WATAMI – Casual Japanese Restaurant

Watami – Casual Japanese Restaurant

“Japanese food makes me feel particularly good.” ~David Mitchell~

Jen and I haven’t been hanging out lately and when we did. She suggested to veer away from our usual favorites.

After we got the stuff we need from some specialty shops at Shangri-la mall, our feet led us to this casual Japanese restaurant: Watami.

When it’s casual, does it mean that there would be no Geisha’s to serve you, there’ll be no Tatamis but the usual dining tables, still if it’s a Japanese restaurant, I normally think of the sublime execution of an authentic cuisine. Which is why it is one that always fascinates me. Refined, unmatched manner of preparing and serving each entree, this specific Art and not to forget that Japanese hospitality which is popularly known as “Omotenashi”. Lastly, theirs is healthy.

We’ve been to Akira and Sumo-sam in the past so Watami deserves a try. Besides, we haven’t had Japanese food in a while. =)

This friendly barker helped us decide right away after reviewing the menu that’s displayed outside. There was no mention of miso soup from the menu so we asked him if they have my favorite soup and they have it in 2 variants. A plain one and another that is spicy.

This is faultless, all of the restaurants I’ve tried didn’t fail to pour their guests some cup of tea.

Watami is one of the many restaurants under the Bistro Group:
#tastethelove

 – Plank Sourdough Pizza – Conrad Hotel Manila
 – TGIFridays and Italianni’s – with more than a dozen branches all over the country
 – Fish and Co – Mall of Asia and Trinoma
 – Krazy Garlic – Greenbelt 5
 – Bulgogi Brothers – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Harbor point, SM Lanag, Mall of Asia
 – Village Tavern – Bonifacio High Street
 – Modern Shanghai – Mall of Asia
 – Tonkatsu – Ayala Cebu
 – Buffalo Wild Wings – Glorietta 1, Conrad Hotel Manila, Estancia Mall, Uptown Mall, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Texas Roadhouse – Uptown Mall, Conrad Hotel Manila
 – Denny’s – Trinoma, Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Baker & Cook – Conrad Hotel Manila, U.P. Town Center

Sometimes, it is slightly annoying that while you’re enjoying your food, an attendant will approach you to offer the advantage of getting the Bistro Frequent Foodie card or popularly known as BFF Card.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.bistro.com.ph/

But come to think of it, if I review all of their restaurants, they are the most frequented and been thriving all these years and some of the best restaurants in the country. I must assume that those annoying attendants are one of their most effective Marketing Strategy for a continuous growth and carry one brand after another.

Personally speaking, I have been a regular customer of TGIF and TEXAS Roadhouse. I’ve tried Fish & Co when they still have one at Alabang Town Center. I even got this chance to see some contestants of “American Idol” (Jessica Sanchez’s time) since they held one of their activities at Italianni’s when they had their concert tour years ago.

So even if we haven’t seen and tasted our orders yet, we’re counting on that we will enjoy this early dinner. Later I learned that there are more than 700 branches of Watami all over the Asia Pacific region.

Take a look at what we’ve had:

Chasu rice for me and Jen, special curry Udon with cutlets for Jen and assorted tempura for me. Prior to deciding what to order, I had a miso soup called in advance.

All of these except for my soup were recommended by the attendant who took care of us.

The Chasu rice is truly delicious and its’ flavor matched my tempura. Jen’s Udon is tasteful too but is a little spicy and the hint of curry is just right, it is very mild. I enjoyed my tempura, however, I missed something from the sauce that came with it.

Over all, it was another gastronomic experience. Not to forget mentioning the intricately planned interiors of this casual Japanese resto.

I’ll ask Jen to try the sourdough pizza from Plank and pastries from Baker and Cook soon. =)

Aside from the New Wing of Shangri-la Mall, You can find Watami at the following locations:
– Greenbelt 2
– Mall of Asia
– Uptown Mall

Itadakimass! =)

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Dean and DeLuca

Dean and DeLuca

Courtesy of: https://www.coolfunnyquotes.com/author/anonymous/friends-buy-food-best-friend/

I am visiting my niece’s booth at “The Good Neighbors” at Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Makati City.

It is just a little across Edades Tower and Powerplant Mall. We arrived a little earlier, and when I saw Jen’s eyes, looking at her left and her right in random, she was either saying something like Powerplant mall or Dean and
DeLuca? Instantly, she asked: “Coffee?” And of course, after checking the time in my watch, I just said: “Come on!” =)

As planned, we ordered for our coffee: Cafe Dulce de Leche (the dulce served separately) for Jen and Caramel Machiatto for me.

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We had two kinds of desserts to match it. It was unlikely that we didn’t get blueberry cheesecake this time.

I was totally enticed by that Dutch apple pie,

and as usual Jen had her salted caramel cheesecake.

Over varying topics while devouring on what we’ve ordered, we realized they were too sweet we had to get something like a stasis to balance our palates.

We opted to choose the Pasta E Pomodoro, it is an organic pasta with fresh tomato, basil, garlic in olive oil. It came with a garlic bread which Jen and I shared equally.

The attendant asked if we wanted it with chicken or meatballs, and we both decided to have it done meatless.

It surely balanced that sweetness from our desserts and drinks. Jen liked it a lot, (she consumed all those Arugulas) since it was cooked the Italian way, as her preferences are pastas that are never sweet.

Her salted caramel is something we can tagged as “TDF” (To die for), it is one of of the best salted caramel cheesecake we’ve tried so far, and my apple pie is really good too.

These epicurean treats definitely made us want to go back and we already know what to try next time, we intend to try their branch at Eton Tower, Legaspi Village, Makati City, which happens to be nearer from Jen’s workplace.

Dean and DeLuca, on its’ 40th year originated from lower Manhattan, USA. At present, due to demands, they were able to put up branches across USA: New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte, North Carolina, Leawood, Kansas, Napa Valley, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. They are also in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

In our country, Dean and DeLuca has two branches: the one at Edades Tower, Rockwell Makati and the one at Eton Tower.

Everything you’ll ever need is at Dean and DeLuca. They’ve got choices for Starters, Salads, they have Quinoa too, they have soups, they offer a wide range of Main delicious dishes, from Sushi and rolls, Grain bowls, Burgers, Sandwiches, Tapas, Pancakes & waffles, Pastas and sourdough Pizzas and of course Desserts, even organic ice cream!

Beverage list is almost endless from Cocktails, coffee and teas, milk shakes and wines (red and white).

They have gourmet and gift items too.

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I’m not wondering why Tatler voted for them. Everything at Dean and DeLuca is sumptuous. =) It instantly became our favorite! =)

 

 

 

NANA & Co.-Indulge sweetly

NANA & Co.

“Count the memories, not the calories.”

My son and his girlfriend just had our late snack from this burger joint at Molito Lifestyle Center. What we’ve consumed were so flavorful, not to mention, a little oily too, so we agreed to have some dessert somewhere else just to cap everything off.

We found “Nana & Co.” It is a dessert and sandwich bar. I wondered why I have overlooked this place, my friend told me that we usually passed by this restaurant but were always heading to Starbucks just fronting Nana & Co each time.

It is a cozy place, very quite, its’ high ceiling made an impact to create an eminent ambiance and their display shelves were the ones that will attract you to go inside. What awaits you is a very colorful and happy scene.

The walls are white and those flashes of happy colors matched the neutral colors of the chairs and table.

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Their shelves are stocked-up, there were no empty space, so it is very inviting.

All the staff are smiling too when we came and one of them rushed to welcome and had us sitted. He even courteously asked if where do we want to be sitted.

Their products are neatly labeled and are very attractive, and there are stuff about baking all over the place.

It was pleasing to the eye especially if you’re a dessert lover.

I ordered for their pistachio sansrival. I usually asked what’s their best seller. It just so happen that it is what I ordered. Other items that sells best according to the attendant is the blueberry cheesecake. My son ordered for one.

I honestly loved the sansrival, not too sweet and there’s a generous amount of pistachio in all layers, I could have it in exchange with my all-time favorite blueberry cheesecake.

The blueberry cheesecake is the usual like how it should be.

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I would have to try their home-made artisanal ice cream soon. Their flavors are very enticing.

Nana & Co is located at: Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Balay Dako by Antonio’s…

Balay Dako by Antonio’s

“Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.”

I’m so glad to have brought my family to dine at Balay Dako… It just occurred to me that when they planned going to Tagaytay, I instantly thought of bringing them nowhere else but at Balay Dako.

And because me, my son and her girlfriend were outnumbered by oldies, what we ordered were those that are a little “healthier”, even if I wanted a lot from the menu to try for myself, please take a look:

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Gela just enjoyed nibbling on these dessert from Ilo-ilo: Piyaya.
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While I enjoyed the ube turon
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I was quite disappointed with the halo-halo, I think they lack some of the ingredients.
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The oldies wanted fish, so we had sweet and sour fish for them.
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My son opted for the salt & pepper spare ribs.
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We ordered for the green mango salad too

I actually can’t figure out what matches it. We just had the beef shanks soup (“Bulalo” in Filipino), and normally green mango salad fits best with fried food.

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Their paella.
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Mama and nanay (her yaya) about to start on their fresh lumpia when I asked them to smile first. =)
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Their lumpiang sariwa.

I still want to try more from their menu, I’ll come back soon. =)

 

Menu Photos courtesy of: http://antoniosrestaurant.ph/balay-dako/#menu-section

I’ve tried most of their desserts, so we can always go out and find another, there’s a lot of places in Tagaytay where you can find a good one to get your sweet cravings. So it’s like hopping from one place to another, besides Tagaytay is a very beautiful place. You wouldn’t mind just looking around.

 

 

 

KANIN Club through the years…

KANIN Club through the years…

“When I count my blessings, I count them twice.”

Kanin Club is an authentic (with a twist) Filipino restaurant which have been delighting their customers (including myself) for the past years. We have been dining at their branch at Paseo de Sta. Rosa (Sta. Rosa, Laguna) because it is my boss’ favorite, she particularly recommends the crispy “dinuguan” (it’s deep-fried pork crisp enough set in a semi-dry stew of pork blood). It is a Filipino staple food and is best with “puto” (rice cake). I personally like it with Puto Binan.

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I would have to recommend the “Turon CK”. I have been ordering it through the years and it’s still the same since the last time I tried it last month.

I don’t know why my college besties always make me choose where to dine when we find time to meet up. The two of them will first figure out the location and they’ll let me choose where to dine in that specific location. This time, they decided to meet up at Westgate Center in Alabang. It is a small village where an array of retail shops from dining, leisure, auto, wellness and even sports were lined-up. Even my most favorite restaurant: “Neil’s” is fiercely standing there.

So, I instantly thought of Kanin Club. =)

By the way, “kanin” is a Filipino term for cooked/ steamed rice.

We seldom see each other, maybe just twice or thrice a year, but each time we meet, it’s just love and happiness. And let me add lots of laughter and food too.

Here’s what we had then:

– That famous crispy dinuguan
– Crispy liempo
– Green mango and bagoong (local shrimp paste)
– Bagoong rice
– Kare-kare (It comes in three variants: seafood, ox tripe or pork legs)

We chose pork legs. Mhai doesn’t like the ox tripe. Pam and I okayed all three.

And for our dessert:

– Turon KC

So they were asking how many times do we need to stay in the tread mill just to burn these out? And Pam was saying we all need to indulge sometimes and ended it with: “I’m actually heading to Gold’s later.” Ahahaha!

Because if you look at our spread, they’re all killers!

Flavor enhancers.

It’s not an everyday thing though she said. And I agreed since it was also the same thing that my doctor told me last year. But when I was about to leave her office, she left me with: “Just make sure to always count the fats and calories okay!” with a naughty grin.

All three of us gained a little weight from the previous years and we didn’t mind at all. #sizedoesntmatter

Look at those cheeks! =)

We top it off with this sweet indulgence.

#tdf

I’ve been meaning to ask what KC stands for. Then, it occurred to me, since this is their original recipe, KC stands for Kanin Club. Lol!

Until our next meet-up.

Kanin Club has branches in the following areas: U.P. Ayala land Techno-hub, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Paseo, Sta. Rosa, Greenfield district and QC.

Try Kanin Club, you’ll love it there. =)