If you’ve been reading this blog for some time now, you would have noticed that there are a lot of Japanese restaurants featured here. It’s one of my family’s favorite cuisines out there. Since we’ve been in the Chinese food industry for years, we tend to eat at places which serve something different. Unfortunately for us, most of the really good Japanese restaurants are located in Makati, which is a bit far from our place. When we just don’t have enough time to spare, we simply go to Omakase.
A few Sundays ago, my parents and I decided to head there to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law. My mom ordered a serving of her favorite California Maki (Php165.00) while we waited for them to arrive.
A personal favorite of mine: the Spicy Tuna Salad (Php230.00). This appetizer consists of chunks of raw tuna, tossed in spicy mayo, then topped with bits of fried tempura batter and spring onions. I think this is one of the best ways to start a meal at this restaurant. It was the same dish that I enjoyed years ago.
Dad wanted something hot to eat while waiting for my brother and sister-in-law, so he decided to order a serving of Nabeyaki Udon (Php250.00). It was a huge serving and was enough to serve my parents and I, with some leftovers. It managed to keep my Dad’s hunger at bay, although he mentioned that he didn’t like it that much since the broth was too sweet for him. The taste was very similar to hot tempura sauce. The udon itself, though, was nice.
When my brother and sis-in-law arrived and have selected what they wanted off the menu, Dad and I placed our orders for a bowl of Chirashi (Php290.00) each. It’s basically a bowl of Japanese rice, topped with different kinds of sashimi. In the photo above, you can see the uni (sea urchin), tuna, crab meat, ika (squid), shrimp, salmon, ginger slices, pickled radish and tamago. I split my bowl of chirashi with Mom.
I was craving for some Tori Karaage (fried chicken, Php150.00) and decided to split an order of it with Mom as well. This was just okay for us, since it was a bit too dry for us to really enjoy it. We still think that the ones from Komoro Soba are still the best ones in town.
My brother went with a platter of Nigiri Sushi, which was just okay in his opinion.
My sister-in-law (whom, I think, has gotten used to my habit of taking food photos) ordered a bowl of Gyu Don (Php250.00) for herself. She said that it was first time to eat at Omakase and found this to be pretty good.
We don’t really get to visit this restaurant as often as before, but we still think it’s a good place to go to for a satisfying meal. Service is quick in general, but can get a bit slow during peak hours. The tables in this branch are spaced pretty close together, so it can be difficult to have a decent conversation with your companions when the place becomes full. You’d be overhearing other people’s conversations whether you like it or not.
If you’re interested to learn more about Omakase, you can check their official Facebook page by clicking here.
**Omakase has branches at the following locations: Il Terrazzo, Libis, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Triangle Gardens and Greenhills Shopping Center.
Heads up to those living in the South: the Mercato Centrale Group‘s bringing their food and lifestyle market to your area!
“After a short break from the South, we are excited to be back in the area!“ enthused Anton Diaz, co-founder of the Mercato Centrale group and the blogger behind the popular food and travel blog in the Philippines www.OurAwesomePlanet.com. “Thanks to all the support from our Southern-based foodie fans who have been clamoring for our return.”
“We look forward to bringing the Mercato Centrale foodie experience to Alabang Town Center, which includes a variety of great-tasting and innovative food choices straight from the homes of the South-based chefs and homemakers, acoustic entertainment and a lively atmosphere“ said RJ Ledesma, co-founder of the Mercato Centrale group. “We will also have the best-selling vendors from our various Mercato markets sharing their famous dishes in EL SUR!”
“We also want to find the next big food entrepreneur from the South!” added Anton. “The Mercato markets have been the birthplace of many expanding Manila food businesses like Manang’s Chicken, Merry Moo Premium Ice Cream, Spring by Ha-Yuan, Kristina’s Inutak, Chuck’s Grubberie Fish and Chips and many more. We are happy to note that one of our pioneer Mercato vendors, Mochiko Ice Cream, already has a branch here in Alabang Town Center!”
On my last day of babysitting the cats at my brother’s place, I decided I wanted to eat something healthy for lunch. I’m not the type to shy away from consuming vegetables so I thought I should pay Chimara Neo-Vegan Café a visit. I went straight to Greenbelt 3‘s cinema level after finishing the things I had to do at home and checked what they had to offer.
I have long known that Chimara was from the same group which handled Taters. According to their website, they got the name for this establishment from the word “Chimera, a.k.a., an impossible dream”.
It took me longer than usual to decide on what I should get for myself. Good thing that it was a Thursday afternoon, post-lunch hour, so nobody was next to me in line. Prior to this visit, the only items I’ve ever tried from their establishment was their tofu chips and wasabi flavored popcorn. I ended up loving both and was tempted to just get those and be on my way. I had to force myself to choose something else from the menu.
Standing there, I contemplated getting myself a pita wrap or a panini instead. In the end, I decided to go with a pita wrap: the Chunky “Chicken” Slaw (Php145.00). This might not look like much in the photo above, but this was actually pretty big. I was surprised when the staff at Chimara handed this to me, since I’m so used to getting tiny pita wraps whenever I eat out. It was very heavy and smelled delicious!
So what does it have inside? There were chunks of tofu (the “chicken”), apples, cucumbers, raisins, peanuts, carrot sticks and lettuce, all wrapped neatly in a whole wheat tortilla. You also get to choose what dressing you want to have with it; I went with creamy yogurt. I had my pita to-go and ate it back at my brother’s place. It was really, really good! I have no regrets. ♥
I’m happy to have found another item from Chimara that can easily satisfy my craving. I’m pretty sure this would go well with a small bag of their sour cream flavored tofu chips. That’s something I’ll consider for days when I’m REALLY hungry and would need more stuff to keep me going.
**If you want to learn more about Chimara, click here to visit their official Facebook page. They also have a Twitter account, in case you’re interested (@ChimaraNeovegan).
When I was studying in Xiamen, I had a Korean classmate who I became close to. She’d invite me to the apartment she shared with her businessman husband and cook up a feast for us to eat. There were times when she’d let me help out in the preparations and teach me the basics of Korean cooking along the way. It’s because of those experiences that I learned to fully appreciate Korean cuisine.
It’s been years since I left Xiamen and sometimes, I get the hankering for Korean cuisine. It used to be so difficult to find Korean restaurants in Manila, but that no longer holds true. I’ve been to several ones over the years and have found gems and really bad ones too. For a quick and cheap Korean fix, my friend Den decided to take me to a local mall’s food court and introduce me to Bibimbob (Bibimbap 비빔밥) by Mr. Kimbob.
Since Den was the one more familiar with the dishes from Mr. Kimbob, I asked for her suggestions on what we should get. We decided on ordering one large serving of Pork Bibimbob (Php119.00), which we split between the two of us. This dish was composed of a big serving of rice topped with a fried egg, kimchi and other vegetables, ground pork, and then served with a packet of gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste). You can see the gochujang right there in the middle of our plate. Den mentioned that Mr. Kimbob used to give out unlimited servings of the gochujang, but have changed it to just one packet per order.
A smaller, single serve is also available at Php99.00. You can choose to have chicken, pork or beef bibimbob.
One of my other favorite Korean items is the tukboki / tteokbokki . I was very happy when I learned that Mr. Kimbob also had this on their menu. This Korean snack is made from rice and fish cakes and is served in a hot plate, smothered with generous amounts of sweet red chili sauce. I wouldn’t say that the serving’s big, but for only Php69.00, I think it was worth its price. This is considering how heavy tukboki is and how much we enjoyed eating it.
I have to admit that I didn’t have high expectations prior to eating there, but I ended up liking the stuff we ordered from Mr. Kimbob. Were their items as good as my friend’s cooking? Not really, but they’re good enough for me to consider ordering from them again in the future.
**Learn a little bit more about this franchise but checking there official website.