Playful takes on Japanese cuisine at Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

The enjoyment of food need not be a sombre affair.

This is quite apparent when dining at Soru Izakaya, the Japanese restaurant hidden in Quezon City’s Tomas Morato suburbs.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

An izakaya is the Japanese version of the gastropub, a place where office workers can hang out after hours to have some drinks and a light meal.

At Soru Izakaya, fun permeates everything. The colorful interiors, for instance, are inspired by the aesthetic of bishoujo manga, traditional Japanese art as well as the bustling Tokyo nightlife.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

The food, on the other hand, is no less playful. Together with fellow Zomato bloggers and foodies, I checked out Soru Izakaya’s unique takes on Japanese food which include:

Whimsical Sushi.

Lava Maki (Php430). Salmon skin, crabsticks and mango topped with cubes of salmon and tuna doused with a mixture of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Gyu Maki (Php290). Thinly sliced beef strips, seasoned shiitake mushrooms, cream cheese and tamago topped onsen egg.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Tori Kasai Maki (Php290). Spiced chicken thigh, cream cheese and kimchi topped with torched cheese.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Fresh Salads.

Poke Bowl (Php330). Fresh salad greens, ripe mango, cucumber mixed with cubes of salmon and tuna doused in a mildly spicy dressing and topped with wakame and nori.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Spicy Maguro Salad (Php355). Cold salad greens with miso and salad dressing serve as a bed for fresh tuna cubes topped with crispy tempura flakes.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Filling Entrees.

Tomahawk Katsu (Php355). Tender pork tomahawk cutlet, breaded and deep-fried doused in a sweet and savory katsu sauce and served with shredded cabbage in a roasted sesame dressing.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Tsukumen (Php360). Thick udon noodles topped with chashu slices and tamago served with a hot flavorful broth for dipping.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Tempting Desserts.

Tiramisu (Php250). Layers of frozen coffee-flavored lady fingers layered with cream cheese frosting, creamy ganache and blueberries.

Soru Iazakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Dark Choco Moist Cake (Php220). A moist chocolate cake base covered in dark chocolate infused buttercream frosting.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Something new.

Soru Nabe Special Hotpot (Php399 per person | +Php100 with seafood). This includes unlimited refills of:

  • Broth: choice of two among Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu, Sukiyaki, Curry, Chicken, Miso and Spicy Miso
  • Meat: beef, chicken and pork
  • Seafood: shrimp, clams, mussels, squid and fish fillet
  • Balls: assorted balls and kani
  • Noodles: vermicelli, glass noodles and egg
  • Entrees: gyoza, yakisoba, tempura, beef bowl, pork bowl, smoked pork bowl, chicken wings, vegetable tempura, takoyaki
  • Vegetables: napa cabbage, carrots, squash, white onions, enoki, bokchoy, corn, taro, kangkong and black fungus
  • Sides: kimchi, potato marble, kakiage, cucumber, steamed rice and chahan

This offering inspired by the Japanese nabemono (from words nabe or “cooking pot” and mono or “thing”) is best enjoyed with a rambunctious group like ours.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

So here’s my recommendation: when the enhanced community quarantine is lifted, how about we head off to Soru Izakaya along with our buddies for some fun times with food? You game?

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Until then, why not have its dishes delivered to you? During the ECQ, Soru Izakaya’s Maginhawa branch is open from 10am to 5pm daily with a limited menu available for takeout or delivery via Grab Express or Lalamove. To order, text your name, address, contact number and orders to +63 917 7040515, +63 917 6363526 or +63 935 7830298.

This Soru Izakaya branch is located at Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez Street, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City.

Other branches are located at:

  • Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Ground Floor, 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

The Jelly List: Healthy Eats in QC

Healthy eating helps promote overall health and wellness by ensuring that we get the necessary nutrients our bodies need.

Well within Quezon City, there is an abundance of wholesome and nourishing, yet also tasty eats.

Check them out:

Salmon Sriracha Poke Bowl (Php230 for regular bowl| Php150 for junior bowl) at Poke Shack

Poke (pronounced as POKE-KAY) bowls originate from Hawaii, where pieces of fresh fish are chopped into small pieces, marinated in flavorful sauces and served on top of freshly steamed rice along with chopped fresh vegetables, nuts and other toppings that add flavor and texture to the dish. This Salmon Sriracha Poke Bowl, for instance, is made with tempura flour mix, ebiko, furikake, sesame seed with sriracha mayo.

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack is located at Ground Floor, Tera Tower, Bridgetowne Business Center, Ortigas Avenue Extension corner E. Rodriguez Jr Avenue, Libis, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm, Fridays from 10am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For inquiries, call +63 926 0718992 or +63 929 3173857.

Read more about Poke Shack.

Tantanmen (Php220) at Wabi-Sabi

Inspired by the Dan dan Noodles of Sichuan cuisine, Tantanmen is characterized by its rich slightly spicy peanut-flavored broth, made richer and thicker by miso paste. Here, the traditionally used ground pork and chicken stock are substituted with veggie meat and vegetable stock, and sesame seeds are used to flavor the slightly sweetish sauce instead of peanuts.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi Sabi is located at Ground Floor, POS Building, Scout Mandriñan Street Corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries, call +63 918 9622935.

Read more about Wabi-Sabi.

Traditional Banh Mi (Php185) at Saigon Corner

The Vietnamese took the French baguette and made it their own by adding to the usual cold cuts and mayo/butter spread of the French colonizers the distinct flavors of their local ingredients such as cilantro, chilis, daikons, carrots and cucumbers, bringing about the Banh Mi Thit or the traditional Banh Mi.

Saigon Corner, Tomas Morato

Saigon Corner is located at 40 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3680795 or +63 998 8491763.

Read more about Saigon Corner.

Vegan Nachos (Php199) at Salamangka

Toasted pita chips topped with ground tofu and drizzled with a mixture of Yummza pesto hummus, lemon and oil served with yoghurt on the side. If you want something healthy to munch on while on a night out with friends, this is your best bet.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5518557.

Read more about Salamangka.

Spicy Tofu (Php165) at HidN Lounge

Tofu cubes stir-fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. This is a great as a starter dish or bar chow. Truth be told: this dish had me reaching for the bowl again and again.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge is located at 21 Scout Rallos Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 6pm to 2am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9824422, +63 917 8592355 or +63 917 8850718.

Read more HidN Lounge.

Vechon Belly Rice Meal (Php250) at Pantry by Rub Rack

The Filipino guilty pleasure – the lechon – in this dish is not made of sinful roasted pork. Oh no! It’s made out of vegetables, painstakingly fashioned by Chef Lui to resemble slices of that decadent dish. The resemblance to the real thing in appearance and flavor is positively uncanny.

Pantry by Rub Rack, Katipunan

Pantry by Rub Rack is located at the 2nd Floor, 225 Katipunan Avenue, Barangay Milagrosa, Queson City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 929 4886734.

Read more about Pantry by Rub Rack.

Vegetarian Option (Php320) at Pookaberry Cafe

When this dish was initially served to me, I thought this was a pork tapa rice meal. Imagine my amazement when I realized it was made of sauteed mushrooms partnered with rice and crisp veggies. It’s so yummy you won’t believe it’s also healthy.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe is located at 36-B Scout Ybardolaza corner Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 9685414.

Read more about Pookaberry Cafe.

Portobello Mushroom Sliders (Php280) at Pound by Todd English

Every once in a while, I like to veer away from the usual quarter pounders made of beef. These sliders are made of juicy mushrooms accompanied by caramelized onions, fried onions, lettuce, tomato and cilantro aioli. A complex blend of hearty but healthy flavors in every bite!

Pound by Todd English, Eastwood

This Pound by Todd English branch is located at the 2nd Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Read more about Pound by Todd English.

Mushroom and Tofu Salpicao (Php180) at 13 Ubay Street

This dish brings a mix of button and shimeji mushrooms sauteed with deep-fried tofu cubes in a garlicky sauce. As good, if not better, than its beefy counterpart in other restos.

13 Ubay St. QC

This resto is located at No 13 Ubay Street, Santa Mesa Heights, Banawe, Quezon City, open daily at 11am to 2pm and at 5pm to 11pm.. For inquiries and reservations, call + 63 2 5796484 or +63 917 8762692.

Read more about 13 Ubay Street.

Bulletproof Mocha (Php130 small | Php140 medium) at UltraKappu

Bulletproof coffee is a drink consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil, all healthy ingredients that are low in sugar but high in good energy. I didn’t expect to find this so creamy! While it’s not as sweet as my regular coffee drinks, I can definitely taste a certain milky richness.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu is located at 2nd Floor, Bali Garden Residences, Zuzuarregui Street, Matandang Balara, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Read more about UltraKappu.

Pink Sala Fruit Tea (Php75/Php95) at Jelly G Thai Milk Tea

Sala (also known as snake skin fruit) is a type if palm native to Indonesia and cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. It is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, phosporus and carbohydrates. Jelly G combines the sweet pink-hued juice of the sala with black tea and brown sugar as well as a few spoonfuls of popping strawberry balls for added bursts of fruity sweetness.

Jelly G Thai Milk Tea, UP Town Center

This Jelly G Thai Milk Tea stall is located at Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (in front of National Bookstore).

So if you’re in Quezon City, check out these options for good eats.

Do you know any more healthy food options? Share them in the comments.

Photo Credit: Header image by Carissa Gan of Unsplash

Fun poke bowl lunch at Poke Shack, Libis

Everyday, we are presented with so many choices for our midday meals that deciding on which resto to have a #happylunch can be mind-blowing.

But what if we’re trying to eat healthy?

Whether we’re watching our weight or trying to ensure we get more essential nutrients into our system, we would really appreciate having multiple and viable options for a healthy meal.

Fortunately, another restaurant offering wholesome and nourishing meal choices has set up shop near my neck of the woods.

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack is located in the newly built Bridgetowne Business Center complex, giving the workers of nearby offices and the residents of nearby villages a tasty way to enjoy a nourishing meal: in a poke bowl.

Poke (pronounced as POKE-KAY) bowls originate from Hawaii, where pieces of fresh fish are chopped into small pieces, marinated in flavorful sauces and served on top of freshly steamed rice along with chopped fresh vegetables, nuts and other toppings that add flavor and texture to the dish. Sometimes, cooked meat is used as substitute for the raw fish.

Poke Shack, Libis

Over the years, the poke bowl has adopted various culinary influences, making it a very versatile dish.

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Recently, my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH and I visited Poke Shack to sample its some of its wide array of poke bowls which included:

The Shack Standard (Php210 for regular bowl | Php130 for junior bowl). Made with tuna, celery, ebiko (shrimp roe), furikake (dry Japanese seasoning), sesame seed with classic poke sauce.

Poke Shack, Libis

Juan-der Bowl (Php190 for regular bowl | Php110 for junior bowl). Made with tuna, red egg, red raddish, celery, black sesame seed, spring onion and aioli sauce.

Poke Shack, Libis

Salmon Sriracha (Php230 for regular bowl| Php150 for junior bowl). Made with salmon, celery, onion, crispy showa tempura flour mix, ebiko, furikake, sesame seed with sriracha mayo.

Poke Shack, Libis

Jeju Chicken (Php190 for regular bowl | Php110 for junior bowl). Made with Korean-style chicken, black and white sesame seed, brocolli, cauliflower, leeks with Bonchon sauce.

Poke Shack, Libis

Chicharrones Zing (Php210 for regular bowl | Php130 for junior bowl). Made with crispy pork liempo, salsa, pineapple, salted egg with chimichurri and sriracha.

Poke Shack, Libis

Beefy Cheese Machine (Php230 for regular bowl| Php150 for junior bowl). Made with beef, cheese, corn, pickled cucumber, cherry tomato, spring onion with aioli sriracha.

Poke Shack, Libis

In the mood for something else aside from your poke bowl? Try it with Chicken Skin (Php50) or Crocutes (Php100), potato and cheese croquettes with crab sticks or spam cubes.

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Add iced tea or lemonade to your poke bowl for only Php20 or make it a meal with iced tea or lemonade and salad chips for only Php40.

Plus, every Wednesday, get your poke bowl for only Php100!

Thanks to the varied tastes and textures of Poke Shack’s poke bowls, eating healthy has never been easier or more fun!

Thanks to Michael Alegre of Poke Shack and his crew for the warm welcome and the yummy food!

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack is located at Ground Floor, Tera Tower, Bridgetowne Business Center, Ortigas Avenue Extension corner E. Rodriguez Jr Avenue, Libis, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm, Fridays from 10am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For inquiries, call +63 926 0718992 or +63 929 3173857.

No time to visit the store? Have your poke bowl from Poke Shack delivered to you via Food Panda.

Poke Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held here. 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 blog posts on other healthy eats in the metro: