Asakusa (pronounced as ah-sahk-sah) is a district in Tokyo renowned for its bustling Japanese tempura shops scene. This is where couple, Chef Jacob and fashion designer, Celine found their most memorable tempura experience in Japan. The tempura from a small and simple shop in Japan served by an old couple were one of the best they tasted that they were inspired to bring it in Manila. Hence, Asakusa: Home of Tempura was born in 2015 with its first branch at the Grove by Rockwell. Establishing itself as the tempura specialty house enjoyed by people in Pasig. Two years after, Asakusa opens its doors at Ayala Malls Vertis North to serve northerners in the Metro.
BGC will now enjoy 60 years of ramen-making heritage from Fukuoka, Japan as Uma Uma Ramen opens its doors at Uptown Parade. The contemporary-casual ramen restaurant made quite a first impression at SM MOA with its family recipe noodle and MSG-free yet robust-flavored Tonkotsu stock. It is the first time for happyfoodies to zip in at Uma Uma Ramen. Excited to try out the current favorites like the Uma Uma Ramen and Tan Tan Men as well as the new fusion of local flavor twist Aligue Ramen.
Oh, how many ways can one cook a katsu? Those deep-fried cutlets almost look the same on the table but with a twist on added ingredients, sauces and way of cooking, we could see there are variety of ways to enjoy Japanese cutlets. With it’s 500-strong branches in Asia brings, Saboten Japanese Cutlet, brings its rich katsu experience in the Philippines.
The “Goddess of Food”, Ogetsu Hime is offering their Best of Japan selection for a Special Half Price until the 16th of November 2014. Ogetsu Hime is found at the Skypark of SM Aura Premier. It’s hard not to miss its warm cozy interiors and the sushi bar easily seen by the entrance. Upon entering, the restaurant is spacious with teppanyaki stations at the center while the sukiyaki-ready tables on the sides. Happyfoodies got to sample the selection of Half Priced offerings and more.
And he threw the knives and utensils into the air, juggling and tapping the pointy steels in a rhythmic pattern on the iron grill. I watch, cringing and hoping he won’t make a mistake. It lasted only for a few seconds but it was enough to capture our attention and awe. It’s the chef’s way of saying, the show is about to start at Akira: The Art of Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant. We’re on the front seat, or rather, by the side table fronting the grill in anticipation of the art of teppanyaki in the making.
We were having a bipolar weather that day. Occasional sun then a splash of rain as we walk towards the Greenfield District at crossing Mandaluyong from Shangri-la Mall. Gone are the market-place vibe and busy transport terminals replaced with a newly revived atmosphere and look with chic and hip restaurants along its spacious manicured lawns. Among the interesting restaurants there is Ramen Bar with it’s steam-bath like theme interiors but serving instead hot steamy ramen that passers by would think twice walking past the restaurant. Happyfoodies with guest foodie Jen have a taste of the new and improved broth from Ramen Bar and other its other tasty offerings.
With the ramen craze phenomenally sweeping across the metro, it wouldn’t be far for popular Japanese brands would come in like the recent opening (November 2013) of Hanamaruken Ramen at the Trinoma’s Garden Restaurant. Originally established in 1982 in Osaka Japan, Hanamaruken Ramen has about 40 branches in Japan and is highly popular for its slow-braised pork rib topped Signature Happiness Ramen that takes about 20 hours to prepare. Happyfoodies was invited to dine in their first Philippine branch so I along with guest foodie, Jen, happily tried out some of their offerings.
Much has been written about Nomama‘s artisanal ramen that I’ve expected little else probably worth sampling on a visit to shoot for a magazine. So the Kitayama Flank Steak came as a very pleasant surprise. It took me over an hour to finish my to-shoot-list and I expected the steak to be a bit tough after an hour of sitting on its dish but no, it was very, very tender (made me wonder how much more tender it was hot off the grill). The liberal use of Miso butter lent an irresistible, exquisite taste so much so that even if I just had a bowl of ramen, I managed to finish the steak by myself. The crispy tofu slices are a nice foil to the meat, not that my taste buds quickly grew satiated to the flavor.