IZAKAYA – A Japanese Resto in San Pedro…

Izakaya – A Japanese Resto in San Pedro…

Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity. ~aaron swartz~

Growing up with culinary influences from my mama and papa who hailed from Cavite and Pampanga respectively. They’ve been with me all my life as I explore the awesome tricks of cooking.

This is why even if I am not literally a food blogger, I might not be able to capture all the essence of it like a professional. Still, I always give it my best try. =)

I remember using my parent’s recipe for spaghetti which won me first prize during a cooking competition on my 6th grade. Since then, it gave me extra confidence to do my stint in the kitchen! =)

I mastered (hmmmmn) Filipino & Spanish cuisine, maybe Italian, some of Chinese, but not Japanese.

In our town, I seldom see a decent Japanese restaurant, except for the one which we even had as venue for my wedding’s reception, way way back 1990s.

It didn’t augment in the process I guess, though their food is good, or maybe, there are not much fans that it created at that time. I felt bad upon discovering it’s no longer there, a huge gym replaced their location, though I had this comforting thought of knowing another one somewhere I hope will open soon.

Not until so so soon, after almost 20 years. I found one. Izakaya Restaurant. Izakaya is a Japanese term for a pub or a Sake shop. Just to check on it, my foodie buddy decided on it right away. And no regrets at all, I definitely like what we ordered.

The ambiance is very Japanese.

hallway
Looking forward to see a Japanese restaurant in Japan! ❤
long table
I plan to sit here when I bring my fam here…=)
ceiling
I look up all the time! ahaha!

There’s a soft music playing that is not too loud nor not too soft. You know the feeling of enumerating your order to the attendant and you can’t hear each other because their music is so loud, on top of the conversations going on from different tables. It’s not like that.

The attendants took care of us with all their guile sincerity. We met Neo, He is the “Shift Head”. We even agreed to go back again, we exchanged “call me” cards. And he assured us he can always reserve our tables should we advise him of our visit. I told him we will visit definitely off-peak. As I’d be with somebody very impatient (My mom). Ehehe! But then, our food were served in less than 10 minutes I guess, and they’re still hot and are neatly arranged in those authentic Japanese plates.

Initially, since it’s a few hours from dinner time, maybe around almost 5pm. We just had California maki,

maki
Mangoes and crab sticks are fresh! =)

the Japanese version of Hakaw,

gyoza
Gyoza…

and since the heat is scorching since after lunch time, again, for this single week, I had my 7th “Halo-halo”, Japanese version.

halo halo
“Kakigori”…

I especially loved the taste of the red monggo and according to Neo, the monggos came all the way from Japan. I love Japan! I dreamt of seeing this country one day!

Their table are complete with Japanese sesame oil, their very special sauce which I always call “Kikkoman” even if the brand is not Kikkoman (ehehe!). There’s Japanese vinegar as well.

japanese cup
Hand-painted cups…=)

The chopsticks are made of wood, the kind of chopstick that from the look of it, you will feel that they’re not the ordinary or usual
chopsticks. I should know! I collect them! Theirs is not
disposable too!

We didn’t stay that long, even if we want to. However, as promised, we will go back. I told Neo, I am bringing my son and my mom!

PS

Foodie buddy was so happy with her crab sticks! =)

foodie buddy
Let’s go back here okay? Okay! (–,)

 

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My Chopsticks Collection…

My Chopsticks Collection…

I am a Filipina. My mom has Spanish blood while my papa hailed from his Chinese ancestors. This is why I wonder why I have this undying fascination for chopsticks.

I have a high regard to the Japanese. I admire their simple and chic manner of designing their homes. The crisp cleanliness of interiors to inhabit in a daily basis. I kept wondering if they really maintain the cleanliness in actual daily living. I love their gardens too. So serene it brings me closer to God. Truly relaxes my senses. And its’ lush and green energizes me. I see them living in beauty. Such admiration I hold since I was a kid.

Part of which is collecting chopsticks. I have all the kinds:

Keero Keeropee

10
My highschool friend came from Hongkong when we were in highschool and she gave me this! =) This is even older than my son!

My favorite color

11
Violet! ❤

Made of plastic

3
This one is a gift from my sister-in-law! ❤

Wooden

1
Floral…=)

Authentic

4
I have lots of red!

Decorative

2
Green!

 

With a case

9
This one I bought from Singapore..
7
I especially like this because of its’ paua shells ornaments..

 

Stainless Steel

8
This one is made of stainless steel and came with a deep purple container, it was given to me by my papa..

Etc.

I learned to appreciate their food since college since one of our professor used to bring us to this Japanese restaurant a few blocks away from our school. I remember the warmth hospitality shown by the attendants wearing Kimonos.

Reading from Memoirs of a Geisha, it taught me that the designs of those has a story to tell whether it is floral or birds or water or cherry blossoms it has its own interpretation and are dependent on the season.

My cousin recently came from Japan and surprised me with a whole set of authentic chopsticks.

Keeping them with my collection as newest members of the family, and made me realized I had a lot except for something like this which I think is something I could no longer afford.

lv
Courtesy of: http://www.fashionphile.com/louis-vuitton-rosewood-monogram-chopsticks-vip-w-case-new-35940

Though my set of collections gives me this happiness as I have gained them through the years, some are gifts, some are bought by me whichever way, I love lookin’ at them and I think I am close enough to do this:

I saw these a few years ago and decided to make my DIY. Though at that time my chopsticks aren’t enough to complete the circle. Now I need a few more (well maybe even more) ahaha!, to be able to do it.

Japanese-chopsticks
Will I be able to complete this? =)

I guess I have to visit flea stores more often and find some items to complete them. Little did I know that eating with chopstick has an art in it too. And even interpretations. I learned that placing them pointed on the rice bowl is a no no as it means death to the Japanese so since then I try my best to avoid doing it.

T’was also nice to know that here in the Philippines- there are endless Japanese restaurants to choose from. The one in Buendia is Kamameshi. There’s an authentic one somewhere in which my former boss introduced to me. Unlike restaurants that are designed by professionals, their place is just like an old Japanese house. Here are some in our country:

1. SUGI is in the old Greenbelt where I grew up

2. JOHN & YOKO a new take located in Makati and Alabang (I especially like the violet fabrics of the chairs)

3. TERIYAKI BOY is an affordable take when it comes to Japanese cravings

4. SAISAKI the one in Pasay road was an old time favorite

5. AKIRA at Shangri-la mall

6. RED KIMONO in Alabang

7. KIMPURA in front of Landmark, Makati is still standing strong after more than 20 years

8. TEMPURA HAUS in Tacloban

9. ONKEI  in Greenbelt 3

10. FUKUYA in Festival mall (the nearest one for me)

11. SUMOSAM in Shangri-la mall

12.  TATAMI in Serendra

13. KAMAMESHI which we frequent during college

14. IZAKAYA YUCHAN which is a few minutes away from home

And the list goes on and on. =)

Sooner or later I will be able to have my own framed chopstick collection! Can’t wait! Yey! ❤ (–,)