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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

28 May

So, how many times have I mentioned that I’m a sucker forย Japaneseย food? Hundreds of times perhaps? Yeah I passionately love Japanese cuisine and I can eat it every single day! ๐Ÿ™‚ For real! Hence, I am always on the lookout for new Japanese restos in the city (aside from visting my regular favorites). Thank God for the ramen craze in the Manila, more and more authentic Japanese restos have been sprouting here and there. An old time favorite would be Ukokkei Ramen Ron in Pasay Road Makatiย but the parking is always full and the resto is always cramped. ย It’s good to have alternatives especially during rainy “craving prone” days/nights. I’ve discovered thatย Hokkaido Ramen Santoukaย is a great alternative, in fact it might even be better! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is the legendary ramen brand that offers the same family recipe since 1988, enjoyed throughout Japan and in other international cities such as Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Indonesia, USA, Canada and now in the Philippines! It isย one of the best ramen franchises originating from Hokkaido, north of Japan. (Source: OurAwesomePlanet)

I deem the word legendaryย to be an apt adjective to describe Ramen Santouka. Their ramen was indeed soooo good it looks like they have maintained the quality of their food for a long time and regardless of the location. I enjoyed my meal so much! My Shio Ramen had a the perfect Japanese taste. I chose the mild salt flavor that night instead of my usual hot and spicy but it didn’t fail to please my taste buds. My only concern would be the serving size – it was a bit too small for me. I imagine it would be okay for “normal eaters” and not “piggy eaters” like myself haha! My Sake Ikura Gohanย (Grilled Salmon & Salmon Roe Rice Bowl) was also delicious and so cheap! Such a bargain for P170. And of course, any meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert – the Matcha (Green Tea) Cake was oh so yummy! Everything was commendable and my tummy and taste buds enjoyed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and service was not bad as well.

Sorry for the lame photo – I was too excited to eat.

Ramen, Rice Bowl, Matcha Cake

Ramen, Rice Bowl, Matcha Cake

ย 

Unfortunately, many people have discovered this gem of a resto in the busy Glorietta mall so there’s always a line as you wait to be seated. But I don’t mind waiting for 10-15 minutes, the food is worth the wait. Just come earlier during peak hours (lunch and dinner time). For private/group functions, they have I think about two function rooms you can reserve.

Can’t wait to visit Ramen Santouka again! If it rains this Friday, I’m so going to drag my hubby with me. Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Japanese-food-a-holic,

โ™ฅย Abby Wasabi

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Gyu-Kaku

27 May

Konichiwa, friends! ๐Ÿ™‚ So here’s something interesting – though I’m a Japanese food addict, ย I never really became a fan of Yakiniku or Japanese BBQ. Kinda weird right? The “cook-your-BBQ-on-the-smokeless-grill-in-front-of-you-concept” just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe because I’d rather cook in my kitchen and when I eat out it means I do not want to cook! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, the taste of Yakiniku doesn’t excite me that much. It’s just grilled meat for goodness sake, nothing special haha! Okay, sorry, enough pessimism. ย I’d still end up eating Yakiniku one way or another anyway. Since people were raving about the the much-anticipated opening of Gyu-Kaku in Manila (Apparently it’s the world’s No. 1 Japanese BBQ Yakiniku brand), we decided to give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gyu-Kaku is located at the W Center near Bonifacio Highstreet. ย It’s right beside iHop. The resto is not that big, although it has two floors. I prefer the ground floor because of the high ceiling but unfortunately we were seated on the upper floor. I automatically disliked the table because I couldn’t stretch my legs. Space was cramped for six people. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Now onto the food… well I can’t really say much about the food except – I LOVED THE WAGYU. That’s it. Apart from the Wagyu, there was nothing else special. The Bibimbap was decent but not great. The Assorted Mushrooms were so-so. Only the Wagyu beef made my dining experience delightful. Sorry for the Yakiniku fans out there but really, I don’t get it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ishiyaki Mentaiko Bibimbap

Ishiyaki Mentaiko Bibimbap

 

Wagyu (Raw)

Wagyu (Raw)

 

By the way, Wagyu being Wagyu, came with a somewhat hefty price tag so be prepared to shell out P1,750 for Wagyu ribeye, P1,850 for Wagyu Sirloin, and P2,350 for Wagyu Tenderloin. All 200 grams.

For Yakiniku lovers, I think you might enjoy it here so give it a try but for people like me, hmm I suggest we stick to our good old Little Tokyo restos/Sugi/Magetsu/Nihon Bashi Tei/et al. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Convince Me More Yakiniku,

โ™ฅย Abby Wasabi

Plus One

17 Apr

Another year has passed and another year has come. Yep, that’s right folks, put a plus one on my age digits! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday, April 16, I turned a year older, a year wiser (hopefully), a year stronger, and with a different surname! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s my first birthday as a married woman! And thanks to my ever so sweet and thoughtful husband, it became a memorable one.

My all-day birthday celebration began early in the morning. My hubby woke me up and placed his big birthday present on the bed. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was still so sleepy but I couldn’t help but open it especially since i saw the huge Michael Kors label hahaha! I loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚ We also had breakfast with my parents and they also had a nice present for me yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hubby then brought me to work (yeah I had to work people, no birthday leaves) and I was happy to have a light day with no meetings. Woopee! Some gifts and cakes were delivered from partners/clients and finally hubby picked me up again for our birthday dinner date in…SPIRAL SOFITEL! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh but I also passed by the Sacred Heart Church to say a thanksgiving prayer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Two words: FOOD COMA! The Spiral buffet in Sofitel always leaves me in this state – a food coma – a good kind though. Of course we enjoyed the vast scrumptious dinner spread especially the newly improved L’Epicerie, Salad bar, French Corner, and Dessert Station! ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a gastronomic feast! Perfect for special occasions like MY BIRTHDAY! Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

We finished eating at around 8:30PM and we left Sofitel with our happy tummies! ย Little did I know that the celebration was not yet over and I was in for a surprise! ย So we drove to The Fort Strip, I kept bugging him in the car cos he wouldn’t tell me where we were going, and we finally reached Aracama. To my surprise, my friends were there waiting and they all greeted me a happy birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a fun night of celebrating with cupcakes, wine, and Mr. Daniels. We all enjoyed and became zombies to work the next day haha!

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

Indeed it was an all-day celebration and it was perfectly planned thanks to my hubby. ๐Ÿ™‚ What better way to celebrate my coming to this world – with my Love, my family, my close friends, and of course a thanksgiving prayer to HIM! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Lord, for another year. I feel blessed everyday. Everything I do, I lift up to You.ย โ™ฅ

May this year bring even more blessings, learning, and meaningful memories. Cheers!ย 

P.S. Never mind the asking me of my age. Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Grew older but looking younger (HAHA),

โ™ฅย Abby Wasabi

Summer Essentials Part 1

11 Apr

IT’S SO HOT OUTSIDE!!! Sheesh this is probably one of the hottest summers I’ve ever experienced! I worry for how it’s gonna be next year. ๐Ÿ˜

Don’t get me wrong, I like summer. I like summer for the beach trips and pool parties, upbeat music, beautiful clouds and longer daytime, enjoying fruit shakes and slurping ice cream, and thanking the inventor of showers. ๐Ÿ™‚ Most importantly, I like summer because well, there’s NO RAIN. ย Yes, I dislike rain very much. ย Anyway, before I continue to ramble… I’ve decided to post summer essentials every week and this is part one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here goes the list. Sharing with you three of my hundredsย dozens of summer essentials:

1) HAPPY NAIL POLISH

I don’t usually wear nail polish. ย Ever since I was a kid, I’ve never really accustomed myself to liking color on my nails (any color at that). ย At most, I’d put on some clear polish just to make them look shiny but that’s it. I like them clean and looking like nails of boys. Haha! Summer is an exception though. During summer I have the urge to paint my nails bright! ๐Ÿ™‚ I just got a mani-pedi last Tuesday and here is my favorite summer nail color – coral. ๐Ÿ™‚

Summer Nails

2)ย COOLING SPRAY

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the heat outside is terrible! The scorching hot sun and humid high temperature makes my skin look and feel horrible. So I always keep my Avene spray in my bag. I bought this in France but I’m happy to know that last week Mercury Drug now sells Avene products! Hooray! No need to hoard these stuff from France. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is just natural spring water so there are no chemicals. I’m a fan of natural stuff so thumbs up for this one. Try it and spritz the summer heat away! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cooling Spray

3)ย I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!!!

Are you surprised? Of course this is my ultimate summer essential – my all time favorite ICE CREAM! As if I don’t eat this on rainy days hahaha! ๐Ÿ™‚ What can I say, it’s a happy food/comfort food/I can eat it anytime food! Obviously, this cold treat helps us beat-the-heat! I like all kinds and flavors of ice cream (oh yes believe me) but right now, my favorites are Pinkerton and M&M’s ice cream cookie sandwich. *Drooool*

Ice cream!

That’s it for now.ย Watch out for more of my summer essentials soon!

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Summer Goddess In The Making (whut? haha),

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi

Happy Easter

1 Apr

Thank you, Jesus, for saving us! I hope everyone had a meaningful Holy Week and a Blessed Easter Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Blessed Easter To All!

A Blessed Easter To All!

Easter is like Christmas! And what better way to celebrate this joyful day than a great meal with loved ones. ๐Ÿ™‚ After hearing mass at St. James the Great Parish, we decided to have Easter dinner just in the South at Tito Chef’s.ย 

Tito Chef’s is a nice little hole in the wall restaurant along President’s Avenue of the busy BF Homes Paranaque – home of the original Conti’s.

First thing I liked about the resto is the unpretentious yet classy and cozy ambiance. The place is not that big so make sure to make reservations. One more admirable thing I enjoyed was the service. They had excellent service – I must say it’s very much comparable to five star hotel service! Their waiters are very attentive. Good job! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now onto the stars of the night…the food.

These DELICIOUS dishes went down my huge belly: Spinach and Raclette Souffle, Calamari with Kimchi Mayo (not in photo),ย Surf and Turf, Waterย Buffalo Cheese Salad (not in photo), Pan Roasted River Cobbler Filet (not in photo), Rosemary Grilled Lamb Steak (not in photo), and Aussieย Lamb Paella. Plus these divine desserts: Vanilla Creme Brulee, Tiramisu, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, and Chocolate Citrus Gateau.

[Photos taken with Instagram on iPhone 5]

spinachsouffle

Spinach and Racletter Souffle

dessert

Desert Galore

paella

Aussie Lamb Paella

surfturf

Surf and Turf

DELICIOUS. No other words. ๐Ÿ™‚

Guess who overate yet again. What’ new? BURP!

Big belly and not summer ready,

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi

Faraway Drive Just For Food

14 Aug

Can you believe we drove all the way to San Pablo Laguna just to eat? ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah that’s how crazy we can get when it comes to food! ๐Ÿ™‚

San Pablo Laguna is 1.5 hours away from Manila. You’ll have to drive through SLEX and pass by a lot of towns before you finally get there. This is where you’ll find Patis Tito (formerly Kusina Salud). This is an exaggeration of hole in the wall restos cos it’s so far. But since I didn’t drive, I don’t mind! Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Patis Tito Garden Cafe is owned by the famous Patis Tesoro and her husband Tito. Aside from being a famous designer, Patis Tesoro is also the organizer of Viaje Del Sol – a popular tour promoting the Southern Tagalog provinces of Laguna and Quezon. I’ve actually never tried Kusina Salud before despite it’s popularity except once when a relative got Kusina Salud to cater for his wedding. This was a special request because Kusina Salud bever really accepted catering services. Anyway, to cut the story short, Kusina Salud has closed it’s doors already but only to pave way to a newly improved restaurant – Patis Tito, now fully managed by the Tesoros – Patis and Tito.

The restaurant is a secret hidden. It’s located in the inner streets of an already secluded town. The entrance is tiny and you’ll be suprised to find a huge airy garden restaurant inside those mini gates. ๐Ÿ™‚ The place is very Filipino! Well, because aside from it being a Filipino restaurant, Patis Tesoro is known to be an advocate of everything Filipino including her magnificent handmade designs of terno (Filipiniana gown).

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The restaurant had native Filipino vintage interiors but still classy and the open space was very conducive for lunch during a nice windy day. ๐Ÿ™‚ It also had a garden with plants for sale and a mini zoo with giant cages of rare beautiful birds.

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Now onto the foodm yes? ๐Ÿ™‚

We had: (1) “Paco Salad” or Fern Salad, (2) A Platter of Spring Rolls, (3) “Kulawo” or Eggplant Salad, (4) Crispy Fried Tilapia with Special Sauce, (5) Spicy Beef Saplicao with Garlic Noodles, (6) Bulalo, (7) Pork Binagoongan, and (8) Turon con Latik. WHEW! Talk about pigging out huh.

Okay, before I say anything, I’d like to tell you that honestly, I am not a fan of Filipino Cuisine. SORRY ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Yes I do enjoy eating them, I am proud of them, but I don’t “love” them or crave for them. Gladly, I find everything we ate, dee-lish! ๐Ÿ™‚ The Fern Salad was oh so yummy and refreshing. I even had to make an extra order. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved the exotic Eggplant Salad as well and the Turon Con Latik was a perfect sweet ending.

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Unfortunately, I don’t think the far drive to Laguna is worth it for the regular eater. When regular, I mean, not super food lovers (foodies) like myself. I’m not sure if it was the climate (it was raining when we went), but it’s just far. Yes I enjoyed the meal and looking around but I won’t recommend you to drive all the way here except if you have other business in Laguna. Perhaps if you ought to buy some embroidery in Lucban Quezon (for example), then you should give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚ Schdule a foodtrip down South like Viaje Del Sol so your trip will be worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can visit http://www.patistitogardencafe.com/ for more details on how to get there etc. Happy eating!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Foodie for life,

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi

Diet Time

19 Jul

For the Nth time… I will TRY to go on diet.

Diet means to lessen my food intake and try to eat healthy. No more fast food for a while. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I tell you, this is really torture for me. You know how much I love food. But I need this. I need to lose weight before my wedding.

Wish me luck!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here’s my healthy lunch for the day. Coffee Bean Tea Leaf Chinese Chicken Salad. Yummy but not filling enough for lunch!

My tummy is currently grumbling after an hour.

Oh dear, diet, I hate you.

Dreading Diet,

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi

Ukokkei A-OK!

17 Jul

FOREVER CRAVING – this is how I feel towards Ukokkei Ramen. I’m ALWAYS craving for it! I can always eat it even if I’m alreay full (agh such a glutton)!

Like fries, French macarons, CPK salad, and Japanese cuisine, Ukokkei Ramen (well it is considered Japanese too) has joined the top notchers of my super favorite food list! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ukokkei’s Tan Tan Men is just true love in a bowl. โ™ฅ I am such a fan of the rich and spicy miso-based soup with roasted sesame oil! Very very tasty mmm. The perfectly cooked al dente noodles made it even more delectable. Talking about it now makes my tummy grumble. Perfect for rainy days! โ˜‚ Actually, it can be my comfort food any time of day and any kind of day haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tan Tan Men is just my ultimate fave but other dishes like the Seafood Ramen, Gyoza, and Spicy Prawns are dee-liciouss as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Visit Ukkokei Ramen Ron along Pasay Road in Makati and change your ramen life forever hahahaha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Laters babes!

 

 

Ramen Ravin’,

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi

Friday The 13th

14 Jul

Friday the 13th AM: I dropped my laptop on my foot and I drove to work with an injured big toe. COME ONNNN. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Friday the 13th PM: Were you on the road Friday night??? You’re lukcy if you weren’t because traffic was TERRIBLE everywhere!!! Payday + Friday + Rain = bad combination.ย 

Okay enough of the rants.ย  Thank God the day ended nicely…

Good food was there to the rescue!ย  Good food will always calm me down. Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚ Had dinner (late dinner that is) with my college friends Jackie, Audrey, Tam, and Jeff at STELLA.

Stella is a relatively new restaurant in Bonifacio Highstreet Central beside Cue. They have good food.ย  Although a bit pricey, the taste and qualityย made itย worth the price, not to mention the big servings.ย  Their Ribs/Riblets were very tasty and good for three not one! I also liked my Gindara which was real soft and juicy. Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of the food. We were seated outside where it was quite dark (boo!) and I only had my iPad with me. Sorry!

By the way, the resto is usually called Stella and the Rocketroom because the bar beside it (I think they have the same owners) is called Rocketroom. They have good music and drinks and I’m guessing it will be the next “it place” for yuppies. Will hang there next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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After dinner, itย started to getย a bit noisy as we were seated outside, so we decided to have some dessert at SLICE. It was myย third time at Slice and I still enjoyed the Choco-yema cupcake! Mmmm. Others say it’s too sweet, but you know me, I like sweet! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also had chamomile tea which was a bad idea ‘cos I got really sleepy while driving. Uh oh!

It was a nice catch up sesh with my friends and a good way to cap off the night! Hoping we get to do this more often. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Lucky even on Friday the 13th,

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi

Truffleduffle

12 Jul

I’m sure everyone has tried Baileys Irish Creme at least once in their lives. Am I right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Baileys is like the good old default ladies drink of teenagers which tastes like yummy chocolate/coffee. Yeah, it has alcohol content but it sure does not taste like it!

So Im sure you’ve already tried the drink BUT have you tried…… the Baileys Truffles? ๐Ÿ™‚ Yup! TRUFFLES!

Look mom, real chocolates this time! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Like any other chocolate, it falls right on my dessert-friendly taste buds! Yummy! Rich and smooth with just the right amount of sweetness. ๐Ÿ™‚

Try it! I’m not sure if it’s available in local grocery stores or department stores but you can find it in Duty Free or S&R.

Chocoholic,

โ™ฅ Abby Wasabi