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:

Tempura Bowls at Hiro, SM East Ortigas

Hankering for some Japanese food but on a tight budget?

There’s a newly opened resto at SM East Ortigas serving various types of tempura bowls and more for as low as Php99.

Tempura is characterized by seafood or sliced vegetables coated with batter and deep-fried. Surprisingly, this dish apparently originated in Portugal (when the Portuguese introduced batter frying to Japan.

This cozy resto has a light and fun atmosphere with yellow decor, pine furniture and anime characters holding the tempura bowls depicted on the walls. Some of the food offerings are whimsically named as well. Among those my family and I have sampled include:

  • HiRO Tempura Bowl (Php99) – 1 prawn, 1 kani and vegetable tempura
  • Empress Bowl (Php129) – 1 prawn, 1 squid, 1 kani abd vegetable tempura
  • Sansa Seafood and Vegetable Bowl (Php179) – 2 prawns, 1 squid, 1 kani and vegetable tempura
  • Chicken Teriyaki Don (Php149)

Each tempura bowl comes with rice and a cup of miso soup. I also opted to Go Ninja, which gives me cabbage salad and a HiRo blend iced tea for an additional Php50.I found their prawn tempura a bit small (I’m tempted to call it shrimp tempura instead because of its size) but flavor is close to the offerings of pricier restos. (Note: Hubby disagrees with me, saying he can cook a better tempura). The kani seems a bit gummy, though, while the tempura sauce is thicker and less ginger-y than what I’m used to but still ok. The chicken teriyaki is tender and flavorful; my son wolfed it down as soon as it was served.HiRo Tempura Rice Bowls is still in its soft opening stage so there were some misses that can improve given time:

  • The first time I ate here, I wasn’t given an order number so the wait staff didn’t know where to serve my order.
  • They don’t have an automated POS yet so expect some lag as the cashier manually writes down your order and receipt (but you should always ask for a receipt, ok?)

Personally, I appreciate how this resto makes tempura and other Japanese dishes more affordable and accessible to more customers. It’s also a good way to introduce kids to Japanese cuisine without breaking the bank.I will return, especially when I want a quick and affordable tempura meal.HiRo Tempura Bowls Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japanese Barbecue at Sandaya Yakiniku

I attended the 12th leg of Cruising Magazine’s Taste #TravelForFood road show here. I’ve only ever been at Fisher Mall once before and I’m glad to discover another great place to eat here since it’s so near my workplace.

The place is well lit and well laid out. The party which consisted of about 40 people were able to sit comfortably in tables of six. Each table has a grill at the center with which to grill the yakiniku.

Our sumptuous repast consisted of:

– Appetizers: Kani Salad and Spicy Tuna Maki (not too crazy about the maki, though; I prefer California maki). There was also an assortment of side dishes consisting of kimchi, achara and sauteed beans.


Mains: Japanese Style Beef Stew (quite a novelty for me – the broth was creamy and flavorful with tender bits of beef and ox tripe) and Special Assorted Barbecue Set (love the juicy and well-seasoned meats, however, I prefer to eat them sans the special sauce)


– Side: Japanese rice (not sticky enough for me)

The wait staff are approachable and accommodating although they seemed overwhelmed by the size of the group (or our appetites!) as some of the food took a while getting to us.

I look forward to sampling this resto’s other offerings in the future.

Download the Eatigo app through this link and get up to 50% off your food bill in various restaurants in the metro as well as Php150 worth of rewards.