings feature whimsical and travel-themed names.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Take the Boodle Flights, for example. These menu items are named after boodle fights, the Pinoy-style communal feast wherein various viands surround a pile of steamed rice served on banana leaf. These are usually eaten by hand amidst a boisterous group of friends or family.

Manila (Php585, good for 2-3 persons) features all-meat viands which features Chicken Inasal, Lechon Kawali and Grilled Liempo, served with Salted Egg, Boiled Okra, Grilled Eggplant, Ensalada, Steamed Rice and a pitcher of Iced Tea.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Palawan (Php599, good for 2-3 persons), on the other hand, is the seafood lovers Boodle Flight with Daing na Bangus, Grilled Stuffed Squid and Buttered Shrimp, also served with Salted Egg, Boiled Okra, Grilled Eggplant, Ensalada, Steamed Rice and a pitcher of Iced Tea.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Up for an all-out food feast with the entire barkada or fam?  Opt for Pilipinas (Php1,499) then. It has all of the viands of Manila and Palawan and twice the amount of the accompanying eggs, veggies, rice and iced tea.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

If you’re not up for Boodle Flights, don’t fret.  You can always opt for Single Flights, single-serve food items inspired by key dishes from each region, whether domestic or abroad.

Tagaytay (Php350), features the place’s most famous dish: the Bulalo.  The flavorful broth is coupled with the tender meat (with tendons that actually melt in your mouth), made even more special with the much-sought after bone marrow.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Zambales Sinigang sa Miso (Php235) and Sampaloc Singang na Hipon (Php240) are answers to those craving for seafood and sour broth.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Mexico (Php159) features the country’s crisp corn nachos topped with homemade salsa, ground beef, tomatoes, onions and torched cheese.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

The Califoria (Php125), on the other hand, is a meaty quarter pound patty of specially seasoned ground beef topped with three types of cheeses along with lettuce, tomato and cucumber.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Want some fries with that? Then check out Brussels (Php65), a mother lode of French fries topped with meat bits and loads of cheese!

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Chicken wings such as the teriyaki-flavored Kyoto (Php159) and the spicy buffalo New York (Php169) are great to munch chased by pretty mocktails such as the Shirley Temple (Pink Illusion – Php75) or Roy Rogers (Cherry Cala – Php75).

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Carbo-loading? Head on over to France (Php155) for some pasta and seafood in homemade red sauce, to Rome (Php155) for some creamy sauce littered with bacon, ham and mushroom bits, or to Italy (Php155) for some heat from chili flakes mixed into the aglio e olio pasta sauce.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Refresh yourself with shakes made of fruits in season at Php125 each such as the Pangasinan (watermelon), Baguio City (strawberry) and Guimaras (ripe mango).

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Don’t forget to reward yourself with something sweet and decadent (I know I won’t)! It’s Belgium Sizzling Brownies are topped with either classic or special Uncle D’s ice cream.

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

If you brought your whimsical and adventurous side when you visit Passenger Seat, you’re in for quite a trip best enjoyed with a large group of fam and friends!

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat, Marikina

Passenger Seat is located at Ground Floor, Riverbanks Mall, A. Bonifacio Avenue, Barangka, Marikina City. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 8373695.

Passenger Seat 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.

Japanese family food feast at Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

While on our family staycation at Novotel Manila Araneta Center, the family decided to venture out to the nearby Gateway Mall for dinner.

Our original choice turned out to be already permanently closed; so Hubby scoured the area and opted for Sumo Sam.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

The restaurant’s menu states that its origins can be traced back to the fanciful story of Sumo Sam, a legendary fighter and lover of good Japanese food who was dropped by a flock of cranes at the foot of Mount Fuji and raised by local sumo wrestlers as their own.

Having grown in skill and renown (as well as in appetite), he met the beauteous Miyuki whose village was cursed by the evil lord Aiku. He volunteered to fight the evil lord that night of the full moon. Before his battle, Miyuki served him food he never tasted before, and he felt himself getting stronger.

That night, he battled for his life and his newfound love for Miyuki and emerged the victor.

The restaurant’s offerings allows its diners to relive the feast that Miyuki set before Sumo Sam which helped to strengthen him for battle.

For our dinner during our staycation, our feasted with fresh and filling Japanese food, prepared and served in Sumo Sam’s signature whimsical style, which include:

Tuna Sashimi (Php298) and Salmon Sashimi (Php298). Mainstays on our table every time we eat at a Japanese resto, these whet our appetite for more.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Dynamite Roll (Php288). A burst of flavor from the tuna and creamy spicy mayo amidst the usual vinegared rice.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Tonkatsu Set (Php398). My kids’ staple: a sizeable cut of hire (pork tenderloin), battered and fried to a golden brown color and served with rice, shredded cabbage and soup.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Steak Combo (Php898). Hubby ordered for himself a juicy slab of prime rib eye grilled to medium doneness and accompanied by grilled salmon, a fresh house salad, miso soup, Japanese Fried Rice and three pieces of California Maki.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Chirashidon (Php399). I have developed a taste for this dish of sticky white rice topped with beautiful cuts of seafood; a tasty and filling alternative to my usual go-to meat dishes.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

I found our Japanese family food feast here to be quite satisfying. Our orders were served promptly by the attentive servers and we were situated quite comfortably at our table amidst the brightly colored Asian and Western fusion decor of the restaurant.

This Sumo Sam branch is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3510760 or +63 917 5938399.

Other branches are located at:

  • Level 3, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati (open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 11pm; Tel No: +63 2 9030847)
  • Level 2, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Makati City (open daily from 11am to 10pm: Tel No.: +63 2 7296292 or +63 2 8957532)
  • Level 6, Shangri-la Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 6375704)
  • Third Floor, Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City (open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 6254293, +63 2 6546813, or +63 917 4327272)
  • Second Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 3557714)

Sumo Sam 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:

Tenya Tempura Tendon, Tiendesitas

The Tiendesitas area (now becoming known as the heart of the new Ortigas East) is enjoying quite a bit of revival particularly for foodies, with more and more concept restaurants opening shop inside the compound.

A recent addition to these foodie destinations is Tenya Tempura Tendon, a chain of Japanese restaurants specializing in tempura.

What sets Tenya Tempura Tendon apart from other sources of tempura is the sheer amount of effort the resto and its staff put into their signature dish:

  • Black tiger prawns grown from the most sanitary aquaculture practices are used, ensuring the freshness and succulence of its ebi tempura.
  • Specifically formulated flour coat the tempura before it is cooked in a specially developed automatic infrared heat technology poweref air fryer, guaranteeing tastiness and consistent quality among its tempura dishes.
  • Each tendon is accompanied by a secret dontare sauce, a sweet dipping sauce that enhances the flavor of the tempura.

During a visit to Tiendesitas over the holidays, I treated the family to lunch at the newly opened Tenya Tempura Tendon branch. It occupies a sprawling area in the ground floor, making it accessible to those coming from the outdoor parking and those coming from Tiendesitas’ retail shops in the upper floors.

Its decor is light and airy, with both dark and light wood used in furniture and on the walls giving the place a clean and minimalist yet homey feel. The staff are warm and welcoming, immediately seating us at an available table.

Tenya, Tiendesitas

Tenya, Tiendesitas

Tenya, Tiendesitas

Tenya, Tiendesitas

For the family’s meal, we ordered the Ooedo Kagayaki Set (Php1,025), a basket of tempura composed of 4 black tiger prawns, 4 kani sticks, 2 squids, 2 fried fish, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 eggplants and 4 green beans, accompanied by 4 cups of rice and 4 steaming bowls of miso soup.

Knowing that we will be wanting some more tiger prawns, we ordered some additional Ebi Tempura (Php295/3pcs) to supplement the Kagayaki Set.

Tenya, Tiendesitas

Hubby ordered Spicy Salmon Maki (Php315), spicy bits of salmon rolled in fish roe and topped with crunchy batter, shichimi and spicy Japanese mayo.

Tenya, Tiendesitas

For the little boy, we got some Karaage (Php185), a Japanese-style variation to his down-home favorite chicken nuggets.

Tenya, Tiendesitas

To comemorate a festival being celebrated in Japan during our visit, we were each given a free bowl of steaming hot Soba!

Tenya, Tiendesitas

It was another tasty and filling family lunch, another happy holiday memory for all of us.

Tenya, Tiendesitas

This Tenya Tempura Tendon is located at Ground Floor, Tiendesitas, Frontera Verde, Ugong, Pasig City

Other branches are located at:

  • 2nd floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive cor 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • 4F SM Megamall Bldg. A, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • Food Street, Ground Floor, SM Southmall, Almanza, Las Piñas City
  • ASEANA Avenue cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. Paranaque City
  • GF Water Garden, Extension Site, Civic Drive, Festival Supermall Alabang, Muntinlupa
  • GF North Wing Entertainment Mall, Sunset Ave. cor. Seaside Blvd. SM Mall of Asia Pasay
  • GF Southpark Bldg. Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City

Tenya Tempura Tendon, Ugong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Luxury Wagyu at Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Just when you thought that you’ve tasted all there is to good ole’ steaks, here comes Miyazaki Gyu introduce us to a truly luxurious steak experience.

The restaurant got its name from the Miyazaki Prefecture in the Japanese island of Kyushu. It is the word’s second largest producer of beef from Japanese black cattle – referred to as miyazakigyu – which is known for having a high level of marbling, making the meat as tender and flavorful as can be.

The restaurant not only sells high-grade beef but also treats its diners to the optimal preparation of the meat, thereby maximizing flavor and texture. That is actually the driving force behind the resto: showcasing to local diners the full potential of miyazakigyu, as envisioned by its executive chef and youngest Iron Chef contender Kensuke Sakai.

Hubby decided to treat the family to the experience of eating such high-quality beef so we spent one of our weekend lunches over the holidays checking out its offerings.

The restaurant embodies a combination of Japanese simplicity with its clean lines and bamboo accents, and of luxurious opulence with its gold and leather interiors.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

A display of its various meat offerings takes pride of place, giving diners the option to take some home.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

For our luxurious miyazakigyu lunch, we had:

Beef Sushi (Php650). Slivers of tender wagyu draped over sushi rice and lightly doused with ponzu sauce served as our appetizer.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Hubby, my daughter #ExhibitA and I split orders of various beef cuts – Chuck Roll or Premium Steak (Php22/gram), Habaki or Special Part Steak (Php25/gram) and Top Round or Prime Marble Steak (Php32/gram) all cooked to medium doneness so we can savor their taste, juiciness and tender texture.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Hamburg Steak (Php900). Our little boy #ExhibitB, on the other hand, was treated to this tasty grilled ground beef burger patty.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

All of these meat dishes are preceded by a light vegetable salad and a steaming hot soup with slivers of wagyu beef.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

The steaks were served with sauteed bean sprouts, minced herbs and a bit of salt to bring out more of their flavor.

We also upgraded to the House Special Garlic Rice that went so well with the wagyu steaks.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Given its price range, dining at Miyazaki Gyu is really not for everyday enjoyment; for me, it’s for those rare occasions when you feel like you deserve a break from the ordinary. Its premium-grade wagyu surely takes you to a whole new level of experience.

Miyazaki Gyu is located at Podium Level, One Mckinley Place, 26th Corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open daily from 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8296167 or +63 917 166 6673)

Miyazaki Gyu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Accidental Vegetarian Lunch at Wabi Sabi, Tomas Morato

Hidden in a nondescript building along Scout Madrinan in Quezon City is a small noodle house called Wabi Sabi.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Named after the Japanese worldview of finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection, this cozy restaurant embodies “wisdom in natural simplicity.”

A friend and I chanced upon this eatery during one of our more adventurous lunchtime forays. Wanting a change of scenery (as well as food choices), we veered away from our usual haunts and found ourselves at this unusual joint.

My friend and I didn’t realize that it was a vegetarian restaurant at first and by the time we did, I didn’t want to walk back out in the heat of the sun wearing my impractical wedge shoes looking for another place to eat in.

Well, I’m glad we stayed. 🙂

The dining space occupies a small area; it can accommodate around fifteen people. The menu is written in the big chalkboard above the counter. The menu items may seem familiar but they’re all vegetarian and contain no meat.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

As this was out first visit, my friend and I decided to try dishes that are a bit more familar to us. She ordered the Tantanmen (Php220) while I got the Shio Ramen (Php200).

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Inspired by the Dan dan Noodles of Sichuan cuisine, Tantanmen is characterized by its rich slightly spicy peanut-flavored broth, made richer and thicker by miso paste. Here, the traditionally used ground pork and chicken stock are substituted with veggie meat and vegetable stock, and sesame seeds are used to flavor the slightly sweetish sauce instead of peanuts.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

The Shio Ramen, on the other hand, also features a meat substitute for the traditional chashu pork slice and the broth is clearer than what I’m used to.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

From a taste of Japan, I went for a taste of Vietnam with my post-lunch drink: Kaphe Suada (Php75). Boiling water is poured over Vietnam-grown ground coffee beans into a bed of condensed milk, stirred then poured into a tall glass with ice, resulting into a sweet and invigorating beverage.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi Sabi is a welcome and lucky discovery for me and I don’t mind returning to sample its other healthy offerings.

Wabi Sabi is located at Ground Floor, POS Building, Scout Mandriñan Street Corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries, call +63 918 9622935.

Wabi-Sabi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

4 Things to Like About The Pallet, Poblacion

The area of Makati called Poblacion, previously known as the city’s red light district, has evolved into a pretty happening place. It has given rise to concept restaurants, quick chows and bars that offer Makati workers and residents alternative choices for dining, hanging out and entertainment away from the usual malls.

One such place is The Pallet.

The Pallet, Poblacion

A food park located at the corner of Dona Carmen and Jacobo Streets in Poblacion, backroads to Kalayaan Avenue, The Pallet is an off-the-beaten track venue.

For my first-ever Looloo Rendezvoos, I was invited to check this place out and experience the various possibilities it affords to its patrons. I found a lot to like about it so I summarized them down to a list which will hopefully help fellow foodies discover a new favorite place to hang out and dine.

No. 1: Ample parking space and helpful security guard.

Having braved the rush hour all the way from QC, I was relieved I didn’t have to worry about where to park my car. Manong guard was quick to assist me in finding a spot and guiding me while I park.

No. 2: Chill surroundings.

Being located in backstreets away from all the hustle and bustle of Makati’s busy streets and surrounded by a residential area, The Pallet has a chill and relaxed atmosphere that distanced me from the usual stresses of work and traffic.

The Pallet, Poblacion

The Pallet, Poblacion

The Pallet, Poblacion

No. 3: Lots of food choices!

Given its relatively small area, I’m surprised at the number and variety of dining choices available. I’ll blog about them in more detail later but suffice to say that the foodie in me got quite excited with The Pallet’s tenants and their offerings. These include:

Mang Jose’s Ihaw Ihaw – for yummy and fuss-free grilled meats and pulutans

The Pallet, Poblacion

Antojitos – for a taste of Mexico from cheese-filled nachos and quesadillas to filling burritos and more

The Pallet, Poblacion

Asian Hawker – for a taste of Singaporean street food from the Char Kwai Teoh rice dish to the creamy Laksa

The Pallet, Poblacion

Uncle Moe’s Shawarma Hub – for a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine from the flavorful kababs to hefty shawarmas

The Pallet, Poblacion

Takohub – it was my first time to see takoyaki balls this huge!

The Pallet, Poblacion

Heath Burger – because healthy cam be tasty too, especially those mushrooms masquerading as chicken nuggets

The Pallet, Poblacion

Ramen Attack – that Tantanmen was a revelation! And the Steak & Rice got me craving for more!

The Pallet, Poblacion

Creamco Creamery – rolled ice cream that’s as pretty as it was sweet and yummy

The Pallet, Poblacion

Inum Bar – cocktails for that relaxed after-work buzz

The Pallet, Poblacion

No. 4: Live music!

On Wednesday nights this November, enjoy live music from up-and-coming artists such as DJ Aryan (90’s Night) on November 21 and DJ SP (Hiphop Throwback) on November 29.

These are just some of the reasons why The Pallet appeals to me. Check it out and see if it might grow to be your favorite place too!

The Pallet is located at 5804 Dona Carmen corner Jacobo Streets, Poblacion, Makati City. For inquiries, email thepalletpark@gmail.com.

Disclosure: Together with other Looloo users, I was invited to join a Looloo Rendezvoos held at this venue.  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.