Our Hobonichi package is still stuck in customs (this is fine.png) so it’ll probably arrive next week! I can’t use it this year but waiting for it to arrive still leaves me in agonyyyyy.
In the meantime I’ve been eating quite a bunch! lolol
Last Thursday Cheese, Chicken, Pinyalex, and I went to Resorts World Manila + Newport Mall to take part in their ✨Matcha Festival✨! (It was Cheese’s birthday on Sept. 3 so we decided to celebrate it too!) We were expecting to find matcha powder and other matcha products, but we didn’t know that the Matcha Market was only held during weekends QQ
Thankfully, they had a lineup of matcha foods by restaurants in the mall, so we still had a reason to go there!
It would have been more helpful if the list had come with a map or at least locations where the restaurants were located because we spent half the time we were there scrambling around and looking for the restaurants ><;; yikes.
None of us had lunch before meeting up, so our first stop was Kettle! I’ve loved Kettle since they opened, and it’s one of my family’s go-to places when we’re in need for some comfort. (lol) One of my fondest memories of them is from my birthday last year—I ordered their buttermilk fried chicken and asked for three more pieces of cornbread…
Server: Ma’am, the fried chicken already comes with cornbread.
Me: I know. 😀
My siblings personally prefer the cornbread doughnuts from fireside, a restaurant run by the same people. (But I will stand by my belief that this cornbread is godsend.)
Kettle didn’t disappoint! For the Matcha Festival they were serving Nori Fried Chicken with Matcha Waffles for PHP 399. I’ve always liked eating chicken with honey (? syrup) so the sweet-salty crunchy-soft combo of the waffle and chicken was sooo good. The miso butter had matcha in it, and was a mixture of sweet, bitter, and salty! I could probably eat the butter by itself lolol. Despite the waffle and butter together being basically matcha-on-matcha, the different textures and subtle flavors really helped make it tasty and stopped it from being, uh, nakakaumay.
Likewise, their Mac & Four Cheese (PHP 269) is still good! Other restaurants tend to serve mac and cheese as 1) noodles in cheese soup or 2) Grain Sauce Central™️, but the sauce was smooth and the noodles were just the right amount of chewy.
I love you, Kettle.
The other thing we’d been eyeing intensely in the matcha lineup was Ginzadon’s Deep Fried Matcha (PHP 180)… but it took us about five years to find their restaurant. It turned out to be on the other side of Resorts World, so we really had to walk a lot to find it. From the outside it didn’t seem intimidating, but as soon as we sat down we realized it was a yakiniku restaurant.
Not just any yakiniku restaurant. An Expensive Yakiniku Restaurant.
So we felt a little guilty that we went all the way there to only order dessert. (They gave us banchan even though we weren’t going to order any meals! Huhu.)
Once we summoned the courage to order, we got our long-awaited deep-fried matcha!
Except… we were actually a little disappointed HAHA huhu. It didn’t look anything like the photo in the catalog. The ice cream-bread ratio wasn’t so great, the entire thing was pretty oily, and the matcha didn’t have the deep taste we were looking for! ): There were sprinkles and chocolate syrup though, which makes most things better, so.
Thankfully the servers were really accommodating so we didn’t need to wash any dishes or anything by the time we left. :’) Nailed it.
The plaza area is where the weekend Matcha Market’s held but again, since we went on a Thursday, there weren’t many stalls. The stalls did have at least one matcha item each (there was matcha cotton candy, but I was way too full—and cheap lol—to give it a try) but it was honestly a little underwhelming. Cheese had a matcha latte and a matcha cookie, but I didn’t get to ask her how it was.
And after that… we were too full so we just sat around and painted and talked about 2D boyfriends. lolol. I stayed behind and decided to have dinner at Ichiba!
Ichiba’s decor is super striking! The interiors are mostly made of wood and they use lots of Japanese signs (like for ramen stalls or takoyaki) that kind of makes it look like some kind of night market! I rather like it.
Plus, they had giant animals.
The last time I did that I think I was 3 years old, but I fished from an actual body of water lolol.
They had a cute selfie corner for everyone to use, too!! I really wanted to wear the taiyaki or crab headgear, but I figured I looked lonely enough as is and didn’t have the guts to do it. )’:
I’ll come back for you one day, crab headgear. ):
I have to be honest with you though. … I don’t like seafood all that much. But I do love Chirashidon, and almost every time I see it at a restaurant I order it without fail! It was pretty tasty, but I’m personally not a fan of uni because of its texture. That white fish… was actually probably squid? I don’t like squid much either. That’s what benishoga is there for LOL
But overall I still liked it a lot and finished the bowl! They also had soft-serve matcha ice cream for the Matcha Festival but I opted out to get a latte instead.
Afterwards I met up with the parental units and we headed to Aura where there’s a Sanrio store! I got a Gudetama cushion and it’s one of the soooooftest things I’ve ever owned. As soon as I put my head on it I get super sleepy lol. It’s my new best friend.
Then last Sunday, my family and I decided to go to our favourite Japanese restaurant in the Philippines! We only usually go during special occasions, but we were feeling a little nostalgic that day.
The first time we ate at Toki was more than half a decade ago (!) but the quality’s never changed! Everything’s still so tasty every time we go. While I do admit that it’s a little on a pricey side, their lunch sets and bento boxes are practically a steal considering the quality! They’re all the way in BGC though, which is really far from where I am, so I’ve never the sets myself. One day. <o>___<o>
Okay, so I don’t like seafood much, but I do love sashimi. I generally like it better than sushi, because most sushi I’ve eaten have had awful fish-to-rice ratios and were fairly difficult to chew and swallow. ): … Anyway though, the fish was really good, and while I usually just stick to my usual salmon fare, I had a little bit of everything this time! My younger sister also ordered a separate uni sushi… aside from eating all the uni from our sashimi order LOL
I really love the vegetable fried rice, and I get it almost every time I’m here! I guess it’s more interesting if you’re eating in one of the teppanyaki rooms though, because you can see them make it right in front of you. Admittedly, it’s probably good enough for two people.
The last thing that arrived at our table was steak.
THIS MEAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
It’s everything good Wagyu is supposed to be. Buttery and melt-in-your mouth. It’s so juicy. One time my mom tried to order it well done and I nearly had a heart attack. (We had it cooked to medium doneness, but if you’d left me to choose, I’d have it done to rare or medium-rare.
But I also wasn’t the person paying, so.) This meat is probably the only reason I haven’t become a vegetarian.
It comes with three sauces, but truth be told I can’t remember what they all are, because if I don’t eat it plain (I almost always eat meat this way if it’s high quality!), I eat it with salt and lemon so that the acid cuts the the rich, fatty wagyu taste.
Wait, I’m drooling a little. A lottle.
The thing with this is that you can’t eat too much of it. Seriously. Your head’ll start spinning. But it’s so good. But control yourselves.
Since we all got miso soup (and it was really hot that day lol) we skipped having sukiyaki, but I’d highly recommend that too!
I really wanted to talk about the Hobonichi this week but postal service is… really wild so that’ll have to wait. (Even though I really can’t.)
See you then!✨