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:

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: