Oishi Desu!

Opportunity presents itself. For someone who loves eating, like me, having a project that requires me to eat is not a burden but a pleasant opportunity. For someone who loves blogging, like me, having a project that requires me to blog is not a burden but a pleasant opportunity. Our final project for the Foreign Language 2 subject is to eat authentic Japanese food and do a food blog on it. These two tasks are just so wonderful.

So, first of all, I looked for a restaurant which serves an authentic Japanese food. There are loads of Japanese restos but they’re not really authentic. My family and I ate in one located somewhere in Bacao, General Trias called Kyo Hachi but that is out of my way. That means, I still have to lend loads of time just to go there. Since I have another option that is somewhere near my school, I chose that one and decided to go with my friends. It is Chikuzai!

Chikuzai is located along Governors Drive at Brgy. Langkaan I, Dasmariñas, Cavite. I’ve heard from a friend that they serve very good food at an affordable price. They have been mentioning it to me when I told them that I have a plan on eating in a Japanese resto.

And indeed, I was satisfied with Chikuzai. To prove my satisfaction, I have eaten again in Chikuzai! Well, here’s my go in my first try.

Outside Chizukai. My friends.

Outside Chizukai. My friends.

Compared to the other restaurants in that area, it’s not that noticeable. It’s like a normal restaurant. There is nothing on the outside that makes you really look when you pass by. When we entered the restaurant, the vibe isn’t completely Japanese. Although there is much effort seen in the lamps, the tables, the clothes of the service crew and the design, it never came to me that “Hey! It’s a Japanese restaurant!” That may be the case appeal-wise, the service is very nice. After all, they are Filipinos so the service crew is very nice.

So we are given a menu. I like how they present their menu as there are descriptions for each of the food. For someone that isn’t familiar with Japanese food, it is very helpful. I ordered Chicken Curry-don and Chikuzai Moriawase, then a can of coke.

Before I start evaluating each food, I set some criteria for every dish that I get. First is Good for the Eyes. This includes the appearance of the food: its color, its arrangement of everything in the plate and its appeal to my eyes. Second is Good for the Nose. I’m not normally trying to smell the food I eat but there are times that I remember that it’s for the evaluation so I should smell it. This includes how the smell makes me think it’s delicious and not just random stuff. Third, Good for the Tongue. The taste, of course. How does each ingredient blend? How tasty is it? What kind of magic does it do to my palette? I consider that kind of thing. Some people include what ingredients are in the dish, but I am not familiar with those things so I don’t really dwell in that aspect. Lastly, Good for the Wallet. How affordable is that dish to normal people like me? That is all so let’s start!

appetizer

While they were preparing for our orders, they gave us an appetizer. It’s a salad, I think. Not sure if it is really a salad. It’s a mixture of thin slices of cabbage, carrot, and cucumber and some kind of sweet-sour clear liquid.

Good for the Eyes: 7 / 10
Good for the Nose: 8 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 9 / 10
Good for the Wallet: 10 / 10 (It’s free!)

I always like salads so I like this dish. It’s very fresh and it’s cool to the tongue. I like the sauce/liquid thing that they mixed in it. It’s 75% sweet and 25% sour. It’s very good for an appetizer. No smell, actually. So, that’s it for the salad! Next!

chikuzai moriawase

This is Chikuzai Moriawase. From what I understood in a site, “moriawase” means assorted, thus this dish of assorted sushi. The one with black wrap with light colored ingredients inside it is “mixed”. There is mango, cucumber, crab stick and some more that I can’t really identify. Most of its taste is from the mango, cucumber and crab stick, hence the identification for the ingredients. I like the sweetness of the mango then saltiness from the soy sauce dipping. Another that has black wrap but pink thing inside is tuna. The first thing that comes to my mind regarding this sushi is it’s spicy. Well, I’m already expecting that it is spicy because of the wasabi inside it and I’m not really surprised that it is spicy. But yes, it is the first that comes to my mind. I like how fresh the fish is, too. Another sushi that is with orange things is the California maki. Again, the mango plus the mayo is pleasantly delicious. And the last sushi in this dish with the brown things is the ebi. That brown is like deep fried rice, no kidding. Then inside is shrimp. If I would be ranking these four sushi, fourth to first would be tuna, mixed, ebi then maki. It’s priced Php 260.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Nose: 8 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 10 / 10
Good for the Wallet: 8 / 10

curry 2

Next and last for my first visit at Chikuzai is Chicken Curry-don. First things first, I am very biased towards chicken. So from the time that I ordered it and it registered in my mind that it is chicken, I am already positively waiting for it.

The first thing I tried is the rice. I’d like to know if there is a difference between Filipino and Japanese rice. I’m not sure if it’s because of how the chef cooked it but it’s kind of sweeter, just a little bit. Then the curry itself. The chicken is well cooked and the taste of it is very different from the Filipino curry, of course as expected. It’s spicy, not creamy (which is kind of Filipino), kind of salty but in right amount, meaty and smoky. Somewhere in those tastes. It is priced Php 165, I think.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Nose: 9 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 10 / 10
Good for the Wallet: 8 / 10

I ordered Fried Ice Cream but it wasn’t available during that time, unfortunately. Overall, that visit is very positive and if I have more plans of eating Japanese food, I think it would definitely be included in my options. Its ambiance is nice. Its price is good. And most especially, the taste is good.

And that brings me to my second visit. My friends haven’t eaten yet for this project so they told me to come with them and I did. After all, Chikuzai is really nice. For my second visit, I ordered Miso Soup, and Tori Katsudon and shared MoriawaseChikuzai Roll and Fried Ice Cream (finally!) with my friends. My friend paid for everything so I wasn’t able to check on the prices of each dish. But overall, Chikuzai’s food is affordable to people like me.

Like my first visit, they gave us salad but this time, the dressing is only mayo. It’s as fresh as the salad before and I like veggies so I liked it, again. Comparing the first and second salad, I like the first one better. Anyway, same goes.

Good for the Eyes: 7 / 10
Good for the Nose: 8 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 9 / 10

miso soup

Next is the Miso Soup. I don’t know what to expect in a miso soup since I already forgot what it tastes like when I first ordered it in another Japanese restaurant a long time ago. I smelled it and it is warm (not the temperature but the characteristics of being warm), welcoming. There is a tiny smell of the seaweeds. When I “explored” the soup, there is tofu and seaweed that is not seen on the above picture. When I tasted it, the first thing that came to my mind is Sinigang but not entirely that. Taste is around saltiness, very tiny sweetness, seaweed, very tiny sourness and some cloudiness. I think it is Php 55.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Nose: 9 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 8 / 10

tori katsudon

Next is Tori Katsudon. It’s chicken again so I’m very anticipating. When I smelled it, it is meaty, butter, egg. I like how “soft” is the chicken. Also the blending of the egg, chicken, butter (?) and rice is very very delicious. There’s saltiness, sweetness, no spice and umami.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Nose: 9 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 10 / 10

moriawase

Third to the last dish, Moriawase. As I mentioned earlier, it is an assorted dish. Left to right are egg roll, crab stick, shrimp, tuna, salmon and squid. I got so excited I didn’t had the chance to smell it. I went right on in eating. I had the chance to eat salmon and tuna. I really like how fresh tasting is their ingredients. I love the sweetness of the fish, the spice of the wasabi and the saltiness from the dip. But most of the taste is freshness. I love it.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 10 / 10

chikuzai roll

Top view of Chikuzai Roll

Side view of Chikuzai Roll

Side view of Chikuzai Roll

Like the ebi sushi, Chikuzai Roll has this deep fried rice wrapped around it. The top part of the sushi is filled with strips of crab stick and the orange egg (I think that’s egg. They say that’s egg. Fish roe?). Inside is mango and the black “wrap” (In Korean food, it would appear as the dried seaweed but I’m not sure if it’s in a Japanese food). Major taste is from the mango, which is sweet. It’s pleasantly sweet and I love it. The taste of the crab stick is also there, as well as the taste of the dipping. But it’s more of sweet.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Nose: 8 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 10 / 10

fried ice cream

Last is the dessert, Fried Ice Cream. It’s chocolate ice cream in a crepe then sliced in four, hence this. At first, we thought that the brown thing is caramel but when we tasted it, it’s sour. I like how that goes as it complements the sweetness of the ice cream. Also the oily taste of the crepe is pleasantly nice, never disgusting and annoying , just nice.

Good for the Eyes: 8 / 10
Good for the Tongue: 9 / 10

Once again, I am recommending Chikuzai for good and affordable Japanese food. And that ends my say on these Japanese food and I’m ending this with this quote that reflects how I feel and think of Japanese food. Goodbye and Arigatou gozaimasu!

“At its best, [Japanese cooking] is inextricably meshed with aesthetics, with religion, with tradition and history. It is evocative of seasonal changes, or of one’s childhood, or of a storm at sea …”

– MFK Fisher

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BONUS!

I have this habit of taking pictures of the empty dishes of the food I ate. It just proves of how an individual enjoyed the food. Well, just a habit of mine.

salad zero

Salad / Appetizer

chikuzai roll zero

Chikuzai Roll

curry zero

Chicken Curry-don

tori katsudon zero

Tori Katsudon

Fried Ice Cream

Fried Ice Cream

~J̿L̿     #jalaness

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