Tag Archives: The Fort Strip

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.

japanese restaurant review

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.


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!


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



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.


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!



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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Hungry for Football: The Azkals Sports Bar


Azkals Sports bar by Jenina Gonzales

Kick some balls, score a goal and get a taste of Misagh-lpicao with a Dan-dy Shandy! Now that’s something you can expect to say after a visit to the Azkals Sports Bar at The Fort Strip.

How about pairing a Chieffy Southwest Jalapeno Burger with an Alexander the Shake and Carlie-Mari on the side, while staring at a greater than life-sized Chieffy Caligdong striking a pose on the wall?

Azkals Sports Bar by J.Anne Gonzales

A haven for the hungry and home of the Azkals and football fans, aficionados or just families brooding in the area, the Azkals Sports Bar combines the vibrant bar atmosphere with fantastic food—topped with that football vibe that has been sweeping the country stronger than any Premier League move. No doubt the Philippine National Football Team has captured a goal in every Filipino’s heart, and the sports bar just provides a common venue for futboleros and families to dine, chill, shoot goals, and of course, watch the games on screen.

“It’s a place for families to bond. Dad can have a beer, while the kids can have an Azkals Sundae,” explains Mel Macasaquit, owner and CEO of the Azkals Sports Bar. Otherwise known as Melmac, proprietor of the famous Toyz Bar chain, we can certainly expect innovative and grand ideas to start pouring in this place faster than a referee can raise a red card.

The menu on its own is a smorgasbord of familiar names and appetizing dish monikers, from the Rafa-jita Roll-ups, Dan’s Mushroom Burger to the Phil-ly Cheese Steak Sandwich and that perfect sounding Cobb Gier Salad. With the latter named aptly, ordering salad has never been this exciting, Rob Gier-inspired! Having suggested Bana-Nate Split may be met with raised brows, but won’t fans have a kick out of this fabulous sounding dessert? I surely would.

Even the Azkaleros have found a big time portion in the menu: the Ultimate Azkalero Club Sandwich. Join the club, why not? It is, after all, a fantastic serving, guaranteed to help you perfect that bicycle kick.

AZkals Sports Bar by J.Anne

Having recently raided a soccer field (or someone’s secret garden), the sports bar is adorned with nets, a ton of soccer balls that would make any striker cry with envy and bean bags (with soccer ball designs) that will make you wish you could move in the place. Don’t think that the goalkeepers have all the fun. Shoot goals on the net, while having a drinking spree with your buds, blokes or new acquaintances. This is the spirit of the Azkals Sports Bar—as we root for the same team, thus we have the right to kick some balls.

If you find the net in your nearest field missing, you know where it is. I must say though, it’s being put to good use, so please don’t take it back.

Instead, have some Classic Wingers and a Miji’s (the drink, not my hermano) at the bar. Welcome home, mate!

 I certainly am.

– Jenina Gonzales

*The Azkals Sports Bar was officially launched last February 29, to celebrate Leap Year and coincide with the Azkals vs Malaysia game where we ended in a draw. Already in operation, the sports bar is in its soft opening phase and reservations are very much welcome, no corner kick required. You can check out their Twitter (@azkalsportsbar) and Facebook (Azkals Sports Bar) pages for more details. Time to start practicing your headers, blokes.



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