Japanese dining experience at Sandaime, Eastwood Mall

Being part of a family of Japanese food lovers, it is no wonder that we tend to seek it out every chance we could.

That’s what happened when Hubby and I started feeling hunger pangs while we were in the vicinity of Eastwood Mall, Libis. Knowing that one of our previously discovered Japanese food restaurants is in the area and has reopened for dine-in service after closing during the quarantine, we were looking forward to trying it out again.

That restaurant is Sandaime.

Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City

Sandaime is a casual dining restaurant which offers a wide selection of Japanese dishes that combine traditional Japanese sushi flavors. These include Edomae-style sushi, which are prepared using traditional sushi-making techniques and fish flown in directly from Japan. It is also known for its teishoku (Japanese meal sets).

It has re-opened with a streamlined menu from which Hubby and I ordered:

Spicy Salmon Salad (Php408). Cubes of salmon sashimi tossed in a spicy creamy sauce on a bed of lettuce and topped with crunchy tempura flakes.

Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City

Tuna Sashimi (Php388) and Salmon Sashimi (Php398). Fresh sashimi served with wasabi and Japanese soy sauce.

Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City

Ebi Tempura (Php468/5 pcs). Battered prawns deep-fried to a crunchy golden brown and served with special tempura sauce.

Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City

Tonkatsu Set (Php428). Deep-fried breaded pork cutlets accompanied by a tangy katsu sauce. This meal set includes rice and lettuce.

Sandaime, Eastwood City
Sandaime, Eastwood City

Looking back at our pre-pandemic visit, we were glad to see that most of what we liked then are still in the menu such as Edamame, Chicken Karaage and California Roll. Unfortunately, Oyster Overload is no longer in the menu.

Sandaime, Libis
Sandaime, Libis
Sandaime, Libis
Sandaime, Libis

Sandaime Japanese Restaurant is located at the Ground Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, open for dine-in, pick-up and delivery. For reservations and orders, call +63 915 3373278 or +63 928 50 2487.

Feeling at home at BOTEJYU, SM City East Ortigas

My fam and I do enjoy being so near what we consider to be our neighborhood mall, SM City East Ortigas.

As it is the site of quite a number of great restaurants, a delicious meal for the family is just a short drive away.

Imagine our excitement when we got word that BOTEJYU is opening a branch here.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

This chain traces its roots back to Osaka, Japan where it was established in 1946 as an okonomiyaki restaurant.

Okomiyaki is a dish that emerged in postwar Japan during a food shortage. As American provisions were unloaded at Osaka and Kobe ports, the locals discovered American flour mixed with water results in a pancake that can serve as an alternative staple food.

BOTEJYU’s founder Eikichi Nishino discovered another culinary delight which also makes use of an American provision – mayonnaise – this time, as a topping for okonomiyaki.

The dish is central to the restaurant’s concept that its name was coined after the sounds heard when cooking its signature dish: “BOTE” from the sound made when flipping the okonomiyaki and “JYU” from the sizzling sound it makes as it cooks on the teppan grill.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Being a family of Japanese food lovers, we lost no time in dropping by this newest BOTEJYU branch in SM City East Ortigas to try out delicious selections from its extensive menu, such as:

Edamame (Php121). Lightly salted boiled green beans.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Fresh Salmon Sashimi (Php395).

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Seattle Roll (Php315). Sushi roll made with salmon, cream cheese, avocado and mayonnaise.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Spicy Maguro Tuna Roll (Php315). Sushi roll made with spicy tuna, cucumber and lettuce.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Diced Beef Garlic Steak (Php490). Tender beef cubes sauteed with Botejyu’s signature Chaliapin sauce.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Premium Mix Moonlight-Egg Oko (Php495). Okomiyaki made with Botejyu’s original batter, cabbage, beef, pork belly, shrimp, squid and fried egg cooked on the teppan grill and topped with Botejyu’s original tomato sauce, special sauce and white mayonnaise.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

We also took advantage of one of BOTEJYU’s Kazukp Tumori (Family Bundles), deliciously curated meal sets meant for sharing that also offer great discounts. Our order of Family Bundle F (Php1,995) already included four sets of rice, miso soup, kimchi and iced tea, as well as:

3pcs Original Mayo Takoyaki. Made from flour-based batter with bits of octopus and spices topped with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and katsuoboshi.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Pork Tonkotsu Ramen. Ramen noodles in tonkotsu broth with char siu pork.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

California Roll. Sushi roll made with crab meat, avocado, cucumber, ebiko and mayonnaise.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

3pcs Tempura. Crispy prawns fried in special batter and served with tempura dipping sauce.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Grilled Pork Rib Hokkaido Style. Tender pork steak grilled then glazed in umami-flavored sauce.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Teppan Grilled Pork Gyoza. Japanese potstickers served with aromatic soy sauce.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Original Chicken Karaage. Japanese-style crispy fried chicken infused with garlic flavor.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

With such a sumptuous array of Japanese dishes so readily available to us, it sure looks like we’ll be spending more time in our neighborhood mall!

This BOTEJYU branch is located at Ground Floor, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City, open daily from 10.15am to 7.45pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 8524657.

Botejyu, SM East Ortigas
Botejyu, SM East Ortigas

Other BOTEJYU branches in Metro Manila are located in:

  • Alabang: Festival Mall Expansion Wing
  • Caloocan: SM City Grand Central
  • Las Pinas: Evia Lifestyle Center
  • Makati: Ayala Greenbelt 3, Ayala North Exchange
  • Mandaluyong: SM Megamall The Atrium
  • Manila: SM City Manila
  • Paranaque: Ayala Malls Manila Bay, SM City Bicutan, SM City Sucat, SM Southmall
  • Pasay: SM Mall of Asia Galileo Wing
  • Pasig: Ayala Malls Feliz, Estancia Mall Capitol Commons
  • Quezon City: Ayala Vertis North Mall, Fisher Mall, Robinsons Place Magnolia, SM City Fairview, SM City North EDSA, Trinoma Mall Garden Area
  • San Juan: O Square 2 Greenhills Shopping Center
  • Taguig: One Bonifacio High Street Mall

BOTEJYU also accepts orders for delivery through its website and via GrabFood and FoodPanda.

To know more about its latest offers and promos, follow BOTEJYU on Facebook and Instagram.

#HandsDownGoodFood at Hanako, Estancia

Are a fan of Japanese food too?

Thanks to its focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients, simple yet methodical preparation as well as its artful presentation, Japanese food continues to be among the most popular cuisines in the metro.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall

One of the premier destinations for Japanese cuisine is Hanako. With its “bang for the buck authentic Japanese food” proposition, it makes delicious Japanese dishes more accessible to foodies in the metro.

It recently opened a branch in Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, adding a cozy space for Japanese food lovers to discover and enjoy their favorites.

Sushi

California Maki (Php219). Maki made with kani, mango, cucumber and ebiko.

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall

Salmon Cream Cheese (Php269). Maki made with salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, sesame and tempura flakes.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Ultimate Dynamite Roll (Php269). Maki made with salmon, tuna, kani, togarashi and tempura flakes.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Torched Cheese & Salmon (Php304). Sushi rice topped with marinated salmon and torched cheese.

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia

Salmon Sashimi (Php249/5pcs | Php319/8pcs).

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall

Tuna Sashimi (Php209/5pcs | Php294/8pcs).

DSCF5732
Hanako, Estancia

Snacks

Creamy Mushroom Udon (Php249). Thick udon noodles doused in a savory and creamy mushroom sauce.

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Eatancia

Gyoza Sampler (Php179/6pcs | Php619/18pcs). Combination of classic pork, beef and chicken Japanese potstickers.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Starters

Beef Sukiyaki (Php249). A hearty nabemono (“hot pot dish”) made with sliced beef slowly simmered along with vegetables in a broth of soy sauce, sugar and mirin.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Tuna Tartare (Php249). Sushi-grade tuna chopped into tiny pieces and tossed in Japanese mayo with togarashi, tempura flakes and chopped scallion.

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall

Mains

Ebi Tempura (Php209/3pcs | Php309/5pcs). Battered and deep-fried shrimp served with special sauce.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

If you’re an avid fan of Ebi Tempura, I suggest you take advantage of its dine-in promo wherein you can enjoy unlimited tempura with a serving of gohan (steamed rice) for only Php499/person. This offer is available Mondays to Thursdays (2 hours maximum), thankfully extended until June 9, 2022.

Yasai Itame (Php154). Fresh and crisp vegetables stir-fried in a flavorful sauce.

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall

Karaage (Php259). Marinated and lightly-floured chicken pieces and deep-fried then served with special sauce.

Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia Mall

Chicken Teriyaki (Php294). Rice bowl topped with grilled chicken glazed with teriyaki sauce.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Gyudon (Php299). Rice bowl topped with finely sliced beef simmered in a sweet sauce with onions.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Tonkatsu (Php284). Breaded pork cutlet that’s been deep-fried then served rice and katsu sauce.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia

Craving for great-tasting Japanese food? Well, now you know where to go to sate your craving without having to burn a hole through your wallet.

Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia
Hanako, Estancia Mall
Hanako, Estancia

It may be time to hie yourself over to any of these Hanako branches in the metro:

  • 4th Floor, East Wing, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City
  • 30 Doña Soledad Ave., Better Living Subd., Brgy. Don Bosco, Parañaque City
  • 83 B Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City, Bagong Pag-asa,, Quezon City (beside Car Doctor)
  • 131-C Armstrong Ave., Brgy. Moonwalk, Parañaque City
  • GF, SM Center Pasig, Ortigas East, Pasig City
  • 2nd Floor, The Rock, Holy Spirit Drive, Brgy. Don Antonio, Quezon City
  • Robinsons Townville Regalado Ext Ciudad Verde, Quezon City

You may also order online at cravehanako.ph.

To stay updated on Hanako’s offers and promos, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant where food items were served at no cost to the attendees.

Check out my previous posts on Hanako:

At home at Ome Japanese Cafe

Don’t you sometimes just want to be in a place where you feel right at home? Somewhere that you can be with family and friends while enjoying good food and good company?

Well, located in a family-friendly neighborhood in Quezon City ii a quaint and cozy Japanese eatery that brings comfort and happiness through its delicious and affordable Japanese comfort food.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Ome Japanese Cafe prides itself on its fresh ingredients and meticulously crafted dishes. These culinary creations were honed from the extensive experience of its chef/owners Christine Ramos and Gerivic Orocio in restaurants both here and abroad.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

During a recent foodie meetup with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH, I was able to experience Ome’s signature dishes as well as new menu selections.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Hand-crafted sushi

Ome’s chefs demonstrated their considerable skills with these beautifully assembled sushi rolls.

Ome Signature Roll (Php285). House-cured Norwegian salmon, cucumber and cream cheese topped with crab, masago and Srirach aioli.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Embassy Roll (Php260). Shrimp tempura, crab, cream cheese, tempura flakes, tobiko and sweet creamy sauce.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Tokyo Roll (Php385). Shrimp tempura roll topped with unagi, mango and eel sauce.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Crispy Spicy Salmon Roll (Php230). Spicy Norwegian salmon with cucumber, mango and tempura flakes.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Cucumber-wrapped Shrimp Tempura Maki (Php350). Shrimp tempura, romaine lettuce, crab and mango wrapped in a wafer-thin, katsuramuki-style slice of cucumber.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Hearty and heart-warming Ramen

Filling and tasty ramen will surely satisfy hunger while appealing to the need for tasty comfort food.

Chicken Paitan (Php385). Roasted soy chicken, mushrooms, soft-boiled egg and black garlic oil top ramen noodles in a rich and creamy broth made from pressure-cooked chicken bone broth with bonito salt and kombu.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Tan-Tan Men (Php350). Sauteed ground pork, corn, bok-choy and sesame egg in sesame broth seasoned with chili oil.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Partnership with Real California Milk

Collaborating with Real California Milk, Ome Japanese Cafe developed a tasty selection of viands that was incorporate high-quality cheeses.

Udon Carbonara (Php380). Hearty udon noodles topped with thick-cut smoked bacon, poached egg and mozzarella ina tasty carbonara sauce.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Japanese Omurice (Php340). Creamy omelet spiced with a bit of Pepper Jack Cheese on top of Japanese fried rice and drizzled with Hayashi demi-glace sauce.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Chicken & Cheese Katsu (Php320). Panko-breaded chicken cutlets wrapped around oodles of cheese, accompanied by shredded cabbage and katsu sauce.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

New menu items

Pretty soon, Japanese food lovers will be able to enjoy these newest culinary creations.

Tepanyaki Wagyu Beef Cubes (Php485). Tender beef slices smothered with Hayashi demi-glace accompanied by seasonal veggies and creamy mashed potato.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Shrimp and Seasonal Vegetable Tempura (Php295). Deep-fried shrimp and veggies covered in batter enriched with dashi broth, making the resulting tempura crisp, light and airy.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Sweet endings

What better way to end the meal than on a sweet note with these scrumptious desserts?

Matcha Panna Cotta (Php180). Mango puree and muscovado sugar on creamy matcha-flavored panna cotta.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Mango Pudding (Php180). Succulent slices of fresh mango top a rice pudding enriched with coconut milk.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Feast on these dishes with your nears and dears at Ome’s well-appointed cafe or have them delivered to your home.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

Ome Japanese Cafe is located at Chimes Square, 77 Congressional Avenue Extension, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 8pm.

For inquiries, reservations and delivery orders, call +63 2 70886066 or +63 917 6293212.

It also accepts delivery orders via BeepIt.

Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe
Ome Japanese Cafe

To know more about its latest promos and offers, follow Ome Japanese Cafe on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant wherein the food items served were not paid for by the participants, including myself.

Good times and good eating with Hodai’s newest Daebag Set

With all we’ve been through during lockdowns and quarantines, one can’t help but hold out hope for better times ahead.

At the same time, we can’t help but look back on all the things we used to enjoy, like dining out to savor our favorite and spending fun times with family and friends.

Personally, I miss going out for Korean BBQ (or “mag-samgyup” as we Pinoys like to term it). The sheer adventure of grilling our own food as we talk, laugh and banter with our companions always proves enjoyable.

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

A prime destination for this experience is Hodai Restaurant in Quezon City. Located in a remodeled two-story house along Examiner Street in Barangay West Triangle built in the 1960s, it lives up to its name (“Hodai” translates to “all you can” in Nihongo), it’s where you can get your fill of unlimited meats and side dishes.

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

To mark its recent re-opening, Hodai Restaurant celebrates the good times ahead with its Daebag Set. For just Php599 per person, this set brings together everybody’s Korean BBQ and yakiniku favorites, plus more, into one table for everyone to enjoy.

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

Seafood. Includes salmon sashimi, assorted sushi rolls (California Roll, Kani Roll and Mango Roll) and Salmon Sushi (Torched Salmon Sushi with Spicy Sauce, Salmon Maki with Mustard Sauce and Salmon Sushi) as well as fresh shrimp.

Hodai Daebak Set
Salmon Sashimi
Hodai Daebak Set
Assorted Rolls
Hodai Daebak Set
Sushi
Hodai Daebak Set
Fresh Shrimp

LA Galbi. Barbecued beef short ribs cut thinly along the bone usually served during special occasions.

Hodai Daebak Set
LA Galbi

Cheese Spicy Ribs. Tender pork ribs marinated in gochujang sauce with stringy mozzarella cheese.

Hodai Daebak Set
Cheese Spicy Ribs

Five kinds of pork. Includes Herb Pork Steak, Daepae Pork, Plain Pork, Yakiniku Pork and Gochujang Pork.

Hodai Daebak Set
Herb Pork Steak
Hodai Daebak Set
Daepae Pork
Hodai Daebak Set
Plain Pork
Hodai Daebak Set
Yakiniku Pork
Hodai Daebak Set
Gochujang Pork

Five kinds of beef. Includes Enoki Beef Roll, Plain Beef, Herb Beef, Yangnyeom Beef and Gochujang Beef

Hodai Daebak
Enoki Beef Roll
Hodai Daebak Set
Plain Beef
Hodai Daebak Set
Herb Beef
Hodai Daebak Set
Gochujang Beef

Side dishes. Includes Beef Tteokbokki, Galbi Fried Chicken, Potato Marbles, Kimchi, Japchae, Fishcake and Sour Radish.

Hodai Daebak Set
Beef Tteokbokki
Hodai Daebak Set
Galbi Fried Chicken
Hodai Daebak Set
Kimchi
Hodai Daebak Set
Japchae
Hodai Daebak Set
Fishcake
Hodai Daebak Set
Assorted Side Dishes

Did you know that “daebag” translates to “Awesome!” in Korean? In Korean dramas. it’s usually uttered as an expression of surprise at a positive situation. No doubt you will echo the same sentiment when this sumptuous spread is laid before you and your companions.

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

Such a delicious bounty sure seems like a portent of great things to come, doesn’t it? Well, invite more good fortune into your life by gathering your nears-and-dears and celebrating being alive and being together over good food. (While practicing physical distancing, of course!)

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

If you feel that luck is on your side, here’s your chance to win a free Daebag Set. From September 27 to October 10, paying adults ordering the Daebag Set can play a fun game wherein they can choose one out of four boxes containing a dalgona candy with an imprinted shape. They will be tasked to trim away the candy outside the imprinted shape using just a toothpick. Any customer that successfully accomplished this feat will be awarded a free Daebag Set.

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

(You might be getting flashbacks to similar scenes in the Netflix Show Squid Game, but this activity is actually a favorite pastime of Korean kids.)

So if you feel that you have been without fun times with family and friends over good food for too long, go meet up at Hodai Restaurant and feast over the Daebag Set.

Hodai Daebak Set
Hodai Daebak Set

Hodai Restaurant is located at 14 Examiner Street, Barangay West Triangle, quezon City, open daily for dine-in from 12 noon to 10pm. Note: Al fresco diners is available for all customers regardless of vaccination status while indoor diners are required to present their vaccination cards.

To reserve your table, call +63 956 4605848.

Disclosure: Together with fellow foodies, I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant. Food items were served to facilitate this feature and were not paid for by the attendees.

Ripplin’ sushi at Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami refers to “small waves” or “ripples.”

It may very well refer to the ripples of gastronomic pleasure you experience when you bite into the sushi rolls made at the new sushi place in SM Megamall named Sazanami.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

If you haven’t been to Eatogether Food Hall, I suggest you visit it stat because here you can take part in a new wave of dining experiences like the one at Sazanami.

It offers, not your run-of-the-mill sushi rolls, but ones that use various (and even surprising!) ingredients and make them into tasty combinations that tickle your fancy, not to mention your tastebuds. This is in large part thanks to Sazanami’s in-house sushi chef who’s been servin’ up these sushi rolls since the 90s.

During a recent foodie meetup at Eatogether Food Hall, my fellow foodies and I were able to sample some of its delectable sushi creations. Each sushi roll order is served with pickled ginger, wasabi and Japanese soy sauce, as well as Sazanami’s signature creamy and savory sauce that go so well with its sushi variants.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Ready for a run-down of your delightful sushi options at Sazanami?

Take for example its Sazanami Maki (Php265/8pcs). This is the house specialty baked sushi with salmon, sesame seeds, scallions, spiced garlic mayo, unagi sauce, mango bits and kani.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

The Yin Yang Roll (Php265/10pcs), on the other hand, is one of the store’s best sellers. It’s a deep-fried and crunchy shrimp tempura roll with cream cheese and umagi sauce.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

The Special Roll (Php295/8pcs) is a treat: it’s ingredients vary every week, making it a real foodie adventure. So if you want to have a sushi surprise, go for this sushi roll!

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

With such a tasty sampler, I just knew I had to take some home to the fam who are all certified sushi lovers.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

All I had to do was give my order at the stall where servers selected my choices from their menu screen, a bill was run up automatically and I just had to pay via GCash! What a safe and contactless way to get your food, huh? (By the way, other contactless payment options are available or you can just get a Vikings Card at the Eatogether Food Hall reception and load it up every time you visit.)

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Curious on what I took home? Check these out:

First, I got an order of Ripple Roll (Php260), Sazanami’s own version of the classic California Maki, with crabstick, mango, tobikko and black sesami fried kani stick.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Then, I got a cute Caterpillar Maki (Php195), a sushi roll made with kani, cucumber, avocado, sesame seeds and unagi sauce.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

And thanks to Sazanami’s ongoing promo which gives four Sazanami Maki pieces free for every sushi order, I was able bring home an additional eight Sazanami Maki pieces!

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Well, the fam devoured the sushi as soon as I got home so I could pretty much say these were met with their approval.

If you’re on the lookout for your next sushi adventure, do give Sazanami a try!

Sazanami is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Give in to your tummy’s rumblin’ at Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Foodies, if there is one thing you can count on, it’s the fact that your Tita Jellybeans is always on the prowl for new and exciting gastronomic experiences to share with you.

And, boy, do I have great news!

There’s this restaurant along Mayon Street in La Loma, Quezon City (a place I’m a bit unfamiliar with but I didn’t let that stop me from going on this foodie adventure) that specializes in takoyaki and milk tea called Gulu Gulu.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

If you’re thinking that it’s just another snack bar or street food stall, you’ve got another think coming. For one thing, the place is not a stall at all but a beautifully designed and well-appointed cafe. Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the interiors in bright, natural light while Japan-inspired murals add color to the interiors. Tables and cushioned chairs are spread in the sprawling space, giving diners comfortable seats in which to enjoy their food. Comics and short story books are also displayed, adding to the relaxing cafe feel. Almost every nook and space can be an Instagrammable spot.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Plus, you can watch Gulu Gulu’s takoyaki masters in action in the open kitchen as they prepare the food fresh upon order.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu’s real claim to fame, of course, is its food.

With a name derived from the sound of a rumbling stomach, Gulu Gulu strives to satisfy hunger with delicious and filling fare that are definitely worth several return visits.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

First of these is its takoyaki, claimed to be the best ones in town and unlike any other takoyaki balls you may have tasted. I really can’t argue with that claim. Made with the freshest ingredients like chopped octopus, cabbages and onions, they come in wondrous and creative variety, giving even the takoyaki connoisseur new ways to enjoy this delicious snack.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Available takoyaki flavors include: Classic (Php65/3pcs | Php120/6pcs), Pork Floss & Nori (Php70/3pcs | Php130/6pcs), Tuna Floss (Php70/3pcs | Php140/6pcs), Roe (Php70/3pcs | Php140/6pcs), Seaweeds (Php70/3pcs | Php140/6pcs), Chizu-Yaki (Php70/3pcs | Php130/6pcs), Spam-o-Yaki (Php70/3pcs | Php130/6pcs) and Crispy Takoyaki (Php130/6pcs).

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

If you feel like having something more substantial, you can always opt for a sushi roll. Here, Gulu Gulu does not scrimp on the variety either. Take your pick among these sushi flavors: California Roll (Php220/8pcs), Crazy Maki (Php280/8pcs), Cheese Mango Roll (Php260/8pcs), Crispy Maki (Php250/8pcs) and Salmon Aburi Roll (Php230/8pcs).

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

You can also mix ’em up by getting a 12-piece sushi box with 4 pieces each of California Roll, Crazy Maki and Cheese Mango Roll for just Php230!

If you’re feeling really peckish, you can always go for a Rice Bowl, consisting of a Japanese meat dish topping a steaming bowl of fluffy Japanese rice. Choose from these rice bowl options: Torikatsudon (fried breaded chicken cutlet – Php210), Katsudon (fried breaded pork chop – Php210), Ebi Tendon (shrimp tempura – Php210), Gyudon (beef strips – Php230), Grilled Salmon Steak (Php290) or Japanese Curry (Chicken or Pork – Php240).

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

You can also add a serving of Ebi Tempura (deep-fried batter-coated shrimp – Php150/3pcs | Php240/5pcs), Yakisoba (stir-fred noodles – Php200) or Kakiage (deep-fried batter-coated veggies – Php125) to complete your meal.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Now, what to drink as you eat your fill of those delectable Japanese food? Gulu Gulu’s got you there as well with its extensive line of teas that make use of the finest and first-boiled black, green, red and jasmine tea leaves, lusciously chewy black pearls, nata de coco, grass jelly and other add-ons to bring you the highest quality drinks in amazing variants.

Milk tea flavors include: Original with Pearl (Php100/700ml), Milk Tea with Nata de Coco (Php110/700ml), Milk Tea with Grass Jelly (Php110/700ml), Taro Milk Tea with Pearl (Php115/700ml), Chocolate Milk Tea with Pearl (Php110/700ml), Matcha Milk Tea with Pearl (Php115/700ml0, Original Cheese Tea (Php130/500ml | Php150/700ml), Chocolate Cheese Tea (Php135/500ml | Php155/700ml) and Brown Sugar Milk Tea (Php120/700ml).

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Definitely not to be missed is the Salted Egg Milk Tea (Php130/500ml | Php155/700ml) which should appeal to the Pinoy’s penchant for sweet and salty combos.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

If fruit teas are more your thing, you can select your favorite blends from among: Signature Fruit Tea (Php130/700ml | Php160/1000ml), Special Lemon Tea (Php80/500ml | Php100/700ml | Php130/1000ml) or Orange Tea (Php80/500ml | Php100/700ml).

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

You might also want to check out the new fruit tea flavors Mango Gulu, Strawberry Gulu and Dalandan Tea.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

So if you happen to be in the area and you feel your tummy rumblin’, you know where to go!

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Don’t miss out on these special offers you can enjoy in this Gulu Gulu branch until February 28:

  • 15% off on sushi rolls and rice bowls
  • 2 Taro Milk Teas for Php165

To know its latest promos and offers, follow Gulu Gulu on Facebook or Instagram.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

This Gulu Gulu branch is located at 405 Mayon Corner Calamba Street, La Loma, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 83595787, +63 916 2125964 or +63 932 6144675.

Other branches are located at Savemore Nagtahan, SM North EDSA, SM San Lazaro, SM Sta. Mesa, Sto. Domingo Avenue, QC and Dapitan Street corner Maria Cristina Street in Manila.

Don’t want to leave home? Have your takoyaki and milk tea delivered right to your doorstep by coursing your Gulu Gulu order via GrabFood or FoodPanda.

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Gulu Gulu, La Loma

Disclosure: I attended a food tasting here together with fellow foodies. Food items mentioned here were served to let us sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Raintree #ValentineFoodCrawl: Valentine Roll at Motto Motto, BGC

Certain types of food have been known to get you in the mood for love (wink! wink!).

Called aphrodisiacs, these food stuffs are believed to arouse passions for more than gustatory delights.

But did you know that sushi also falls under this category?

The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish incorporated in sushi are said to be quite helpful when it comes le amour.

Motto Motto, BGC

When eaten together with a romantic partner, sushi becomes a sensual experience: the meticulous formation of precise shapes and colors using different ingredients, the interplay of flavors and the feel of the varying textures in one’s mouth.

Motto Motto, BGC

(Plus, sushi tends to be quite light so there’s less risk of overeating, making it a perfect date food!)

Motto Motto, BGC

To give lovers in the metro the perfect opportunity to bask in each other’s presence while enjoying good food, Motto Motto brings back its playful take on sushi: the Valentine Roll (Php395).

Motto Motto, BGC

Made with spicy tuna, avocado and blue fin tuna marinated in sake and soy sauce, it is a perfect example of Motto Motto’s playful Japanese concept.

Motto Motto, BGC

Consisting of eight rolls fashioned into four cute heart shapes garnished with pink salt, it is a feast for the senses and is perfect for sharing for two lovebirds.

Pair it with Motto Motto’s signature refreshments and you’ve got a date!

Book your Valentine outing now as this yummy sushi dish is available only within February.

Motto Motto, BGC

Motto Motto is a collaboration between Raintree Hospitality Group and Tokyo Japan’s Piglet. It features all-day Japanese dishes that stimulates the senses and tickle the fancy, prepared and served in a fun and whimsical fashion.

If you’re looking for a fun gustatory adventure with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, Motto Motto is the place to be.

Motto Motto is located at Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open for takeout on weekdays and for dine-in on weekends. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 8362173 or send a message via Facebook or Instagram. Payments via cash, GCash, credit and debit cards are accepted.

Pak! Pak! Chicken also delivers via FoodPanda.

Sign up to FoodPanda via this link and get Php100 off your first order.

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

Check out my blog posts on other Raintree restaurants:

Japanese dining for the fam at Teriyaki Boy

For years now, my family has been getting our Japanese food craving satisfied by Teriyaki Boy.

This local chain under the Max’s Group occupies the space between fast-food and high-end Japanese restaurants by offering the fam’s Japanese food faves at reasonable prices.

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Our go-to branch is the one nearest our home located at SM City East Ortigas. Here, we feast on classic such as:

Tonkatsu (Php289). My son’s favorite Japanese dish consisting of a tender piece of pork cutlet that’s been breaded and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown and served with shredded cabbage and drizzled with sesame dressing along with a tangy-sweet katsu sauce.

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Katsu Ju (Php355). My daughter’s go-to order consisting of breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet which is simmered in sweet soy sauce with leeks, onions and a beaten egg and then served on top warm rice.

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Dynamite Sushi (Php114/4 pcs | Php210/8pcs). This sushi roll made with fresh tuna, chili oil, togarashi and Japanese mayo is one of the ploys employed by Hubby to stimulate my appreciation for spicy food.

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Another bonus of dining at this particular branch is that it shares the space with another Max’s Group brand, Sizzlin’ Steak, enabling Hubby and me to also sate our craving for steak by cross-ordering an Australian Marbled Steak (Php699) for each of us. This tender and juicy piece of imported meat, grilled to our preference (medium to medium-well) and served with rice, French beans, cherry tomatoes and herb butter on a sizzling plate, ready for the satisfying sight, sound and smell of flavorful gravy being poured over it.

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

During the enhanced community quarantine, Teriyaki Boy paused its operations but has since re-opened for for dine-in, takeout and delivery.

Teriyaki Boy, SM City East Ortigas

So if the quarantine has you missing those tasty Japanese dishes you so love, check if there’s a Teriyaki Boy outlet near you.

This Teriyaki Boy branch is located at Second Floor, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Santa Lucia, Pasig City, open daily from 10am to 7pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 96381817 or +63 2 88879000.

Teriyaki Boy also delivers via its website, GrabFood and FoodPanda.

Teriyaki Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Sushi to share from Mumei Sushi

Sushi lovers out there will be happy to know that they can just have their sushi faves delivered right to their doorstep, thanks to Mumei Sushi!

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi began operations in 2018, providing sushi sets on consignment to Robinsons Supermarkets in North Luzon.

The Quezon City-based company then decided to expand its operations to the next frontier: online selling.

In this new space, Mumei Sushi was able to expand its product line in new and creative ways to include items such as:

Rolled Sushi. Aside from the classic faves such as tuna, salmon, kani and California Maki, Mumei Sushi also offers imaginative takes involving new savory or spicy ingredients – such as Seven Spice, Shredded Nori and Bonito Makis – as well as fruitier combinations – such as Kiwi, Avocado and Strawberry Makis. These sushi rolls are priced from Php25 to Php45 per piece but assorted pieces can also be packaged in a Holiday Box (Php1,299 for 50 pieces), Birthday Box (Php2,499 for 100 pieces) or a Grand Sushi Feast (Php4,799 for 200 pieces). Imagine walking into a party with that ginormous box!

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi Tamago (Php45/pc). Sushi made with thin layers of rolled up egg placed on top of sushi rice.

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Sashimi in Can (Php399). Slices of fresh tuna and salmon, ready to eat and served in a tin can for presentation and portability.

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Onigiri (Php100/pc). Hefty triangular blocks of sushi rice wrapped in nori filled cooked meat dishes such as spicy beef amd Pinoy sisig.

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Spam Musubi (Php100/pc). A popular snack or lunch item in Hawaii, made with a slice of grilled spam placed on top of a block of sushi rice wrapped together with nori.

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Tempura Soba (Php300/serving). Japanese-style deep-fried battered shrimp served together with thin yet firm buckwheat soba noodles. Both are well-complemented by the special dipping sauce that accompany each serving.

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

With Mumei Sushi, Japanese food lovers can easily enjoy their faves as well as explore new ways to enjoy sushi.

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Mumei Sushi

Here’s a friendly reminder: given that sushi is best served cold, do consume the sushi immediately upon delivery.

Mumei Sushi

It is also best enjoyed with family and friends, so don’t forget to share your sushi stash with your nears-and-dears!

To get your hands on these delectable sushi treats, call +63 2 33528462, text +63 999 4025936, +63 977 4721528 or +63 923 5177609. You may also send a message via Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

The Jelly List: Extraordinary sushi picks for International Sushi Day

Did you know that there’s such a thing as an International Sushi Day? On the 18th day of June every year, food enthusiasts the world over celebrate one of the jewels of Japanese cuisine: the sushi.

Made with vinegared rice, seafood, vegetables, and even tropical fruits, sushi has embodied several tenets of Japanese food such as the use of fresh ingredients, simple and natural cooking methods, exquisite presentation and portion control.

A well-made sushi is akin to a work of art.

So on this day of all days, we can’t just have any ‘ole sushi. Nope, on International Sushi Day, we deserve sushi with that extra oomph to elevate our sushi experience.

Plus, given the restrictions on movement and dining out in the metro due to the community quarantine, we need sushi that is can be delivered to our homes.

Oh, how to solve this quandary? Well, allow me to share with you my top picks for extraordinary sushi in the metro for you to enjoy on International Sushi Day.

Soru Izakaya’s Lava Maki

Soru Izakaya’s has long been known for playful and whimsical takes on sushi and it’s Lava Maki is no exception. Salmon skin, crabsticks and mango are topped with cubes of salmon and tuna doused with a mixture of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce, making it a savory and slightly spicy treat for the palate.

Soru Izakaya, Tomas Morato

Soru Izakaya, Maginhawa

To order your Lava Maki from Soru Izakaya, fill up this form, or text +63 917 7040515, +63 917 6363526 or +63 935 7830298.

Read more about Soru Izakaya here.

Omakase’s Spicy Maguro Roll (Php310).

This deep-fried sushi roll made with spicy tuna topped with ebiko and scallions is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, quite an exciting contrast that adventurous sushi fans love!

Omakase, Greenhills

Course your order for the Spicy Maguro Roll from Omakase through GrabFood or FoodPanda or call the Omakase branch nearest you (Marikina +63 2 86316588 or +63 917 5590746 | Don Antonio +63 2 77995891 or +63 977 3881954 | Molito +63 2 84033279, +63 2 87711443 or +63 906 4917798 | Il Terrazo +63 2 83324115 or +63 905 3369648 | Ayala Feliz +63 2 82536354 or +63 956 0164604).

Read more about Omakase here.

Icho Japanese Restaurant’s Foie Gras Aburi (Php250/pc).

Every now and then, you want to treat yourself to something indulgent, right? Well, this Foie Gras Aburi is your best bet. Lightly broiled goose liver with balsamic teriyaki sauce placed on top of sushi rice make for a decadent sushi experience.

Icho Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

ICHO Japanese Restaurant, Greenhills

To order your Foie Gras Aburi from Icho Japanese Restaurant, call +63 2 85350020 or +63 917 1346027.

Read more about Icho Japanese Restaurant here.

Hanako’s Five Star Roll (Php149).

Made with fried salmon skin, salmon, kani, mango, teriyaki sauce, sesame and cucumber which made for interesting contrasts in textures and flavors in each mouthful, this sushi roll deserves its five-star moniker.

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Course your order for the Five Star Roll from Hanako through GrabFood or FoodPanda or call the Hanako branch nearest you (Better Living +63 2 88280189, +63 2 75010189 or +63 917 7144278 | SM Pasig +63 2 85848708 or +63 917 7144287 | Regis Katipunan +63 2 83323626 or +63 907 4879346).

Read more about Hanako here.

Fukuruo Nihonryori’s Yaki Samon Mayo Nigiri (Php145).

With two hefty slices of salmon draped over balls of Japanese rice and complemented with Japanese mayo and fish roe, this made for a decadently delicious sushi dish.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Course your order for the Yaki Samon Mayo Nigiri from Fukurou Nihonryori through GrabFood or call +63 2 82866662 or +63 915 5451245.

Read more about Fukurou Nihonryori here.

Grillin’ Ape’s Lava Sushi Donut (Php230).

This dish is a modern take on how to enjoy sushi: a donut-shaped sushi rice base topped with tempura, egg, yuzu kyozu mayo and mozzarella cheese. It’s quite a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Course your order for the Lava Sushi Donut from Grillin’ Ape through GrabFood, FoodPanda or LalaFood, or call +63 2 83677135.

Read more about Grillin’ Ape here.

Meatsumo’s Sushi Bake (Php480).

One of the food items to gain prominence during the quarantine, the Sushi Bake combines the exotic flavors of sushi with the comfortable homeyness of baked casseroles. Meatsumo’s Sushi Bake is made with sushi rice, kani, mango, zucchini, Japanese mayo and tobiko, the flavors we expect from California Maki but packaged in a half tray good for four people, with portions to be scooped out and placed in nori squares for maximum enjoyment.

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

Meatsumo Premium, Panay

To order your Sushi Bake from Meatsumo, fill out this form, send a message via Facebook or Viber +63 933 1346534.

Read more about Meatsumo here.

So on International Sushi Day, get your hands on these extraordinary sushi!

Thanks for reading this Jelly List! Now, how about some perks when you sign up for food delivery services?

  • Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Header photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

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:

All-time Japanese food faves at Kimono Ken

Craving for Japanese food while stuck at home?

Why not order your favorites from Kimono Ken?

With its mantra “Enticingly Japanese. For less.” you can expect mouthwatering yet affordable Japanese dishes at Kimono Ken.

My faves here include:

Maguro (Php260). Fresh tuna sashimi sliced into bite-size pieces.

Kimono Ken

California Maki (Php160). Rolled sushi made with crabstick, mango, lettuce, Japanese mayo and ebiko.

Kimono Ken

Dynamite Maki (Php380). Rolled sushi made with spicy salmon, ebiko, unagi and cucumber.

Kimono Ken

Sushi Moriawase (Php450). Mixed fresh sushi served with miso soup.

Kimono Ken

Chahan (Php90). Special Japanese fried rice made with cooked rice, garlic, green and spring onions, bits of meat, egg and soy sauce.

Kimono Ken

Sukiyaki (Php350 good for two). Thinly-sliced beef, tofu, vegetables and glass noodles cooked in sukiyaki broth.

Kimono Ken

Ebi Tempura (Php410 for 5 pieces). Battered and deep-fried prawns served with tempura sauce.

Kimono Ken

Bacon Asparagus Maki (Php300). Fresh green asparagus rolled in bacon.

Kimono Ken

Gyu Hireniku (Php480). Beef tenderloin grilled teppanyaki-style and served with sauteed bean sprouts.

Kimono Ken

So the next time I have a hankering for Japanese food, guess where I’m headed!

Kimono Ken

During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, Kimono Ken has two of its stores open for takeout our delivery:

  • 256 Tomas Morato corner Scout Fuentebella, Quezon City (open from 10,30am to 6pm): Call +63 2 89281228 or +63 2 89292535
  • Met Live EDSA Extension corner Macapagal Boulevard, Metro Park Bay Area CBD, Pasay City (open from 11am to 7pm): Call +63 2 87798685 or +63 2 85564484

To have your favorite Japanese food delivered to you, call the branch or Viber +63 956 804 2237 with your order. Once confirmed, pay via bank transfer or GCash (cash-on-delivery option also available), then Viber proof of payment to +63 956 804 2237. Once receipt of payment is confirmed, have your order picked up via Grab Express or LalaMove Pabili Service.

This Kimono Ken branch is located at Ground Floor, Tower 1, Rockwell Business Center, Ugong, Pasig City.

Other branches are located at:

  • Mandaluyong: The Podium Mall, Shangri-La Plaza
  • Quezon City: Tomas Morato, SM North EDSA The Block
  • Pasay: Met Live Mall, Main Mall SM MOA
  • Paranaque: SM City BF Paranaque

Kimono Ken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Alibi, Tomas Morato

No need to wrack your brain for an excuse to have a night out with friends at the end of the work week at this newest bar in Tomas Morato.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Tucked discreetly in the basement of a converted house along Scout Delgado Street in the Tomas Morato area, Alibi is reason enough to chill out with your crew as you enjoy your favorite cocktail and bar chow.

But just in case you need to justify your night out for the Third Inquisition when you get home, you might want to mention how irresistible these are:

One: Tasty bar chow for a serious case of the munchies.

Chase away your hunger with these bar chows:

Tuna Sashimi and Salmon Sashimi (Php275 each).

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Salpicao (Php250). Cubes of hanger steak sauteed in roasted garlic and served with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Country-Style Fried Chicken (Php200), Juicy pieces of chicken tenders, breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown and served with gravy.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Baby Back Ribs (Php250). Succulent grilled pork ribs coated in barbecue sauce and served with a tangy coleslaw on the side.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi Fries (Php190). Deep-fried thick-cut fries served with cheese and katsu sauces and topped with bonito flakes.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Mini Sausage (Php150). Sausages cut in bite-size pieces.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Pork Sisig (Php250). The classic Pinoy appetizer made of minced pork pieces sauteed in calamansi, onions and chilis.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Oyster Sisig (Php290). Alibi’s fresh take on the staple dish using oysters in the place or pork. Wow! (More on Alibi’s oyster offerings later.)

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Two: Exciting cocktails to try.

Drink to a well-deserved weekend break with Alibi’s signature concoctions.

Lychee Mojito (Php145). Made with lychee, mint leaves and rum.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Tomato Quila (Php145). Made with tomatoes, pear juice and Jinro Grapefruit Soju.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Hello Kiwi (Php145). Made with kiwi, aloe vera, absinthe and soda.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Yakuroto Vodka (Php165). Made with cherry, peach vodka and Yakult.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Three: An oyster bar. ‘Nuff said!

Fresh Aklan oysters, whether plain, topped with Miso Bechamel or Pesto sauce, yours for Php50 apiece.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Who wouldn’t want to take a decadent taste of the sea with these glorious Philippine oysters?

So, go ahead. Take a long-awaited breather for the weekend. Hang out with your friends. You’ve already got your Alibi.

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi, Tomas Morato

Alibi is located at 115 Scout Delgado Street, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open Thursdays to Saturdays, from 7pm to 3am.

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

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup 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 bars and watering holes in the Metro:

An afternoon learning to cook at Center for Asian Culinary Studies

Being a foodie, I appreciate good food.

More than that, I appreciate the expertise and effort that goes into the preparation, cooking and serving up of exceptional dishes.

While we diners get to eat our meal while enjoying the restaurant’s ambiance and good service, there are more that goes on backstage – or what is commonly called the kitchen.

That is what Chef Gene Gonzalez and his team at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS) seek to train their charges for: how to cope with the chaos inside the kitchen to produce delicious, visually-appealing and restaurant-quality fare.

Well, what about those who just want to cook for themselves or their families?

Recently, my foodie friends and I were treated to a fun sneak peek into the goings-on inside restaurant kitchen by no less than Chef Gene himself in a recreational hands-on cooking session called “A Simple Japanese Meal” especially designed for home cooks like my friends and relative kitchen newbies like me.

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

Aside from sharing his easy-to-follow recipes for Ebi Tempura, California and Tuna Maki, Sukiyaki and Wakame Soup, Chef Gene also imparted to us some tips and tricks-of-the-trade, such as:

How to stretch the tiger shrimp into really long tempura. When I used to try to cook ebi tempura at home, the shrimp gets all curled up. To counter this tendency, Chef Gene taught us to make five knife cuts along the shrimp’s belly, then pinch the shrimp’s back until we feel a crunch so that the shrimp lies prone on the cutting board before we dip it in flour and batter.

CACS Manila

How to make tempura really crunchy. While deep-frying the battered shrimps, dip a bouquet stick into the tempura batter and drizzle over the shrimp. Doing this will produce those pretty golden flakes.

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

What kind of sushi mat is best for sushi making at home. Plastic sushi mats are best for home use because bamboo mats require a lot of care (such as extensive washing and bleaching) to avoid mold growth. (Fortunately, I found plastic sushi mats at the Daiso store near my office the following week.)

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

How to properly prepare and serve Sukiyaki. It’s best to grill the shredded beef in butter prior to placing it in the pot on top of the vegetables. When the Sukiyaki is cooked, serve the freshly cracked egg on the side and use it as a dip for the beef while enjoying the soup. (Believe me, it tastes so good!)

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

These are just some of the things that will make cooking an enjoyable and rewarding experience for home cooks and foodies.

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

Thanks to Chef Gene and Princess of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies for the invitation!

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS Manila

CACS offers Premier Recreational Programs targeting homemakers, home business owners and professionals where they can learn from the country’s best chefs during unique, value-for-money classes and workshops.

For companies who would like their employees to have fun while while going through challenges in the kitchen and developing teamwork, CACS also offers customized team building and group sessions.

For more details on these programs, visit the CACS website or call +63 2 87255089 to book a free tour.

The Center for Asian Culinary Studies is located at 175 M. Paterno Street, Barangay Pasadena, San Juan City (inside the Cafe Ysabel compound).