Sushi bake delivery from Meatsumo Premium, Panay

I admit: I’ve grown quite worried about how restaurants will fare in The New Normal.

Particularly vulnerable are the samgyupsal places wherein unlimited meats and other food items are served for table-top grilling by the diners. These places require groups of people to gather around the table as they grill their food.

One such place was Meatsumo Premium located in Panay Avenue in Quezon City. Located a few minutes’ ride away from my office, it was the perfect place to indulge my craving for all things samgyup. No wonder then, that I found myself dragging my more fellow samgyup lovers at work to this resto a few weeks after it opened.

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

What made Meatsumo Premium stand out from similar restos is Japanese dishes it also offers alongside its Korean fare. For just Php549 per person, we were able to enjoy eleven kinds of meat (including plain pork, pork galbi, regular and spicy pork yakiniku, pork gochujiang, plain beef, peppered beef, beef bulgogi, regular and spicy beef yakiniku and beef gochujiang) as well as twenty different side dishes (including my favorites such as cheese, kani salad, kimbap, California Maki and California Temaki).

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Oh, such happy times…

But then, the enhanced community quarantine happened. I knew then that I had to bid adieu to Meatsumo.

That is, until it re-opened a few weeks ago, offering a “Create Your Own” Samgyupsal Set as well as its Japanese-Korean fusion dishes ala carte.

However, what drew my attention was its newest menu item: the Sushi Bake (Php480).

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

This trendy dish akin to a sushi casserole. The usual Japanese maki elements such as sushi rice, kani (crabstick), mango, zucchini, Japanese mayo and tobiko (fish roe) are there. With all these, you’ve got one scrumptious dish!

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

To eat, just scoop out a portion (mine tend to be overly large but I don’t care), place it in the nori strip provided, add a bit of finely chopped spring onions and tempura flakes for one tasty bite!

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

I ordered this for the fam’s lunch, along with Tempura (Php150) and Karaage (Php120), and all proved to be certified hits with kiddos!

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Well, I’m glad to see that Meatsumo Premium was able to deftly pivot its business and innovate on its offerings. It sure looks poised to meet the challenges of The New Normal head on.

Meatsumo Premium is located 23 Panay Avenue, Barangay Paligsahan, Quezon City, open for delivery from 9am to 3pm.

To order, fill out this form, send a Facebook message, or Viber +63 933 1346534.

Meatsumo Premium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Yokohama’s Sigekiya Ramen now at Estancia Mall

My #RamenPhase has already spanned years.

From the first time I had a taste of what real Japanese ramen could be (as opposed to the instant noodles the defined the term during my childhood) I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve always been on the lookout for places to enjoy those firm, freshly made noodles in hot flavorful broth. I’ve tried a number of ramen restaurants in the metro already but this is the first time I’ve tried Sigekiya Ramen.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

A franchise of the famous ramen chain in Yokohama, Japan, this shop opened in Estancia Mall’s East Wing in November last year. The place has a down-home izakaya feel to it, with colorful banners and lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a peek from the ramen bar into the hustlin’ and bustlin’ scene in the kitchen where the ramen orders are freshly made.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Last Sunday, together with my fellow East-based foodies, I had a taste of Sigekiya’s celebrated offerings, which included:

Sigekiya Ramen (Php325 small | Php375 regular | Php420 large). The store’s unique take on the shoyu ramen with pork meat broth taking the place of the pork bone broth resulting to a rich umami flavor. It comes with generous slices of char siu (seasoned and torched pork belly) which gives the ramen some added heft. Just imagine slurping this during these balmy January days. Yummy!

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Tsukemen (Php375 small | Php420 regular | Php500 large). The so-called “dipping ramen.” Instead of being immersed in the pork broth, the ramen noodles are eaten after being dipped in the soup which is more intense in flavor than the normal ramen broth. A version called Tsukemen Gyokai (Php385 small | Php430 regular | Php510 large) is also available wherein the pork broth is supplemented by fish powder, giving the ramen another dimension in flavor.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Tantanmen Ramen (Php325 small | Php375 regular | Php420 large). Sigekiya’s take on the spicy Dandanmian noodle dish which originated in China. With a hearty peanut-based broth, ground meat and chopped veggies, this is a filling meal for the ramen lover.

Gojira (Php380). The name sounds so similar to what the Japanese call the monster Godzilla, hehehe! (I wonder if that’s intentional, hmm…) Well, this ramen bowl is such a monster in terms of serving size. With all those noodles, meat, loads of garlic and veggies, you’ll really get your fill.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Shirunashi (Php380). Another ramen that has very little soup, just a bit of rich-tasting sauce that together with a freshly cracked egg, veggies and loads of garlic to bring flavor and texture to the noodles.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Gyoza (Php110 for three pieces | Php160 for five pieces). Pan-fried dumplings filled with seasoned ground pork flavored with aromatics. The gyoza here are larger than the usual gyoza and are among the most delish my friends and I have tasted.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Okonomiyaki (Php160). Sigekiya’s version of the savory Japanese pancake is served on hot plates and topped with Japanese mayo and smoky bonito flakes.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Chicken Karaage (Php215). This version of the Japanese fried chicken is served with a sweet chili sauce but, trust me, request for some Japanese mayo and dip the karaage there instead. Add a bit of wasabi for a bit of spice.

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

With its delicious and affordable offerings and large portions, Sigekiya Ramen makes Yokohama’s celebrated dishes more accessible to hungry Pinoys.

Many thanks to Miguel Illescas and the crew of Sigekiya Ramen for the warm welcome and the delicious food!

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

Sigekiya Ramen, Estancia Mall

This Sigekiya Ramen branch is located at Lower Ground, East Wing, Estancia Mall, Oranbo, Pasig City.

Another branch is located at Ground Floor, Commercenter, 1780 Commerce Corner Filinvest Avenue, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City.

Sigekiya Ramen 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.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

 

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Back when I worked in the Ortigas area, my officemates and I used to venture to the foodie-friendly Kapitolyo for our happy lunches.

One of our favorite haunts is Ramen Cool which was established in the area before the ongoing ramen craze.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

It offers Japanese food lovers their favorite dishes, some with a few twists.

This branch now offers lunch sets which allow diners to enjoy a well-curated set of dishes which include solo servings of a main viand, soup, salad, drink and more all for under Php400. In this way, diners can have a flavorful variety of Japanese dishes while still staying on budget.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

While out on field work in the area, my coworkers and I took advantage of these offers by ordering:

Karaage Lunch (Php219). Chicken karaage served with iced coffee, plain rice, pulled pork ramen, two pieces of California Maki and Kani Salad.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Tuna Ahi Poke Lunch (Php269). A yellowfin tuna poke bowl served with iced coffee, miso soup, yakisoba and kani salad.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Chirashi Lunch (Php379). A bowl of chirashi (sushi rice topped with various sliced and chopped sushi flavored with Japanese mayo, wasabi and spring onions) served with iced coffee, miso soup, yakisoba and kani salad.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Aside from these lunch sets, our group’s orders also included:

Seared Tuna Salad (Php315) and Spicy Tuna Salad (Php295). Both prettily served on a specialized bowl which kept the salads cool and the greens crisp.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

Karaage Wasabi Mayo (Php195). Japanese-style fried chicken doused with wasabi mayo.

Ramen Cool, Kapitolyo

It was a delicious return to an old haunt and I’d love to revisit the place and its specialties again soon!

This Ramen Cool branch is located at 25 East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City, open Sundays to Wednesdays from 11am to 10.30pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquries and reservations, call +63 2 86360972 or +63 2 89984168.

Other branches are located at:

  • San Lorenzo Village Condominium, San Lorenzo, Makati
  • Westlife Building, West Avenue, Quezon City

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

A tonkatsu lunch at Fumizen, Tomas Morato

It’s the first working day of the year!

And do you know what I’ve been looking forward to since the day started?

A #happylunch with my office buddies, that’s what!

For today’s foodie adventure, we decided to give the newly opened Japanese restaurant along Sgt. Esguerra Street a try!

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Located within walking distance from our office is Fumizen which specializes in premium katsu. It is a local franchisee of a long-established Japanese restaurant which was founded over 40 years ago and patronized by Japanese officials and celebrities.

It has a cozy atmosphere and a minimalist aesthetic with polished wood and gray upholsteried furniture set against clean white walls sparsely decorated with silhouettes of bamboo.

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Katsu refers to “cutlet” in Japanese. It is usually a piece of meat coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried to achieve a bright golden color and a crispy outer layer which gives way to tender. juicy and flavorful meat inside.

At Fumizen, diners can enjoy Katsu Sets which consist of a katsu variant plus unlimited rice, miso soup, shredded cabbage and fruit slices. The katsus may be enjoyed by dipping the pieces in Fumizen’s secret katsu sauce, rock salt or the resto’s signature truffle salt.

Our happy lunch at Fumizen included:

Rosu Loin Tonkatsu Set (Php375). This is the richer cut of pork loin owing to a strip of fat along one side.

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Hire Tenderloin Tonkatsu Set (Php405). This is the leaner, less fatty cut of pork.

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Fumizen also has ongoing Lunchtime Deals that some of my companions availed of. These deals give significant discounts on selected katsu sets such as:

Chicken Karaage Set Meal (Php199 from Php255). Japanese-style fried chicken best dipped (as we’ve discovered) in Japanese mayo with a bit of wasabi.

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Menchi Katsu Set (Php199 from Php350). Patties consisting of two-thirds ground pork and one-third ground beef prepared and cooked katsu-style.

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

The katsus are well-cooked with the panko-breading adhering well and providing a satisfyingly crunchy texture to the meat. I found dipping the katsu in truffle salt winderfully heightens the flavor.

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

What could use a bit of work is the rice which could be a little stickier to serve as a foil to the katsu.

The wait staff is polite and accommodating but could use some more training on product knowledge.

Still, with the quality and afforadability of Fumizen’s katsu sets, it sure looks like my officemates and I found a new favorite Japanese resto in our area!

Fumizen, Tomas Morato

Fumizen is located at 34 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Bgy. South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 77931894

Fumizen Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

 

Japanese food faves at Hanako, SM Pasig

Japanese restaurant Hanako got its name from a popular female given name in Japan which translates to “flower girl.”

Coincidentally, I recently dined at its SM Pasig branch after an all-girl’s outing with my mom and my daughter #ExhibitA. At this restaurant, we were able to sample tasty and authentic Japanese dishes which are also easy on the pocket (and made even easier by Zomato Gold… more on that later).

This outlet brings the color and vibrancy of Japanese street eateries inside the mall, attracting diners with its boldly colored banners and food posters.

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Japanese food remains among my family’s favorite cuisines. We love the simple yet strong flavors and the contrast in textures that make each bite tasty and interesting.

Take our lunch orders for example:

Salmon Tartare (Php224). Small pieces of salmon mixed in mayonnaise, togarashi (Japanese chili pepper), tempura flakes and chopped scallions. A delicious start to the meal!

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Ebi Tempura (Php279). Five large prawns battered then deep fried to a beautiful golden brown, then served with tempura dipping sauce. A mainstay in many of the fam’s Japanese meals!

(Trivia: Did you know that the method of preparing tempura was introduced in Japan by Portuguese Jesuits in the mid-16th century?)

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Chicken Karaage (Php199). Boneless chicken thigh pieces are marinated in a mixture of ginger and soy sauce, then coated with starch and deep fried before being served with a side of Japanese mayo for its dipping sauce.

(Trivia: Did you know that in the US, chicken karaage is sometimes called JFC, or Japanese Fried Chicken?)

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Tonkatsu (Php219). A juicy piece of pork cutlet, seasoned then panko-coated and deep-fried, then served with a salad of shredded cabbage and katsu sauce. How can you go wrong with this dish?

(Trivia: Did you know that ton translates to “pork” and katsu – a shortened form of katsuretsu – is a transliteration of the word “cutlet?”)

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Chahan (Php79). Flavorful dish of rice stir-fried in a wok with some minced meat and chopped vegetables.

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Our lunch of our favorite Japanese food is a happy cap to an outing of three generations!

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

And since both #ExhibitA and I are Zomato Gold members, we got two of these dishes for 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 additional 20% off the membership fee.

This Hanako branch is located at SM Center Pasig, Frontera Drive, Bgy. Ugong, Pasig, open daily from 10am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5848708.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Regis Center, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, The Rock Lifestyle Hub, Holy Spirit Drive, Bgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City
  • 131 C. Armstrong Avenue, Moonwalk Village Phase 1, Paranaque
  • 30-C Dona Soledad Avenue, Don Bosco, Paranaque

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo Gives You More Delicious Options at Budget-Friendly Prices

 

Just when you thought you’ve experienced all there is to it when it comes to ramen dining, in comes another concept from the same company that gave you the Tsukemen experience.

Infinity Foods Alliance, the firm behind Mitsuyado Sei-men: The House of Tsukemen, recently opened a cafeteria-style ramen shop at the Japan Town of Top of the Glo in Glorietta 2 that is reminiscent of the noodle houses in Japan.

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Mitsuyado Seimen is a concept that originated from Tokyo, Japan. It specializes in Tsukemen (dipping noodle). This is what it has been known for in the Philippines for the past six to seven years. It is known for making good quality thick noodles for Tsukemen. For Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, meanwhile, uses good quality thin noodles.

“Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo is a ramen house where you can choose your own ramen and pair it with your preferred topping,” explained Judy Kay C. Ang, representative of Infinity Food Alliance.

Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo was born because the company wanted to offer a fast-paced restaurant to satisfy the ramen cravings of Filipinos. In the Philippines, ramen has been priced on the average of P400-P500 per bowl. Through Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, it wants to bring ramen appreciation to a price level that is more affordable, which is about only P180 per bowl.

Their ramen offerings include the Hakata Ramen, a pork-based broth that originated from the Hakata District of Fukuoka in Kyushu in southern Japan. They also have the white original Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, Red Spicy Ramen (which makes use of the Japanese spice, karashi), Black Garlic, and Green Matcha.

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To add variety to the ramen they ordered, customers are encouraged to customize it by selecting from various favorite Japanese toppings. Choices include the Charsiu, Sukiyaki, Ajitama, and Boneless Pork Chop, among others. Ang said that there are currently 10 to 12 toppings, and this number can increase in the coming months.

“We want to offer something different to the popular ramen, and we want it to be very affordable. At Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, customers can enjoy good quality noodles at very budget-friendly prices,” said the company’s Marketing and Customer Care Specialist April Faith Alquiroz.

Now, if you want to enjoy your ramen with other popular Japanese food on the side, you can do, too! For Filipinos who love rice, meanwhile, there are donburi options available. There are the Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl Don, Ebi Tempura Don, Chicken Karaage Don, Boneless Porkchop Don, and Gyoza to choose from.

Ang said that after their Glorietta ramen shop, they will be opening another Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo in Vertis North. In the coming months, they will also be unveiling a CoCo ICHIBANYA Curry House in Top of the Glo before the end of the year.

Infinity Foods Alliance is among the many companies focusing on Japanese concept restaurants by entrepreneur Hubert Young, who has been credited for growing the UCC Coffee chain in the Philippines. He is also set to open the biggest Japanese fast food burger chain Mos Burger in the last quarter of the year.

Mitsuysado Ramen Shokudo is located at Top of the Glo, Roofdeck, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm.

Restaurant details and images provided by Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo in a recent press release.

Check out my posts regarding other Japanese restaurants:

 

 

Ramen time with Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

My #RamenPhase has been going on for years now and is showing no sign of waning.

And with the metro just entering the season of ramen weather, it’s only fitting that I start looking for new ramen places to try.

Friends who reside in Marikina have been giving me rave reviews about Tongara Ramen for some time now. Located in foodie haven Lamp Quarters, this new ramen spot is lauded for its special broth which is also its namesake: tongara – a mixture of tonkotsu, broth made from pork bones, and torigara, broth made from chicken bones. The resulting broth has an additional layer of sweet-savory flavor to it that differentiates Tongara Ramen’s offerings from those of other ramen places in the metro.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

During a recent foray to Lamp Quarters with my daughter #ExhibitA, we decided to have lunch at Tongara Ramen to taste its celebrated ramen for ourselves.

Our meal included:

Tongara Ramen Junior Bowl (Php220). Don’t let its junior size fool you. We each had a Junior Bowl of Tongara’s famed ramen and it was filling enough to sate our hunger. We loved its flavorful broth and firm noodles which are well complemented by the torched tender slice of chashu (seasoned pork belly), ajitama (seasoned soft-boiled egg) and crisp bamboo shoots.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Chicken Karaage (Php200). Tender and flavorful bite-size pieces of marinated chicken covered in seasoned what flour and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. These are best sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice upon serving and dipped in Japanese mayo.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Gyoza (Php200). Japan’s famous pot sticker made of minced pork, shredded cabbage and aromatics wrapped in thinly rolled dough skins which are first steamed then lightly fried on one side to achieve a slightly crisp texture that complements the dish’s garlicky flavor. Any meal at a Japanese resto with #ExhibitA will not be complete without this dish.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

So, thanks to Tongara Ramen for another mother-daughter foodie adventure unlocked!

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen is located at Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Santo Nino, Marikina, open Sundays to Fridays from 11am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3903773 or +63 917 1794718.

Did you know you that you and a friend can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Tongara Ramen through Zomato Gold? 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.

Enjoy your ramen during the wet season with Tongara’s Rainy Days Special: get a free side dish or cocktail for a minimum single receipt purchase of Php1,200 or 2 free side dishes or cocktails for a minimum single recept purchase of Php2,000.

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

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

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:

Hoegaarden BGC Food Crawl: i Darts DASH

#ThirstyThursday continued for me and my fellow foodies when we hied ourselves off to i Darts DASH, the third stop of the Hoegaarden x Zomato Food Crawl (the second for li’l ole’ latecomer me).

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts DASH is the first electronic darts bar in the country using DARTSLIVE2 machines developed by SEGA Sammy in Japan. It uses soft tip darts thrown at electronic dart boards which automatically tallies scores of players. Not confident with your darts skills? No worries because there are also friendly and helpful darts instructors on standby, ready to help you up your game.

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

Here, you can challenge your friends to a fun (and safer) game of darts over cool drinks and yummy eats.

And speaking of cool drinks, bottles of Hoegaarden were waiting for us as soon as we entered the bar.

i Darts Dash, BGC

Hoegaarden is a Belgian beer brand. Would you believe it has been around for six centuries? In the mid-1500s, Belgian monks have been brewing witbier (white beer) flavored with orange peel and coriander. These brews are referred to as white beer because, being unfiltered, they appear white or hazy.

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

Personally, I discovered that I like Hoegaarden for its crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and lack of a bitter aftertaste despite having only a mild sweetness. I found that it goes superbly with a wide variety of bar chow such as:

Corn Tempura (Php180). Corn kernels rolled in cheese seasoning (because everything is better with cheese!)

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

Vietnamese Rice Roll (Php200). Served with both peanut and hoisin sauce (but I love it with just the peanut sauce!)

i Darts Dash, BGC

Enoki Nest (Php240). Enoki mushrooms dusted with Japanese spice togarashi and lemon zest, served with curry mayo.

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

Chicken Karaage (Php260). Juicy bite-size chicken tenders served with barbecue sauce, honey mustard sauce and Japanese mayo.

i Darts Dash, BGC

Naked Nachos with add-on Chili Beef (Php255). Crispy corn tortillas served with nacho cheese sauce, pico de gallo with ground beef simmered in tomatoes and spices.

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

Buffalo Chicken Pizza (Php340). Features strong spicy and zesty flavors from the blue cheese, chicken breasts, mozzarella and buffalo sauce.

i Darts Dash, BGC

Great eats, cool drinks, a rousing game of darts. What more can I ask for in a night out with friends?

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts Dash, BGC

i Darts DASH is located at the Fourth Floor, C3 Annex Building, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 8190787 or +63 917 3173926.

i Darts DASH 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.

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

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: