Feel free to get cheesy at Tori Chizu, UP Town Center

Did you know that while the doria, or the Japanese version of the baked rice casserole, did originate in Japan, it was actually invented by a Swiss chef who worked in a hotel restaurant in Japan in the 1930s?

It is considered an example of yoshoku – Western food in Nihonggo – which take the form of Japanized Western dishes.

Today, Tori Chizu, a new restaurant brand under the same company that manages Korean fastfood chain Bon Chon, brings this Japanese dish and more to foodies the metro, with most of its dishes served with its signature cheesy chizu sauce.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

(This got me all excited because, as most of my friends know, I’m an avid cheese lover. Yeah, cheesy talaga!)

Together with my fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH, I visited its UP Town Center branch to get a taste of its offerings.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Our meal included:

Chicken Katsu Curry Chizu Bowl (Php139). I never developed a liking for curry but, at least, the Japanese versions leans more towards sweet rather than spicy. Still, when taken together with chizu sauce, I found the combination to be quite overwhelming. The chicken katsu, however, is well-seasoned with a crisp batter covering and tender meat.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Chicken Karaage Chizu Bowl (Php129). Karaage is a way of lightly coating meats – most often chicken pieces – in seasoned flour or potato starch then deep-frying them in oil. Today, it is one of the most popular Japanese chicken dishes, no doubt due to its versatility and near-universal appeal. The addition of the chizu sauce to the rice bowl adds a layer of decadence to the dish.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Beef Chizu Bowl (Php149). This is another dish with wide appeal which feature strips of sauteed sukiyaki-cut beef, whose relatively mild flavor is complemented by the chizu sauce.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Baked Pasta with Egg (Php135). The tomato-based sauce does not conform to the expectations of the Pinoy palette. If you don’t like pasta sauce that tends towards the sour rather than the spicy-sweet we’ve grown used to, this pasta dish might not be for you.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Chicken Racks (Php554 for 8-piece combination of Umami and Spicy). I got intimidated by the color and presentation of the spicy chicken pieces so I just took a bite of the umami chicken. Thankfully, it was juicy and tender: just well-seasoned enough to go well with rice.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Desserts: Double Cheese (Php55) and Ube Macapuno Soft (Php62). We capped our meal with soft-serve ice cream: one was topped with lots of cheese powder resulting in an appetizing mixture of sweet and salty flavors while the other features the local flavors of ube (purple yam) and macapuno (soft and chewy coconut flesh), adding a very Pinoy spin to this dessert.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

I found Tori Chizu’s menu to have quite a lot of variety so you can definitely come back several times to have a taste of something new while you’re deciding on which dish is your favorite. Its offerings are also quite affordably priced, making its dishes accessible to more people.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu is well worth a visit for cheese lovers and those on the lookout a new take on Japanese cuisine.

(And also those who are feeling a bit cheesy…)

Thanks to Shishi of Shi’s A Mom for extending the invitation!

This Tori Chizu branch is located at the Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Upper Ground Floor, Outside Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Security Land Center, VA Rufino corner Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati

Disclosure: Together with other #SaanSaPH foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Tori Chizu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

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:

Birthday dinner at Soru Izakaya, Ugong

As a foodie that has been exposed to various cuisines, restaurant concepts and cooking styles, of course I would want an extraordinary meal at an extraordinary restaurant for my birthday dinner with the family.

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to dine at Soru Izakaya ever since I caught sight of pictures showing its colorful and creatively presented makis. Add the fact that the resto chain is currently a Zomato Gold partner where I can get free dishes as a Zomato Gold member, and that sealed the deal.

An izakaya is a type of informal pub originating from Japan, where small and inexpensive dishes and snacks are served to accompany alcoholic drinks. This kind of dining establishment has proved perfect for afterwork de-stressing with friends through drinks and good food.

Soru Izakaya’s visually arresting aesthetic also adds to the relaxing vibe. It takes inspiration from bishoujo (pretty girl) manga, traditional Japanese art, the colorful Tokyo night life and the emergence of speakeasies.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

For my birthday celebration, the place proved to be an awesome venue where the extended family came together for a great meal, which included:

Miso Soup (Php45). A staple among Japanese soups wherein softened miso paste is mixed into a savory dashi stock with tofu cubes.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Kani Salad (Php240). Shredded crabsticks tossed in salad greens dressed in a mixture of miso and Japanese mayo. Toppings of crunchy kani, ebiko and nori strips add to the flavors and textures.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Spicy Maguro Salad (Php300). Tempura flakes and cubes of fresh tuna top salad greens dressed in miso and spicy mayo.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Wagyu Steak Teppan (Php990). Iron-grilled wagyu steak served with mixed vegetables.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Tomahawk Katsu (Php320). Deep-fried breaded pork tomahawk cutlet served with sweet and savory katsu sauce and shredded cabbage in roasted sesame dressing.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Unaguro Aburi (Php390). Tempura rice topped with torched tuna and unagi with teriyaki sauce and a bit of truffle oil.

Lava Maki (Php390). Salmon skin, crabsticks and tamago topped with cubes of fresh tuna and salmon in a spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Shake Belly Aburi (Php230). Torched salmon belly with wasabi teriyaki sauce, finished with wasabi mayo, oborro mayo and Japanese mayo.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Nori Tempura Nami (Php330 for 5 pieces). Deep-fried tiger prawns in nori flavored batter.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Meiji Kare (Php260). Japanese-style beef curry with potatoes and carrots on rice.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Shoyu Ramen (Php290). Tender chasyu pork slices, boiled egg and mixed vegetables in a steaming hot shoyu broth.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

It was a fun birthday dinner in a new place for the fam.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

On my next visit, I would love to try the Tantanmen ramen and one of Soru Izakaya’s desserts.

And since four us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege, we got 4 of these dishes 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. 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.

This Soru Izakaya branch is located at Techno Point Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 12 midnight and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 2am.

Other branches are located at:

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Authentic taste of Japan at Ramen Daisho, Mandaluyong

Ramen Daisho, a quaint Japanese restaurant located in Sunshine Center, Shaw Boulevard, offers delicious dishes with ingredients imported from Japan to give you the most authentic taste and experience possible.

This Lenten season, they’ll be offering specials to satisfy your Japanese cravings.

lenten noods main 2.JPGSeafood Tempuramen (Php399). Firm Ramen noodles in seafood broth, topped with Tempura and a side of Nori. Although I’m not a fan of anything seafood, this dish was a pleasant surprise as the dish offered a fresh taste of the sea.

lenten noods close 2.JPG


Other than Ramen, Ramen Daisho also offers bentos in their Lenten Special.

tempura bento.JPG

Mixed Tempura Bento (Php305). This Bento includes Ebi Tempura, Kani Tempura, and Mixed Veggie Tempura with a side of potato salad, rice, and almond jelly for dessert.

tempura bento up close


curry

Seafood Curry Bento (Php305). Seafood curry with mixed veggie salad, rice, and almond jelly. Shrimp, clam, and squid come together with the savory curry sauce in this dish, rich in flavor. The flavors in this bento taste great together and is definitely filling.

curry close

Other than the Lenten Special, Ramen Daisho offers more mouthwatering dishes.

appetizers.JPG

I started with appetizers such as Gyoza and California Maki (Php255). Gyoza is a customer favorite as it is soft, juicy, and full of flavor.

tonkotsu ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen (Php380 regular | Php670 large). Ramen noodles in rich and creamy Tonkotsu broth, with topped with slices of pork, bamboo shoots, scallions, and a soft boiled egg. Ramen Daisho’s Tonkotsu Ramen is full of flavor and delicious down to the last spoonful of broth.

shoyo ramen close 1

shoyo ramen

Miso Ramen (Php380 regular | Php670 large). Ramen noodles in Miso broth, with pork slices, nori, bamboo shoots, and a soft boiled egg. This dish is rich and fragrant, and is Ramen Daisho’s specialty.

dip noods

Dipping Ramen. Firm Noodles with a semi-poached egg, scallions and Zaru Tare sauce. This light and refreshing ramen is a summer must-try, as this ramen is cold rather than your normal steaming hot ramen. This is something I would order again.

dip noods closer

For authentic Japanese food, you can eat at Ramen Daisho, located at Unit 2, Sunshine Square, Shaw Blvd, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City. It is open daily from 10am to 10p. For reservations and inquiries, contact them at (02) 7740036 and (02) 6332280.

Ramen Daisho was founded in the country in 2013 by Mr. Katsuyuki Nakata. Daisho Global, Inc. is the holding company that oversees the franchise of Ukokkei Ramen in terms of cooking methods and supplies from Fukuoka, Japan.

The restaurant prides itself on the authentic taste of its dishes and experience of dining within its walls. Guided by Mr. Yasuhiko Funatsu, the Ramen Master of Ukokkei Ramen, it served authentic ramen with an ukokkei soup base.

Since 2017, it has been under the management of Ureshi Fudo Corporation.

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

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

Sake-tasting at Dohtonbori, Greenhills

Sake, an alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice, is a long standing tradition in Japanese cuisine. It can be served chilled, at room temperature or heated, depending on the drinker’s preferences, the quality of the sake and the season.

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

During a recent Sake Masterclass held in Dohtonbori’s first-ever store in Greenhills, my fellow foodies and I were treated to different kinds of sake produced by Japan’s premier sake brewer Kubota, paired with the resto’s okonomiyaki and other dishes. With the help Kubota’s Sake Master Keichi Nagatsuka, our group traced the history and traditions surrounding the production of sake.

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Kubota Sake are produced in the Niigata prefecture, one of Japan’s quality rice producing areas, where various factors come into play to bring about Japan’s celebrated sake. From the premium Gohyakumangoku rice grown in the area, the water from melted snow to the cold snowy climate that limits bacteria growth during the brewing process, Niigata is home to many sake breweries.

Kubota is also guided by the principle of Jizake – the brewing of sake with the natural resources of the region. This ensures that the production of sake also protects the land, the natural environment and the local community. Even washi, the paper used to label the sake bottles, are handmade by a local artisan.

The sake we sampled during the event include:

Kubota Senjyu. Characterized by its moderate aroma, a delicate palate and clean and crisp finish, it can be served chilled or slightly warmed. Paired with Butatama (Pork) Okonomiyaki and Chicken Karaage.

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Kubota Junmai Daiginjo. With a hint of pear and melon, its elegant aroma, and the blend of acidic and fruity flavors, it can be served chilled for diners to enjoy the clean and crisp aftertaste or at room temperature to savor its unique aroma. Paired with Veggie Supreme Okonomiyaki and Chicken Shio.

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Kubota Manjyu. Kubota’s flagship premium sake with a complex yet pleasant flavor, floral aroma and smooth texture, it can be served served slightly chilled or warmed. Paired with Kalbi (Beef) Yakiniku and Four Cheese (Mozarella, Cheddar, Parmesan and Gouda) Okonomiyaki.

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

The pairings of Kubota sake with Dohtonbori’s okonomiyaki and other signature dishes helped to bring out their complementing flavors, with sake supporting the tastes and textures of the viands.

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

Dontonbori is named after one of Osaka’s principal tourist destinations known for its myriad of food choice and vibrant nightlife. The restaurant is driven by “Teppan Communication,” the philosophy that seeks to make the environment surrounding the teppan enjoyable and fun, where diners experience a sense of connection to each other as they share a meal. (Teppan is the iron plate on which the restaurant’s signature dishes are cooked in front of the diner.).

Sake Masterclass, Dohtonbori

The resto’s signature dish is the okomiyaki, the Japanese savory pancake comprised of various ingredients. Its name is derived from “okonomi,” which means “how you like” and “yaki,” which means “cooked.” Dohtonbori’s okonomiyaki is made with okonomiyaki flour imported from Japan, eggs, cabbage, green onions, tempura bits, and other ingredients.

This Dohtonbori branch is located at Cullinan Prime Building, 8 Missouri Street, Greenhills, San Juan City open daily from 11am to 10pm). For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 5702765.

Other branches are located at:

  • Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (open daily from 11am to 10pm)
  • Second Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm)
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City (open daily from 10am to 10pm)
  • Second Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City (open daily from 10am to 9pm)
  • Upper Ground Floor, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm)
  • Pacific Star Building, Buendia Corner Makati Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City (open daily from 10am to 10pm)

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

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a Sake Masterclass held at 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:

A taste of adventure at Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

I’m not much of an outdoors girl… Who am I kidding? I’m not an outdoors girl. Period!

But sometimes, I do wonder about adventures that could be had if only I was willing to rough it. Say, camping for example. The fun of pitching tents, cooking food in an open fire and having fun in the great outdoors… all these were just daydreams.

Well, thanks to the newly opened branch of Camp Curry in Ayala Malls Feliz, I can have most of the fun of camping, especially the good food that can be enjoyed, and I don’t have to rough it!

Founded by Chef Takashi Sato in Yoyogi, Tokyo as a curry shop specializing in vegetables, Camp Curry soon grew to become a full-blown restaurant, even acquiring the honor of being dubbed “Tokyo’s best curry.”  With the opening of its second store in the Philippines, right here in my hometown of Pasig, it has further secured its foothold in the country.

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry is notable for its camping theme, indicative of Chef Sato’s love for the outdoors.  The store’s interiors have a lively and colorful theme with various camping gear such as bags, lamps, Thermos tumblers and more, all artfully scattered across the restaurant.  Rows of little banners hang from the ceiling, adding to the place’s festive atmosphere. An open design lets the diners take a peek into the goings-on in the kitchen while wait staff, attired similar to camp counselors, are at the ready to take them on a spirited culinary adventure.

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

https://flic.kr/p/24sL5w6

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Japanese curry, Camp Curry’s raison d’etre, have grown in popularity in recent years.  Japanese curry is less spicy and a bit sweeter than Indian curry.  Normally served as a gravy on top of rice, it is considered one of Japan’s national dishes.

Together with my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH, I was able to sample some of Camp Curry’s specialty dishes.

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

A flamin’ hot start to the meal is the Spicy Nachos (Php250), crisp nacho chips slathered with melted cheddar cheese, lean ground meat and topped with cherry tomatoes, cilantro and a Cajun spice mix.

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry serves combo rice plates with meat and veggies such as BBQ Pork Belly & Chunky Vegetables (Php330) and BBQ Prawns & Chunky Vegetables (Php420). The meat and prawns had the slight sweetness and yummy char from the grill, and quite tender to the bite! And note: those veggies really are chunky! Sauteed with a smattering of spices, they add to the variety in texture and taste of the dishes. Now is definitely a good time to start lovin’ some veggies!

https://flic.kr/p/SW5FzY

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

These were served with Camp Curry’s signature sauces on the side, such as Cheesy Curry (Japanese curry topped with mozzarella and parmesan) and Super Spicy (Japanese curry made extremely spicy – this one deserves a warning so beware!).

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

The BBQ Grills also feature some non-curry viands such as the BBQ Pork Belly & Mashed Potatoes (Php249) and BBQ Shrimp & Mashed Potatoes (Php330).

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Appetizing new additions to the menu that we tried include the Gyoza Cheese (Php199), Potato Croquette (Php130), Curry Ebi Fry (Php330), and Yakisoba (Php220). The Kani Salad (Php60) and Japanese Potato Salad (Php60) also gave us an occasional respite from the abundance of spice in the other dishes.

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

We sweet peeps also deserve something sweet so we capped our meal with CAMP’s S’mores Special (Php180), graham crackers topped with roasted marshmallows, drizzled with chocolate syrup and a dollop of matcha ice cream with a smattering of candy sprinkles, and CAMP’s French Toast (Php190), French bread infused with milk and egg, toasted on a hot iron skillet, sprinkled with cinnamon powder and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Lastly, have you ever heard of lassi? It is a spiced yogurt drink that originated in India. Add mango puree into the mix and you have Mango Lassi (Php150), a refreshing drink to soothe the palate after such rich and spicy fare.

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

This foray into Camp Curry was a fun adventure for me and my fellow foodies!

Camp Curry, Ayala Malls Feliz

This Camp Curry branch is located at the Ground Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.  Another branch is located at Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati City, also open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Camp Curry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at 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.

A new take on sushi at Inari by Hamaru, The Podium

By now, with the proliferation of Japanese restaurants all over the metro, you would think you know sushi like the back of your hand.

But sushi at Inari by Hamaru is no ordinary sushi. This I discovered, together with my fellow foodies, during a recent food tasting event held at The Corner Market Food Hall of the Podium that featured its newly opened food stalls.

Inari’s claim to fame is its inarizushi: it is a pouch made of seasoned and fried tofu stuffed with sushi rice and other fillings. It takes its name after the Shinto deity Inari who, legend has it, has quite a fondness for fried tofu.

During this particular food tasting, however, our group was treated to other items in Inari’s menu such as:

Black Rice Sushi Platter (Php775). These are forty pieces of five flavors of sushi rolls – Ebi Tempura, Torched California, Spicy Tuna, Sweet Eggplant and Crispy Salmon Skin – all made using organic black rice. This is quite a step in a healthier direction as black rice is imbued with the highest amounts of antioxidants, protein and dietery fiber among all rice varieties. Its health benefits include a stronger immune system, cancer and diabetes prevention and improved digestive health. Black rice also aids in weight loss, reducing swellings and in promoting heart and brain health. If only I’m not looking for that sticky and fluffy white sushi rice with every bite! Oh well…

Inari, The Podium

Inari, The Podium

Nori Tacos Ebi Salad (Php185) and Chimichurri Tuna (165). An imaginative take on nori-wrapped sushi rolls, these feature crunchy deep-fried seaweed shells stuffed with fresh sushi filling. For me this is a way to enjoy old sushi favorites in new tastes and textures.

Inari, The Podium

Inari, The Podium

Inari, The Podium

I was only able to sample a few of Inari’s offerings during the food tasting so I just might drop by the Corner Market Food Hall again, just to check the other items out!

Inari by Hamaru is located at the Corner Market Food Hall, Second Floor, Podium Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. It is open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm.

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a Blogger Event held in the Corner Market Food Hall. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Inari by Hamaru Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants: