Category: Restaurants

iHop Restaurant

iHop Restaurant

I’m probably the last person in Manila who tried out iHop Restaurant for the first time.  Honestly, no matter how good the dishes of a restaurant are, I wouldn’t waste two hours of my time waiting in line.  I’d rather wait for several months and visit the place at my most convenient time.  That’s exactly what I did with the famous iHop (International House of Pancakes) restaurant at the Fort.

Fresh from the airport, I dropped by my house and left my luggage, then went straight to iHop Restaurant for dinner.  Obviously, I was pretty tired but I enjoyed the dinner nevertheless because I was with my friends.  Pardon my photos though, I realized they were pretty bad.  I hope that it still gave you an idea on what iHop offers in their restaurant.

The iHop craze died down so we didn’t have to wait for our group to be seated.

iHop Entrance

I’ve never been to any iHop restaurant so I don’t have anything to compare it with.  However, one thing I noticed is that it looked like a typical American restaurant.

iHop Ambiance

I liked how they put iHop’s specialties even on their lighting.  It’s a good personal touch and definitely fit the whole iHop ambience.

iHop Lighting

We were a big group.  The consensus is for us to order one of every kind of dishes that iHop offers.  Of course, pancakes won’t be missed.  I asked an American friend beforehand for advice on what to order on iHop.  I was told that the Harvest Grain n’ Pancakes were good.  I took a mental note.

  • Freshly Brewed Iced Tea (Php 95)

iHop Iced Tea

Refillable drink is love, love & love!  After having my first sip of iced tea, I was surprised that it actually tasted different from the usual ones.  As you know, restaurants tend to cut costs so if they offer unlimited drinks, it’s probably powdered.  In iHop’s case, their iced tea was brewed!

Other refillable drinks in iHop are lemonade, soft drinks and fruit sodas.

  • Big Steak Omelette (Php 325 + Php 50 for preferred pancake)

iHop Omelette

Tender strips of steak, hash browns, fresh green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.  Served with salsa.

We ordered the big steak omelette.  I wonder what they meant by the word ‘big’ because iHop didn’t give us enough steak to enjoy the dish.  I guess I expected too much.  Don’t get me wrong, it tasted okay.  I just wanted more of the steak and less of the other ingredients 😛

Every order of omelette comes with two pieces of buttermilk pancakes or seasoned mixed fruit.  We opted for pancake but a different variant, we paid additional Php 50 for the substitution.

iHop Pancakes

I asked for the Harvest Grain N’ Nut Pancakes because it was the flavor that my American friend suggested we order.  The pancakes were made with grains, oats, almonds and english walnut.  I didn’t find iHop’s pancakes extraordinary special but what made me giggle while eating were the pancake sauces!

iHop Sauces

There were butter pecan, blueberry, strawberry & old fashioned pancake sauces!  Having a bite of the pancake then dipping it into the sauce is an experience in itself.  It was like eating four different pancakes in one shot!  I loved strawberry sauce the most.  Yummeh!

  • New York Cheesecake Pancake Combo (Php 385)

iHop Cherry Pancake

two fluffy buttermilk pancakes loaded with creamy, rich cheesecake pieces and crowned with cool strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped topping.

I wasn’t really crazy about iHop’s pancakes anymore after sampling the orders that we had.  However, I loved the hashbrown included in the pancake combo.

iHop Sides

The other sides included are two eggs and choice of two bacon strips or 2 pork sausages.

  • Belgian Waffle Combo (Php 285)

iHop Waffle

Belgian waffle topped with whipped butter served with 2 eggs and choice of bacon or sausages.

Again, nothing special but I must say that the sausages were a disappointment.  It looked malnourished 🙁

  • Chicken Fajita Quesadilla (Php 365)

iHop Quesadillas

Grilled seasoned chicken breast with onions, fresh green peppers, and tomatoes in a grilled flour tortilla with cheddar and jack cheeses.  Served with sour cream and salsa.

For Php 365, I thought that iHop’s quesadillas were overpriced.  But after sampling it, wow!  It was delicious and flavourful!  This was one of the two orders that I really liked on our iHop visit (ironically, pancakes weren’t in that favorite list).

  • Tilapia Florentine (Php 375)

iHop Fish

Two delicate, seasoned tilapia fillets on top of spinach tossed in Alfredo sauce. served with mashed potatoes.

I’m not fond of fish dipped (or swimming) in white sauce.  I didn’t dare try it.  Have you?  What do you think of it?

  • Fried Chicken Dinner (Php 495)

iHop Chicken

Four pieces of fried chicken, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, served with a savory biscuit, mashed potatoes and buttered corn.

Oh yes, we loved iHop’s fried chicken!  How surprising considering that iHop is known for pancakes and not chicken.  We even ordered one additional because we all wanted one whole piece of chicken for ourselves!  I guess the fact that iHop served the chicken newly-cooked made it more appetising.

Overall, my first experience with iHop isn’t that bad.  I knew that there was a hype since everyone loves foreign franchises.  iHop’s pancakes wont be something that I look forward to eat again but their fried chicken & quesadillas are good enough for me to pay another visit.

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iHop Restaurant
W Global Center, 30th St cor 9th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Philippines
+63-2-6875611

Roch Signature

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant

Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant

I didn’t plan to blog about anything that day so I left my DSLR at home.  Then I saw Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant.  It was one of the newest restaurants at the Fort.  How could I resist wearing my blogger hat?  I ended up using my iPhone and taking pictures of everything that we ate at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant.  That said, please pardon my photos in this post 🙂

I didn’t have any expectations as I haven’t read any of the reviews online.  Actually, I didn’t have an idea of what menu they offered.  When we arrived at around 11:40AM, it still felt early for lunch but after just 30 minutes, the place got easily filled up!

Gyu-Kaku is marketed as the biggest Yakiniku restaurant chain in the world.  With over a thousand branches, I think they deserve the title.  Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ restaurant first opened in Japan and quickly expanded worldwide (including franchises)!  They have branches in Japan, USA, Singapore, Indonesia, Hongkong, Malaysia, Thailand and now, the Philippines.

Gyu-Kaku ambience

It took us some time to browse through the menu.  There were selections on ramen, rice, pork, beef, seafood, salad and soup.  All three of us are foodies so it was our common goal to try out as much as we can.  We ordered ramen, bibimpap (a rice dish), two yakiniku items and dessert.  It wasn’t as expensive as we thought.  We were all full and satisfied after our meal.

  • Ishiyaki Mentaiko Bibimpap (Php 195)

Gyu-kaku Bibimpop

Rice, salmon, cod roe, and greens topped with shredded dry seaweed and sesame seeds served in hot stone bowl.

It was already picture-perfect when the bibimpop was served.  But what made me like this dish are the beautiful mix of flavors and the yummy rice crunch!  The three of us shared this dish so we ended up with just 3 spoonfuls.  I admit I was longing for more after I finished my portion.  However, I knew that we ordered some more dishes so we had to have space for them 🙂

  • Gomanegi Ramen/Udon (Php 225)

Gyu-kaku Ramen

Japanese ramen/udon noodle in special shio broth topped with egg, sesame seeds and spring onion served in hot stone bowl.

I do not know if I was hungry but I felt Gyu-kaku’s ramen was very filling!  The noodles were tender and the restaurant gave us enough pork slices to enjoy.  Broth was pretty tasty and flavorful too!  Considering Gyu-Kaku being a Yakiniku place, I’m quite surprised that other variants in their menu tasted good!

Gyu-Kaku’s Specialty – Yakiniku

Yakiniku is defined in the dictionary as:

Style of cooking meat and vegetables over a charcoal or gas burner (or on a griddle).

In Gyu-Kaku’s case, they use charcoal, a special one at that!  The charcoal looked so different that I asked what it’s made of.  According to the server, the charcoal Gyu-Kaku used is made of saw dust.

Gyu-kaku charcoal

I appreciate the service that the restaurant provided.  At first, we were a bit hesitant to start the cooking.  The server who prepared our cooking area gave us some valuable tips on how to cook what we ordered.

Some things that stuck in my mind: (1) place meat along the sides of the grill (because center area is especially hot) and (2) don’t let the juices come out of the meat by pressing them on the grill.

Gyu-kaku BBQ

We were provided with two different sauces: Sweet tare and spicy.  I prefer the sweet tare more.

Gyu-Kaku BBQ Sauce

  • Buta Karubi (Small – Php 135, Large – Php 175)

Gyu-kaku Pork

Pork.  Sauce choices: tare, ship, miso, spicy miso & garlic.

We asked for recommendation which sauce to use for pork.  The answer was garlic so we had that.  I couldn’t say that Gyu-Kaku’s pork had anything special but I felt it was just the same as other yakiniku-type of pork that I tasted.

  • Chicken Thigh Fillet (Small – Php 125, Large – Php 165)

Gyu-Kaku chicken

Chicken. sauce choices: tare, ship, miso, spicy miso, teriyaki, garlic, basil.

We ordered teriyaki sauce for the chicken.  Isn’t this the popular sauce for chicken in Manila?  As usual, nothing special but I just love how we get to enjoy cooking the pork slices on the grill.  Conversations flowing included 🙂

  • Ice Cream Platter (Php 245)

Gyu-kaku Ice Cream

(1) Gyu-Kaku Ice Cream – vanilla ice cream topped with soya bean powder & japanese brown sugar soup (2) kurogoma ice cream – black sesame ice cream topped with hokkaido red beans (3) matcha ice cream – green tea ice cream topped with hokkaido red beans (4) yuzu sorbet – japanese yuzu citron sorbet.

Last, but definitely not the least, we tried Gyu-Kaku’s dessert which is the ice cream platter.  It comprises of 4 different flavors: vanilla, black sesame, green tea and citrus sorbet.  I do not know if the restaurant made the ice cream in house but it doesn’t seem so.  If I own a restaurant and we make our own ice cream, I would market it as such.  My favorite among the four is the black sesame ice cream topped with red beans.  I guess when I order ice cream the next time around, I will choose an individual serving of kurogoma ice cream (Php 95).Assorted ice cream:   Php 95 separate price

I searched through the web for reviews and was surprised by the large number of negative reviews.  I guess everyone’s experience is different.  My colleagues and I enjoyed our first visit at Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ restaurant.  I wouldn’t mind going back to try their other dishes.

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Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant
W Global Center, 30th St cor 9th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
+63-2-553-8962

Roch Signature

Spiral at Sofitel Manila

Spiral Sofitel

Spiral is one of the most popular hotel buffet in Metro Manila.  I’ve actually bought a lot of coupons when it went for sale at 50% off.  Unfortunately, a huge typhoon in Manila pushed Sofitel (where Spiral is located) to close down for a year (September 27, 2011–October 28, 2012) and renovate the whole place.

We had to wait for one year before being able to try out the super yummy dishes that were served in Spiral.  Last November, Spiral finally re-opened its doors again to the public and boy, it was a big change!  With 11 million US dollars as investment, Sofitel definitely made a big comeback.

Here’s what Sofitel general manager Goran Aleks has to say:

“We are proud to announce the rebirth of Spiral which is set to revolutionize the art of interactive dining.  This has never been seen before in Asia-Pacific and it can be found right here in Manila.  The 21 dining ateliers of the new Spiral reflect the best of the world’s cuisines in one magnificent destination. It is Sofitel’s vision to showcase not only the best of French culinary heritage but also combine it with the best of Eastern, Western and Filipino cuisine, produce and artistry.”

As for security & safety, Spiral spent 210 million pesos to ensure that the hotel is strong enough to withstand our country’s climate & flooding.  Three levels of typhoon protection was considered and done:

  1. Construction of a retaining wall that is 0.9 meters high, which serves as defense for the property’s building perimeter.
  2. Improving the hotel perimeter’s drainage.  This required a new drainage piping layout, thus declogging and increasing the size of the existing pipe network.  Waterworks expert Veltrup was commissioned to eliminate the hard deposits and stone to ensure proper flow.  Regular maintenance of the system will also be done before any typhoon season.
  3. Construction of a 100 meter long trench canal to enable the water coming in the hotel to be diverted back to Manila Bay. In case of strong typhoons, ten submersible pumps are ready to redirect overflowing water to Manila Bay.

With that information, we are assured that Sofitel and Spiral are here to stay.

I was lucky enough to be given the chance to tour around Spiral and take pictures.  As you know, taking photos inside a hotel is usually not allowed.  I remember when I tried to do that before, I was asked to stop.  That’s the reason why I haven’t blogged about Spiral until today…

So with that rare chance, I took as much photos as I could, got myself information about new Spiral and its 21 dining ateliers.

THE PLACE: a Multi-million Dollar Culinary Investment

Spiral 1

Sofitel hired the same company, Spin Design Studio of Japan, to work on the new design of Spiral.  Usually, people would outdo themselves whenever they re-do a project.  I guess they are successful considering how beautiful the new Spiral is.  I heard that the concept was meant to bring together the best of both French and Filipino design into a hotel setting.

Spiral 6

The Sofitel team travelled around Asia and Europe to search for the best dining concepts.  They came up with 21 dining ateliers where the chefs prepare food from a wide range of cuisines for every dining customers to see.  More about the ateliers on the food section of this write-up.

Spiral 2

Spiral’s wine cellar can be seen at the dining area which according to Sofitel, reflects the hotel’s Voyage du Vin program.  It features wines from the best vineyards around the world.  I couldn’t tell or appreciate the wines though as I don’t drink wine, hehehe!

Spiral 8

The new Spiral is just so big that touring the whole place took me almost 30 minutes to do.  Next time I eat at Spiral, I have to make sure that I only eat, eat, eat, and eat!

Spiral 3

Of course, I couldn’t miss the 21-foot sculpture located behind the staircase, which is where we sat during brunch.  The ‘Rhythmic Movements’ sculpture was made by national artist, Eduardo Castrillo, a man’s tribute to nature by using bronze sheets & tubes to simulate a developing plant.

Spiral 5

Spiral is huge and I can see that the interior designer, Masakazu Koizumi, made good use of the space.  It was a wonderful sight to see.

THE FOOD:  Spiral’s 21 Ateliers

Spiral 7

The Spiral Sunday Brunch operates from 12 noon to 3pm but I believe those 3 hours aren’t enough for us to be able to try each and every section of the buffet.  Honestly, my stomach couldn’t handle all the dishes at that short time as well.  There are 21 ateliers in Spiral..  I’m going to share here how Spiral describes each one and I, on the other hand, would post the photos from my visit.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to try everything but boy, I wish I could!  It was just too many!  Only a lucky few have that big appetite.  But this one’s for sure:  everyone will get to enjoy their favorite dishes!  I do not think Spiral missed anything apart from the palitaw (a Filipino dessert) which I requested for them to add in their menu 😛

Salad and Appetizer
Fresh locally grown produce and organic colorful vegetables freshly picked from our garden will be tossed for you by our chefs with your choice of home made salad dressings.

Spiral 3

L’Écailler
Jewels from the sea from oysters, salmon, prawns, crabs and other seafood sourced from all over the world prepared with fresh organic vegetables and your choice of sauces from white wine, vinegar or zesty lemons. Indeed, the world is your oyster, this time, its freshly shucked oyster by the l’écalier.

Spiral 12

Sushi Sashimi
A raw bar with all the fresh sushi and sashimi prepared for you by our sushi chefs. Japanese rituals abound at this cold stone counter. Temakis and nigiri are in abundance.

Spiral 31

L’Epicerie
Meat and Cheese lovers will be on seventh heaven in this room where one could feast from a wide variety of premium aged hams, charcuterie, smoked fish, artisanal cheese from France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland creamery products. Pair them with olives, herbs, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, sauces and condiments for a real gourmet experience.

Spiral 32

Hot Japanese
From a delectable choice of fresh natural ingredients, Japanese cuisine never ceases to amaze one with its simplicity and artistry. Enjoy a selection of traditional grilled sea food, meat and vegetables cooked at the robata or at the teppanyaki.

Spiral 8

French Stove
With every dish meticulously prepared, authentic French dishes are a labor of love. Savour home-made seared foie gras, luscious roasted meat and carving, seafood, grilled food and regional French cuisines that will surely impress every gourmand.

Spiral 33

Rotisserie
The aroma of roasted meats triggers the sense of taste and brings back the time honored traditions since 1400 in Paris. Slow cooked meats give you a chance to try a selection of home – cooked lamb, chicken and pork with its rich natural juices blended with various marinades and herbs from the secret recipes of our chefs.

Spiral 13

Wood fired oven
Pizza with pizzazz – just as the Italian “Mama” makes it at the traditional wood-fired oven with fresh ingredients.

Spiral 7

Churrasco
Savor a variety of mouthwatering juicy skewered steaks and sea food with matching hot sauces and your choice of herbs straight from the churrasco which originates from Brazil. Ask the chefs that move around to grill what their fine meats and seafood are on offer that day.

Spiral 6

North Indian
Inspired by maharajah of Northern India, your taste buds are in for a fiery and spicy treat. Discover the pomp and pageantry of Indian cuisine – North (naan and tandoori) and South Indian cuisine (dosa and chutneys) at its best. Lavish and homemade dishes include tandoori-spiced meats with Indian and Asian breads and sauces. Vegetarians will surely have a feast with a selection of dal, paneers and chutney.

Spiral 5

Asian Noodles
Hand pulled Asian noodles prepared many hours before; with a variety of broth, sauces and an extensive range of condiments and soup stocks to choose from. If that is not enough, ask the chef to make your own noodle recipe. Try the authentic steamed and fried dimsum from different parts of China.

Spiral 11

Peking Duck Oven
Roasted to perfection, enjoy peking duck, one of the Chinese atelier’s star dishes which goes back to the tradition of the Emperors Palace in Beijing during the Imperial times. Also on offer are Chinese barbecue.

Spiral 2

Chinese Wok
The sight of flames, the sight and sound of the Chinese master chef cooking stimulates one’s appetite. Let him entice you to try his signature dishes reflecting all parts of China whether Cantonese, Hunan, Sichuan and regional. Also choose from a selection of Wok cooked Chinese dishes.

Spiral 10

Steam Baskets
Savor endless authentic steam and fried dimsum from siao long pao, siomai, dumpling and wonton from all over China.

Spiral 38

Filipino
Warm your palates with a delectable array of traditional Filipino dishes like beef tapa and adobo with its unique sauces from coconut base and dashed with spices. These can be paired with your all-time favourites such as the mouth-watering kare kare with its peanut based sauce and the amazing crispy pata among the many which will want you to crave for more. Surely just take the culinary adventure and try the Filipino dishes with homemade and heirloom recipes from our notable Spiral Chefs.

Spiral 1

Thai
Fiery flavors of Thai cuisine beckon you with its fabled soups and curries. In contrast to the chili dishes Thailand is known for, Thai food infuses a lot of zesty lime, kaffir and basil to its rich flavors.

Spiral 9

Korean
Sizzling plates and freshly tossed vegetables await Korean food aficionados. Korean dishes like dakdoritang (spicy chicken stew) and changjorim (soy braised bean), kimchi, bulgogi , beef short rib barbeque, chili chicken barbeque, pork rib barbeque, squid chili barbeque, bibimbab , five kInds of kimchi and five kinds of namal will be on offer for you.

Spiral 37

La Boulangerie
Follow the smell of warm and freshly baked baguettes, pain au chocolat, croissants and you end up at the La Boulangerie right at Spiral where you can choose from a selection of freshly baked breads – all hand rolled. Healthy choices include rye and gluten free breads.

Spiral 40

La Patisserie
Sweet endings are the perfect way to end a memorable dining experience – succumb to the temptation of freshly baked French pastries of all shapes, fillings, textures and sizes.

* check the right picture and notice that the container holding the bread is also made of bread!  Total coolness! 🙂

Spiral 35

Chocolaterie
Chocolates are the stuff sweet dreams are made of. Indulge in artisanal chocolates, truffles and pralines intricately designed whether dark, white or milk chocolate from the best cocoa in the world and all freshly made for you by our chocolatiers. One bite of these devilishly good chocolates will surely send you to seventh heaven with its intense flavors and colors.

Spiral 36

Creamery
Imagine sweet temptations – all types of ice cream at the tip of your tongue from your favourite fruity and citrus flavors along with dark chocolates and toppings

Spiral 34

Couldn’t get enough of Spiral’s dishes?  Why not take some home?  Spiral recently added the option for us to take home some of their cold cuts, cheeses, sauces, organic products, cookies, chocolates and a lot more.  A perfect pasalubong for your loved ones!

Spiral Sale

THE EXPERIENCE: Catchup & Food Overload

I’ve shared a lot about Spiral’s interior and food in this post already.  Suffice to say, I was really impressed and satisfied with the new Spiral.  Maybe the only thing that would take me aback is its price.  Considering how full Spiral is (I’ve tried the Spiral buffet both during weekday and sunday brunch), I can conclude that people believe that they are getting their money worth.

Sofitel Manila spent so much in research and getting the best people in the industry to design the dining area, the menu, and the overall security of the hotel.  It just proves how serious Sofitel Manila is in bringing the best experience we diners can have.  I appreciate that.

When dining at Spiral especially during Sunday brunch, I wouldn’t miss the foie gras and the lobsters.  I can eat them over and over and over again.

Spiral Favorites

Your kids will definitely enjoy hanging out at Spiral while you munch your heart away.  That’s because the friendly clown is available to entertain them and give them balloon toys for them to play!

Spiral Sunday Brunch Clown

Another reason why I enjoyed the Spiral sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago is I was able to hang out with a long lost friend, Blessy.  We’ve known each other since late 1990s and I’m just so glad that after a decade or two, we were able to hang out and catch up on our lives.

Spiral Blessy Roch

I’m once again tortured while writing such a yummy experience (because it just makes me wanna drive to Spiral at Sofitel Manila and eat again :D).  I do not have the luxury to eat at a buffet often especially that I’m now looking after my weight.  However, for special occasions or for the times that I crave for the complete foodie experience, Spiral is definitely one of my top five choices.

The sunday brunch at Spiral costs about Php 3,600 per person (champagne included) or Php 3,200 per person (without champagne).

So there…  My super dining experience at one of the best hotel buffets in Manila —> Spiral.

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Spiral
G/F, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard
Pasay City 1300 Manila, Philippines
+63-2-5515555
http://www.sofitelmanila.com

Roch Signature

Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant

Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant

One of the things I should learn whenever I go to a place is to make sure that I walk around and check out all the establishments.  If it weren’t for an invitation to try out Izumi, I wouldn’t have discovered it.  There are a lot of restaurants in Burgos Circle Taguig but I didn’t realise that there are also restaurants at the side.  Good thing I now know about Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant.  It was a good discovery considering Izumi serves good food and surprisingly, very cheap!

Reinventing Izumi

izumi chef

After ramen, curry is the most loved food by Japanese people.  Knowing this fact, Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant recreated their menu and focused it on curry.

They brought in Chef Him Uy de Baron as consultant.  With the famous chef on board, Izumi made four unique curry sauces to pair with different cuts of meat and seafood.  Izumi definitely knows that curry holds a special place in the hearts of Japanese cuisine fans.  I felt that they made it right considering that it’s a very unique way of using a well-loved ingredient as a theme in a restaurant’s menu.

Izumi Curry Sauces

House Blend Curry Sauce – most neutral, slightly spicy, creamy with hints of ginger and honey.
Spicy Peanut/Pork Curry Sauce – similar to a Tan Tan Men but laced with Curry and Sesame.
Dark Curry Sauce – balanced by the dark chocolate, chili, apples, and three Curry blends.
White Curry Sauce – Japanese Bechamel, with just a hint of curry, it lends itself well to the seafood dishes it’s usually paired with.

I love how they came up with the “Have Your Own Style Curry“.  You choose the sauce that will come with your meat.  It gives diners variety and flexibility as to how they wanna enjoy their food.

Izumi Ambience

Izumi ambience

Izumi Bar

Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant has a cozy ambience and well-designed layout.  The bar definitely takes the spotlight with its display of premium sake beautifully arranged.  It makes it hard for diners not to order sake with their Japanese curry.

Izumi Exclusive Party

Izumi stairs

Izumi 2nd floor

The surprise for me was the private function room at the 2nd floor.  I was blown away when I saw the reddish room with a pole in the middle.  The place is perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties or any good ol’ fun parties in general!  You have friends who pole dance?  He/she can flaunt his/her talents there!

Izumi Food

  • Spicy Edamame (Php 185)

izumi edamame

Boiled beans sauteed in spicy butter.

I’ve never seen edamame cooked this way.  Usually, Japanese restaurants serve this boiled, that’s it.  So Izumi’s edamame was a pleasant surprise.  There were two orders of this in our table.  However, one of which I finished by myself hehehe! 😛  I just love the seasoning!  You have to be ready with your alcohol to wash your hands afterwards though.

  • Steak and Onion Gyoza with Curry Sauce (Php 110)

izumi gyoza

crisp dumplings with chicken and mushroom filling on Izumi’s House Curry, topped with strips of nori.

Gyoza in curry sauce??  Yes, it worked!  Crispy but at the same time flavorful!

  • Umami Pasta (Php 270)

izumi spicy pasta

Looks can be deceiving.  The pasta might look like that but boy, it was soooooooooo good!  The flavors were too rich.  Every spoonful of this pasta was heavenly!  It must be the bacon!  Yes, bacon, cheese and shitake make up Chef Him Uy de Baron’s Umami pasta.  This is a must-order!

  • Uni Cream Pasta (Php 550)

izumi uni pasta

Another successful dish from Izumi is this seared tuna with Mentaiko pasta.  The taste was totally different from umami pasta and I could not pinpoint the ingredients that make them unique.  The obvious difference was the tuna.  Whatever the secret ingredients are, it worked great.  Izumi’s pasta are definitely worth going back to. 

  • Premium Seafood Furai with White Curry Sauce (Php 350 + Php 60)

Izumi seafood

Three premium seafood in one savory dish!  The premium seafood furai is your dream seafood dish with salmon, soft-shelled crab and scallops.  The scallops were just too yummy that I almost forgot that the white curry was there to give it more flavor.

  • Japanese Salisbury Steak + Curry Sauce (Php 200 + Php ??)

Izumi house

I love salisbury steak and I usually order that whenever I see it in a restaurant’s menu.  Izumi has its own version with of course, curry sauce!  We were served two orders of the Japanese Salisbury Steak.  One with House Curry Sauce (Php 200 + Php 75) and one with Dark Curry Sauce (Php 200 + Php 90).  You can tell the difference just with the sauce.  For me, the house curry sauce won!

  • Beef Stew Curry + Dark Curry Sauce (Php 370 + Php 90)

izumi beef

How would you feel eating beef stew with dark curry sauce (Dark curry having chocolate in it)?  For me, it was nice but I guess, I prefer the old, traditional way of eating beef curry.  But that’s just me.

  • Kurobota Pork + House Curry Sauce (Php 485 + Php 75)

izumi tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a staple menu in a Japanese restaurant.  With curry added to it, you’ll love it more!  This dish alone could satisfy your hunger.  A complete meal in itself, no need for any appetizer or salad.

It’s rare to see edamame in main dishes but I see that in 80% of the food that we tried out at Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant.  Coincidentally, Chef Him Uy de Baron share the same fondness to edamame as me.  With edamame in the food, it made me enjoy the meal more.  I actually finished one order of spicy edamame by myself LOL!

I’m glad I discovered Izumi because now I know where to go for curry!  Plus, I have Izumi to recommend whenever friends need a venue for bachelor or bachelorette party!

izumi group

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Izumi Sake Bar & Restaurant
29th St. cor. Rizal Drive Forbes Town Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines
+63-2-8564090

Roch Signature

Wrong Ramen

Wrong Ramen Restaurant Review

Wrong Ramen … what an interesting name!  Why would someone name their restaurant so negatively?  Still, my curiosity got the best of me!  My churchmates and I tried Wrong Ramen a few weeks ago.  I guess reverse psychology works!  No matter how wrong the ramen are in the restaurant, we still opted to pay it a visit.

Wrong Ramen Decor

Opened January 31, Wrong Ramen surely got a lot of attention from foodies.  Apart from the catchy name, the ramen actually tasted great!  Where can you find a place that sells ramen with bacon, spam and sunny side up egg?  Only in Wrong Ramen, baby!

Wrong Ramen Posters

Wrong Ramen prides itself for being locally-developed.  They do not pay any royalties to Japanese companies and they can experiment all they want.  Plus, all their ingredients are sourced locally.  This, of course, hits closer to home.

You know what I appreciate in Wrong Ramen?  They are honest that their food is not healthy!  Their food is sinful and we are definitely warned that it won’t help a bit in improving our health.  But hey, sinful food are the yummiest ones!  I would cheat myself every now and then just to eat wrong unhealthy things (like what Wrong Ramen serves!).

Even their chopsticks were positioned as ‘X’!  I’m sure you know what that meant 😉

Wrong Ramen Chopsticks

The restaurant is really small.  I think it can only fit around 30 diners.  However, Wrong Ramen made good use of its space.  The bar tables facing the window have removable dividers so even if non-acquainted diners sit together, they can still have their privacy.

Wrong Ramen Interior

The artwork on the walls characterised what Wrong Ramen is all about.  This particular display caught my attention the most.  With the ‘Good Fatty Ramen‘ in mind, all of us ordered ramen!

Wrong Ramen Scrabble Decor

We were all ecstatic how the ramen would look and taste like!

Small Plates

There were a couple of appetizers available like Bacon Katsu (Php 260) and Enoki mushroom fries (Php 150).  I couldn’t figure out why my friends ordered three Chashu Rice Rolls!  THREE!

  • Chashu Rice Rolls (Php 180)

Wrong Ramen Chashu Rice Rolls

shredded chashu rolled in Vietnamese rice wrappers.  Served with ponzu sauce.

I found it unusual that Wrong Ramen went with the fresh roll.  If they want to project an image that all the food they serve are wrong, then they should have fried the chashu rice rolls.  I would assume that they went the fresh route because of the pork inside, they don’t wanna overdo it, I guess.

Tsukumen

Are you the type who enjoy eating your noodles separate from the broth?  Then Wrong Ramen’s tsukumen is the way to go.

  • Buffalo Chicken Tsukumen (Php 445)

Wrong Ramen Buffalo Chicken Tsukumen

they said it was a bad idea.  stir-fried noodles topped with chicken karaage and bleu cheese mayonnaise served with a spicy and tangy buffalo dipping sauce.

Wrong Ramen mentioned in their menu that the combination of ingredients were a bad idea.  You know what?  It wasn’t a bad idea at all!  Our friend Lawrence, who actually is very critical of ramen, liked it a lot and gave it a 8.5/10 rating.

Buffalo broth, fried noodles, chicken karaage and bleu cheese mayonnaise?  Very successful, Wrong Ramen!

Classic Ramen

In Japanese restaurants, they serve four kinds of ramen (Shio, Miso, Shoyu & Tonkotsu).   Wrong Ramen serves only one and that is tonkotsu.  Why?  Pretty obvious – Tonkotsu is the wrongest ramen of all considering it is made of fatty pork bone that is boiled overnight to create the milky white color and creamy texture of the both.  In short, tonkotsu is the most unhealthy among the four types.

If you want your ramen to be more sinful yet more delicious, get extra toppings like crispy fried egg (Php 55), classic runny egg (Php 65), chashu slices (Php 75) and bacon strips (Php 95).

  • Wrong Ramen Tonkotsu Light (Php 295)

Wrong Ramen Tonkotsu Light

if you’re sensitive to pork fat: a lighter version of our classic milky-white pork bone and chicken broth. served with shredded chashu

Apart from F.U. ramen, tonkotsu light was the most ordered in our table.  If you’re concerned about eating too much fatty food, then this lighter broth version can make you feel less guilty 😛

  • Wrong Ramen Tonkotsu Rich (Php 380)

Wrong Ramen Tonkotsu Rich

if you only eat here once, a deep tasting and filling milky-white, lip-smacking pork bone and chicken broth.  served with sliced chashu.

There was something in the broth that I didn’t like.  Maybe it was just me but I felt it was a bit sour and has a fishy taste.  The pork though was heavenly and it really melts in the mouth.

  • The Communist’s Ramen (Php 370)

Wrong Ramen Communist

inspired by Chinese hotspots. seven Asian spices and flavourings in a fiery red pork broth topped with sliced chashu and burnt garlic oil.

I would order communist’s ramen when I go back to Wrong Ramen.  The red broth says it all.  As soon as the bowl was served to my seat mate, I was already filled with envy!  However, I couldn’t eat 2 bowls of ramen in one sitting.  I said to myself, I would order this Chinese inspired ramen dish in the future!  If you love spicy food, then communist ramen is the way to go!

  • Wrong Ramen Tantanmen (Php 395)

Wrong Ramen Tantanmen

because someone will ask for this anyway. a bold slightly sweet and nutty sesame broth with a mild spicy kick served with ground pork and shredded chashu

If I have to compare between tantanmen and tonkotsu ramen, I would choose tantanmen without a doubt.  The broth was done perfectly considering it wasn’t too heavy yet still super flavorful.  Plus, it has a right spiciness to it.  It would have been better though if the chashu was served sliced rather than grounded.  I do understand why they opted it shredded since they combined it with the ground pork.  This was a successful ramen dish!  My friend who ordered was actually raving about how good it was!

  • F.U. Ramen (Php 425)

Wrong Ramen FU Ramen

Your breakfast in liquid form. black pepper spam, three strips of crispy bacon, melted cheese, and a crispy fried egg in a black pepper and garlic broth

I had to order the wrongest of the wrong ramen the restaurant can offer –> F.U. Ramen.  The combination of Spam, bacon, cheese and egg is something I couldn’t resist!  I just couldn’t!  I must admit that the broth was oily.  I guess considering we have all those oily food immersed in the soup, it isn’t a bit surprising at all.    Did I feel guilty after eating all that sinful food?  No!  😉

To End The Meal

  • Homemade Yoghurt (free)

Wrong Ramen Homemade Yogurt

The surprise of the night was the free homemade yoghurt.  It tasted like flavored yakult and I loved it!  I was actually hoping some of my friends wouldn’t drink it so I could have more of the yoghurt haha!  It was a nice way to end a very sinful meal.

The group definitely enjoyed the meal at Wrong Ramen!  Be warned though that you will need to spend at least Php 500 per person for a meal at the restaurant.  Honestly, the serving was big so if you don’t eat a lot, you might wanna share a bowl of ramen with a friend.

Wrong Ramen Friends

Wrong Ramen — how ironic.  Why did I feel that we had our ramen right? 🙂

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Wrong Ramen
Forbes Town Center, Forbestown Rd, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines
+63-2-8238249

Roch Signature

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