Japanese Foodie for 10 Days

One of the stuff in the world that the Japanese are known for is their food. And, whenever people talk about ramen, the “Japanese Ramen” comes into mind without thinking! Aside from that, Japan boasts of many other foods that foodies all over the world would surely love.

I personally like ramen, sashimi and sushi in the restaurants here in Singapore. But mind you, nothing beats the authentic foods tasted in their own hometown! It’s like there’s some magic in their cooking or it could be the freshness of the seafoods and the tenderness of the meats. Above all,  my most favorite food in Japan is a delicious noodle dish called Yakisoba!

After strolling the busy streets of Tokyo, it is expected that we must fill our tummies with something really special. My search for something special means something palatable, something that would make our mouth water. After all, this is our first time to tour this wonderful land of the rising sun.

Listed are the foods we’ve tried and the most recommended:

  • Yakisoba –  is a Japanese noodle stir-fry dish. Although soba means buckwheat, yakisoba noodles are actually made from wheat flour, and are typically flavored with a condiment similar to oyster sauce. The dish first appeared in food stalls in Japan during the early 20th century.
  • Ramen – is a Japanese dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles[5] served in a meat or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, nori (dried seaweed), menma, and scallions.


  • Gyoza – is usually served with soy-based tare sauce seasoned with rice vinegar and/or chili oil in Mandarin Chinese. The most common recipe is a mixture of minced pork,cabbage, Asian chives, and sesame oil, and/or garlic, and/or ginger, which is then wrapped into thinly rolled dough skins.
  • Yakiniku – commonly refers to a Japanese style of cooking bite-size meat (usually beef and offal) and vegetables on gridirons or griddles over a flame of wood charcoals carbonized by dry distillation or a gas/electric grill. In many parts of the world, yakiniku is also commonly referred to as Japanese barbecue.


  • Sashimi – is a Japanese delicacy consisting of fresh raw fish or meat sliced into thin pieces and often eaten with soy sauce.
  • Sushi – is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice, usually with some sugar and salt, accompanying a variety of ingredients, such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits.


  • Miso Soup – is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called “dashi” into which softened miso paste is mixed.
  • Tonkatsu – is a Japanese dish that consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. It involves cutting the pig’s back center into 2-3 centimeter thick slices, smearing with bread crumbs, frying them in oil, and then serving with Japanese Worcestershire sauce, rice, and vegetable salad (mainly cabbage).
  • Shabu-shabu – is a Japanese nabemono hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water and served with dipping sauces.
  • Onigiri – is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed).
  • Takoyaki – is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special molded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus(tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion.


  • Edamame – is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod, found in cuisines with origins in East Asia. The pods are boiled or steamed and may be served with salt. In Japan, they are usually blanched in 4% salt water and not served with salt.

We were so lucky that Tito Minoro loves to cook. Most of the Japanese food we tasted are cooked from his kitchen (tipid!). 🙂

*** Definitions of foods are from Wikipedia.

An unusual Valentines date

Whenever I think of Valentine’s date, a picture of crowded malls and restaurants is the first that comes to mind. I can’t even remember the last time I was out for Valentine’s day.

Now, I’m back in Manila. Lala and I have been trying to make up for our two years of long distance relationship. We decided to go out and have an unusual Valentines date.

We went to Quiapo, Manila, not to tour around one of the most notorious market in the world for counterfeit and pirated goods but to shop for mountain bike accessories.

Quezon boulevard in Quiapo is one of the well-known places for buying bicycles and accessories. And if you’re up for buying cheap China-made accessories, there are a lot of sidewalk vendors offering a range of products.

Lala bought the following: Bottle cage mount – P80 Bike seat cover – P100 Bike front light – P120 Bicycle bell – P180

For serious cyclists, there are quality products in some of the shops. However I don’t suggest buying bicycles here as it is much cheaper in Cartimar in Libertad, Pasay.

When in Quiapo, don’t eat fastfood at the Filipino restaurants because the place is known for old Chinese eateries. One of the famous restaurants here is Ma Mon Luk.

Ma Mon Luk is named after a Chinese-Filipino chef/entrepreneur who is the innovator of siopao and mami here in Philippines. The eatery is an indoor open space ventilated with huge ceiling fans. The menu, plus framed write-ups and newspaper clips about the eatery hang on their wooden wall.

The place is an image of restaurant settings in Filipino movies during the 80s. They offer a limited selection of food, from mami, siopao, siomai, softdrinks, and bottled water.

We tried the special mami, special siopao, and siomai. The noodles was ok but the mami soup was too gamey for me to eat. Their siopao is good but it has a lot of salted egg inside, making it salty. Their siomai is big and meaty.

The noodles and siopao are handmade and the serving is quite big for me. That’s the reason why the price is not that cheap. It was a good experience eating out in a tradionally old eatery but overall the food there is not something I would crave for.

It was definitely a unique way to spend Valentines Day. It was like a tour in a some ways as I was also introduced to other known eateries in the area.