A delightful Japanese restaurant in Manila: Izakaya Kenta

Ground Floor , Malate Bayview Mansion , 1781 M. Adriatico Street , Malate 1004 – Manila -Philippines

entrance to the restaurant painstakingly reconstruct an authentic wooden gate

The original restaurant was formerly located in Pedro Gil St. Malate, Manila, in front of Hyatt Hotel for 13 years.  The present restaurant reopens in Adriatico St. near Remedios Circle.  The name and rights was purchased by the present owners.

modern glass facade with red and white signage greets every visitor to the restaurant

table and chairs are neatly arranged

Mr. Erwin Medina is the one in charge with all the interior decorations and furniture arrangement !  Our group was formally introduced to the proprietors of the restaurant.

Medina  family

The proprietors  Dr. Reynaldo Medina , Ms. Sakura Medina and Mr. Erwin Medina tried their best to come up with a place that is  as authentic  to what they have loved since they were young. They were born in Japan and knows a great deal about the Japanese culture. The family were frequent patrons of the old Izakaya branch at Pedro Gil. The emcees prepared a short program and a contest ( origami folding ) to all those present . Luckily,   our blogger friend ( LOL Philosopher )- a first time participant  in a blogging event won an item! WEEE!!!

ice tea

potato sarada

The first item on our appetizer was the mashed potato salad with finely chopped violet- colored cabbage, lettuce ,  tomato ,  cucumber  topped with hard- boiled egg and mayonnaise . Potato is not indigenous to Japan and was introduced probably in the 16th and 17th century by traders .

Next item on the appetizer list is the Supageti Sarada – Again, the dish was introduced to Japan .  BUT the Japanese had indigenized the dish to suit their health conscious diet and palate.

The dish had fresh lettuce, thinly sliced violet-colored cabbage, cucumber , carrot and spaghetti mixed with Japanese mayonnaise.  The Japanese version is far healthier  compared to the Italian or even Filipino- style spaghetti .

The first one is a three piece meal of sashimi. There is Maguro (鮪) or Tuna, Hamachi (魬, はまち) or Yellow tail fish (A kind of jack fish), and then Ika (烏賊, いか) or squid. The leaves , carrots , sea weeds are all edible! The dish is not only pleasing to the eyes but also freshness.

The Mixed Sushi Platter was served next carefully prepared along with their Sashimi (raw fish and raw squid). – See more at: http://www.jobonsol.net/#sthash.jwOpU060.dpuf

tako potato

The freshly made tako potato uses potato and octopus as the main ingredient. The secret ingredient is the sauce , Japanese mayonnaise and bonito flakes (Katsuobushi). I have tried other Japanese restaurants which offers same dish, but i think the preparations , freshness , top grade ingredients that set this apart.

mixed nigiri-jou

Before we ate the main dish , our group was given a short tour

master sushi chef Dennis

According to Chef Dennis Ganzon – You must make sure to have a good sharp knife and to hold the meat minimally, since our hands conduct heat and may affect the food.  The restaurant  highly skilled chef had more than 13- years tucked to his record.  Another tip we got is the freshness of the ingredient .

TORI KARAAGE

Tori Karaage is a deep fried chicken ( marinated with special ingredients) coated with batter . It can be served together with lemon or calamansi

Itememono Gyu Suteki
Itememono

Itememono Gyu Suteki

This is no ordinary beef steak meal,  it is  Angus beef  imported from Japan. The beef cuts were thinly sliced  marinated to perfection topped with onions .  The special sauce compliment the sweet and tender beef . Fried sweet potatoes and corn kernels were added as a side dish presented in a  sizzling plate! Yummy

We were presented with miso soup with tofu. Then we were served with some bowl of Japanese rice.

Itememono Gyu Suteki

Gindara Teriyaki with pickled vegetables

Gindara teriyaki is a type of a fish ( Cod)  marinated for about 1 hour in  Japanese soy sauce, sugar and cook over a very small flame.

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake, omelette or pizza  containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”.  The dish is normally associated with Kansai prefecture or Hiroshima City.  The topping may vary from one region to another but just like the  tako potato , the topping is from bonito flakes , sea weeds  with special sauce and Japanese mayonnaise  !

Purin

Purin is a type of creme caramel or custard pudding topped with cherry.

Japanese mochi

Mochi is a multi-component food consisting of polysaccharides, lipids, protein and water. Mochi has a heterogeneous structure of amylopectin gel, starch grains and air bubbles.  Mochi is a well-known dessert in several Asian countries. However the Japanese version is not that sweet, not chewy compared to other Asian mochi, just right!

Facilities

Depending on the izakaya, customers sit on tatami  mats and dine from low tables in the traditional Japanese style, or sit on chairs and drink/dine from tables. Many izakaya offer a choice of both, as well as seating by the bar. This is a private room which can accommodate between 6 to 9 people at any given time.

Review:

I must give a thumbs -up to the proprietors , service crew, sushi master for a job well-done. The restaurant is clean, the food is serve fresh , the ambiance is good and the lighting is also prefect .

Food prices range is from Php 250 to Php 550 per dish ( depending on the ingredients , size of the servings )

(each main dish depending on the ingredients and the size of servings), affordable and really worth the budget. – See more at: http://www.jobonsol.net/#sthash.jwOpU060.dpuf
food price ranges from Php250-Php550 (each main dish depending on the ingredients and the size of servings), affordable and really worth the budget. – See more at: http://www.jobonsol.net/#sthash.jwOpU060.dpuf
food price ranges from Php250-Php550 (each main dish depending on the ingredients and the size of servings), affordable and really worth the budget. – See more at: http://www.jobonsol.net/#sthash.jwOpU060.dpuf
food price ranges from Php250-Php550 (each main dish depending on the ingredients and the size of servings), affordable and really worth the budget. – See more at: http://www.jobonsol.net/#sthash.jwOpU060.dpuf
food price ranges from Php250-Php550 (each main dish depending on the ingredients and the size of servings), affordable and really worth the budget. – See more at: http://www.jobonsol.net/#sthash.jwOpU060.dpuf

Parking space is quite limited and Reservations is highly encourage.  I must return back to taste their tempura and other signature dishes!

Contact information: +632 ( 523-1874)

Operation:  Monday to Sunday :11:00am to 2:30pm , 5:00pm to 11:00pm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/izakayakenta

Email: izakayakenta@gmail.com

10 Ways to Enjoy Dining Experience at Hodai Japanese-Korean Fusion Restaurant

Hodai which means “all you can ” in Nihongo or Nippongo.  The restaurant is a fusion between Japanese, Korean and international dishes.

Hodai just recently open their doors last May 2019 and had been attracting great reviews and accolades from food connoisseurs and their customers. The cat in the logo is similar to neko cat which invites luck or customers to the place.

Hodai Japanese and fusion dishes buffet at #14 Examiner street

10 Ways to Enjoy Dining Experience

10.) Large Space– There use to be a large house which occupies about 600 square meters of lot with almost 400 square meters of dining space. The house was converted into a restaurant by the proprietors. Which have a sitting capacity of between 150 to 160 at any given time.  There is an amble parking space.

9.) Family Oriented– For those planning to dine at the restaurant, One can try to walk-in or make reservation in advance.

8.) Ambiance– Large windows and high ceiling allows natural light to enter inside the restaurant. Modern lighting and fixtures are an added bonus for those who wish to take photos and Instagram.

second floor

The second floor had nice wooden floors, simple wooden chairs and tables would greet customers.

7.) Friendly Staff – Another plus for visiting this restaurant are the friendly smiles and service oriented culture by the staff.

different kinds of sushi rolls

6.) Unlimited sushi rolls– If you will choose between GOLD or Silver unlimited and sushi rolls is one of the dishes included. one will surely enjoy their sushi rolls.

Hodai Gold and Silver  in-house promo

5.) Tempura– If you are lover of deep fried shrimp and vegetable tempura. This is a place to visit.

4.) Pork Tankatsu and Teriyaki– Deep fried pork tonkatsu with nice sauce and lettuce topped with chopped spring onions. Another dish is their teriyaki with their special sauce.

3.) Miso Soup and Rice– One would be delighted to know that there is free miso soup and white rice included in their promo.

Korean Fried Chicken

2.) Korean Fried Chicken– available in two flavors: deep fried chicken with glaze sweet sauce and garlic with sesame seeds. Another one is the spicy version. This dish is comparable to well-known korean style fried chicken in the industry.  Children, teens and adults will surely like it.

buffet dishes

1.) Affordable – There is an ongoing in-house promo for those who wanted to taste their dishes. It comes with ” Bronze”, “Silver” and “Gold” promo. What is nice about their buffet is that the food serve is not sitting on a buffet table but served ala-carte style.

Promo:  Weekday
1+1 Gold set Php 599.00 (for 2 pax)

Weekend and Holidays

Silver set Php349.00 and Gold set Php 419.00

How to Commute:

1.) From EDSA Quezon Avenue, ride a jeepney bound to West Avenue/ SM North/ Project 6 ( from Delta Theater) and get off at Examiner Street. Walk towards the restaurant ( just in front of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Operation Sagip Center)

2.) From EDSA North, walk towards SM Savemore/ Paramount. One may opt to ride jeepney bound to Quiapo and get off at Examiner Street ( Php 9.00). Walk towards the restaurant.

3.) West Avenue: Another option is one can take a tricycle to the restaurant (P15 per person or Php 40 special )

4.) West Avenue- One can walk between 15 to 20 minutes walk from Paramount theater to Hodai .

Note: Promo prices posted at this site are subject to change without prior notice from the management of the Hodai restaurant. 

 Hodai Fusion restaurant

Address: #14 Examiner street near West Avenue,Barangay West Triangle, Quezon City

Contact : 0956 460 5848 / 0920-234-1200

Operational Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm , 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Kessaku: A Japanese Fusion Restaurant in Alabang

Ground Floor , Commercenter Building , Filinvest Avenue, Alabang 1781, Muntinlupa City- Philippines
restaurant facade
Kessaku in Nippongo means  ” Creating a Masterpiece,” according to Ms. Yums Sahgabao, one of the managing proprietors .  The restaurant has a sister  restaurant of Jozu Kin located in Burgos Circle and  Yumi Japanese Restaurant  in Promenade area, Greenhills, San Juan City- But Kessaku menu are different and are specially made to suit the Filipino palate and the international community which lives nearby.
      ground floor area
The ground floor can accommodate around 50 people while the second floor can accommodate  25 to 30 people at any given time. The restaurant opened its door to the public last September 2013 .
spacious ground floor viewed from second floor
The restaurant is located along Filinvest Avenue and a short distance from Acacia Hotel , South Supermarket Mall or Filinvest Mall
stylish and simple table and chairs
I admire the simple and stylish interior of the restaurant . ( modern minimalist style)
four season shake
One must try their four season shake , They use all natural ingredients and one can taste the real pineapple tidbits and cherry toppings . Not too sweet and the flavor blends really very well.
grape shake
This is another one in the bucket list ! I think it is about the freshness of the seedless grapes ( not too sweet )
green mango shake and dalandan shake
amuse-bouche or complimentary light snacks
Amuse -bouche is served in zhōngshì tāngchí  or Chinese -style soup spoon elegantly rolled crab-stick ( kani ) with kewpie or Japanese mayonnaise topped with chopped spring rolls  . This is good light snack to clean the palate while waiting for the dishes .
salmon sashimi
 This particular sashimi is made with superior grade Norwegian salmon .  The restaurant’s executive chef would inspect all the salmon during the delivery and they would choose the top most quality ( freshness and high grade salmon)  Additional garnish includes freshly picked lettuce , bean sprouts , finely grated carrots with wasabi paste and lemon .  To fully enjoy the quality of the sashimi, you need only to dip the tip and not drown it with the sauce.
Salmon Sashimi – Small ( Php 125)  Large (P265).
Usi Ebi or Sunburst Salad
 Sunburst Salad is an assortment of vegetables -lettuce, cabbage , carrot with two kinds of grapes , strawberry , sliced apple , bits of mandarin oranges,   tiger prawns tossed with salad dressing and bits of sesame seeds.
This is good for 2 to 3 people sharing
California maki topped with flying fish roe and grated pepper
California maki taste very different from the other more traditional maki that i have tasted in other Japanese restaurants. The kani , sweetness of Japanese mayonnaise, lettuce , mangoes , sliced red pepper strips, black flying fish roe adds to the overall flavor of the California maki ala Kessaku . Based on the ingredients , you can see the fusion of other ingredients which make it among the top sellers.

Unagi with Foie Gras
Foie Gras is from fattened duck or goose liver , eel and Japanese sticky rice rolled with nori strips (seaweed wrapper)  topped with sesame seeds and with wasabi paste
The Foie Gras really melts on your mouth and the eel taste crunchy .  The soft texture and mixing of the two really compliments each other .   Another MUST recommended dish , a visit to the restaurant is not complete without ordering this dish. You can share this with 2 to 3 people Php 350

Spider rolls

Spider Rolls is made from soft- shell crabs ( a culinary term for crabs that had recently molted their exoskeleton ). This means that almost the entire crab can be eaten, rather than having to shell the animal to reach the meat. The crab is finely chop into bite size bits fried with minimal batter or coating , wrapped on a sticky Japanese rice with special sauce and nori sheet and additional lettuce leaves with bean sprouts and  pepper strips as topping

Maguro tempura maki

Tiger Roll  is a mixture of ebi tempura , fresh tuna, sticky rice , creme cheese, avocado , dazzled with creme cheese , bean sprouts , sesame seeds and lemon

This tempura dish is a combination of sweet, sour and creamy , perfect for those who like creme cheese . The creme cheese does not overpower the tempura and you can still taste the fresh ingredients !

Symphony

Symphony it is a layers of  fried sushi rice, layers of spicy tuna, spicy salmon and crab-stick ( kani) with Japanese mayonnaise , topped with red and black  fish egg roe with Katsuobushi shavings and spring onion leaves an effortless medley of spicy , sweetness and savory.

It is meant to be shared with 2 to 3 people so it is okey not to cut them like cake , it can be quite messy but it is like mixing all the desired flavors . Php 380

Sukiyaki
Sukiyaki  is a hot pot  dish,  It has a sweet and salty flavor a little bit like teriyaki sauce , Japanese wine which add sweetness , but with tender angus beef and vegetable in the mix like carrots, cabbage , spring onion , It is a perfect dinner for family or great food to enjoy with guests.
 
Chicken Yakitori
  Chicken Yakitori Barbecue marinated with special sauce topped with finely chopped spring onion leaves with side garnish of fried thin noodles, red and green cabbage , carrots thinly sliced.
The chicken is tender and it almost melts in your mouth . It is well marinated ( special sauce)  and ideal for 2 to 3 people sharing. Don’t forget the side garnish , They are perfect combination ! This is also a MUST for barbecue and chicken lovers !!!!!
Shishamo
Shishamo is a Japanese smelt fish with roe ( eggs ) fried  with lemon , fried noodles and finely chopped vegetables as garnish or side dish .
The dish can be compared with our own tinapa –  but minus the heavier smoky taste and can be shared with 2 to 3 people.Php 295
 Angus Prime Cha han
Angus Prime Cha- Han is the Japanese version of fried rice , but they use the  sticky rice , less soy sauce ,  angus beef , vegetables and sprinkled with chopped spring onion .
This is a complete meal or can be shared with 2 people .
Ebi Tempura
 Tiger Prawn Tempura  is coated with  simple batter then deep fried in hot oil  .  It is best dipped with simple lemon and rock salt which brings out the taste. the dish also comes with special tempura sauce.
Shared with 3 to 4 people. It comes in small, medium and large order .
Soft Shell Crab Tempura
Soft Shell Crab Tempura is coated with simple batter then deep fried to perfection .
When you eat this tempura, you can eat the entire shell without any fear  of indigestion , The crab carapace is soft and similar with fried talangka . Can be shared with 2 to 3 people. Perfect with its own tempura sauce or simple lemon and rock salt mixture will bring out the taste.
Kaikage Teppan
Kaikage Teppan or Fried Oyster in Batter  with fried noodles and thinly sliced vegetables perfectly compliment each other . I remember its Chinese version,  the Oyster cake which we always love to eat in Binondo , The Japanese version is different since they are individually coated with batter and deep fried with special sauce topped with chopped spring onion . Ideal for 2 to 3 people.
Mixed Kamameshi
Mixed Kamameshi is a traditional rice dish cooked in an iron pot.   which includes thin strips of carrots and sweet potato, boiled shrimp,  mushroom , beans , pork and beef that’s mixed with rice flavored with soy sauce. Guests can do the mixing or ask the server to do it.  (P450), Ideal for 2 to 3 people.
from the facebook page of Kessaku
Celebrity spotted- Ms. Jodi Santa Maria , Mr. Jolo Revilla  , Mr. Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales ,  Ms. Nikki Valdez , Ms. Ellen Adarna were among the celebrities that are spotted eating at this restaurant .  This is aside from the expats and foodies who want a different taste.
food and lifestyle bloggers
* Note : I must ” Thank” Ms. Kathy Kenny Ngo – food connoisseur for organizing this food tour and to the owners of Kessaku for the warm hospitality to the group ” Maraming Salamat Po” 
I must give Kessaku a rating of 9.25 out of 10 for the ambiance, food , presentation and service !
vicinity map
How to Get There:
1.) Metropolis Star Mall  – 1 ride Baclaran, Alabang jeep then go down to Caltex station cross the intersection ( Alabang-Zapote Road ) then a short walk toward Acacia Hotel
2.) Alabang Terminal Station – Jeep going to Alabang Filinvest , then go down to Caltex station cross the intersection ( Alabang-Zapote Road )  then a short walk towards Acacia Hotel
  3.) Baclaran , Sucat – 1 ride going to Filinvest Alabang then go down to  Filinvest Avenue  then a short walk towards Acacia Hotel.
Private Cars – Take the Filinvest Exit of South Luzon Expressway  then look for Commerce Avenue. For commuters, the best way is to use the Chef’s Avenue exit of Festival Super mall (until 9pm) then the straight pathway will lead you to Commerce Avenue. It is around about 500 to 600 meters from the mall.
Address : Kessaku Commercenter Alabang
Filinvest Corporate City, Muntinlupa City-Philippines
Call 403-3445

Special Promo of Hodai Fusion Restaurant

Hodai Restaurant combines Japanese, Korean, Italian dishes that takes on a new concept of a modern buffet styled setting. Base on Japanese cuisine and culture, The base of operation with its distinctive flavor, freshness of the ingredients and preparation methods.
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wide array of dishes
The logo is strategically posted and represented by a cat which is like neko with paws holding up. In East Asian culture like China, Japan and Korea, the cat presents good luck and attracts customers.
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group photo
Hodai
Hodai fusion restaurant facade

Buffet with a Twist

Hodai restaurant is an affordable all-you-can-eat twist on the current Japanese food market without the sacrifice of quality, taste, ambiance and space to share a feast with your loved ones. There is also an area where one can refill rice.

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kani salad

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fried cream dory with special sauce and pechay

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fried tofu with sauce and chopped spring onions

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fried tempura

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fried pork tonkatsu with lettuce, onion and sauce
The menu consists of three (3) sets labeled Value, Silver, and Gold. Wherein customers have the option to decide which among the sets meet with their cravings. Menu items include Tonkatsu, Japchae, Rose Cream Pasta, Kimchi Gyozas, Maki rolls, Teriyaki, Spicy Cheese barbecue and a variety of other dishes. 
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lightning fixtures
The interior is nice , clean, modern and brightly lighted. It had a capacity of between 150 to 160 customers at any given time. The old house was re-purpose as a restaurant.  One can also taste a sample of Korean ice cream.

100 Day Anniversary in-House Promo

Hodai is celebrating their 100 days in business and they are offering an in-house 40% discount promo for weekends and holidays which starts on July 27, 2019 and also 50% discount promo for weekday(Mon to Fri) on July 29, 2019. The promo will last until September.

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Weekday (Mon to Fri) – 50% off

Value Set – 399 to 199 pesos
Silver Set – 499 to 249 pesos
Gold Set – 599 to 299 pesos

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Weekends and  Holidays – 40% off

Silver Set – 499 to 299 pesos
Gold Set – 599 to 359 pesos

It is also wise to make some reservations days or even weeks in advance for those planning to have their birthday parties and big groups.

How to Commute:

1.) From EDSA Quezon Avenue, ride a jeepney bound to West Avenue/ SM North/ Panay /Project 6 ( from Delta Theater) and get off at Examiner Street. Walk towards the restaurant ( just in front of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Operation Sagip Center)

2.) From EDSA North, walk towards SM Savemore/ Paramount. One may opt to ride jeepney bound to Quiapo and get off at Examiner Street ( Php 9.00). Walk towards the restaurant.

3.) West Avenue: Another option is one can take a tricycle to the restaurant (P15 per person or Php 40 special )

4.) West Avenue- One can walk between 15 to 20 minutes walk from Paramount theater to Hodai.

Note: Promo prices posted at this site are subject to change without prior notice from the management of the Hodai restaurant. 

 Hodai Fusion Restaurant

Address: #14 Examiner street near West Avenue,Barangay West Triangle, Quezon City

Contact : 0956 460 5848 / 0920-234-1200

Operational Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm

 

Modern Japanese Residential House at Don Miguel Street, San Juan

Modern with posh and comfortable living within the heart of Metro Manila. One can feel the urban and residential vibes in San Juan City.

greenhills-2

Modern-Japanese inspired house with bamboos and high ceilings

Points of Interest

The house and lot covered an area of 940 square meters of lot. The residential property is near hospitals, churches, schools, gymnasium, restaurants, malls, supermarket, golf courses, fast food restaurants and important urban centers like Ortigas financial district, Makati, New Manila, Quezon City and University Belt area in Manila.

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mini waterfall, koi pond with water plants

Features

The three storey house reflect a Japanese modern house design with large windows and high ceiling. This allows natural light and allows air circulation to infiltrate the main living rooms and kitchen area.

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living room with large windows and high ceiling ( artist concept)

It had a salt water pool, jacuzzi with outdoor shower area and a modern elevator system by Aritco ( Sweden).

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hallway

The solar heater is centralized with sprawling manicured Japanese -inspired garden complete with koi pond that blends well with nature. One can easily commune with nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

swimming-pool

outdoor area with swimming pool and gazebo area

It had a narra floors and doors which complement the colors and features of the house ( narra floor panels are durable and long lasting under the tropical weather of the country).

greenhills-2-3

Hans grohe fixtures with 5 bedrooms with individual toilet. There is the large and spacious living room, dining area, kitchen, There is also daily kitchen, drivers and maids room. There is also ample parking space between 6 to 10 cars.

A gazebo area with grill which is perfect for hosting small parties or having time to spend outdoors cooking barbecue or home cooked meals.

Security and Safety Features

There are security guards on guard 24 hours and the neighborhood had CCTV on street corners with nearby police station few meters away.

For those interested to visit, Please contact:  Ms. Nikki Parulan – Marketing Representative 
email : wparulan@gmail.com / 0926-064-2982