Posts Tagged ‘japanese cuisine’

Tori Ichi Yakitori and Bar is one of the newest(ish) eating joints in our office building – Net Quad in BGC. It replaced the Thai restaurant Silk Road which wasn’t much of a hit for us. We decided to give Tori Ichi a try since my team and I are always in the lookout for new lunch-out places in the area.

For anyone not familiar, yakitori refers to the Japanese preparation of grilling skewered meat (and other stuff) over a charcoal file. It’s much like satay or our traditional ihaw-ihaw.

As soon as we were seated, we were given a complimentary appetizer of fried anchovies (dilis). These little fishies helped tide over our hunger. I suggest you indulge on these as service could be a bit slow.

Gohan Php60 | A cup of plain Japanese rice topped with furikake.

Shironegi Php35 | These are skewered onion leeks which I thoroughly enjoyed as additional topping to my rice.

Nankotsu Php35 | Chicken cartilage skewer. Call me weird but these things which are usually thrown away by others taste delicious to me.

Kimo Php50 | Chicken liver skewer with tare sauce.

Sunazuri Php50 | Chicken gizzard skewer grilled to perfection. I loved how the gizzards didn’t turn chewy as most grilled gizzards usually do.

Butabara Php75 | Pork belly skewer. My ultimate favorite for the night. It had the right amount of fat for me and it was perfectly tender.

I liked everything I ordered that night. However, you should be wary as your bill could easily skyrocket if you don’t take pay attention to what you’re getting. You’ll tend to order more sticks as the serving size is a bit on the stingy side. Overall, I would still go back to try other items on their menu.

Below is a snapshot of their menu to help you decide on your order in advance. 😉

 

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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I almost did not push through with this week’s happy list because the past 5 days has been all sorts of tough. Work is outrageously busy and challenging, it’s sucking the life out of me. I’m also having post-holiday anxiety, and birthday blues, and the weather is so gloomy, and I’m getting my period soon so my emotions are going batshit crazy. I honestly struggled to complete this week’s list but got it done anyway.

  1. My 4-day visit to Bohol last week. It was raining most of our time there due to the major typhoon that passed through our country but we took it as an opportunity to relax and take multiple naps a day.
  2. My parents sent me a care package from Ilocos. The box was full with food that I love – Ilocos garlic longganisa, bagnet, morcon, and a bunch of avocadoes and dragon fruit from our very own backyard.
  3. Grabcar. I never need to worry about my ticking taxi meter in traffic because Grabcar sets a fixed rate for a desired destination immediately upon booking. This means avoiding drivers asking for additional charge on top of meter rate just because there’s traffic jams everywhere.
  4. Colleagues giving me food and coffee. For no apparent reason, people at work has been giving me food and treating me out for coffee runs. Maybe they know that I’m stressed hehe.
  5. Cris buying me food LOL. He always sees to it that he brings me home some food every time he eats out. What a sweetie.
  6. Supportive friends. As I mentioned above, work has really been very challenging and I have been doubting myself lately. But my good friends reminded me to not be too hard on myself. Awwww I love you guys!
  7. Cris buying groceries. I have been working extra late this week, hence I don’t really have time to get some essentials from the supermarket. I’m glad he’s dependable enough to pick up my momentary slack.
  8. Packed lunches for work. My mom sent me lots of ulam from the province so I always have some to bring at work.
  9. Becky Nights public chat on Viber. LOL I just like seeing how the beckies interact with one another.
  10. Soba noodles. Japanese food is life! Today, we had lunch at Nadai Fujisoba and I had my usual hot soba again. Hay naku #thisiswhyimfat.

 

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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  1. Store Sales. Cris and I took a trip to the mall to buy his suit for my friends’ wedding and we saw a lot of stores having their End of Season Sales. I took advantage and scored good deals from H&M and Cotton On.
  2. Grabtaxi/ Grabcar promos. For someone like me who takes a cab everyday to work, the emergence of Grabtaxi and other transport services has brought so much convenience. Add to that the “no booking fee” and “Php50 off” promos, I will never endure standing under the sun just to flag a cab ever again. Or at least until their promos last.
  3. Rainy days. I know the rain was brought in by typhoons and typhoons are usually bad new for our country but I just can’t help but love it. It’s such a relief to go to bed at night not worrying about waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat.
  4. Speaking of rainy days, one of my favorite things to do in the cold weather is to drink hot soup. Or consume any food with soup in it, for that matter. We had pho for dinner last Sunday and it left my insides so pleasantly warm.
  5. With all this rain, I can’t get away with my “will just use my cardigan/scarf as umbrella” anymore. For some reason, I just don’t like using umbrellas. But Cris gave me a cute transparent umbrella from Japan, and he does not need to force me to bring it with me because I love using it. LOL. Obviously, I’m not that hard to please.
  6. My oven! I’ve been trying to use my new oven more often so I can get familiarized with it before I finally try to bake some pastries. I’ve only cooked a few dishes with it so far – 2 chicken recipes and roasted liempo. And one night when I was feeling more adventurous, I made pizza! Haaaay… How to eat and not end up just looking like a blubber all year round???
  7. Weddings. I attended a wedding yesterday and I loved every moment of it. It was also nice to see the bride who is a very good friend of mine. We used to share a condo before but she moved to Australia for her job a couple of years ago so we barely see each other now.
  8. My GLOBE friends. This is the group I stuck with from my first job and we’ve remained friends even after leaving the company. We fondly call our group “Brothers and Sisters” which is very apt since we actually consider each other as brothers and sisters.
  9. Cookie Cup. After the wedding reception last night, the Brothers and Sisters (B & S) braved Marikina’s traffic and semi-flooded streets to have coffee and spend more time together. This café (Cookie Mug) has the unique idea of serving drinks in cups made of cookie. I like the novelty of pouring in your drink and melting the chocolate coating of the cup, and eating the actual “cookie cup” when you’re done with your drink. Pretty cool concept.
  10. Today’s lunch of katsu curry. My usual Friday lunchout group tried out a fairly new restaurant in our area – Shingetsu. We all ordered their lunch set which comes with appetizer, soup, salad, dessert and your choice of mains. The food is delicious and the serving size is huge. I would definitely go back there again.

How was your week? I hope you are all safe and dry!

I very rarely meet up with friends during the work week mainly because I finish work later than the usual 9-6 office job. Most of my friends work outside the BGC area and it is a hell to get out of BGC from 6pm onwards so unless the dinner takes place within The Fort, I usually just don’t bother anymore. So when my good friend, T, texted me and said she was available for dinner, I just had to make time. Plus she was willing to trek all the way from QC to The Fort even if it was her first time to commute that route. (Super appreciate the effort, love!)

It was one of those nights where we were not craving for anything specific, we just knew we were hungry. Very hungry. Tokyo Bubble Tea sounded like a good idea because of the relatively wide variety in their menu items.

On to the food!

Bulgogi Nachos | Php245
Bulgogi-style nachos topped with spicy Korean mayonnaise, onions, tomatoes and carrot strips. We attacked this as soon as it reached our table. We were really hungry, don’t judge us! LOL. The Bulgogi Nachos were OK. The nacho chips were warm and crispy and the toppings was quite generous. It was OK but nothing worth writing home about.

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Ole Spicy Tuna | Php175
Tuna wrapped in crispy rice with pickled jalapeño savoring that hot and spicy goodness. This was my least favorite dish of the night. Don’t take me wrong, I do like my jalapeño. Without the tuna-mayo topping, the roll lacked flavor especially after that spicy Bulgogi Nacho.

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Nippon Ebi | Php285
Panko breaded prawn rolled in sushi rice topped with mango on melted mozzarella cheese. This was the better roll of the night. And since I love cheese so much, the melted mozzarella was my favorite part.

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Spicy Seafood Pasta | Php235
Penne pasta with squid, shrimp, clam, and mussel on a creamy pomodoro sauce. And now we come to my favorite dish of the night. What you see below is half of one serving because we asked the kitchen staff to split the dish into two. Aside from the big serving size, I also loved the perfect combination of creamy-tangy-spicy sauce. I squeezed in a bit of lemon juice for that extra zing and it was perfect. I would definitely order this again!

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I felt like we made the wrong call on the rolls but the night was saved by the pasta alone. I think this is now my favorite dish from Tokyo Bubble Tea. How about you, have you tried the food from Tokyo Bubble Tea? What is your favorite dish?

I love Japanese food! If I could only eat from one cuisine for the rest of my life, I would instantly choose Japanese over all other cuisines without batting an eyelash.

Oki Oki is one of the more underrated Japanese restaurants in the country. For some reason, I’ve never paid much attention to it until one time when I was at the mall with a fellow Ilocano and we just could not stop laughing about the resto’s name. For your appreciation of the joke, Oki is an Ilocano term for a lady’s intimate part. LOL. Anyway, since that first try, I have gone back to the restaurant multiple times. Below are our orders the last time Cris and I dined there (which was actually his first time.)

Mango Kani Maki | Phph200
8 huge rolls of ripe mango, nori, and kani (crab meat) rolled in roe. The mango tasted fresh and I love how there is not so much rice in each roll. I hate it when there is so much rice that you could barely taste the actual filling. Oki Oki’s Mango Kani Maki has the perfect amount of rice and filling for my taste.

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Oki Oki Chicken Teriyaki Don | Phph200
Grilled boneless chicken with teriyaki sauce topped on a bowl of rice. This was Cris’ order but I was able to take a bite of the chicken and I loved it. It was moist and had a smoky taste that perfectly balanced the sweet teriyaki sauce. Cris loved it so much that when he ate with his friends on a separate instance, he ordered exactly the same thing.

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Tenshin Ramen | Php180
Crabmeat omelette topped on egg noodles with thick soup. This is my favorite item in their menu and I never miss to order it every.freaking.time! It may sound weird to have an omelette in a “ramen” but it works for me. I love peppering it with togarashi or Japanese chili powder for an added heat. Plus the serving size is good for two for such a cheap price. I love it!

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Tampopo is a fairly new franchise that combines both ramen and tonkatsu in their menu. This is a rather interesting twist as we are used to having restaurants that specialize in just tonkatsu or just ramen only.

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They have quite an extensive menu because they actually offer two types of ramen – Hokkaido and Kyushu. Hokkaido has thick and chewy noodles while Kyushu has noodles that are thin and hard. They also have a selection of additional toppings if you are keen.

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They offer a choice of getting “normal” Premium US Pork or the Top Grade Black Pig for your katsu. The Black Pig has higher fat content, so I assume it is tastier and more tender than the leaner variety.

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Each table has condiments available – togarashi, chili oil, cabbage salad dressing and tonkatsu sauce. As with Yabu, they let you grind the sesame for your dipping sauce when you order a katsu. I noticed though that Yabu’s sesame sauce is more fragrant than Tampopo’s.

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Before I proceed to the food though, let me show you a photo of the usual Friday lunch-out gang. We all work under one team but Nerisse already left the company so it’s just the three of us now (Allan, Alen and me).

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Alen was meeting her boyfriend for lunch that day so she just got the Potato Salad (Php120) as an appetizer. I had a little taste and I must say that it was quite tasty. The potato was creamy and not at all grainy, and I love the apparent taste of onion.

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Both Allan and Nerisse got the Tampopo Deluxe Black Pig Shabu Ramen (Php420). They asked the chili to be served on-the-side as they don’t take spice that well. I read somewhere that the broth has been simmered for two days, wow! Allan finished up all the noodles but still had lots of broth left in his bowl. Hmmmmm…

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I had the Tampopo Premium Tonkatsu Ramen (Phph380) and I was quite impressed with the serving size. This is the perfect dish when you just can’t decide whether to indulge on ramen or katsu, best of both worlds! The milky broth had the perfect heat in it, spiced just right.

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The pork is very lean but it was not dry. The breading was fine and crisp, I heard they use a special Hokkaido bread crumb to coat their meats.

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I didn’t get to finish my bowl of ramen as the serving was really generous. I was quite impressed with Tampopo’s food that I requested a repeat visit a few weeks later. The food is delicious and it’s relatively cheap compared to other ramen and katsu places. Definitely a bang for your buck! 🙂