A new foodie haven: Shizuka Cafe, Little Baguio

With all the frenetic activity at work and at home, don’t you sometimes for a place where you can just relax and enjoy your time alone or with a few close friends?

Well, look no further than this relatively new cafe located a few minutes’ ride away from Greenhills.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

From the outside, Shizuka Cafe may blend in among the many dining establishments in Little Baguio, but inside is a welcoming and cozy haven. Muted lighting and artfully displayed Japanese-themed bric-a-bracs make it a comfy and relaxing place, in line with the meaning of its name – shizuka, which means calm, peaceful, silent and quiet.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka’s Chef Paul Tan and his partners introduced quite a lot of innovations and advocacies to the local dining scene which include Shitzuka’s drives for artisanship (by carefully crafting its food and beverage offering), sustainability (through minimizing the use of plastic in its operations), local commerce (by sourcing its ingredients for its homey Japanese cuisine and finely craft coffee beverages from local merchants) and diversity (by employing differently abled staff).

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I was able to sample some of the well-crafted dishes that Shizuka brings to the table.  Check them out:

Onion Tempura (Php125). Onions coated in tempura batter then deep-friend and served with wasabi aioli.  I love how texture of the onions and the flavor complexity that the wasabi aioli adds to the dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Pork Gyoza (Php150).  Five pieces of the popular pork and vegetable pot stickers.  In contrast to the usual gyoza from other restaurants, these come in pretty square shapes.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Nachos (Pho180).  Crispy wonton wrappers doused with a sauce made from three cheeses and topped with soy Bolognese and parmesan cheese. I found myself reaching into this bowl and popping those nachos into my mouth again and again.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Tebasaki (Php155).  Tender chicken wings glazed with a sambal sauce, an exotic take on the chicken wings dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Salad (Php180). Mixed greens with grilled chicken and miso balsamic vinaigrette.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Katsu Sando (Php190).  Breaded ground pork katsu sandwiches coated with house-made tonkatsu sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Pesto (Php165). Sandwich with freshly grilled chicken and shiitake tossed in pesto sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Nori Mac and Cheese (Php190).  Shell macaroni in a cream sauce made of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan served a crispy nori. I tried this hearty pasta dish with both with a touch of seven spices and without and I like it better without the spice.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Gyu Salpicao (Php290). Flavorful tenderloin in garlicky salpicao sauce over rice served with a sous vide egg. Salpicao is oftentimes a hit or miss with me: any excess in salty, sweet or spicy flavors tends to detract from my enjoyment. I’m happy to discover that this version of the dish is very well-balanced with added richness from the sous vide egg.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori HBS (Php210). Crispy fried chicken tossed in honey butter glaze over rice, also served with sous vide egg. What makes the Gyu Salpicao a standout also applies in this dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Big Breakfast (Php230). Imagine waking up to a hearty breakfast of hefty pancakes smothered in premium butter, generous slices of Italian sausage and fluffy scrambled eggs. Heck, fill yourself up with this meal any time of the day.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

The Nursery (Php115). Peanut butter cream cheese with chocolate soil. A real treat for a sweet tooth like me.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Better than Doughnuts (Php100). My first taste of freshly made Southern American-style beignets more than met my expectations. Fluffy and chewy and perfectly complemented by matcha or chocolate ganache, this serves as a wonderful cap to the meal.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe also brings imaginatively crafted beverages to the table. These include:

White Genmaicha Cha (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). One of the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this features a not-too-sweet earthy rice and green tea flavor. I would have loved it sweeter but this would be good for those who are managing their sugar intake.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Milk (Php118 for 16oz | Php138 for 22oz). Fresh strawberries blended with milk and also topped with Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese. I wish it could have maintained its consistency (we took a long time taking pictures) but it is sweetly refreshing just the same.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Cold Brew Latte (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). The more caffeinated among the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this is good for those looking for a pick-me-up.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Chamomile (Php145). Refreshing loose-leaf chamomile tea and strawberries.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Sparkling Yuzu Mojito (Php220). This refreshing citrusy drink is made with yuzu and lime fruit juice, tonic water and white rhum.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Sakerita (Php230). Loose-leaf chamomile tea blended with fresh strawberries and sake served in a glass with salted rim. A sweeter and milder Japanese version of the margarita, one I can imagine myself enjoying again and again.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to unwind in a relaxing and welcoming environment, head off to Shizuka Cafe. Bring your friends with you for an extra good time!

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe is located at 709 Jose Abad Santos Corner F. Calderon, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open daily from 8am to 10pm.  For inquiries, reservations and pick up arrangements, call +63 926 0792964.

No time to drop by Shizuka Cafe? Order what your craving for via Grab Food and have it delivered right to your doorstep.

Shizuka Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  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:

Filling family lunch at Peri-Peri, Eastwood

Peri-peri (also spelled as piri-piri or pili-pili), is a type of chili that is grown in Southeastern Africa, taking its name from the Swahili term for “pepper.” Also known as the African bird’s eye chili, its cultivation and culinary use was spread by the Portuguese to their Indian territories.

When combined with salt, garlic, lemon, oil and vinegar into a sauce, called the peri-peri sauce, it provides a distinctive flavor to the chicken dish that also bears its name.

At Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, the chickens are trimmed of excess fat and marinated for 24 hours to achieve a tender and juicy meat before grilling, giving diners an explosion of spice and smokiness with every bite. Despite its exotic food offerings, Peri-Peri is actually a home-grown brand, part of the I-Foods, Inc. group, and has been in operation for over decade.

During a weekend shopping trip at the Eastwood City Mall, the family stopped over at this restaurant for lunch. We ordered:

  • Mozarella Sticks (Php150), served with marinara sauce and Ceasar dip. These crunchy sticks whetted our appetite for more.
  • Quarter chicken with Java Rice (Php195) for the little boy who is not so into side dishes.
  • Quarter chicken with Java Rice and Coleslaw (Php230) and a side of Hummus (Php65) for his dad.
  • Quarter chicken with Tortilla and Coleslaw (Php230) for me.
  • Quarter chicken with Java Rice and Bacon Mac & Cheese (Php240) for my soon-to-be college girl.
  • A carafe of cucumber lemonade (Php160), a really refreshing thirst-quencher during that hot day.

https://instagram.com/p/BiLlltOnLTI/

The array of side dishes we ordered and the sauces we chose from speak to the versatility of the peri-peri chicken in terms of taste. It can go well with rice or tortilla, accentuated by hummus or coleslaw.

All in all, the variety in taste and texture made for a filling family lunch.

This Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken is located at 2nd Floor, Eastwood City Mall, Libis, Quezon City. For reservations, call +63 2 4706884.

Other branches in Metro Manila are located in:

  • Alabang: Evia Lifestyle Center along Daang Hari Road (Tel: +63 2 8381016) and Lower Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center (Tel: +63 905 1113747)
  • Taguig: Ground Floor, Uptown Parade, Bonifacio Global City (Tel: +63 2 7174408) and Ground Floor, Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill (Tel: +63 917 4222097)
  • Pasig: Capitol Commons, Shaw Boulevard cor Meralco Avenue (Tel: +63 2 6560518) and in Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz
  • Marikina: Ground Floor, SM City Marikina along Marcos Highway
  • Mandaluyong: Fourth Floor Building A and Third Floor Bridgeway, SM Megamall in Ortigas (Tel: +63 2 9412511)
  • San Juan: Second Floor, Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills (Tel: +63 2 6558355)
  • Makati: Level 3, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center (Tel: +63 915 4055614)
  • Quezon City: Third Floor, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao (Tel: +63 2 2934947), Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman (Tel: +63 2 2838917), Ground Floor, Trinoma Mall, Baging Pag-asa (Tel: +63 2 7184391) and Ground Floor, Brittany Square, Belfast Road corner Mindanao Avenue, Novaliches
  • Manila: Ground Floor, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Learn more about South African cuisine by checking out these books on Amazon.com!

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Wholesome fare at Kenny Rogers Roasters, SM East Ortigas

While Kenny Rogers Roasters has languished in its home country to the point of declaring bankruptcy, the chain is still going strong in the Philippines.

I guess its signature healthy and wholesome flavors – from its wood-fired rotisserie chicken to its homemade cornbread muffins – have found a foothold in the Pinoy palate.

The fast-food chicken restaurant which was introduced in the country in 1995 already has a location that is quite near to me – SM City East Ortigas.

I’m glad to know that whenever I have a craving for juicy roasted chicken or those hearty cornbread muffins, with a side or mac n’ cheese or corn n’ carrots, I can just head on over to the branch in the nearby mall.

Now if only they’d take care of those shaky tables…

Kenny Rogers Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato