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:

Savouring Asian street food at Hawker Street, Savour Manila

I took an opportunity to take my daughter on an impromptu foodie adventure (and on a weekday at that!) at Savour Manila.

My daughter recently started her internship/work immersion in a company in Quezon City. Since it is a short distance from my office, I usually drop her off and pick her up from her workplace.

On this particular afternoon, we found ourselves with a couple of hours to while away and we decided to meet up at my office then go out to eat.

She was all set for some Japanese food but as we were walking along Tomas Morato, the Savour Manila food park caught our eye.

For our first time here, we decided on Hawker Street, the stall that offers Asian street food.  We shared a bowl of laksa (Php200), my daughter’s first encounter with this Peranakan soup dish, and two sticks of bacon yakitori wraps (Php100).

We requested for the laksa to be mildly spicy, given that we both have low tolerance for spicy food. While the broth has a nice balance spiciness from the curry and creaminess from the coconut milk, the noodles used are pasta noodles instead of the more authentic vermicelli or laksa noodles.

The bacon wrapped asparagus spears and enoki mushrooms served as our meaty viand.  We really couldn’t say anything much about the bacon wraps except that bacon makes everything better.

We even shared a giant glass of iced tea from the store two stalls down.

Afterwards, we had our dessert at Cafe Churro.

We found our first foray at the food park to be a great experience, a break from our usual food haunts.

Hawker Street is located at Savour Manila, 238 Tomas Morato Ave., Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City.

Hawker Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato