It’s been a gruelling but rewarding week so I thought of treating myself to some of my good old favorites from Kimono Ken.
Kimono Ken is a chain of Japanese fusion restaurants that’s been around for about a decade. It may be homegrown here in the Philippines but they certainly deliver. (Restaurants in Little Tokyo are on another level, though.)
It’s a little heavy on the pocket, but the price is comparable to how food costs in Japan. Taste-wise, the flavors are definitely there. So for today’s snapshot of their offerings:
I started with miso soup. Plus points for their fresh tofu and seaweed. Minus points for the soup being a little thinner than it used to. 😦
They brought this along with my iced coffee. This appetizer’s good for up to three people. It’s fried wonton stuffed with ground chicken, shredded cabbage with mayonnaise and wasabi dip. It may be an odd-sounding combination but it works for me. I was describing to my boyfriend what wasabi’s like. I told him, if peppers feel like a burn from a flame, wasabi’s spiciness feels like a chemical burn. Don’t you think so?
My favorite drink in this resto, iced coffee. I’m glad they haven’t changed the price in years, and more importantly, it tastes the same every time. I believe they’re using UCC coffee for this treat.
And speaking of staying the same, one of my staples in Japanese restaurants (heck, even when I was in Japan) is curry. It’s comparable to the dishes I’ve eaten in Osaka’s subway stations, but my only complaint is that the chicken was a little too salty.
Service is efficient and the staff are cordial. I don’t eat out as much as I used to anymore, but Kimono Ken will stay as one of my favorite go-to restaurants if I want a treat. If you like Japanese food and haven’t gone to any of their branches, do give it a try!
Costa Coffee is a UK-based coffee chain, and just this week, they’ve opened their sixth store in the Philippines at SM North EDSA. And when it comes to commercial coffee, I’m more of I’ll try stuff at least once so I gave Costa Coffee a shot.
The interior’s pretty cool and I like how there are a variety of tables and seats. The phone booth outside is picture-worthy, too. To my right is a couch, two ottomans, a table and a lamp, the best seats in the resto and most in-demand. Wasn’t able to take a pic because I didn’t want to take pics of strangers >_<
A sample of their hip furniture
Before noticing the British theme and the tagline, I first headed to the cake display. They had desserts obviously catered to the Philippine palate–they had chocolate pandan roll, mango sago cake. The chocolate lover in me ended up drawn into this slice of Sinful Chocolate Cake, though. And you know what it tastes like? A Milky Way bar. Yup, you read that right. It’s rich, it’s sweet, and it’s best shared.
I had mocha to go with the cake. The coffee-bean art is almost too pretty to drink. But coffee is meant to be drunk, so I had to close my eyes when I started stirring my drink (ok, not really 😛 ). I’m lacking adjectives today, but let me just say that the coffee was good! You may also notice the table, how it has some carvings sprawled about. These actually reminded me of vandalized desks in school. Haha!
The ambiance including music was cozy, and the price is comparable to Seattle’s Best or Starbucks (the cake slice cost PhP 150 or just under USD4; the 12-oz coffee at PhP 130 or around USD 3.5). One thing that probably needs working on though is for the crew to be a little friendlier. Not Starbucks-levels perky; maybe just a few smiles and short greetings will do. That would make the place even more inviting. But overall, I think Costa Coffee is a good place to hang out and enjoy coffee with family, friends or your significant other.
And the Kumori saga continues.
So the other day, I was badly craving for turon but by the time I went to the stall, they just have three kamote cue sticks left. No more turon. To relieve my frustration, I then headed to Kumori to try the pastries I haven’t had yet.
I bought three totally different pastries: their signature hanjuku cheese cake (chocolate); green apple bun, and cherry brioche. Total damage is PhP 141, or about 3 – 4 USD. Let’s not talk about the calories and all the sugar though, ok 😉
I tried this first. Same consistency as the original cheese variant, which I enjoyed. I noticed though that this, their chocolate cake and chocolate pudding have the same exact flavor 😐 a little variety on their chocolate would be nice~
What the green apple bun looks inside. This dessert is almost too cute to eat! It’s best eaten quickly by the way because the icing tends to melt a bit under room temperature (like 28 – 29 deg C). The icing is kinda sweet too so enjoy this with coffee!
The leaf decor on the green apple bun. I almost ate the stick that went with this, by the way. At least it’s clear at the back of this leaf that it’s not supposed to be eaten. Haha!
The last dessert standing, cherry brioche. I’m not sure how a brioche is supposed to be texture and taste-wise, but I like how it’s not too sweet and it went well with coffee, too. Then again, for me almost everything goes well with coffee!
So that’s three down, and plenty more to try and enjoy~
All it took was a glance, and then it hit me that it’s been a while since I had mochi. So that’s how I ended up at Mochicream cafe. For those who frequent SM North EDSA, it’s just along the cinemas at The Block.
There were just less than ten tables with two seats each, and a pair of comfy chairs. Their menu consists of.. wait for it… mochi! of different flavors, some cakes and pastries, hot or cold drinks and parfait. They have a hotdog sandwich too.
Since I was in the mood for mochi though, I settled with a piece of caramel macchiato-flavored mochi and matcha mocha. Now, say “mochi matcha mocha” ten times real fast! Hahaha!
First up is the mochi. The mochi layer itself is chewy and it’s filled with ice cream. It cost me PhP 90, or just under USD 2. I often want big portions especially for desserts but I’d say this is filling enough for me. It’s not sweet at all. Did I like it? Not that bad, but I really wanted my mochi softer!
Caramel Macchiato mochi
Caramel Macchiato mochi
And now for my drink, Matcha Mocha. It cost me PhP 160, just about the same price as a tall Starbucks blended drink. My only issue with the drink is it’s not too hot, but other than that, the taste wins.
Service is fast and the crew were friendly. Definitely worth coming back to again. And next time, I’ll check out the parfait~
Here’s SM North EDSA. A mall of the masses, one of the biggest in Asia, a link in the most pervasive mall chain in the Philippines. A nightmare to tread during payday weekends; perfect to stroll in just short of midnight during the Christmas holidays. Quite distinctive on the outside, but the inside is pretty much similar to the rest of the malls of its stature. A transport hub for commuters to the north and to different parts of Metro Manila; a slow killer of small-scale, homegrown stores.
Then there’s Sierra Madre mountain range, or at least a portion of it. Traversing throughout mainland Luzon, a shield that staves off typhoons and holds off floods; home of water basins and beautiful landscapes; a looming testament of the Philippines’ active fault lines. This portion of the range is mystical on cool and clear mornings, and on a cloudless day, the shades of brown and blue provide relief from the stresses of technology.
Here’s the vantage point where you can see both, and so much more…. traffic jam. And that eyesore of a billboard. But hey, I like kopiko!
I’ve been craving for sweets again (but then again, it’s maybe more of a habit rather than a craving! haha!) and besides, it’s that time of the year when we corporate slaves get our midyear bonus, so why not give ourselves a treat?
Mine came in two, and these cost me just a little over PhP 200 combined. Continue reading “Kumori Bakery, Part 2”