Affordable Japanese Meals To Go at Izakaya Flame, BGC

Personally, I consider my weekday lunch hour sacred.  It cuts right at the half of my work day, giving me a few precious minutes of respite from daily grind, so I can escape into my next foodie adventure before I get back to work in the afternoon, refreshed and energized.

It also serves as time for bonding with work colleagues who also happen to be good friends.  Our brief #HappyLunch outings  give us an opportunity to catch up and relate with each other, not as coworkers, but as friends, fellow parents or just fellow nerds. 🙂

Central to our #HappyLunch experience is the discovery of good food – discoveries that become our new favorite places.  Sometimes, during weekends, we find ourselves taking our families and friends to the places we discovered during our lunchtime jaunts.

Sometimes though, morning meetings spill over to lunch time, or a report needs to be submitted at precisely 1.30pm.  During times like these, when we can’t go out, can #HappyLunch adventures still be possible?

Fortunately for corporate denizens of Bonifacio Global City (commonly referred to as BGC :-)), Izakaya Flame recently launched a line of affordable rice meals exclusively for takeout. Dubbed as Power Meals to Go, the line is comprised of five tasty yet fuss-free Japanese viands packed with premium Japanese rice.  They are served in microwaveable (and reusable!) plastic containers for easy reheating.

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

These include:

Gyoza (Php109)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Dory (Php119)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Tori Karaage (Php129)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Pork (Php139)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Katsudon (Php149)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izayaki Flames’ Power Meals to Go are an excellent option for those who are craving for their Japanese food favorites but are not able to dine at the restaurant. That’s such as shame as the restaurant’s swanky premises sure are easy on the eyes.  For those who can, I do recommend to visit the resto to take in the novel experience that it has to offer.

Building on the concept of izakaya – a type of informal Japanese pub where people can enjoy small-sized meals together with a drink – it has a modern Asian-inspired decor and both table, bar, and outdoor seating to cater to the diners’ preference.  The bar, in particular, is where the teppan is masterfully prepared right in front of dinners by a trained cook.

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Among the tasty representatives of Japanese izakaya cuisine you can sink your teeth into are:

Spicy Beef Roll (Php245)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Takoyaki (Php95)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Beef Teppanyaki (Php305)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Ice Cream Tempura (Php125)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Plus, watch out for a fusion of Japanese and Pinoy flavors: the Dulong Maki.

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame innovates on classic Japanese flavors and brings them to lovers of Japanese food to be enjoyed whether inside or outside the restaurant.  Well, I know what I’m going for the next time I’m in a meeting that spills over to lunch at BGC. I know I can still have a #HappyLunch with Izakaya’s Power Meals to Go. 🙂

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame is located at the Fourth Floor of the Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.  It is open daily from 10am to 10pm. For queries and reservations, call +63 916 2519922.

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

Disclosure: I attended the Bloggers’ Day held at Izakaya Flame.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Ramen for a Rainy Day at Ramen Kuroda, SM Marikina

The recent bouts of heavy rain and colder weather gave rise to a craving for a bowl of hot, steaming and hearty ramen.  There really is something about slurping on some thick hot broth that drives the rainy day blues away.

During a recent back-to-school shopping trip at SM City Marikina, the fam joined me in giving in to my ramen craving when we decided to have lunch at the newly opened branch of Ramen Kuroda.

The place seems to be a hit as there was a line of people waiting to get in.  To help facilitate faster service, the hostess already facilitated the orders of the waiting patrons so that waiting will be minimal once the diners are seated in the dining area.

This restaurant’s mantra is to “make Real Ramen part of your everyday.”  This is central to its promise to its customers to provide:

  • carefully selected ingredients such as home-made noodles, soup and seasoned garlic oil that provide their distinctive flavor
  • speedy service to satisfy busy people
  • ramen that is affordable enough that you can enjoy it everyday
  • culinary supervision by an expert ramen chef
  • Japanese-quality ramen made accessible to more Filipinos

For the family’s lunch, we ordered:

  •  Ramen Chahan sets that already include ramen, rice and fruits such as:
    • Katsudon (Php380) with Aka Ramen. As Hubby likes spicy food, he ordered the ramen with a spicy bent.
    • Gyoza (Php320) with Shiro Ramen. I ended up splitting the gyoza with my daughter and giving my rice to my son as the ramen was hearty and filling enough, albeit a little bit too garlicky.
    • Karaage (Php360) with Shiro Ramen.  My daughter found the chicken pieces a bit small but she was able to get her fill of the ramen.
  • Tonkatsu (Php240) plus Rice (Php40) for my son.

A post shared by Jellybeans in the City (@beingjellybeans) on We found the meal as a whole filling and affordably priced, and the service staff friendly and accommodating, though a bit overwhelmed at the influx of diners.

Still, we found the resto’s mantra to have its fair share of overpromising. The resto would do well to settle on one or two propositions (such as affordability and fresh ingredients) and build from those, rather than have such lofty goals and be found lacking in some of them.

This branch is located at Ground Floor, SM City Marikina, Marcos Highway, Calumpang, Marikina City. For reservations and other queries, call + 63 2 7772839.

Other branches of Ramen Kuroda are located at:

  • SM FAIRVIEW: Annex 2 Lower Ground Floor Quirino Highway Cor.Regalado Avenue Quezon City
  • TV5: LaunchPad Reliance Corner Sherdian St. Mandaluyong City (Tel: + 63 2 6370220)
  • SM MANILA: 2/F SM Manila Conception Street Corner Arroceros and San Marcelino Streets, Manila (Tel: + 63 2 2438665)
  • CYBER & FASHION MALL EASTWOOD: 3/F Cyber and Fashion Mall Eastwood City Bagumbayan, Quezon City (Tel: + 63 2 5343414)
  • MEZZA RESIDENCES STA MESA: G/F The Strip at Mezza, Aurora Blvd. Araneta Avenue Quezon City (Tel: + 63 2 2417449)
  • VENICE GRAND CANAL MALL: 2/F Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill, Upper McKinley Road Taguig City (Tel: + 63 2 5521170)
  • LUCKY CHINA TOWN MALL: 3/F Lucky China Town Mall, Reina Regente corner Dela Reina Streets, Binondo, Manila (Tel: + 63 2 2418157)
  • ASEANA II: Ground Floor Aseana II BRADCO Avenue Aseana City Paranaque City (Tel: + 63 2 8326246)
  • RCBC PLAZA MAKATI: 3/F RCBC PLAZA 6819 Ayala Avenue Makati (Tel: + 63 2 8326216)
  • BF HOMES: #96 Aguirre Avenue, Phase 2 BF Homes Paranaque City (Tel: + 63 2 5536824)

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

Learn more about Japanese cuisine by checking out these books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Surprisingly affordable Japanese fare at Isaribi, Tomas Morato

Somewhat hidden among the old and new eateries along Tomas Morato is Isaribi. Opened a mere 8 months ago, it is the second branch of the Japanese chain in the Philippines, with the other branch located in Legaspi Village, Makati.

Together with a group of officemates, I ventured to this restaurant right across Vitto’s along Scout Lozano Street to satisfy our gang’s craving for Japanese food.

“Isaribi” translates to “fishing fire,” a fire used to lure fish at night. It was taken from an ancient Japanese poem by Kakinomoto Hitomaru in the Manyoshu, a collection of writings reflecting 7th and 8th century life in Japan.

When we entered, we were welcomed by greetings from the servers accompanied by some beats from a drum. The place was quite spacious with tastefully laid out tables with built-in grills. When we sat down, were offered cold oshibori (“wet towels”) to clean our hands. Points of interest also include the walls decorated with what appeared to be sake bottles. All in all, the decor and the rituals contributed to a premium and authentically Japanese feel to the resto.

While my coworkers took advantage of rice meals that come with eat-all-you-can rice and soup (a really tasty miso broth), I decided to give in to my ongoing ramen phase. Our orders consisted of:

  • Tonkotsu Ramen (Php300). Milky-white pork-broth with firm ramen noodles, thin slices of green onion, half of a tamago (soft-boiled soy-tinged egg), and slivers of cha siu pork belly. While the pork slices are not as melt-in-your-mouth tender as I usually prefer, the broth had a strong garlicky taste which sets it apart from similar ramen I’ve tasted from other Japanese restos.
  • Gyudon (Php280). The Japanese beef bowl, with tender and slightly smoky-flavored grilled beef and a savory-sweet sauce.
  • Katsudon (Php280). A bowl of rice topped with sliced pork cutlets coated with flavored egg.
  • Tendon (Php280). Rice toppings with shrimp and vegetable tempura.
  • Tonkatsu Teishoku (Php280). Pork cutlet covered in panko and flavored batter, served with salad. This took some time getting to our table.

I look forward to coming back here to feast of the sashimi and grilled beef offerings.

Isaribi is located at the Belfrant Building along Scout Lozano. The street is one-way going towards Tomas Morato so plan your trip accordingly. For reservations, call 02 4415302.

Check out my previous reviews of Japanese restaurants:

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

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.