Simply respectful and enthusiastic, Chef Mike Santos brings Japanese approach to food to Nanka Japanese Steakhouse.
While there are heaps of ramen options in Metro Manila noaweadays to choose from, this new Japanese noodle shop franchise is taking a different approach. We’re lucky enough to have first dibs try on Menya Kokoro Mazesoba specialties over the weekend. After 18 branches in Tokyo and afew in Jakarte, Singapore, Spain, and Canada– Manila is taking pride in having the first Tokyo specialty shop!
Back in 2008, a Japanese chef in Hanabi who had a ramen shop in Nagoya, invented the Taiwan maze soba. It has no soup. It has spicy hot minced meat, raw egg yolk, nori (seaweed), negi, and menma (baby bamboo shoots).
Chef Takuma Ishikawa took the same appraoch and launched his first restaurant in Tokyo in 2013. Menya Kokoro’s Mazesoba is a thick, chewy, multigrain noodle, and their signature bowl includes nine ingredients.
Mazesoba means “mixed noodles”- Think about the Chinse Lamien style on steroids.
Ingredients include items such as seaweed flakes, green onions, chives, ground saba(mackerel), minced garlic, nori (dried seaweed), chashu (pork), spicy minced pork, raw egg yolk, soft-boiled egg, or bamboo shoots.
All soba is made in-house, consists of over 35 percent whole wheat, and is made with the help of a water-softening machine
Menya Kokoro is a casual sho located at the former location of Gelare and Cara Mia on the 3rd floor, where the cinemas are, of Uptown Mall.
For Starters: There are also several other dishes available, including donburi, gyoza, takoyaki, chicken karaage, takoyaki, agedashi tofu, salads, and more.
Karaage is crunchy outside and tasty inside and served with a special sauce.
House Takoyaki (deep fried)
Try the original mazesoba served with buckwheat noodles topped with chives, leeks, nori, a special minced beef and egg.
Note: Make sure to mix all the ingredients until the noodle is coated with a thick layer of sauce coating.
Vegetarian Option Bowl
There are eight types of mazesoba on their menu range from shio (salt) or mentaiko (fish roe) to curry, cheese, or vegan options.You can order the all-in topping version with chashu cubes, bamboo shoots and tamago for additional ₱120.
We love the rich umami flavours, and a refreshing detour from your usual ramen noodles. Service is fantastic and point, which will be perfect for those times when you want to have a quick meal during your lunch break and or you’re running to another meeting.
- 3rd Floor Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City
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Delight in your favourite Japanese dishes at the Spectrum at Fairmont where they serve various culinary favourites every Wednesday night.
Feast on Japanese cuisine at Spectrum with a tempting gastronomic spread from March 6 onwards. The sumptuous buffet greets diners with an exciting selection of Japanese specialties and desserts. Families and friends looking to enjoy a Japanese dining experience may indulge every Wednesday evening at […]
9 Different Themed Stations:
- Japanese Selection that covers Sashimi and Sushi Bar, Teppan and Tempura Station and Sake
- Cold Cuts and Cheese – Assortments of Cheese, cold cuts, and hors d’œuvres.
- Seafood and Salad Station – Cold Shrimps and mussels, and a selection of greens, dressings and a whole wheel of Parmesano Reggiano.
- Carving Station – Think heaps of MEAT with Rib Eye, Angus Chuck Roll, Stuffed Turkey, Beef Ribs, Stuffed Pork Belly, and Angus Beef Belly. Pan sear and add your choice of gravy.
- Pasta Bar – White sauce, Red Sauce, Truffle Sauce, just ask them they’ll make it for you. Watch out for their specials too. Hint: F*** Gras and Tru**les
- Pizza – A brick oven that creates various white and red sauce pizzas.
- Chinese Station – An assortment of dimsum, chinese classics, and shabu shabu.
- Pan – Asian Station – Take your pick of Rendang, curry, and other South East Asian themed dishes.
- Desserts Station – Consisting of donuts, fresh fruits in season, cakes, pastries, crepes, Filipino rice desserts, and gelato.
OUR TOP PICKS:
Thick plump pieces of prawn dumpling steamed in a bamboo container. Generous pieces of shrimps and bamboo shoots wrapped in a nice thin coat. Dip into a calamansi, soy sauce, and chili mixture.
A variety of fresh Sashimi, Nigiri and Sushi. Take your pick of tuna, salmon, ika, tamago, and tako.
A Carving Station with Rib eye steak, Beef Shawarma, Beef Ribs, Lechon, Angus Beef Belly and Stuffed Turkey. Our personal favorite is the Rib Eye.
As a part of their complimentary menu, try their Foie Gras Ravioli with truffle sauce. A generous slice of foie gras rich with the fresh ravioli.
Unlimited Wine, Cocktails, and Sake. It’s alcohol, need I say more?
OVERALL TAKE:Niu at the Podium pulls out all the stops in their new branch, from their extensive food and drinks selection, their beautifully decorated dining area, and their impeccable service. Each wait staff is ready to help and assist you, in every area of the buffet. While the atmosphere welcomes you into a night of luxury and comfort. We recommend to start with the Japanese area then work your way to the carving station while most definitely not missing out on their dessert. Wash this down with Sake or Wine to get the full experience.
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Tokyo Ice Café takes snippets of Japanese home life and brings it here for locals to enjoy. Their new menu featuring their bentos are a sample of what they have back at home. Don’t forget to some kakigori for dessert, it just beat out bingsu in our book. And add some of the little bears to match. Kid friendly and affordable Tokyo Ice is a great addition to the Mall of Asia restaurants.
Let me tell you about this Gastropub in Poblacion. YES! In Poblacion. NO, I am not going to rave about another “artsy”, “cute”, and “IG worthy”. Let the other platforms do that for you. I want to share a worthwhile gastronomic experience I had with Hops & Brews. Located at the Ground Floor in the chic and new I’M Hotel along Makati Avenue, Hops & Brews brings its own inimitable and inventive take of global familiar flavors. Their food is modern and progressive, but the element that we fell in love with is that they’re able to keep the taste of comfort with each dish that we had.
The Gastropub Coining in Manila
The term “gastropub” was coined back in 1991 in London when two English men took over the Eagele Pub in Clerkenwell. Traditionally, pubs were just merely watering hole establishments and with typically little to no emphasis placed on the taste of food. The integration of this concept of a balanced approach to marrying a full kitchen restaurant and pubs rocketed and became a sub pop culture in British dining. Fast forward to 2013, we see entrants in the local restaurant business adapting to this concept. Gastropub became a familiar flank of a name in your typical BGC and Makati neighborhood. As saturated as the concept is, so does the quality and taste of the food that most joints are serving. Which is fairly sad. Beers on tap are on point, but the usual suspect of their pitfall is the food that they’re serving. Instagram-worthy: YES, but Taste and Quality: Mediocre. Amongst the moshpit of concepts, there will always be these establishments who do stay true to their vision and have executed their ideas into a proper output.
Hops & Brews is one of those restaurants that can give you that “Aha!” moment. Finally, meal selections with proper flavors, serving size, and thoughtful execution of the owners and their roster of brilliant young chefs.
They carefully look into what the global street food is doing, pop-ups, and what fine dining to classical is doing and they’ve used bits and pieces that are relevant.
Hops & Brews offer great drinks from morning ’til late at night. From single origin coffee, curated cocktails and then some. Global medleys of comfort grubs and all-day brunch selections. Their menu is that extensive that it can cater to any demographic.
Nacho chips draped in cheese, fresh salsa and herbs topped with the smokey homemade longganisa.
Freshly baked flatbread topped with five kinds of cheese.
Simple yet bold with flavors. Briny notes of the sardines took the front seat with the proper amount of hint of spice and capers to play with your palate
Al Dente Rigatoni pasta tossed in Parmigiano, Mozzarella, Kefalotiri, and Cheddar. Applewood smoked bacon complimented the dish giving it a more dynamic flavor profile.
This tempura overwhelmed us. We didn’t expect that a gastropub would be able to pull off a proper prawn tempura. Their tempura can challenge those Little Tokyo Japanese restaurants at any day. Should the Fat Girls Day Out Curated Top 10 list for Ebi Tempura Hops & Brew’s will definitely be in the top 5. The batter didn’t overwhelm the succulent shrimp retaining its fresh, clean, and sweet flavor.
One of Hops & Brew’s signature mains that highlights their progressive thinking yet still copping that element of comfort. Imagine Sous-vide chicken using gastro-science to create the moistest and juiciest chicken then deep fried until crispy.
Sweets & Desserts
Pilmico Research & Training Bakery cakes were presented during our visit. Pilmico is the food and agri-business subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Pilmico Foods Corporation is one of the largest flour milling companies in the country. The Fat Girls Day Out crew absolutely love the Blackout Cake and the Pastillas de Leche Cheese Cake.
Sprouted from Makati’s hidden gem and sexy neighborhood Poblacion. Traditionally, it was known for years as a red-light district, Poblacion is trading its spunky reputation for seediness and skewing itself to be a place where cool is redefined. Heavily wheeled by white-collar Filipinos and expats, they infiltrate the mushrooming dining and drinking scene. Hops & Brew’s beautiful space and excellent menu roster is a great addition to the Poblacion scene where you can actually sit down and enjoy your meal or perhaps a glass or two of your drink of choice.
You have the very traditional elements on their menu which are then totally modernized, which is the way a lot of gastropubs operate – But Hops & Brews takes traditional and build on it, creating what we have which is a mixture of fine dining, pub food, and ultimately still retaining the emotional connection that we have with food which is; COMFORT.
Hops & Brews
Address: Ground Floor, I’M Hotel, Makati
Photos by Paula Ferrer/Co-Founder and Content Creator (IG: @paulamariz)
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