2016 is coming to a close and I am wrapping up the last few experiences I can possibly fit in the next few days. This year was a big year for me and the blog, as usual I got to read a lot of books and at the same time, I got to travel. Alongside my travels and reading along the way, Tricia and I would always find places to eat after a long day of walking, shoppping, or anything in between. In the first part of my three part year in review series, let’s take a look back some of the best places I’ve eaten this 2016.
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Looking at my feed, it’s pretty obvious that Tricia and I are Japanese cuisine addicts. Most of our food adventures were in Japanese or fusion restaurants. Other than Japanese/fusion restaurants we also explored some really nice places to celebrate milestones (our 3rd anniversary, Valentines, Christmas)
When I tried this restaurant back in 2015, I was hooked. At that time I ordered their burger on a black bun and it was delicious. When Tricia and I visited for our Valentines dinner, ordered some pretty cool items: lamb rendang and crowd favorite, torched salmon donburi. Those two were absolutely the best things I’ve eaten, the lamb was extra succulent and spicy; while the salmon donburi was soft, creamy and the black rice it came with added a beautiful texture to it.
For our anniversary, we decided to go Brapanese in Nikkei, a Brazillian-Japanese fusion restaurant. Their panko sushi rolls are great appetizers and were absolutely savory. While the maguro sushi was just heaven, those fatty slices just screamed fresh!. A great place to enjoy a different take on the Japanese food you’ve been eating since time immemorial.
This quaint new-age restaurant in Guijo certainly surprised me. First, I’ve never had a degustation experience before and secondly, I’ve never experienced eating food in such small pieces. The standout dish for that night was the salmon kushiyaki was the star. Three very beautiful creamy salmon cuts drizzled with truffle sauce and culinary fairy dust made this a one of a kind experience. Don’t forget to order the faux twix bar for dessert, it’s another crowd pleaser.
Any adventure around the metro or abroad wouldn’t be complete without trying out new places.
I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that hotdogs are becoming sitdown affairs. But in Pink’s, that’s exactly what happened. Their sausages are not your ordinary TJ hotdogs but are made with love and have layers of flavors. The trimmings it come with: sauerkraut, onions, mustards and what have you are wonderful additions to the sausages rich taste. This is a place worth revisiting again next year and trying out their other selections.
I have yet to visit Japan and experience those conveyor belt sushi restaurants it is known for. But in BGC, I get the next best thing with Genki Sushi and their quirky but delicious sushi and cool serving method. Instead of waiting for your order to pop up, from an interactive menu you get to order the sushi you want. The standouts were the fried chicken with Japanese mayo sushi, their black pepper chicken don, and the matcha ice cream.
In some side street near Cash and Carry Makati is this quaint Vietnamese restaurant serving some pretty good bahn mi and fresh spring rolls. Their bahn mi’s were stuffed to the brim with meats and greens; while their spring rolls were refreshing, savory, and coupled with vinegar, delectable. Besides the bahn mi, their unpronounceable salad is a must-order, crunchy, tangy, silky this salad had a lot of things going on but was good!
If Din Tai Fung is too expensive for you, then head to Cityland Towers near Cash and Carry and have their delicious xiao long bao. If that isn’t your thing, then Lao Beijing’s other dumplings might entice you, their pork kutchay or vegetable kutchay are my favorites. Soft, chewy and paired with the soy sauce and chili oil, these dumplings are like chips, just keep popping them in your mouth. My only complaint, their wrappers are sometimes too thick, you might end up with a separate plate filled with discared wrappers.
With all the traveling I did throughout this year, I want to share some interesting food I got to sample in Hong Kong and Seoul.
While my trip to Hong Kong was short, I was able to stuff myself with Ikea’s famous meatballs, taste the delicious egg waffles, revisit local favorite: Lan Fong Yuen, or just pop in some random noodle joint and enjoy a delicious wanton and noodle soup. Some of my favorites were IKEA’s meatballs (of course), those tiny balls of meat with the right amount of pepper and smothered in gravy were perfect for a light snack or early dinner. Don’t judge me, but I ate 20 pieces of those meatballs. Another highlight was Cafe De Coral, HK’s fastfood chain of restaurants. As usual, I ordered their signature rice dish, I had the grilled chicken at that time, a hearty simple meal full of flavors and spices.
In the 10 days I was in Korea, I would be remiss if I didn’t gorge myself on kimchi. I loved their kimchi, from the famous cabbages to the different kinds I got to try out, those kimchi dishes were just heaven. Aside from kimchi, the street food in Seoul was an experience in itself: skewers of pork, teokbokki, hot and spicy chicken, still make my mouth water every time I see those pictures. But the one food item I couldn’t get over in Korea was their banana milk. Everyday I would buy at least 2 bottles of this addicting dairy product. If I could have brought home some more I would!