Japanese food faves at Hanako, SM Pasig

Japanese restaurant Hanako got its name from a popular female given name in Japan which translates to “flower girl.”

Coincidentally, I recently dined at its SM Pasig branch after an all-girl’s outing with my mom and my daughter #ExhibitA. At this restaurant, we were able to sample tasty and authentic Japanese dishes which are also easy on the pocket (and made even easier by Zomato Gold… more on that later).

This outlet brings the color and vibrancy of Japanese street eateries inside the mall, attracting diners with its boldly colored banners and food posters.

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Japanese food remains among my family’s favorite cuisines. We love the simple yet strong flavors and the contrast in textures that make each bite tasty and interesting.

Take our lunch orders for example:

Salmon Tartare (Php224). Small pieces of salmon mixed in mayonnaise, togarashi (Japanese chili pepper), tempura flakes and chopped scallions. A delicious start to the meal!

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Ebi Tempura (Php279). Five large prawns battered then deep fried to a beautiful golden brown, then served with tempura dipping sauce. A mainstay in many of the fam’s Japanese meals!

(Trivia: Did you know that the method of preparing tempura was introduced in Japan by Portuguese Jesuits in the mid-16th century?)

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Chicken Karaage (Php199). Boneless chicken thigh pieces are marinated in a mixture of ginger and soy sauce, then coated with starch and deep fried before being served with a side of Japanese mayo for its dipping sauce.

(Trivia: Did you know that in the US, chicken karaage is sometimes called JFC, or Japanese Fried Chicken?)

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Tonkatsu (Php219). A juicy piece of pork cutlet, seasoned then panko-coated and deep-fried, then served with a salad of shredded cabbage and katsu sauce. How can you go wrong with this dish?

(Trivia: Did you know that ton translates to “pork” and katsu – a shortened form of katsuretsu – is a transliteration of the word “cutlet?”)

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Chahan (Php79). Flavorful dish of rice stir-fried in a wok with some minced meat and chopped vegetables.

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

Our lunch of our favorite Japanese food is a happy cap to an outing of three generations!

Hanako, SM Pasig

Hanako, SM Pasig

And since both #ExhibitA and I are Zomato Gold members, we got two of these dishes for free!

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 my code JELLYB to get additional 20% off the membership fee.

This Hanako branch is located at SM Center Pasig, Frontera Drive, Bgy. Ugong, Pasig, open daily from 10am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5848708.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Regis Center, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, The Rock Lifestyle Hub, Holy Spirit Drive, Bgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City
  • 131 C. Armstrong Avenue, Moonwalk Village Phase 1, Paranaque
  • 30-C Dona Soledad Avenue, Don Bosco, Paranaque

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

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:

Filling Japanese bento meals at Kazoku, Tomas Morato

With the welcome break of sunshine after several days of bad weather, a friend and I decided to have lunch out.  We have not gone far from our office building when we noticed a newly opened Japanese restaurant nearby.  Eager to try out something new (and not wanting to walk too far while wearing my wedge heels), we decided to give Kazoku a try.

Kazoku is the Japanese word for “family.”  It can also refer to the Japanese empire’s hereditary peerage, the nobility, in feudal Japan.

The restaurant displays several Japanese design sensibilities which include elegant lines and the restrained use of  color.  Here and there in the spacious dining space are splashes of elements that add personality to the space such as a line of Japanese dolls displayed on a counter or the long chandeliers hanging from the high loft-style ceiling.

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

What ultimately drew us in to this resto is its bento meals.  Reasonably priced at Php188 each, our bento orders of yakiniku (grilled marinated strips of beef cut sukiyaki style) and chicken teriyaki (tender and juicy chicken pieces broiled with a savory-sweet glaze of soy sauce, mirin and sugar) came with miso soup, cabbage salad, sticky Japanese steamed rice, slices of tuna sashimi and California Maki, quite filling meals considering their price point.

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Kazoku, Tomas Morato

Other bento offerings include Tori Karaage and Tonkatsu also priced at Php188 each, and Gindara, Shake and Tempura priced at Php288 each.  Bento meals are available weekdays from 11am to 2pm.

If you brought more of an appetite with you, you can go for its Yakiniku BBQ All You Can Eat offer.  At only Php488++ per person, you can grill and eat your fill of barbecued beef, pork, chicken, sausage and shrimp.  This comes with refillable soup, salad, appetizers and rice, as well your choice of juice or beer. You can even add Php188 to make your beer refillable.

Kazoku Japanese Restaurant is located at 2nd Floor, The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City.  It is open daily from 11am to 11pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 8219841.

Kazoku Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

This post contains affiliate links.

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.

Ramen break at Rai Rai Ken

While out on an errand with my daughter in SM City Taytay, we came across this branch of Rai Rai Ken.  We don’t normally come across Rai Rai Ken branches in our usual haunts and since I’m going through my ramen phase and my daughter is a tempura aficionado, we decided to have our dinner here.

Rai Rai Ken started out as a humble eatery located along Bautista Street, Makati City in the early ’90s, which later started offering authentic Japanese ramen to its clientele.  Now, it has 30+ branches nationwide, all serving old-fashioned steamy, heartwarming bowls of ramen.  Its expanded menu now includes sashimi, sushi, teriyakis and teppans.

The branch in SM Taytay is clean with Japanese-inspired decor that includes a cherry blossom painting and paper lanterns that add character to the space.

I chose Tonkutsu Ramen (Php375) for myself; it consists of a rich pork tonkutsu broth, Japanese noodles, slices of marinated and slow-roasted pork belly, topped with mushrooms, aji tamago (marinated soft-boiled egg), menma (bamboo shoots) and nori (edible seaweed).  The steamy dish does warm the heart with its full-flavored broth and the contrasts in texture of noodles combined with its toppings.

I also ordered Ebi Tempura (Php355 for 5 pieces), Salmon Sashimi (Php350) and Kani Salad (Php179) as requested by my daughter.

This branch is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Building B, SM City Taytay, along Taytay Diversion Road, Bgy Dolores, Taytay Rizal.

More info available at the Rai Rain Ken website.

Rai Rai Ken 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.

Satisfying Japanese fare at Ariake

Japanese cuisine is characterized by fresh ingredients prepared in accordance to the season as well as simple yet artistic plating.  Both are present in Ariake such that it’s among our group’s go-to lunch places for a Japanese meal.

Among its dishes that I recommend are:

  • Crunchy Tuna Sashimi (Php255) – raw tuna mixed with tempura flakes and a special dressing
  • Ebi Tempura (Php180 for 3 pieces)
  • Beef Teppan (Php355) – cubed tenderloin steak with sauteed vegetables
  • Tokyo Style Ramen (Php250) – shoyu-based soup, pork slices, boiled egg, leeks and cabbage

Ariake is located at Unit C Barretto Building, 284 Tomas Morato Corner Scout Rallos, Sacred Heart, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

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.

Dad’s birthday treat at Dads-Saisaki-Kamayan

My daddy held his 68th birthday here so the whole family brought their hungry tummies. The thing with buffets such as Dads-Saisaki-Kamayan is that there is no earthly way for you to eat or even sample all of the resto’s offerings. My strategy is to concentrate on the food that fulfills two criteria:1. Something I’ve really been craving for

2. Something I’ll probably have trouble finding elsewhere

3. Something that’s really expensive in a non-buffet resto
In this particular instance, I gorged myself on:

1. Roast beef (meat is so tender and flavorful; lots of marbled fat) 2. Pork and salmon katsu (a happy discovery for me as katsu wasn’t normally highlighted here before; this probably came about with the recent proliferation of katsu places)


3. Salmon sashimi (this usually costs a lot order it ala carte in a Japanese resto)

4. For dessert: strawberry ice cream and mango truffle

5. Drink of choice: cucumber lemonade

This was a happy occasion celebrated with great company and great food.
Check it out on Zomato!