Sunday, April 21, 2013

Little Tokyo in Makati

The place makes you feel like you're in the Edo era. Love it!


Little Tokyo is definitely on the top of my list when I crave for an authentic -tasting Japanese meal. The proof is in the unceasing presence of Japanese expats who huddle around the restos every time I’m there. It is a single-storey courtyard with a number of shops and restaurants that goes unnoticed right in the middle of Makati. This is where a number of cosplayers and anime enthusiasts come to shoot and be in their element; where foodies come to sample great food; and where I find the best Japanese groceries to binge on such as ice cream, cold cuts, beverages, snacks, condiments, and food-related stuff for only Php. 80.00.

Sticky Rice Ball something on sticks. It's weirdly chewy-savory-sweet. Like soy-honey.

I discovered this place way back, and I wanted to keep myself hushed about this secret find…but then I decided to blog about it now because I have nothing to talk about today…so why not this? To be honest though, I don’t know the name of the shops nor do I know how to get here without getting lost first, so I won’t talk about directions or shop names, I’ll just describe the experience and the food instead.

Grilled Fish Cake

They hold events, and can get quite crowded on the weekend.

The food is excellent, and that is guaranteed 100% as the restaurants are maintained with Japanese quality standards under the watchful eyes of their Japanese owners. Of course, that is to assume that all establishments are run by them…other than that, I’m not sure what I just wrote. The point is, it’s really good but also expensive. You cannot come here expecting to save on your meal. You come here to burn money and eat real Japanese food that you don’t get at Tokyo Tokyo or Teriyaki Boy for that matter.

It is ideal to come around 12nn or 6pm as shops are not too keen about opening the whole day. Better come with a camera and at least Php 1000.00 to enjoy your experience. The place isn’t always packed especially around lunch time, so you can have your privacy here.

Chicken Teriyaki

Grilled Fish Bento Box (P500.00)

Chashu Ramen (P350.00)

Each shop specializes on a dish, one for okonomiyaki, another for yakitori, a different place for sashimi, and you can get good ramen next door from there. This fact is a perfect excuse to come back to the place a second and a third time. Marketing strategy? Go figure, but I think to specialize on one thing and perfect it is a very Japanese thing. That’s why they don’t bother on extending their menu; they simply do justice in what they do best. This is what I love about Little Tokyo.

I definitely recommend this place to people who know how to appreciate good food and those on a lookout for a new find.

Strawberry and Blueberry Yogurt, Custard Pudding! (P80.00)

Mixed Sushi Set (P1,200.00)

Cold Soba Set with Tempura (P450.00) 


Takoyaki with octopus, pickled ginger, and vegetables. (P140.00 for 6 pcs) 

The takoyaki was good and very filling. It's got the works down to the bonito flakes.

Little Tokyo
2277 Pasong Tamo 
Corner Amorsolo Street, 
Makati City

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reverie Sound Revue


"Your foot hits the pavement, you feel the city and propel into the flow. Negotiate the kaleidoscope of traffic. Sidewalk slipstream. The underground. Reality blurs and you are floating in space. Drifting, you hear the vibration of a future daydream. This is 
Reverie Sound Revue."

Those were the lines that first ignited my interest to checking out the group. There is something about their music that draws me a picture of an artist's life in the middle of an urban landscape: Clad in a layer of bold printed fabrics, a girl walks in her chucks with one hand on her jean, and the other holding a sling bag in place. The afternoon sun hits her thick-framed sunglasses and she turns to gaze at a store window, a collection of vintage whatnot behind the glass. She smiles in admiration over the grunge-painted boxes and nostalgic sepia photos. She turns up the volume of her iPod and takes in the moment in awe. This is the music she listens to.

A combination of base strings, casual beats, and sleepish melodies sends in hypnotic waves that transcends their music into an imaginative auditory experience. This is the kind of music I would like to hear in themed cafes as I sip a cup of latte late into the afternoon, or the one playing in the background as I walk through an arcade of quirky artist-owned shops.

Cover for Reverie Sound Revue's self-titled album (2009)

A Canadian indie rock band that I had mistaken as a Britpop indie band, the music they do is not for everyone, but it is for artists who love coffee. There is a certain allure in the sound they produce and being a visual artist who appreciates the kind of underground music now classified as "indie", it makes sense that an artist loves something that was once unclassified due to its hippie nature. Led by the distinctive vocals of Lisa Lobsinger, her soft haunting voice floats just above the rhythms that I can only describe as vintage-pop-rock. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Maple at San Antonio Plaza, Forbes

What seems like an early morning breakfast is actually a late afternoon snack. At around 4:30 pm, the day is about to end but it's never too late for  a breakfast meal. This is the pleasure offered by restaurants that serve all day breakfasts. Maple is one of those that specializes on pancakes and waffles but its menu goes beyond morning meals. 

Its menu is pretty as a storybook, and the story is your dining experience. It begins with pancakes for a new day and ends on a sweet note with dessert for that fairy tale ending we all desire. Kudos to the concept and execution of the menu!

The interior of the place is warm and does well with the play of light that even before sunset, I felt like I was sitting in a breakfast table just at the crack of dawn. With the combination of white stenciled wall and lacquered walnut chairs, it makes you want to sit and sip a cup of coffee. The detailing was done with clean furnishings and the concept was played well in incorporating it  into the whole vibe of the place.

Maple syrup I wish they served.

Love the door!

The food was pretty to look at in the menu, and it came to the table just as pretty. Carefully positioned on the plate and delicately garnished to make you want to snap a photo before digging in is always a good thing. 

The coffee was good.

This is where I became a fan of bread pudding. The bread was well soaked and didn't taste overly soggy like other puddings. If anything, it was the caramelized sugar that made it gooey and addicting. The term "ala mode" is used for the heavy cream poured on top when it's served and not a scoop of ice cream--but either way it's good.

The pancake is when the story gets sad...I mean, tastes like buttermilk pancake and is fluffy...but the best bite is the first and by the time I got to the second pancake I was bored with the taste that I slowed down between bites. I suppose the aftertaste of buttermilk--a slight sourness that leaves your mouth dry was probably the cause of my turn off. The pancake tower I ordered is good for two people or three...unless you dig buttermilk pancakes that badly, then you're fine. The waffle was good, it has a gooey-buttermilky thing going on with it, but it's didn't bring tears to my eyes. 

Eggs Benedict was a nice treat since it's good to share besides the fact that it's good. The hollandaise sauce was nice, but I wasn't so crazy with the bread they used. The star of the dish was actually the side--the crispy potatoes. Gosh those were so addicting I wish there was more.  

Given the chance to eat at Maple, I'd ditch the pancake and go for either the desserts or meats--which I haven't tried yet. But for what it's worth, it's something to look forward to for great intimate meals. 

Cappuccino overflowing with milk foam (Php120)

Complimentary glazed bread and whipped butter

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Pancake Tower (Php450)

Bourbon Bread Pudding ala mode (Php240) MUST TRY!

Belgian Waffle (Php275)

Eggs Benedict (Php315) REALLY GOOD POTATOES!

Hot Chocolate with cream on the side (Php120+) Lacks a thick consistency.

Big Maple Breakfast (Php540.00) Good for sharing! Sweet-crispy-maple bacon!

2/F San Antonio Plaza Arcade, 50 Mckinley RdForbes Park - North, Makati