Torimomo Japanese Barbecue

We grabbed a quick bite at Torimomo Japanese Barbecue one time. Because we were in a hurry, and it was the first restaurant that has empty table, that we decided to go here. When we looked at the menu, we were a little surprised that the prices were cheaper than the average Japanese restaurants. Their specialties, as the name implies, are barbecue. But they also offer some of our regular Japanese favorites that’s why we ordered them. We had: tempura, shoyu ramen and pork belly barbecue.

And because food is cheap, serving is also small. lol. We got what we paid for, somehow, and every bite was tinged with disappointment. Aside from the pork barbecue, they also offer salmon, squid, shrimp, bacon-wrapped mushrooms, beef and chicken. Maybe we’ll try those next time. Or maybe not. Oh, and if you have other plans after here, make sure you bring extra clothes and some perfume. The smell of the smoke sticks like crazy.

Yayoi

Because we’re suckers for Japanese food, we decided to try Yayoi, which serves teishoku or full meals (rice, viand, soup, dessert, side dish). The good thing though is they have an ala carte menu too, so we didn’t have to endure the big servings. Lately, in a bid to lose weight (there’s a Biggest Loser contest in the office), we’ve been trying to cut down on our (or at least mine. lol) food intake. But I really couldn’t stay away too long from two things: noodles (ramen, pasta, pansit, pad thai, jap chae, etc.) and Japanese food.

Yayoi has a different dining experience such that you don’t have to call out your server all the time. On each table sits a touch screen pad where you can just press for whatever you need. Starting from your order, asking for utensils, having your water refilled, and so on, it is literally service at your fingertips. I wonder though how the technologically-challenged would fare on this. I guess the wait staff are still around to get you through.

The hubby had chicken jyu or chicken over rice with a special sauce and I had, guess what, niku udon. Both are quite good. Mine had sukiyaki beef in the soup, and an egg that seems to have been braised in something (sorry couldn’t really figure it out). His chicken was perfectly crispy despite the sauce on top. But I would still go for ramen anyday.

Katsuyasu Restaurant

Yesterday, the folks celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary. Wow! We hope to reach that far, too.

The husband and I went home early to take them out to dinner. There’s a relatively new place in town about five minutes away from home that we have been dying to check out. It’s a Japanese restaurant called Katsuyasu, and if you know us, we’re major Japanese food fans. Last New Year’s Eve, when we brought a maki platter at a different restaurant, the owner kind of, without naming names, badmouthed nearby Japanese restaurants by saying that the new ones are only copying hers, and hers is the only authentic one around. So that piqued our curiosity even more.

So what better time to try it out than this anniversary celebration?

Since it was a weekday, the place was practically deserted. When we arrived, there was only one other table filled. I liked the modern feel of the whole place–it was airy and bright. I hope they can sustain this in the long run. Also, the staff were very courteous and nice despite very ugly reviews earlier on. Good job that the management decided to do something about this. The comments were kinda glaring, and if I had read those before we came, might not have tried it at all.

It was like ramen since we all had ramen except for mama who had yakisoba. And because ramen runs through my blood and is in the top 5 things-I’m-glad-were-invented, I am elated that the kids are beginning to like it as much too! Yay! Aside from ramen, we had our regular favorite salmon sashimi, kani salad and California roll. Price was great, too, because the servings were larger than usual.

Tenya Tempura Tendon

We tried Tenya Tempura Tendon, one of the new restaurants on Macapagal Ave., right before the turn to the also newly opened NAIAx, the gateway to the airport that promises faster travel because of the new flyover. And we liked it so much that we had dinner there two days in a row! As the name implies, their specialty is the tempura. And I was happy because it is not limited to the usual shrimp/prawns, but they have a basketful of goodies, such as mushrooms, crabsticks, etc. As a plus, they make a dish especially for kids (which is just tempura, but put on an attractive plate), perfect for picky eaters.

I heart Tenya!

Mitsuyado sei-men

The good and bad thing about the fairly new stretch of Macapagal Boulevard is the mushrooming of restaurants of all kinds, apart from the usual condominium buildings and office spaces. Targeting the hungry workforce on their way home to the south, BPO employees, shoppers, couples on dates, barkadas on gimiks, families, basically everyone will find an establishment that suit their cravings and needs. The downside though, is the ever growing traffic problems. Ugh! And there promises to be more.

One night, we decided to try Mitsuyado Sei-Men at Bluebay Walk. Unlike many Japanese restaurants in the Metro nowadays, this is more traditional than the rest, which has become mostly a fusion of other cuisines into the mix. The decorations are also more old-fashioned, and makes you feel like you’re in a real Japanese establishment. It was a little bit dark though.

The menu is also limited but they specialize in tsukemen, a kind of ramen, but served cold and without the usual broth. It has a dipping sauce, and for this visit, I decided to try the cheese. It was good but I was not bowled over. The husband, on the other hand, tried the curry ramen, which ended up too spicy for him.

The experience was okay, but I’ll probably stick to my favorite Japanese haunts for the meantime.

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Ippudo

Almost twenty fours since I had one of the best ramens I have ever had, I am still longing for it. If you know me pretty well, you would know that I have a thing for noodles. Ramen is right up there with cream- or oil-based pasta. Well, that might explain this belly a lot.

Well, Ippudo’s Akamaru Shinaji just made my insides and my spirit sing last night. It was that gooood!!! It was only one of three ramen being offered by Ippudo but make no mistake about their quality. The noodles had the right firmness and the broth was so flavorful. Even though I don’t like too much spice in my food, I was glad I ordered this instead of the milder Shiromaru Motoaji that the husband had. The special miso paste with a dash of fragrant oil gave it the right kick. Plus I had extra slices of chasu (or thin pork belly slices) so it was meatier and fuller.

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Ugh. I want to go back tonight.

Nadai Fujisoba

On one of our nightly midweek forays to the mall (this has become our “dates” even though sometimes we just go to the grocery), we chanced upon Nadai Fujisoba in the deep recesses of MOA. At the moment, it is located in that part of the mall which is under construction so if you weren’t looking close enough, you would completely miss it. Surprisingly, the restaurant is more than half full. The inside was cozy but bright with murals on the walls.

I was very happy to have Japanese noodles, which is different altogether from ramen. At Nadai, you could even choose between udon and soba. Both of us ordered soba, he had Horensou while I had Ebi Ten. It was quite good. The servings are just right, and not as big as the ones in ramen houses nowadays where you can feed a neighborhood. lol. I tried experimenting with the chili sesame oil and ended up putting too much because it just smelled damn good. In Filipino, humagod mula lalamunan hanggang tiyan. Hot! But really good! The prices were also cheaper.

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