Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

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! 🙂

A while back, a good friend of mine invited me to try out the Sushi Buffet at Sakae Sushi. Given the fact that I love Japanese food, I was up to the challenge. And he said he would pay for our meal so I didn’t need much prodding.

Sakae Sushi offers unlimited sushi at the reasonable price of P399 per head. This entitles you to grab any sushi you want from the conveyor belt, along with a bowl of Miso Soup and bottomless Green Tea (hot or cold). Sounds like a good deal, eh?

The sushi’s value are color coded based on the plates. Keep your eye out for the purple and red plates are these are the most expensive types.

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I didn’t get to take a photo of every plate that we had. Below are the ones we sampled and I was able to capture before they got devoured.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of everything. I just grabbed whatever looked interesting from the conveyor belt. The sushi rolls were all good. But looking back now, I don’t think we were able to taste the classic California Maki. Weird. The orange looking thing in the lower right panel is Japanese rice wrapped in egg and soaked in some sort of sweet sauce. It was surprisingly good!

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Upper left photo was not good. It tasted sooooo fishy! I suspect that this plate has gone around in the belt for a long time therefore it was not fresh anymore. The octopus on the other hand (upper right) tasted fresh. It had a slightly sweet taste and was not chewy at all.

If I remember right, the lower left photo is Kani Tempura. It was quite confusing though because I am not used to green crabsticks. Lower right is the usual tofu steak. It was OK but I like Teriyaki Boy’s tofu steak waaaay better.

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This collage is all the Japanese rice wrapped in nori with different toppings. Every piece was huge and I was quite overwhelmed at first because I thought there was no rice in it and it was just nori stuffed with different things. However, upon biting into it, I felt cheated. It was filled with rice 3/4 of the way. LOL. I am not complaining though because nori is one of my favorite things in the world. I just had to be creative on how I can dispose off of the rice because I was already getting full at this point.

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One of the very rare prime items in the belt is this salmon thingamajig. It was fried with some sort of breading then slathered with sweet and spicy sauce. The salmon tasted fresh and the spice level was just right. image

After around two hours, I couldn’t take any more rice. We had to order a can of Coke just to help us burp because we were bursting in the seams. Suffice it to say, I did not crave sushi for a long while after this.

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Sakae Sushi is in SM Mall of Asia. P399 is quite cheap for such a ridiculous amount of food but do not expect anything authentic or gourmet level. I would probably go back, especially if someone is willing to pay for me again. LOL

 

The Indays’ schedule finally synched together so we had time for a proper catchup dinner. We were meeting up in Makati and I was coming from the ~province~ of BGC so I gave them the liberty to choose where to eat. Thankfully they chose Kichitora. If you know me well enough, you’d know I’m always down for a bowl of ramen.

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Gyoza (P150) | For our appetizer, we got an order of pan-fried gyoza. It was OK, but the wrap was a tad bit too thick and chewy. It also wasn’t much of an appetizer because they served it almost simultaneous with our main meals therefore we didn’t get to finish it all up. That being said, it is still a good side dish to your ramen.

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Pork Chashu Rice (P320) | Unlike me, Ren is not much of a ramen fan. She got a bowl of Japanese rice topped with grilled pork chashu chops, dried seaweed and molten lava egg. Just looking at that melty yolk makes me drool! This is also available in a smaller size at P175.

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Paitan Chicken Ramen (P360) | Lorraine went for the Paitan Ramen. It is topped with your choice of chicken or pork (she chose chicken), bamboo shoots, green veggies and a slice of naruto. This ramen is made with their original white broth.

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Paitan Ramen Zenbu no Se (P420) | I went for their best seller. Topped with pork chashu, dried seaweed (which I am addicted to), molten lava egg, naruto and drizzled with a dash of fried garlic oil. I opted for the regular broth though I saw in their menu that they also have a spicy variant. Guess I was kinda scared it was going to be too spicy and the restaurant was not too well ventilated;I wasn’t in the mood for sweat lol. It was good! I would probably get a bowl of this again when I go back but maybe get the smaller bowl at P300 because this was a little too hard for me to finish.

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I definitely would go back to Kichitora. Maybe I’ll try their kara-age next time in place of the gyoza and stop being a puss and order the spicy ramen. It was a good dinner made better with great company (Naaaaaks!)

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Cheers to more Inday dinners this 2014! 🙂

 

 

I am quite lucky to live near some friends who I can call and bug to hang out with at perfectly odd times. And they give in to my requests 90% of the time.

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Since discovering the wonderfully cheap TOK-YU, it has been my go-to Japanese place whenever I crave for something hot and actually willing to get out of the house instead of my usual instant shin ramyun. Vlad always gets his Beef Sukiyaki (and I always cringe at how sweet it is).

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My usual is their Seafood Ramen which I always cannot finish. I appreciate how generous they are with the ingredients. Too generous in fact that I always find CHUNKS of ginger at the bottom of my bowl. Every single time. LOL.

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The other two boys ordered Udon and Yakisoba which looked and tasted the same. LOL. Nothing to sing praises about, I do not recommend getting these.

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Another ~must order~ for us is their maki/sushi set. It is so fucking cheap you are almost emotionally obliged to like it haha! It is mostly OK but this time around, they fucked up their rice and it came out too soft and mushy. I hope they work on their chef’s consistency.

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Nevertheless, I would still go back to Tok-Yu whenever I get the ~cheap Japanese cravings~ because it really is damn cheap. I have yet to find another restaurant that offers Japanese food as cheap as Tok-Yu does.

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For desserts and post-dinner drinks, we trooped across the street over to Chatime. Because tea always works and we are oldies who’d rather have a glass of milk tea over beer on a Saturday night. Hashtag LOSER haha! We got whatever pastry they had left except for their cronuts because those are overpriced as fuck. TIP: they offer their pastries at 50% off after 10pm.

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The lighting upstairs was so pretty so we camwhored like mad. I almost peed myself laughing like crazy when Gian and I were taking pictures with bits of chocolate muffin stuck in our teeth. We were probably annoying the fuck out of the other people in the room, but whatever. YOLO! Haha!

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Tell me I’m pretty! 

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LOL sorry! A very random post, I know. I didn’t realize I had this sitting in my drafts so might as well post it, right?

OK. Now I feel kinda embarrassed. Kinda… hahaha!

 

The other day, I was talking to my friends and telling them how amazed I am that January is already gone (upon writing, it’s already the 4th of February). And they all go “What? January was soooo slow! It felt like forever!”. I honestly feel the complete opposite, this month just zoomed by so quick. So clearly, time is indeed relative. Anyway… on to my weekly recap.

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January 22: It was a busy, busy day. I had an early start and prepared my packed lunch. Today’s menu was chicken adobo (which turned out yummy, can I just say hehe). Meetings re: Kammerchor February performances were done today and boy, February looks like a busy month! Then my teammate told me about Chips Ahoy! with Reese’s and I just gad to go to S&R and buy a pack. Peanut butter is my weakness.

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Had our first running session of the year headed by our personal coach, Allan. He blogs about running at http://www.runfreemanila.com (Go check him out!) Post-workout meal was at Pasta Roni. Yummy and filling food that actually tastes and feels healthy. Well, healthy if you avoid all the cream-based goodness.

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January 23: Speaking of peanut butter being my weakness, my teammate pulled out this butter flavored peanut butter. Didn’t taste very different from the usual PB but it was still good. Has dinner at Breakfast in Bed and had the saddest Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had in my lifetime. LOL. Tried to down it with beer but realized I don’t like alcohol that much anymore so I switched to my usual mug of brewed coffee.

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January 24: I am so proud of myself because I managed to get out of bed early to prepare my packed lunch of fried chicken and sautéed veggies. Took a break from work to chill at Luna Café, one of the newest chill spot at BGC. I had their longganisa pandesal which was really really good but a tad bit expensive at P160 a pop. Met up with Lorraine and we walked all the way to SM Aura. It was actually my first time there and they have interesting albeit expensive food choices.

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January 25: Slept over (Friday night) at CGS ‘coz we stayed up too late watching The Book Thief. Woke up early to prepare breakfast: fried rice, scrambled eggs and tuyo. Yummmmmm! Trooped all the way to Trinoma because K needed to run some errands. Late lunch at Oki Oki where I had my usual Crab Omelette Ramen. A very odd topping for a ramen but it works for me, haha.

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January 26: Stayed home all day. Lately, Sundays has been stay-at-home-days. Come lunchtime, I decided to pe a pig and ate ice cream with my Chips Ahoy! cookies. BAD MOVE! I had to cancel my date with Timmy because I didn’t feel so good after pigging out on sweets.

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January 27: Yesterday’s mistakes are today’s regrets. LOL. The icecream-cookie combo yesterday now officially made me sick. I’ve been sniffing and hacking all day, eeeeewwwww! My voice was also cracking so I had sick people’s food: noodles, orange juice and tea.

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January 28: Had lunch at Relik as part of our monthly team fostering. I had the Grilled Pork Belly with Salsa Verde and it was so good. The java rice was a little too oily for my taste so I didn’t finish it all. We also ordered Chorisig (Chorizo sisig) for sharing and it was also very good. Tasty and spicy, just the way I like it. For dessert, we had cinnamon churros with caramel sauce for dipping.

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After work, I met up with Lorraine and Ren. Finally, Inday’s New Year’s dinner! We had dinner at Kichitora, and my ramen was sooooo good! I especially loved my egg with melty yolk. We moved to Starbucks after filling up on the Japanese goodness and we talked and gossiped and caught up like crazy. Here’s to hoping for more dinner dates this year! 🙂

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My friends and I recently took a trip to UP area to eat our way through Maginhawa Street in UP Village. It was mainly for Gian’s sake as he has never been there, considering he really likes to eat. Oh the travesty! LOL. I also had my selfish motives as I haven’t been to UP in such a loooong time and I wanted to finally take a picture with The Oblation.

We were all coming from Boni (Boni Crew represent! LOL) so the best way for us was to take the MRT then hail a cab when we go down Quezon Avenue station. Obligatory photo-op while waiting for the train (and a very late Gian!!!). It’s also been a long time since I took the MRT.

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The night before while we were out having dinner, we each chose one restaurant that we wanted to visit. So in the end, we will get to eat at four places. Sounds like a plan, eh? Our first stop was CRAZY KATSU.

I’ve been hearing praises about this place. They say the food is good for the price you pay. Some say it could even rival the infamous Yabu’s katsu. Unfortunately, I have no point of comparison as I’ve never tried Yabu up to this day. Not even once. FML

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The place looked quite unassuming from the outside. When we got in, we were seated at one corner of the room. On the wall were pictures of their dishes which made it easier for us to order. The place was pretty small, cramped with tables and chairs. They really maximized the space they have. It is certainly not a place for intimate and TMI conversations (looking at you neighboring table with loud girls talking about family gossip like they’re the only two people in the room LOL).

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We imposed a rule to not get the same thing in order for us to get to taste each other’s food hehe. Before seeing the pictures, I was dead set on getting their bestseller, whatever it would be. But when I scanned the photos on the wall, I just couldn’t help myself from getting the Katsu Curry.

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It came with three slices of pork katsu swimming in a pool of delicious Japanese curry. There were also bits of pork in the sauce along with the usual suspects: carrots and potatoes. It was very good but I just couldn’t finish my plate. I would suggest you order this if you’re really hungry. You can always order extra rice to sop up all the curry sauce (if you’re really THAT hungry).

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This bowl of Pork Katsudon wasn’t impressive. It was OK but not impressive. Very much forgettable. Vlad finished the whole bowl tho, hehe.

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Gian’s Pork Tonkatsu was better than the Katsudon. The serving was very generous, as you can see. However, it needed a lot of help from the mayonnaise and the Tonkatsu sauce it came with. I even warned him to not pour the whole thing in ‘coz I was afraid it might be too salty (sauces served on the side are usually very rich in flavor). He ended up dumping all of the sauce in, and squeezing a lot more mayo onto the meat.

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Now here comes the winner of the day. Crazy Katsu’s Chicken Katsu. I was informed this is their bestseller. Crispy fried chicken fillet on top of a bed of shredded cabbage sitting atop some magic sauce which was very delicious it could only be Jesus’ jizz LOL. Blasphemy aside, the sauce was really really really good!

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Crazy Katsu was a very good start to our food trip. I would love to go back to try their other dishes and maybe get a plateful of Chicken Katsu all to myself. I’ve heard their gyoza was also good so maybe I will try that, too.

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Stay tuned! The Iscreamist is next where I show a video of me eating like a fool. LOL