Sate your Japanese food cravings at Hanako, Regis Katipunan

Japanese food remains to be among the most popular cuisines in the metro. With its focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients, simple yet meticulous food preparation that brings out the ingredients’ natural flavors, as well as the artistry involved in presentation and styling of its dishes, Japanese cuisine, has won the hearts (and tummies) of many Pinoys.

Hanako, for example, is a Japanese restaurant chain that’s geared to be among the metro’s go-to destinations with its focus on authentic yet affordable Japanese food.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

“Hanako” is actually a popular girl’s name in Japan which translates to “flower girl.” As the name implies, Hanako’s dishes exemplify the simplicity and beauty of Japanese cuisine.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Recently, my gal pals from #SaanSaPH and I trooped to Hanako’s branch in Regis Center Katipunan for a late lunch. We were treated to a wondrous array of dishes which included some of my old Japanese food faves as well as new discoveries:

Miso Soup (Php54). The staple soup of many Japanese restaurants wherein miso paste is incorporated into a dashi stock with some tofu cubes. Did you know that this soup can be filling despite being low in calories because of the high protein content?

Hanako, Katipunan

Kani Salad (Php174). A light and refreshing salad made with matchstick-sliced cucumber and carrots, shredded lettuce, strings of kani (crab) meat, tossed in Japanese mayonnaise.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Gyoza (Php89 for 2 pieces | Php159 for 4 pieces). Ground pork mixed with aromatics and spices and wrapped into dumplings which are first steamed then lightly pan-fried on one side for an interesting contrast in texture.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Sushi Rolls. One of the most popular dishes in Japanese cuisines, sushi rolls are made of specially prepared sticky vinegared Japanese rice served with other ingredients. These include the California Gunkan (Php219) – made with kani, fried salmon skin, tamago (seasoned hardboiled egg), mango, cucumber and ebiko (shrimp roe), Spicy Tuna Crunch (Php229) – made with tuna, togarashi (seven-flavor chili pepper) and tempura flakes, Philadelphia Roll (Php209) – made with salmon, kani, cream cheese, tamago and cucumber, and Five Star Roll (Php149) – made with fried salmon skin, salmon, kani, mango, teriyaki sauce, sesame and cucumber.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Salmon Tartare (Php224). Chunks of salmon mixed with Japanese mayo, togarashi, tempura flakes and chopped scallion.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Katsu Curry (Php229). Deep-fried, panko-covered pork cutlets covered in a slightly sweet curry sauce and served with rice.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Ebi Tempura (Php169 for 3 pieces | Php279 for 5 pieces). Battered and deep-fried shrimp served with a special sauce.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Fish Katsu (Php189). Fillets of fish covered in panko and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Karipunan

Beef Omurice (Php184). Classic Japanese omelette stuffed with savory beef fried rice and drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and homemade sweet umami sauce.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Grilled Salmon Head (Php149). Lightly seasoned salmon head served with homemade sweet citrus-sou dipping sauce.

Hanako, Katipunan

Yakitori (Php149). Chicken pieces in skewers seasoned with salt, pepper,l and teriyaki sauce, which are then grilled and served on top of a bowl of steamed rice.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Donburi. Traditional rice bowl meals consisting of meat simmered or doused in a sauce made of dashi, soy sauce and mirin (rice wine) and served on top of steamed rice. These include Gyudon (Php219) – made with beef and onions, and Katsudon (Php199) – breaded and deep-fried pork cutlets simmered with onions and egg. Diners can upgrade their donburi orders to meal sets by adding Php35 for a drink, Php75 for miso soup plus drink, Php105 for a 2-piece gyoza plus drink, or Php145 for miso soup, 2-piece gyoza plus drink.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Chahan (Php79). Japanese stir-fried rice with meat bits and chopped vegetables.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Meiji Madness (Php129). Moist and chewy lava cake topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Drop by Hanako for a taste of #HandsDownGoodFood and sate your cravings for Japanese dishes!

Many thanks to the management and staff of Hanako for the warm welcome and lovely food.

Hanako, Katipunan

Enjoy free dishes when you and friend dine at Hanako and unlock your Zomato Gold privilege. 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 the code VOLT0979 to get 10% off the membership fee.

Hanako, Katipunan

This Hanako branch is located at Second Floor, Regis Center, 327 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 907 4879346.

Other branches are located at:

  • 131-C Armstrong Avenue, Moonwalk Village Phase 1, Paranaque City
  • 30-C Dona Soledad Avenue, Bgy. Don Bosco, Paranaque City
  • SM Supercenter, Fontera Verde, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bgy. Ugong, Pasig
  • 2nd Floor, The Rock, Holy Spirit Drive corner Marcelino Street, Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City

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

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  The food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Haven for coffee and comfort food lovers: Little Owl Cafe, New Manila

Hidden away in New Manila is a haven for lovers of coffee and comfort food.

Renovated from one of the previously worn-down houses along Broadway Avenue, Little Owl Cafe is nestled among lush greenery. Started as a coffee shop but now a full service cafe, it serves food that features a fusion of Italian and Asian cuisines that professionals working in the area or families residing nearby can enjoy.

I was recently invited to a Blogger’s Dinner at this restaurant where I was able to sample some of its delectable offerings:

Omelette Chorizo Rice (Php270). Part of the resto’s All-Day Breakfast Menu, it consists of homemade longganisa rice, delicately wrapped in a thin omelette and topped with onion gravy and aioli.

Sisig Tacos (Php210). Three pieces of soft-shell tacos topped with crispy sisig and a savory liver aioli sauce. A great start to the meal!

Glazed Cauliflower (Php210). Cauliflower covered in a sweet and spicy soy glaze then deep-fried to crispiness. A great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!

Truffle Mushroom Pasta (Php350). Al dente noodles tossed in a rich homemade mushroom sauce made with three different kinds of mushrooms – shiitake, enoki and shimeji – topped with fried enoki and drizzled with truffle oil.

Shrimp & Aligue Pasta (Php330). Pasta noodles tossed in a creamy tomato sauce incorporating shrimp aligue and served with plump grilled shrimps.

Beef Tapa & Cheese Sandwich (Php295). A Pinoy take on the Philly Cheesesteak which showcases savory slivers of beef tapa, it is accompanied by a hefty serving of crisp shoestring fries.

Chicken & Waffle (Php270). Chicken thighs covered in batter then fried to a crisp then served with sriracha coleslaw over cheddar waffles.

Lechon Kawali Bibimbap (Php320). The classic sweet-spicy Korean fried rice served with sauteed mushrooms and spinach accompanied by deep fried pork belly and fried egg. A great combination of Pinoy and Korean flavors!

Chicken Satay (Php280). A bowl of Indonesian- inspired fried rice served with grilled chicken thigh and its trademark peanut sauce.

Beef Rendang (Php420). Tenderchuck slow-cooked in aromatic spices and coconut cream. A little too spicy for me but a sure winner for those who like their food with lots of kick!

Kimchi Salmon Sinigang (Php420). Salmon belly and loin seared then served in a spicy and sour soup.

Iced Mocha (Php170). A rich yet refreshing blend of chocolate and coffee flavors, it is among the Toby’s Estate beverages served in this restaurant.

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Pink Owl (Php180). A fruity cocktail of vodka, lychee, watermelon and mint. A suitable drink to chase away the workday stress.

Little Owl Cafe’s food offerings provide its diners with an adventurous break from the everyday meals but with enough familiar flavors to make them appealing to those with more conservative tastebuds.

Its premises are well-appointed, tastefully furnished and prettily lit, great backgrounds for foodie shots and group photos.

Since this resto is conveniently located a short distance from my workplace, I definitely can drop by again for dinner with friends after office hours.

Little Owl Cafe is located at 65 Broadway Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 10pm and Sundays from 8am to 9pm. For inquiries, call + 63 917 8181468 or +63 2 5012036.

Little Owl also accepts bookings for special events such as weddings, birthdays, holiday parties, press conferences and more, with function rooms that can be reserved for a minimum consumable amount.

Little Owl Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend 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.

A quiet place to work and eat (and even study!): Quarks & Quills, Banawe

Technology has enabled many changes to the way we work: with mobile devices, wireless data access and internet-enabled communications and file-sharing applications, we now have the option to work outside our offices.  In fact, doing so might even make us more productive: it takes us away from the stress of commuting and a lot of workplace distractions.

However, when working from home is not an option, remote workers are faced with a conundrum: where to work in comfort and still be productive?  And for foodies like me, where to get good food to fuel the day’s work.

Fortunately, Quarks & Quills Study Center and Work Cafe offers both a quiet and comfy space to work, as well as healthy comfort food to keep tummies satisfied.

Located in one of the suburbs of Quezon City, the cafe boasts of quiet and cozy nooks for studying or working, free WiFi access, as well as power outlets for charging laptops and mobile devices (essential for the “always-on, always-connected” peeps like me).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

It also has function rooms upstairs for group meetings that can be reserved for a consumable amount (Php800 for up to 6 people and Php1,500 for up to 20 people). Reservations just need to be made a day in advance.

It also offers after-school tutorial services and enrichment programs in Math, Science and English for students.  Those who want to learn Chinese can benefit from Mandarin and Fookien held upstairs.

And thanks to a Zomato Foodie Meetup, I was able to sample its homey and hearty food offerings, of which I recommend:

Monte Cristo (Php125). French toasted sandwiched with a hearty filling of cheese and homemade ham.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Tinapa Wontons (Php105). Smoked fish flakes in wonton wrappers fried to a crispy golden brown and accompanied by a Spicy Tamarind Vinaigrette.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Gyoza (Php105). Dumplings filled with minced pork and aromatics which are steamed then seared for a crisp bottom.

Breakfast Bubble Waffle Set (Php195). Unusually styled (bubble!) waffles served with slices of homemade ham and scrambled eggs.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Its versions of Omurice, the fusion of omelettes and fried rice, also pack quite a punch: the Pork Katsu (Php195) with its fork tender pork bites drenched in tonkatsu sauce and the Miso Salmon (Php255) with flavorful salmon pieces drenched in the resto’s signature Miso glaze. These would go a long way towards satiating a hungry worker or student.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Sisig Silog (Php150). The combo of the slightly spicy sisig, egg and fried rice make for an energizing meal.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

For those who brought a big appetite, the best bets this resto has to offer are its Executive Meals: the BSS Pork Chop (Php335) – BSS means Big, Soft and Savory, by the way!) – and the Angus Hanger Steak (opening promo price of Php388). Both are quite good bargains considering the portion sizes, althought I would suggest specifying that the steak be cooked medium instead of well done.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

If you’re carbo-loading, you have quite a number of options among its pasta dishes: from its Creamy Alfredo (Php180), Fresh Tomato Pomodoro (Php190) and Fusili Pesto (Php205), all of which come with a cheesy twisty sourdough bread stick.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also cap off your meal or gift your family for special occasions with the resto’s decadent sweet treats that come in slices and whole cakes. These include the Triple Chocolate Mousse (Php110 for slice | Php880 for whole) and Mango Graham Cake (Php135 for slice | Php1,050 for whole).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also opt for a S’mores Bubble Waffle (Php140). Apparently, at Quarks & Quills, the usual grid-style waffle is so basic. 🙂 This comes with some toasted mallows, a big dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of rich chocolate syrup.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Now, how to wash all those goodies down? I chose a light yet creamy Hot Jasmine Milk Tea (Php70), which I messed up during prep, hehehe!

I’m also intrigued by the Hot Chocolate (Php80) which involves pouring the hot chocolate over a grid of solidified chocolate and toasted mallows.

Whether you’re here to study, work or just go on a gastronomic adventure, Quarks and Quills definitely has something for you. My only beef is the resto’s exhaust that didn’t quite accommodate all the smoke from the cooking that’s going on.  Still, all the food and drink options will make your visit worth it.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

And guess what! You can book a table at Quarks & Quills via Eatigo and enjoy 20% off your food bill. Not yet on Eatigo? Sign up here, book your table and attend your booking before January 31, 2019 for a chance to get Php500 Eatigo cash voucher.

Quarks & Quills is located at 43-H N. Roxas corner Apo Streets, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City and is open every day from 7am to 11pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 908 3719060, +63 956 0998913 or +63 2 8719502.

Quarks & Quills Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend 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.