Gyoza and Ramen House

The first thing that caught our eye was the restaurant’s name. It’s pretty straightforward, leaving you without a doubt as to what they serve. The second thing was the pleasant exterior, which features lanterns and big windows and wooden posts. The inside was also quite nice, with simple decor and pages from a Japanese newspaper plastered all over one wall.

Gyoza and Ramen House, interior

We ordered original gyoza (five pieces, P150) (I make it a point to sample gyoza in every Japanese restaurant I go to), sesame ramen (P330), and gyudon (P200).

Gyoza and Ramen House, original gyoza

Gyoza and Ramen House, sesame ramen

Gyoza and Ramen House, gyudon

The food here is, in a word, solid. The gyoza was lightly fried and the taste of the pork really shone through, though I personally would have loved more ginger in it. The sesame ramen featured a broth with a generous helping of what the menu said was sesame gravy, the noodles were nice and firm, and it contained three pieces of chashu when most ramen places usually just provide two. The gyudon was smaller than we expected, but it was so beefy and filling, making it sufficiently satisfying.

Another good thing about this restaurant? The fact that this is D’ Little Gyoza House with a new name in a new location. I only found out when I was looking up information about Gyoza and Ramen House and was surprised to see that its Facebook page was familiar to me. We loved D’ Little Gyoza House and were sad when the original branch closed. Fortunately, they’re back and better than ever, and will hopefully stay around for much much longer.

Gyoza and Ramen House
3 Malingap Cor. Matahimik Street
Teachers Village Diliman, Quezon City 1101

Spicy ramen at Ajisen Ramen

I spotted Ajisen Ramen along Sto. Domingo in Quezon City a month ago on my way to dinner at Oedo and made a mental note to check it out sometime. I got my chance yesterday. I was torn as to whether to get the basic Ajisen Ramen, Kon (which is the Ajisen Ramen only with corn), or the Spicy Ramen. I ended up getting the Spicy Ramen (P305), which is essentially the same as the basic one, only with the addition of spicy ground pork.

Ajisen Ramen, spicy ramen

The broth was rich and flavorful. The chashu was thinly sliced and tender. There was only a small dollop of spicy ground pork, but it gave the whole dish a major kick. It was exactly the sort of thing I needed on a gray, rainy, windy day.

Ajisen Ramen
43 Tirad Pass Corner Sto. Domingo, Sto. Domingo, Quezon City 1114

Minppy Japanese Hot Pot

For dinner tonight, I, Tj, and my sister initially intended to eat at Shakey’s in Pearl Drive, Fairview. However, Minppy Japanese Hot Pot caught our eye. Little did we know that we were in for a filling dinner. Hot pots are very cool, and Minppy’s no exception. Just choose the type of soup you want, choose your meats, choose your veggies, throw them into the pot of soup, then let everything boil until it’s cooked.

At Minppy, we chose the eat-all-you-can option, which went for P498 a person and allowed us to, well, eat everything that we can. The price also includes endless drinks. We chose sukiyaki and miso for the soups, and they were served in a divided pot.

The pork, chicken balls (chicken that has been rolled into balls, I mean), slices of beef, tofu, and squid soon followed, as well as a hefty array of vegetables, such as corn, pechay, cabbage, Baguio beans, onions, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, among others. At first, we thought the meat was pretty meager, given that the pork and beef were sliced quite thinly. Boy, were we wrong.

Minppy Japanese Hot Pot

Minppy Japanese Hot Pot

Minppy Japanese Hot Pot

We were also given a free taste of tempura and gyoza. I don’t eat shrimp, but I was told the tempura was nice. The gyoza was lovely, but then again, I’ve rarely met gyoza I didn’t like.

We managed to do quite well with the food even though there were only three of us. We even asked for more beef, cabbage, and broccoli, and were given extra cauliflower. With one more person, I think we would’ve wiped out the contents of the pot.

Dinner was a few hours ago, but we’re still stuffed–always a sign of a great meal.

Bodato Burgers

Sometime ago while driving along Visayas Avenue, the big green sign for Bodato Burgers caught my eye. You know what giant suckers we are for burgers, so I made a mental note to check them out when they’ve opened.

Bodato Burgers, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City

So a few days ago, Tj and I decided to have lunch there. Parking is limited in that you have to share the space with other establishments. Also, don’t make the mistake of trying to open the door to get in–you have to order at the window. We chose the Beef Burger Deluxe (P139) and potato wedges (P45).

Seating area’s in the back, where you share space with an eatery called Kainan ni Doc May. We saw that eating place a long time ago, and we noticed it because it said they welcome pets. Makes sense–Doc May is a veterinarian and her clinic’s in the back of the eatery. She chatted with us while we were waiting for our food, talking about her medical missions for pets in different parts of the country. We couldn’t help but admire her commitment to her work.

After around 10 minutes of waiting, our burgers finally came out.

Bodato Burgers, Beef Burger Deluxe

The Beef Burger Deluxe is a modest-sized burger, and it contains tomato, cucumber, lettuce, cheese, and chili. The chili is a welcome addition to the whole thing. We loved how the beef patty tasted–like real, honest-to-goodness beef. Mine got a bit too sloppy though, like the buns couldn’t hold in the beef, so I ended up with a chili-drenched plate and fingers. The potato wedges are wonderful, too. Nice, thick, and properly fried, plus they weren’t greasy and salty. We’re already looking forward to our next visit.

Katsu Cafe

Food trends tend to catch on easily here in the Philippines. We’ve gone through pearl shakes, Korean fried chicken, cookie butter–and that’s just to name a very few. In recent years, people have fallen more in love with the katsu, and this is one trend that I’m definitely into, having often ordered tonkatsu or chicken katsu from Japanese restaurants since I was a kid.

Tj and I have enjoyed katsu from Yabu before, but we’re not ashamed to admit that the price is keeping us from eating there more often. Enter Katsu Cafe, a nice little Japanese restaurant just off Katipunan Avenue.

Katsu Cafe, Katipunan, Quezon City

Here, we got a pretty substantial chicken katsu set, complete with cabbage salad with sesame dressing, rice, and miso soup for P195. Before the meal got to the table, we got a bowl of sesame seeds to crush and drench with sauce.

Katsu Cafe, Chicken Katsu

The chicken katsu was nicely fried and sufficiently tender, and it’s sure to satisfy any katsu craving you might have. They serve a whole lot more than katsu, though, so we’ll definitely back to sample other dishes they have to offer.

Katsu Cafe is at 329-I Katipunan Ave. corner B Gonzales, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.