Tag Archives: Maki

Tonchaya Drift: Bringing Osaka to the Fort Strip

fort strip restaurant

The ramen rage has been overly hyped, steering folks clear of the real Japanese goods and driving them to carb showdown. Truth is, the best Jap deals come in other jazzy forms – raw, for the adventurous and perky—and bringing the hype in from Osaka and not the big T—tokyo. Catch my drift?

blog review tonchaya

Tonchaya isn’t just that ramen place, it’s a whole Japanese kitchen and bar concept, so you can expect sushi chef and cocktails, and that snobby Tempura crunch we can never seem to copy at home. It’s also intriguingly artsy yet shambolically homey, every nook is filled with paintings, bottles and Japanese food symbols, you’ll find a comfort zone of your own. Even the sign on the kitchen entrance shows a white cat, so there’s something to claw about.

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Daily combos or promos are available which are lavishly posted on the walls, like buy-one-take-one tonkatsu Thursdays or maki days.

fort bonifacio japanese restaurant

With the sashimi chiller on display, it is given that maki, sushi and sashimi are abundantly offered and occupy heaps of meals in the menu. I could live on sashimi buffet and rave about it, and miss out on ramen—not the other way around! So good to actually see the fresh catch waiting to be ordered.

tonchaya_jenina_gonzales_maki

Presented first were the usual Japanese appetizer staples. With that much rice on the first course, the white flag of satiation was close to being raised.

The maki was made of sticky rice, so there was not much crumbling going on. Some were a bit on the spicy side too so manage the wasabi on your dipping sauce—or enjoy them piping spicy!

tonchaya_tuna_maki

Here we have the Crunchy Crab Maki (the long rolls), Crunchy Salmon Maki and Crunchy Tuna Maki (looks like the former but has that dotted by a tuna speck).

maki bgc

And then I got confused with all the crunch going on, since I swear I thought it was called Spicy Tuna Maki! I guess I just made that up. Completing the package though, it was spicy, crunchy, a bit sticky and ultimately soy-worthy.

j.anne gonzales food blog

The Chirashidon 8 Kinds showcases various sashimi atop white rice, including Salmon, Tuna, Tamago, Ika, Mackerel, Kani, Ebi and Uni. With roughly two of each, you get the luxury of variety and whilst I never chanced upon the bestselling tamago, the mackerel and uni were mine to fill.

authentic japanese food philippines

 

tonchaya_beef_teppanyaki

The Okonomiyaki looked like a vast pie of curly cabbage generosity. Cabbage, seafood, pork and sauces contributed to this abstract pie art, and bagged the title of crowd favorite. Beef Teppanyaki was another sizzling plate to watch out for, with veggies on the side to minimize the guilt.

tonchaya_tempura_lazyblackcat

The Ebi Tempura was what you would expect—crisp and long—as a positive gastronomic virtue, nothing else. To describe the length on this one—the damn prawn couldn’t fit on the saucer, damn average saucer! Literally had tempura crumbs on my chin after every bite, and boy were those bites aplenty!

tonchaya_chicken_teriyaki

tonchaya_fried_rice_seafood

Rice meals were just as abound in the menu, as heftily exemplified by the Chicken teriyaki and Seafood Gomuko Chahan, the latter being  a leviathan bowl of fried rice—the toppings can suffice as viands. Guaranteed burp—but then again, where’s the fun in just eating rice?

ramen fort bonifacio

Which is why for this hungry cat, a meal is never complete without noodles! Seafood Ramen was just the fix for a rainy evening. With the proper spice level and thick soup, the noodles were pleasantly chewy so each bite was packed with a zing. The seafood was also in abundance, so this should suffice as a meal on its own. Good for sharing, or for a hungry solo, why go for the boring ramen when you could have seafood on a sea of red? Oishi!

bgc restaurant review

With all those pescatorian slurps and bites, there was no room left for dessert. Sadly. Maybe next time.

There’s nothing like a cozy Japanese bar, the type where Naruto could just sit and slurp his noodles without a care in the world. Well Tonchaya’s a bit close to that—with just better paintings and seats.

For those planning to visit this place soon, Itadakimasu! Or better yet, call me. Lol. =P

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ROKU and Roll (Katipunan)

QC ramen manila

While ramen houses are abound and everywhere, it is of life threatening importance to maintain a set of standards when slurping on these heavenly slivers of ramen noodles. Amen.

Never believe in promises like “home-made”, freshly made, delicious, authentic. Should you fall for the verbal trap, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Just because a bowl costs more than P300 does not equate to a premium item; oftentimes price is proportional to rent.

japanese lazy black cat blog

Over boasting and trying too hard to seem Japanese-kawaii can be a double edged samurai. When your ramen comes without the zing, pang and kick, it’s hara-kiri for that ramen house.

And so we sentence hara-kiri for Roku (Katipunan). Overpriced, overkill yet simply mediocre, it was an expensive meal for trying to be authentic.

ramen blog philippines japanese

In the lazy mood to write, the experience is best expressed as:

The ramen was bland, forgettable and abnormally bare. The tuna salad was speckled with carbs and onions—the word salad was nowhere to be enjoyed. The sushi rolls were zzzz. And the yakitori, I watched, as my cousin swallowed in disdain.

The ramen, in particular, was a disaster as the chicken karaage provided no pleasure whatsoever and the absence of other potential embellishments made this a last resort meal along the strip of Katipunan.

Japanese food katipunan

And so Roku may mean six but did absolutely nothing for my ramen fix. I can’t believe I’m saying this but: Better off with Ramen X!

Oh and if you think Serenitea, post ramen, will address your woes, think again. I simply ended up with a very bad stomach.

 

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Kenji Tei: Ramen Night!

Hontou ni? Ramen houses must hate me; what a sad way to treat the cat that came up with Ramen Night at Kenji Tei (Greenbelt 5).

greenbelt 5 ramen

With the prevalence of chashu and pork shio and all that animal fat, it seems that ramen night was not made for vegetarians. But still, I persist. I cannot end ramen night without enjoying a single noodle sliding down my throat.

makati japanese greenbelt jenina gonzales

And so after interrogating the waiter to the point of almost unearthing Kenji Tei’s soupy secret, we managed to come to an agreement without having to resort to yaki soba, which I pointed out is a big no-no.

Cold ramen. It is summer anyway.

The Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen) with sesame miso dressing (Hiyashi Goma Miso) came with pork slices which I asked to be magically turned into more veggies. The result is a chilled half bowl topped with tamago, cucumber and tomato slices. The presentation was lackluster was the flavor was sublimely sour and perfectly meat-free. The noodles were firmly chewy and drenched in sesame-miso, was absolutely apt as a summer salad!

The cheese gyoza seemed to be quite a hit, though sadly its pork composition could not be managed, altered and totally removed. Ah well, it was interesting watching others delight in this fried delicacy. Other shots of the dinner.

lazy black cat japanese restaurant

Japanese Greenbelt 5

makati japanese food

And of course what inspired Ramen Night.*sigh* Itadakimasu!

jenina anne gonzales

Look at my birthday note! Arigatou, Miji-kun!

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