Monthly Archives: April 2014

Wafu

I was really excited to go back to Greenhills since it’s been a really long time since we last came here. We paid a visit to Greenhills because of two things: To buy some coffee for dad and to try out this Japanese restaurant called Wafu. We were supposed to have lunch here on my birthday but I ended up picking Mamou instead.

I really loved the interior! It was very spacious… But it’s probably because lunchtime was over, so there weren’t a lot of people dining inside. They have a second floor that’s reserved for those who want to try their teppanyaki. We ended up sitting inside one of the lotus-shaped chairs. It was comfy, and we had lots of privacy (haha!) but the area where I sat at was a tad bit shaky.

Menu: Soups (miso soup, grilled chicken ramen, tempura udon), Salad (cucumber sunomono, Wafu’s house salad, yuri’s crab salad), Yakitori, Entrees (chawan mushi, yakisoba, tuna tataki), Tempura, Furai (tonkatsu, hotate, tebasaki), Chef’s recommendation (wasabi pepper steak, miso cod, scallops over udon), Wafu steaks (angus, wagyu), Chef’s tasting (hamachi sashimi, miso soup, beef tataki, edamame), Rice bowl/donburi (oyakudon, sansyoku don, tekka don), Rice, Teishoku sets, Wafu favorites, Teppanyaki ala-carte, Sushi platters, Shooters, Rolls (classic – California roll, spicy scallop, tuna roll. Wafu style – mifune, mount Fuji roll, Hokkaido roll, Asahi roll), Sushi, Sashimi, Cold plates (trio of tartare, hamachi jalapeno, tuna cappricio), and Drinks (fresh fruit and veggies shake, juices, sake/sochu, signature smoothies, tea and coffee, soda, beer).

Shrimp tempura. I only tried one piece. Um… I was expecting it to be bigger and a lot crispier, honestly.

Katsudon. Still alright, even though it honestly wasn’t as good as the ones served in the other katsu places I’ve tried before.

Chicken fried rice. My mom liked this. If I wasn’t so busy with my katsudon, then I would’ve taken a few more bites from this dish.

Tofu steak. My favorite out of all the dishes that we ordered. The tofu pieces were huge, and the tofu itself tasted light. The fried skin had a little hint of crispiness, which I liked. I also enjoyed the flavorful mushroom sauce that the tofu pieces were drenched in.

… Yes, so the food was quite expensive, but some of the dishes didn’t taste that good, which is disappointing, since this is such a high-class Japanese restaurant. We probably just ordered the wrong stuff on the menu. I think I liked the interior more than the food, actually. 😡 But I would still recommend Wafu if you’re a Japanese food lover who wants to spend a little bit more money when it comes to food.

Wafu is located at Greenhills Shopping Center, N Western St Greenhills, San Juan. Tel no (02) 570-3242.

Vikings

(Pic-heavy post)

So for my parents’ anniversary, we headed over to Vikings at SM Marikina for lunch. My mom has actually been to Vikings several times because of her buffet-loving friends, but this is the first time that my dad and I get to go.

Vikings has been hailed as one of Manila’s best buffets. They have a (very) wide assortment of food in every one of their branches. Each branch is also different from the others (in regards to the size of the place, the number of items served at the buffet, etc.).

Interior. I didn’t take pictures of the buffet itself, since I don’t think it’s allowed.

For my appetizer, I had a thin slice of olive baguette, tasty pieces of tuna melt, and freshly-baked focaccia bread.

Oysters, and assorted tempura (ebi, salmon, vegetable).

Salad.

A plate filled with meat, which includes katsu (really nice and tender, plus it was coated in sweetened scrambled eggs), and Vikings’ famous roast Angus belly. I have heard about this roast Angus belly from people who have dined at Vikings, and they have all said that it was pure heaven. So I got to try it for myself, and I have to say… They were absolutely right. I have to say it was a lot more flavorful than the roast beef that they serve at one of my favorite hotels. A whole variety of condiments and sauces are also available to pair up with your slice of beef. I chose the truffle sauce (which tasted like ordinary gravy, TBH) and mint.

Dad had this spicy & sour shabu shabu soup and fried fish. They have sukiyaki and ramen too, but I didn’t get a bowl.

Sushi and maki combo: Salmon sushi and sashimi, tuna sashimi, tamago sushi, California maki, Frutha maki, spicy tuna crunchy maki, dragon roll, and a gigantic piece of California serada temaki (was lucky enough to get the one with the tuna filling). We also had a piece of mantou bread and steamed siomai.

For dessert: Lemon pudding (delicious, it’s like eating a lemon square. Perfect balance of tartness and sweetness), bread and butter cake (good, but a little tough), red velvet cake (I didn’t like this one, it was dry and tasteless), choco caramel (my favorite! the brownie was super moist and the caramel wasn’t sickeningly sweet), and a brownie.

My mom’s dessert consisted of this white chocolate mousse (a little bit powdery), and a mango crepe.

All in all, it was one VERY satisfying meal. I really wanted to get another slice of Angus, but I was already way too full. The buffet itself was really overwhelming since it was HUGE, and there’s actually a lot of dishes that I didn’t get the chance to try out… I can’t wait to come back to this buffet, so I can get another chance to eat like a real Viking again.

Vikings is located at the 2nd Floor of SM City Marikina, Kalumpang, Marikina City. Tel nos: 570-3888, 570-4888, and 570-5888. You can also find them at SM North Edsa, SM Lanag Premier (Davao) and SM Megamall. Visit their official website: vikings.ph.

Jalapeno

Before heading home from Tagaytay, we passed by this Mexican restaurant in Summit Ridge called Jalapeno. I already had plans to do a review of this restaurant since January, but they kept getting postponed because of various reasons.

Interior.

Menu shots. Their items include: Appetizers, Rice meals, Jalapeno bandejas, All-time Mexican favorites, and Eat-all-you-can salad.

I ordered their Pescado (fish) Burrito with some dips and chips on the side. This one had Mexican rice, refried beans, grilled fish, sour cream, pico de gallo and topped with grated cheese. Honestly, it wasn’t so bad! The serving was a little bit huge for me, though. But their dips were extremely bland and tasteless.

Chicken Tenders, breaded chicken cutlets served with thick-cut fries and barbecue dipping sauce. Unlike the dip for the burrito, their barbecue sauce was filled with lots of flavor. The fries were huge and nicely seasoned, but the tenders were dry and tough.

Finally, we had their Nachos Overload. I wanted to order the Classic version, but the waitress successfully managed to convince me to try this instead. This one has ground beef, salsa, chilies, and cheese. Really spicy.

Everything was just… Meh. I only liked the burrito and the fries. In my opinion, there’s still some room for improvement when it comes to their food and interior.

Jalapeno Authentic Tex-Mex Cuisine is located at the ground floor of Robinson’s Summit Ridge, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City.

Faburrito

Since I was in a hurry to get home because of work, I passed by Faburrito’s branch in Eastwood to order some takeout. I’ve read about Faburrito in an issue of Appetite Magazine before, and I honestly didn’t expect that I would get to try one of their burritos one day.

Interior.

Menu shot. They serve quesadillas,burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, and salad. You get to choose from a variety of meats (Cajun rubbed pork, mango BBQ chicken, grilled tenderloin steak, and fajita mushrooms), salsa (balsamic, cucumber yogurt, mango and pineapple), sides, and dressings to go with your meal.

I ordered one Grilled Battered Fish Burrito for takeout, and started eating it as soon as I got home. It was a delicious burrito, the fish was a little bit mushy, but nicely cooked. Aside from the fish, the burrito contained beans, cucumber yogurt and brown rice, all wrapped up in a nice, toasted flour tortilla. Since I ordered the spicy variety, they added some spicy cabbage to it (although honestly, I can’t really tell if it was the cabbage or the dressing that they used), which I really enjoyed. The spiciness really packed a punch.

Everything was going perfectly fine… Until I ended up chewing on something hard. I spat it out and surprise, surprise… It was a tiny black pebble! -_- Needless to say, I had to be twice as careful when eating the remainder of my burrito. -_-

My rating? Faburrito is good, not to mention healthy. But unfortunately that pebble incident was a major turn-off for me. I’m willing to give this resto another chance, though.

Faburrito is located at Eastwood, Quezon City. You can also find them at The Columns Tower 2, Makati. You can also visit them on Facebook!

Osaka Ohsho

Osaka Ohsho is known as Japan’s number one gyoza restaurant. Their stores can be found all over Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and other Asian countries. Their first Philippine branch opened up not too long ago, at SM Megamall.

Now, if you read my blog regularly, you will know that I am a HUGE gyoza fan, so I just knew that I had to give this place a visit. I managed to convince myself to go to Megamall once again—And it was also my first time to explore the new Mega Fashion Hall, and I have to say it felt like I stepped inside a different mall. ^^

Interior.

Menu: Gyoza, Koshihikari sets, Afternoon sets, Kiddie sets, Chahan sets, Kuwatoro sets, Japanese curry sets, Appetizers and salads (kushiage katsu tower, ebi pineapple salads, agadeshi tofu, crab cream croquettes), Stir fry (black vinegar chicken, ebi chili, stir fried pork with chives), Vegetables and tofu (mabo tofu, yasai itame), Yakimono (grilled chicken teriyaki, gindara teriyaki, salmon teriyaki), Teppanyaki (tonpeiyaki with pork and cheese, sliced pork with ginger sauce, beef saikoro teppanyaki), Agemono (Japanese style crispy chicken karaage, pork cutlet in miso sauce), Rice and noodles (chukadon, original chahan, oyakodon, yakisoba), Desserts, Drinks (matcha milk smoothie, fresh mango yakult).

Here it is… Osaka Ohsho’s famous gyoza!!! We tried two varieties – Original (left) and Nori (right). They have a third variety, Cheese gyoza. These two may look similar on the outside, but it’s the inside that really matters! The gyoza skins, made from Japanese flour, were nice, soft, yet really firm. The Original gyoza had a nice, meaty flavor, while you can really taste the fresh seaweed bits inside the Nori gyoza.

All of Osaka Ohsho’s gyozas are crafted by chefs who have undergone training under professional Japanese chefs. The gyoza is cooked in just the right temperature, with the chefs always making sure to adjust the heat of the griller and to add the perfect amount of steaming water. It takes a lot of skill to cook the gyoza since apparently you can’t open the griller’s lid while the cooking process is ongoing.

They have three dips for their gyoza – Osaka Ohsho original, Miso, and Chili oil. Our waiter suggested that we mix up the original and miso dipping sauces.

Fuwatoro Tenshin Han, one of Osaka Ohsho’s signature dishes. Chewy and fluffy Koshihikari rice, covered in a blanket of even fluffier scrambled eggs, and drenched in a pool of gravy. When I saw its picture on the menu, I thought it was a bowl of custard at first, hehe. This dish is the perfect partner for their gyoza! I highly recommend this ^^

Koshihikari rice is a short-grain rice that has a nutty taste. It’s quite sticky (like most types of Japanese rice), so it’s excellent for making sushi and maki. FYI, the name Koshihikari means ‘light of Koshi’, and Koshi is the place where this type of rice was created. ^^

Lastly, we had their All Prawn Tempura.

For my drink, I had their creamy and frothy Japanese milk tea with pearls, served in this extra large beer mug. ^^;

What can I say? Osaka Ohsho wasn’t kidding when they say that they’re the leading gyoza specialists in Japan. Everything we ate tasted ohsho good *ba-dum-tss* and I’m already looking forward to my second visit.

Osaka Ohsho is located at the 3/F of Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall building D. Tel no: +632 631-7074. Like them on Facebook: OsakaOhshoPH.

Uncle Cheffy

(Gonna keep this review short since I am aware this restaurant has been around for a while now, so a lot of people are probably familiar with its concept/dishes).

Since it’s a holiday, the three of us went over to Eastwood to have lunch at Uncle Cheffy (for the first time ever!). Uncle Cheffy’s specialty is panizza – Uber-thin pizza baked inside a charcoal brick oven. They also have a variety of hearty, family-friendly dishes too.

Interior.

Menu: Brick oven panizza, Appetizer and salad selections, Soups, From the grill, Uncle Cheffy Specialties, Uncle Cheffy platters, and Desserts.

Uncle Cheffy Favorites panizza. This panizza is topped with oven dried tomatoes, mushroom, garlic, anchovy, chili flakes, basil, and three types of cheeses. It was served with a small bowl of salsa, lettuce, and alfalfa sprouts.

Aglio Olio pasta. Really delicious, but my complaint is that the serving was a little bit small.

And lastly, some Fish and Chips!

Uncle Cheffy is an excellent place to hang out and eat with your friends or family, no matter if there’s an occasion or not.

Uncle Cheffy is located at 2/F Eastwood Mall, Veranda, Eastwood Ave, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Tel no (02) 383-7215. You can also find them at Fort Bonifacio, Nuvali, SM Megamall, and Greenfield District.

Coca

Coca, a restaurant originating from Thailand, started out as a Cantonese restaurant in 1957. It was founded by Mr. Srichai Phanphensophon, and his wife. After gaining success, they moved to Sol Tantawan, where the resto became famous for its Hot Pot/Sukiyaki-style cooking.

Today, Coca is being handled by Mr. Srichai’s son, Pitaya Phanphensophon. Aside from Thailand, Coca has opened up branches in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Taiwan, Myanmar, and the Philippines. The restaurant also continues to expand internationally, through offering franchise opportunities. ^^

Earlier today, I had the chance to visit Coca’s branch at SM Aura. I really loved its dimly-lit Asian-inspired interior, since it gives the resto an intimate, romantic vibe.

 

Menu: Appetizer and salad (house special roast duck, COCA chicken in paper bag, trio of jellyfish, mixed barbecue appetizer, seafood durian spring roll) Prawn and crab (steamed king crab with egg custard, live king crab with salted egg), Fish and seafood (live steamed white shrimp with lime sauce, deep fried fish with fish sauce, stir fried squid with garlic and chili), Beef (steamed US prime striploin in soy sauce and ginger), Chicken (COCA Portuguese chicken curry), Pork (steamed kurobuta in soy sauce and ginger), Tofu and vegetables (stir fried morning glory with garlic and chili, eggplant in Chinese anchovy sauce), Rice and noodles (COCA noodles, stir-fried noodles with beef, chicken, or pork, COCA yang chow fried rice).

And of course you can try the restaurant’s specialty, which is Sukiyaki/Hot Pot! Their hot pot comes in four varieties – The Green Earth platter (veggies), Red Fire platter (meat), Blue Ocean platter (seafood), and the Emperor’s Platter (meat + seafood combo).

Okay—Honestly, I was a little surprised when I read the menu items since I thought that Coca was going to be a Thai restaurant that served Thai cuisine. But it turns out that their specialty is Asian dishes in general. ^^

Fried Fish Cake for our appetizer. I wanted to try their COCA Chicken in Paper Bag which is actually one of the resto’s bestsellers, but our waiter told us that it wasn’t available at the moment since the chicken hasn’t been marinated yet. Tsk tsk! We ended up ordering this dish instead. It was a little bit dull.

Toasted Pork Belly Noodles. The noodles were SUPER thin and pretty much resembled strings. The huge pork chunks were nice and tender. Really delicious, but they need to add more sauce! This dish can also be served with rice, instead of noodles.

For my drink, I had the Minty Lemonade. A little bit sharp-tasting and sour, but let me tell you, this drink is absolutely perfect for the hot summer weather.

This plate of COCA Yang Chow Fried Rice was slightly toasted, giving it a nice,slightly crispy texture.

Coca’s food, atmosphere, and staff all get high marks from me, but I only have a couple of suggestions about the servings… They shouldn’t charge the food way too much for small servings. Or maybe they should go for big servings to compensate for the price. Other than that, I’m glad that I got to know the humble beginnings of this restaurant, and was able to partake in the fruit of their labor.

Coca is located at 5/F SM Aura Premier, Sky Park, McKinley Parkway McKinley Hill, Taguig. Tel no (02) 218-1110.