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:

An authentic taste of Japanese cuisine in Cainta: Fukurou Nihonryori

I have lived in the East for most of my life… in the Far East, it sometimes feels like, because of all these horrendous traffic jams! Sometimes, the hassle of going to places far north to Quezon City or down south to Muntinlupa, for instance, can be quite daunting.

Well, it’s a good thing then that the East is starting to become even more interesting with all the food destinations it offers. That way, Eastern foodies like me won’t have to travel far for gastronomic adventures.

One such destination is Fukurou Nihonryori, located along Marcos Highway in Barangay San Isidro, Cainta. I admit: I have often overlooked this area when I go looking for new food places. I usually gravitate towards the places nearer my home in Pasig, or skip on to Marikina or Antipolo.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

This just makes my first dining experience here even more special. Imagine: a treasure trove of Japanese dishes available all this time, right under my nose!

Together with fellow food bloggers from #WeLoveToEatPH, I attended a foodie meetup here and quickly got myself acquainted to a new favorite place for Japanese cuisine in my neck of the woods.

In Japanese, “fukurou” translates to “owl,” while “nihonryori” translates to “from Japan.” The Japanese regard the owl symbol as a lucky charm; in the restaurant, the owl emblem can be seen in the menus and paper placemats.

Inside, the place is simple and welcoming yet elegantly designed, perfect for gatherings of small groups or intimate dinners for two. Pinewood furniture complement the beige interiors highlighted with Japanese watercolors of nature. Light installations add some warm illumination to the room for a relaxing atmosphere and to showcase the meticulously prepared and beautifully presented food. The resto also has a well-stocked bar for those who also want to indulge in some spirits along with their meal.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Our meal of tasty and authentic Japanese dishes consisted of:

Vegetable Fried Rice (Php110). A type of yakimeshi (Japanese fried rice) that complements the other Japanese dishes.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Saba Shioyaki (Php325). Grilled mackerel with a crispy skin and tender meat that’s just so flavorful.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Tebasaki (Php125). A yakitori (skewered meat dish) made of bone-in chicken wings (“tebasaki” translates to “wing tips”) which is seasoned after frying.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Sashimi Moriawase (Php695). A sampler of various sashimi (fresh and thinly sliced fish) which include yummy morsels of salmon, tuna, mackerel and squid.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Tempura Moriawase (Php398). A basket of shrimp and vegetables all coated in light batter and deep-fried, accompanied by a tempura dipping sauce.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Yaki Samon Mayo (Php135). Two hefty slices of salmon draped over balls of Japanese rice and complemented with Japanese mayo and fish roe.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fried Maki (Php265). Rolled sushi of mango, kani (crabstick) and ebi (shrimp) which is also deep-fried before slicing which gives each piece a crispy texture unlike other maki.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Sukiyaki (Php350 for half | Php650 for full). One of the resto’s nabemono (hot pot dishes), it is made of beef slices, tofu, noodles and veggies cooked in shoyu and Japanese wine giving the broth a sweet-savory taste.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Miso Ramen (Php328). Chashu pork slices, tamago (soft-boiled egg), carrots, wakame (seaweed), leeks and nori in a bowl of slightly spicy miso-based broth.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Zaru Soba (Php220). Chilled buckwheat noodles served with mentsuyu (sauce made from sake, mirin, soy sauce, kombi and dried bonito flakes) for dipping.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Japanese Cheesecake (Php198). Fluffy cheesecake made in the traditional Japanese way drizzled with dulce de leche.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Kinako Korumitsu Mochi Ice Cream (Php158). Vanilla-flavored mochi ice cream topped with soybean powder and syrup.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

We also chased our thirst away with some house-brewed iced tea.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

These dishes – some already familiar to me and my companions, some not – served as a sampling of the sheer breadth and variety inherent in Japanese cuisine.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

I’d love to come back and discover more of it. But that’s an adventure for anothef day.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Thanks to Chelsea Tuazon and the staff of Fukurou Nihonryori for the warm welcome and the fabulous Japanese food feast, and to Alfred Pineda for extending the invitation.

Fukuruo Nihonyori, Cainta

Fukurou Nihonryori is located at Ground Floor, The Pinnacle Plaza, Marikina-Infanta Highway, Bgy. San Isidro, Cainta, Rizal, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 10pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 1336302.

Fukurou Nihonryori Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

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:

Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo Gives You More Delicious Options at Budget-Friendly Prices

 

Just when you thought you’ve experienced all there is to it when it comes to ramen dining, in comes another concept from the same company that gave you the Tsukemen experience.

Infinity Foods Alliance, the firm behind Mitsuyado Sei-men: The House of Tsukemen, recently opened a cafeteria-style ramen shop at the Japan Town of Top of the Glo in Glorietta 2 that is reminiscent of the noodle houses in Japan.

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Mitsuyado Seimen is a concept that originated from Tokyo, Japan. It specializes in Tsukemen (dipping noodle). This is what it has been known for in the Philippines for the past six to seven years. It is known for making good quality thick noodles for Tsukemen. For Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, meanwhile, uses good quality thin noodles.

“Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo is a ramen house where you can choose your own ramen and pair it with your preferred topping,” explained Judy Kay C. Ang, representative of Infinity Food Alliance.

Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo was born because the company wanted to offer a fast-paced restaurant to satisfy the ramen cravings of Filipinos. In the Philippines, ramen has been priced on the average of P400-P500 per bowl. Through Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, it wants to bring ramen appreciation to a price level that is more affordable, which is about only P180 per bowl.

Their ramen offerings include the Hakata Ramen, a pork-based broth that originated from the Hakata District of Fukuoka in Kyushu in southern Japan. They also have the white original Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, Red Spicy Ramen (which makes use of the Japanese spice, karashi), Black Garlic, and Green Matcha.

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To add variety to the ramen they ordered, customers are encouraged to customize it by selecting from various favorite Japanese toppings. Choices include the Charsiu, Sukiyaki, Ajitama, and Boneless Pork Chop, among others. Ang said that there are currently 10 to 12 toppings, and this number can increase in the coming months.

“We want to offer something different to the popular ramen, and we want it to be very affordable. At Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo, customers can enjoy good quality noodles at very budget-friendly prices,” said the company’s Marketing and Customer Care Specialist April Faith Alquiroz.

Now, if you want to enjoy your ramen with other popular Japanese food on the side, you can do, too! For Filipinos who love rice, meanwhile, there are donburi options available. There are the Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl Don, Ebi Tempura Don, Chicken Karaage Don, Boneless Porkchop Don, and Gyoza to choose from.

Ang said that after their Glorietta ramen shop, they will be opening another Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo in Vertis North. In the coming months, they will also be unveiling a CoCo ICHIBANYA Curry House in Top of the Glo before the end of the year.

Infinity Foods Alliance is among the many companies focusing on Japanese concept restaurants by entrepreneur Hubert Young, who has been credited for growing the UCC Coffee chain in the Philippines. He is also set to open the biggest Japanese fast food burger chain Mos Burger in the last quarter of the year.

Mitsuysado Ramen Shokudo is located at Top of the Glo, Roofdeck, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm.

Restaurant details and images provided by Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo in a recent press release.

Check out my posts regarding other Japanese restaurants:

 

 

A new foodie haven: Shizuka Cafe, Little Baguio

With all the frenetic activity at work and at home, don’t you sometimes for a place where you can just relax and enjoy your time alone or with a few close friends?

Well, look no further than this relatively new cafe located a few minutes’ ride away from Greenhills.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

From the outside, Shizuka Cafe may blend in among the many dining establishments in Little Baguio, but inside is a welcoming and cozy haven. Muted lighting and artfully displayed Japanese-themed bric-a-bracs make it a comfy and relaxing place, in line with the meaning of its name – shizuka, which means calm, peaceful, silent and quiet.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka’s Chef Paul Tan and his partners introduced quite a lot of innovations and advocacies to the local dining scene which include Shitzuka’s drives for artisanship (by carefully crafting its food and beverage offering), sustainability (through minimizing the use of plastic in its operations), local commerce (by sourcing its ingredients for its homey Japanese cuisine and finely craft coffee beverages from local merchants) and diversity (by employing differently abled staff).

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I was able to sample some of the well-crafted dishes that Shizuka brings to the table.  Check them out:

Onion Tempura (Php125). Onions coated in tempura batter then deep-friend and served with wasabi aioli.  I love how texture of the onions and the flavor complexity that the wasabi aioli adds to the dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Pork Gyoza (Php150).  Five pieces of the popular pork and vegetable pot stickers.  In contrast to the usual gyoza from other restaurants, these come in pretty square shapes.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Nachos (Pho180).  Crispy wonton wrappers doused with a sauce made from three cheeses and topped with soy Bolognese and parmesan cheese. I found myself reaching into this bowl and popping those nachos into my mouth again and again.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Tebasaki (Php155).  Tender chicken wings glazed with a sambal sauce, an exotic take on the chicken wings dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Salad (Php180). Mixed greens with grilled chicken and miso balsamic vinaigrette.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Katsu Sando (Php190).  Breaded ground pork katsu sandwiches coated with house-made tonkatsu sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Pesto (Php165). Sandwich with freshly grilled chicken and shiitake tossed in pesto sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Nori Mac and Cheese (Php190).  Shell macaroni in a cream sauce made of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan served a crispy nori. I tried this hearty pasta dish with both with a touch of seven spices and without and I like it better without the spice.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Gyu Salpicao (Php290). Flavorful tenderloin in garlicky salpicao sauce over rice served with a sous vide egg. Salpicao is oftentimes a hit or miss with me: any excess in salty, sweet or spicy flavors tends to detract from my enjoyment. I’m happy to discover that this version of the dish is very well-balanced with added richness from the sous vide egg.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori HBS (Php210). Crispy fried chicken tossed in honey butter glaze over rice, also served with sous vide egg. What makes the Gyu Salpicao a standout also applies in this dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Big Breakfast (Php230). Imagine waking up to a hearty breakfast of hefty pancakes smothered in premium butter, generous slices of Italian sausage and fluffy scrambled eggs. Heck, fill yourself up with this meal any time of the day.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

The Nursery (Php115). Peanut butter cream cheese with chocolate soil. A real treat for a sweet tooth like me.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Better than Doughnuts (Php100). My first taste of freshly made Southern American-style beignets more than met my expectations. Fluffy and chewy and perfectly complemented by matcha or chocolate ganache, this serves as a wonderful cap to the meal.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe also brings imaginatively crafted beverages to the table. These include:

White Genmaicha Cha (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). One of the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this features a not-too-sweet earthy rice and green tea flavor. I would have loved it sweeter but this would be good for those who are managing their sugar intake.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Milk (Php118 for 16oz | Php138 for 22oz). Fresh strawberries blended with milk and also topped with Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese. I wish it could have maintained its consistency (we took a long time taking pictures) but it is sweetly refreshing just the same.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Cold Brew Latte (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). The more caffeinated among the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this is good for those looking for a pick-me-up.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Chamomile (Php145). Refreshing loose-leaf chamomile tea and strawberries.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Sparkling Yuzu Mojito (Php220). This refreshing citrusy drink is made with yuzu and lime fruit juice, tonic water and white rhum.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Sakerita (Php230). Loose-leaf chamomile tea blended with fresh strawberries and sake served in a glass with salted rim. A sweeter and milder Japanese version of the margarita, one I can imagine myself enjoying again and again.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to unwind in a relaxing and welcoming environment, head off to Shizuka Cafe. Bring your friends with you for an extra good time!

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe is located at 709 Jose Abad Santos Corner F. Calderon, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open daily from 8am to 10pm.  For inquiries, reservations and pick up arrangements, call +63 926 0792964.

No time to drop by Shizuka Cafe? Order what your craving for via Grab Food and have it delivered right to your doorstep.

Shizuka Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

There’s something for everyone’s craving at Pob Stacion Food Park

For quite a while now, the Poblacion area has been reinventing itself from its previous incarnation as Makati’s red-light district and re-establishing itself as its foodie-friendly haven. Here, foodies can explore various options in food and drink spanning various cuisines and concepts.

If you were to pool some of those eateries together and concentrate them into one easily accessible place, you would have the Pob Stacion Food Park. Located at B. Valdez Street, Barangay Poblacion in Makati, a ten-minute walk from A Venue or Century City Mall, the newly opened multi-storey Pob Stacion houses a variety of concept food stalls that give the park’s visitors wondrous choices for their gastronomic adventure or to soothe their food cravings.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Recently, together with my fellow foodies, I had a taste of what Pob Stacion’s food outlets have to offer. Read on and check out my top picks.

Above Sea Level (Seafood)

As the home of the Giant Butterfly Squid (Php180 with 1 Java rice | Php250 with 2 Java rice | Php350 with 3 Java rice | Php450 with 4 Java rice), they really do serve it up big-time. Lightly battered, well-seasoned and fried to a golden-brown, each enormous squid by itself is good for two people and is best enjoyed with the resto’s vinegar dipping sauce.

If you’re feeling extra hungry or adventurous, add the Seafood Festival (Php380) to your order and bite into mouthwatering crab, shrimps, mussels and corn on a bed of Java rice doused with a buttery crab fat sauce, or the Spicy Squid Sisig (Php180) for a seafood take on the Pampanga delicacy.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Rib Pop (Pinoy-Korean Fusion)

With the Korean food craze firmly entrenched in the Philippine culinary scene, it’s hardly surprising that the two cuisines would mesh together at some point. That point is here at Rib Pop where the best of the two cuisines is highlighted in its Ribpop Sampler (Php400) which consists of its signature dishes: Black Ink Chicken Wings – squid ink bettered fried chicken pieces with spicy tangy sauce, Ribpop Bowl – your choice of rice topped with beef short ribs, and an assortment of banchan – small plates of Korean appetizers.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Octoboy (Japanese)

Who would have thought that Takoyaki (Php70 for 3 pcs | Php140 for 6 pcs), balls made of batter filled with chopped octopus meat, cooked in a specially shaped griddle and served with those wriggling Bonito flakes, would be such a hit with us Pinoys? If you’re on the lookout for something quick, cheap and yummy, Octoboy’s Takoyaki is your best bet.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Tokyo Tempura (Japanese)

Did you know that tempura, the Japanese method of deep-frying battered seafood and vegetables, was influenced the Portuguese who were residing in Nagasaki in the 16th century? Today, tempura is a mainstay in practically all Japanese restaurants in the country and is even gaining some foothold in Pinoy eateries through localized versions.

Tokyo Tempura’s versions are quick, yummy, easy to enjoy when you’re having a case of the munchies, and with affordably priced options which include Imperial Tempura (Php150 for 12 pcs), Tempura Rice (Php80) and Kani Tempura (Php55 for 6 pcs).

Want some spicy kick to go with your tempura? Add the Chili Cheese Poppers (Php55 for 4 pcs) to your order and take some heat from those tempura battered cheese-filled jalapenos!

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Oskar’s Soul Kitchen (American)

If you’re looking for an alternative to your usual fastfood burger, check out Oskar’s Soul Kitchen’s Cheeseburger (Php220) – a quarter pound of ground Wagyu beef patty sandwiched in an oatmeal bun together with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and the resto’s signature sauce.

Still have room for more? Add Angus Beef Hotdog (Php140), Fries Overload (Php160), or the Nachos Overload (Php150) to your order and eat to your heart’s content.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Wing’s Lab (American)

How about Wing’s Lab’s sinful take to your flavored chicken wings? Try its American Wings (Php699 with Nachos and Beef) which hits you with its Jack Daniels flavored sauce.

Want something to quench your thirst after those spicy wings? Take your pick from the resto’s refreshing and conveniently packaged Juices (Php60 – Blue Lemonade, Cucumber Lemonade and Melon with Milk). The best part is that you can easily take these handy juice packs with you all over the park and beyond.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Authentic House of Curry (Indian)

Get yourself a taste of the exotic with the Authentic House of Curry’s spicy Beef Rendang (Php240) and Lobster Scallop Balls (Php180). These dishes provide a nice South Asian flare to your food park fare.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Cha Tuk Chak (Thai Milk Tea)

While boba milk teas abound all over the metro, Thai milk teas are not as visible, which , for me, is a shame if Cha Tuk Chak’s drinks are anything to go by. From the world famous creamy and silky Cha Yen (Php110 regular | Php125 large), the sweeter, fruitier and caffeine free Nom Yen (Php120 regular | Php135 large), the sweet lemon-infused Thai Ruby (Php115 regular | Php130 large), the refreshing Thai tea with real lemon Thai Emerald (Php115 regular | Php130 large), and the gourmet dark chocolate milk tea given a Thai spin Koko Yen (Php110 regular), among others, you’ll have tasty thirst-quenching options as you navigate the food park.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Papa Diddi’s (Ice Cream)

And who can forget about dessert? Papa Diddi’s Hand-crafted Ice Cream (Php75 for 1 scoop | Php110 for 2 scoops | Php145 for 3 scoops) come in such unusual yet localized flavors that pay tribute not just to our Pinoy heritage but also to the farmer communities that supply the brand’s all-natural ingredients. From the fruity Mango Pili, the cheesy Queso Blanco with kesong puti and Cheese Closed with cheddar, the chocolatey Chocolate Lovin and Tsokolate de Cagayan, the sinfully indulgent Tres Leches and the chocolate-meets-spicy Davao Meets Bicol, your dessert gives you a cool, culinary trip across the country.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

So if you’re a denizen of Poblacion, or on a night out with friends in the area, do add a stopover to Pob Stacion Food Park to your evening’s itinerary.

Many thanks to Raina of KonyoQueen.com for extending the invitation!

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this food park. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Birthday dinner at Soru Izakaya, Ugong

As a foodie that has been exposed to various cuisines, restaurant concepts and cooking styles, of course I would want an extraordinary meal at an extraordinary restaurant for my birthday dinner with the family.

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to dine at Soru Izakaya ever since I caught sight of pictures showing its colorful and creatively presented makis. Add the fact that the resto chain is currently a Zomato Gold partner where I can get free dishes as a Zomato Gold member, and that sealed the deal.

An izakaya is a type of informal pub originating from Japan, where small and inexpensive dishes and snacks are served to accompany alcoholic drinks. This kind of dining establishment has proved perfect for afterwork de-stressing with friends through drinks and good food.

Soru Izakaya’s visually arresting aesthetic also adds to the relaxing vibe. It takes inspiration from bishoujo (pretty girl) manga, traditional Japanese art, the colorful Tokyo night life and the emergence of speakeasies.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

For my birthday celebration, the place proved to be an awesome venue where the extended family came together for a great meal, which included:

Miso Soup (Php45). A staple among Japanese soups wherein softened miso paste is mixed into a savory dashi stock with tofu cubes.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Kani Salad (Php240). Shredded crabsticks tossed in salad greens dressed in a mixture of miso and Japanese mayo. Toppings of crunchy kani, ebiko and nori strips add to the flavors and textures.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Spicy Maguro Salad (Php300). Tempura flakes and cubes of fresh tuna top salad greens dressed in miso and spicy mayo.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Wagyu Steak Teppan (Php990). Iron-grilled wagyu steak served with mixed vegetables.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Tomahawk Katsu (Php320). Deep-fried breaded pork tomahawk cutlet served with sweet and savory katsu sauce and shredded cabbage in roasted sesame dressing.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Unaguro Aburi (Php390). Tempura rice topped with torched tuna and unagi with teriyaki sauce and a bit of truffle oil.

Lava Maki (Php390). Salmon skin, crabsticks and tamago topped with cubes of fresh tuna and salmon in a spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Shake Belly Aburi (Php230). Torched salmon belly with wasabi teriyaki sauce, finished with wasabi mayo, oborro mayo and Japanese mayo.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Nori Tempura Nami (Php330 for 5 pieces). Deep-fried tiger prawns in nori flavored batter.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Meiji Kare (Php260). Japanese-style beef curry with potatoes and carrots on rice.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Shoyu Ramen (Php290). Tender chasyu pork slices, boiled egg and mixed vegetables in a steaming hot shoyu broth.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

It was a fun birthday dinner in a new place for the fam.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

On my next visit, I would love to try the Tantanmen ramen and one of Soru Izakaya’s desserts.

And since four us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege, we got 4 of these dishes 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 20% off the membership fee.

This Soru Izakaya branch is located at Techno Point Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 12 midnight and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 2am.

Other branches are located at:

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants: