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).

My top 6 faves at Six Doors BBQ Buffet

It has been a year since Six Doors BBQ Buffet opened its doors at Uptown Mall in BGC. Since then, it has won the hearts of foodies (including my parents when they treated one of my mom’s amigas here!) with its expansive showcase of European, Asian and Brazilian dishes, its 3D VIP dining rooms and now, a teppanyaki station!

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

I recently dined here together with Pat of ThePatKidInside and we spent an enjoyable time catching up as we ate our fill.

If you haven’t been to Six Doors BBQ Buffet, let me share with you the top six things I enjoy the most during my dining experiences there.

One: The well-appointed and sprawling dining area

Depending on their concept and design aesthetics, some buffet restaurants tend to feel crowded and cramped. Some tables are located too close to each other and diners would sometime jostle each other when they get up to get food or when they come back to their respective tables.

Well, that’s not the case here at Six Doors BBQ Buffet.

You and your companions can dine in comfort and style with its spacious open dining area with tastefully laid out tables and couches.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Parents with young (and energetic!) kids can also rest easy because there’s a playroom where the little ones can play and enjoy themselves after eating.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

If you feel like splurging and got yourselves one of the country-themed VIP dining rooms, you won’t just enjoy a 3D projection of the sights of the country you’ve chosen to transport you as you enjoy a top of the line menu selection, you can also enjoy the services of a butler so you won’t have to leave your table during your meal.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Two: The carving stations

One of my rules of thumb when dining at a buffet restaurant is to head straight for the food you don’t usually get to enjoy at home or in other restaurants, or those that would cost a lot elsewhere.

That’s why I make a beeline for the carving station where I can get generous slices of roast beef, grilled pork and other meats again and again to satisfy my inner carnivore.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Three: The unli sushi

I so love Japanese food and I just can’t get enough of my faves: salmon sashimi, Tuna Maki and California Maki. Plus, there’s a huge array of sushi rolls for some variety.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Four: The new teppanyaki station

Did you know that teppanyaki came about after World War II?

Cooking steak, chopped vegetables and rice on a flat metal plate called teppan became popular among tourists in post-war Japan who found the skillful maneuvers of the chefs preparing the teppanyaki entertaining.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet launched its own teppanyaki station last December so I was able to witness a fiery display as the chef fired up the teppan with my chosen ingredients.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

And the buttery, garlicky teppanyaki beef and rice are just so delish!

Five: The Korean BBQ Grill

Unli samgyeopsal restos abound in the Metro but at Six Doors, there’s a wide array of plain and marinated meats and seafood to choose from that Pat and I grilled at our table.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six: The dessert station

Given that I have a sweet tooth, I can definitely appreciate the array of cakes, sweets and creams that Six Doors’ pastry chef have whipped up.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Six Doors BBQ Buffet, BGC

Plus, I get to have all the avocado ice cream I want at the ice cream bar. Yummy!

So there you have it, my six faves at Six Doors BBQ Buffet. Check it out and let me know what your faves are!

Six Doors BBQ Buffet rates are:

  • Weekday Lunch Buffet: Php699 (Php299 for kids 3 to 4 feet tall)
  • Weekday Dinner, Weekend Lunch and Dinner and Holiday Lunch and Dinner: Php999 (Php599 for kids 3 to 4 feet tall)
  • Kids below 3 feet: FREE

Book your table at Six Doors BBQ Buffet using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

Six Doors BBQ Buffet is located at 2nd Floor, Uptown Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, open daily from 11am to 2.30pm and from 5.30pm to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 79559905 or +63 967 2819403.

SIX Doors Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maximize your buffet restaurant visit. Read the tips in my buffet survival guide.

Check out my blog posts on other buffet restaurants in the Metro:

Japanese seafood dinner at Omakase, Greenhills

In our bid to eat a bit healthier after a bout of errands in Greenhills, Hubby and I opted to have an early sushi dinner at Omakase.

This Japanese resto started out as a takeout counter in Quezon City. The term omakase actually translates to “I leave it up to you.” In Japan, diners can sometimes leave it up to the chef to serve his recommended selection of seasonal specialties instead of ordering their preferences.

While that is not the system set in place in this restaurant, it does boast of an excellent selection of maki and sushi.

Hubby and I dined on a sampling of this selection with our orders:

Sashimi: Salmon (Php300) and Tuna (Php300). Raw fish sliced into thin pieces and served with soy sauce and a little wasabi.

Omakase, Greenhills

Omakase, Greenhills

Omakase, Greenhills

Spicy Maguro Roll (Php310). Deep-fried spicy tuna topped with ebiko and scallions.

Omakase, Greenhills

Chirashi Don (Php385). Assorted raw seafood over sushi rice served with miso soup.

Omakase, Greenhills

Omakase, Greenhills

Ebi Tempura (Php370). Five pieces of lightly battered and deep fried shrimp served with tempura sauce.

Omakase, Greenhills

These classic seafood dishes (our go-to fare whenever we’re at a Japanese restaurant) were promptly served by the wait staff. The raw fish in the sashimi and chirashi don were fresh and flavorful.

This Omakase branch is located at Ground Floor, Connecticut Carpark Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan, open daily from 11am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 84709807 or +63 930 2523575.

Other branches are located at:

  • Pasig: Ayala Malls Feliz
  • Marikina: ESJ Building Gil Fernando Avenue
  • Quezon City: Il Terrazzo Mall Tomas Morato, Holy Spirit Drive Isidora Hills Subdivision
  • Muntinlupa: Molito Commercial Complex Alabang
  • Makati: Grab Kitchen Glorietta 2

No time to visit an Omakase branch? Have your orders delivered to you via Food Panda.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

A Japanese shokudo food experience at Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood Cybermall

Craving for yummy Japanese food for lunch but payday is still a few days away?

Fear not; if your workplace is near Eastwood in Libis, an exciting and affordable dining option has just opened in your neck of the woods.

Hie yourself over to Eastwood Cybermall’s Food Court and you will see its newest establishment called Grillin’ Ape.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Styled after the shokudo (casual, independendently owned hole-in-the-wall restaurants located and cafeterias that serve affordable dishes), it is marked by colorful murals and banners, with wooden stools and tables where guests can eat in comfort. Diners can choose their food among no-frills and affordable Japanese dishes with prices starting at Php50!

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Together with my fellow foodies, I checked out Grillin’ Ape’s offerings, which included:

Sushi Rolls. These are uramaki type rolls, the ones in which the rice is outside and the seaweed wraps around the filling, made of different types of flavorful fillings and toppings.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Mango Kani (Php130).

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Crunchy Tempura (Php150).

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Tempura Caviar Overload (Php160).

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Spicy Tuna Lava (Php150).

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Sushi Donuts. A modern take on how to enjoy sushi, sushi donuts are made of donut-shaped sushi rice base topped with the same ingredients as sushi rolls.

Lava Donut (Php230). Made with tempura, egg, yuzu kyozu mayo and mozzarella cheese.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Salmon Belly Donut (Php195). Made with marinated salmon and red radish.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Yakiniku. These are meat seasoned with tare sauce or items such as quail eggs and corn which are cooked by charcoal-grilling. These may be ordered by the stick – Chicken Meatballs (Php50), Pork Belly with Scallion (Php70), Enoki and Bacon (Php80), Chicken Liver wrapped in Bacon (Php80), Chicken Wings (Php95), Quail Egg Bacon (Php80), Chicken Fillet with Scallion (Php60), Pork Meatballs (Php70), Quail Egg (Php40) and Corn (Php30); in rice bowls priced beginning at Php160; or as part of this Yakitori Big Bowl (Php599 – good for four) in which Japanese rice seasoned with teriyaki sauce is topped with four sticks each of pork belly, chicken fillet, pork meatballs, bacon-wrapped liver, grilled corn and quail eggs.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Udon Bowl (Php180 ). Thick strips of wheat noodles in savory pork broth topped with your choice of meat, as well as herbs and egg. We were served two variations of this dish: one topped with pork belly and another topped with bacon. These hearty noodle dishes can both fill and warm tummies especially when the cold weather comes in.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Desserts. No meal is complete without dessert, am I right? Well, at Grillin’ Ape, we capped our meal with these sweets you can go bananas over.

Banana Ape (Php135). Caramelized bananas topped by a generous scoop of vanilla icing.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grilled Banana (Php50). Slices of skewered bananas grilled then drizzled with caramel sauce.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Sake. Adding to the shokudo dining experience are the special sake – Shika Cup and Kirei Peach Sake – which we were told were not available elsewhere in the metro. Sake are alcoholic beverages made of fermented rice and are part of a long standing tradition in Japanese cuisine.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Despite being only a few weeks since its opening, Grillin’ Ape does seem set to be the new destination for tasty yet affordable Japanese food.

Grillin’ Ape, Eastwood

Many thanks to Nino and the crew of Grillin’ Ape for the fabulous food and to Diane of Fried and Prejudice for extending the invitation!

Grillin’ Ape is located at Food Court, Third Floor, Eastwood Cybermall, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 999 8831662.

Grillin' Ape Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, 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 to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Sate your Japanese food cravings at Hanako, Regis Katipunan

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

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

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

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Karipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Hanako, Katipunan

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

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

Hanako, Katipunan

Enjoy free dishes when you and friend dine at Hanako and unlock your Zomato Gold privilege. Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use the code VOLT0979 to get 10% off the membership fee.

Hanako, Katipunan

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

Other branches are located at:

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

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

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: