THE GREAT BUDDHA CAFÉ: A Great Dining Experience

LOCATION: 2nd Floor UBE Tower, 628 Ongpin Street, Binondo1, Manila 1006 Metro Manila2

The Great Buddha Café is a casual Chinese restaurant located in a three-storey building at the heart of Binondo1. Its menu is inspired by Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine and it is a good option for dining with family (including kids) and friends.

It is called Great Buddha because the (Eng Bee Tin) owners want guests to feel happy and contented – feelings that are embodied by the golden Buddha statue sitting inside the restaurant’s premises. Their use of quality ingredients ensures that customers get value for money.

Do you know what Eng Bee Tin means? Eng stands for “forever”, Bee stands for “beautiful” and Tin stands for “precious”. Eng Bee Tin in Hokkien literally means “ever beauty precious”.

Eng Bee Tin popularized ube3 hopia4 and eventually ventured into other pastries and other related products.

The company making this favorite and iconic hopia brand is helmed by Mr. Ube himself, Mr. Gerry Chua, a third- generation Chinese entrepreneur, whose grandfather, Chua Chiu Hong, came to the Philippines from Xiamen, China, and established a small stall on Nueva Street in 1912.5

Gerry always wears a violet t-shirt and matching eyeglasses. He is also known to have formed an active volunteer community firefighting organization.

A trial opening of The Great Buddha Café was held on from February 10 to 20, 2019, in time for the Chinese New Year. It then closed on February 21 for the finishing touches and reopened thereafter.

The Great Buddha Café is open 8am till 10pm daily, but, sorry, no reservations are accepted. It easily gets packed and parking is a problem so, either have a driver drop you off, come early to get a parking space, or just use Grab6 service to get there without any stress.

1-ground flIt offers Chinese dishes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. But wait! There’s more! Imagine stepping into a one-stop-shop building where the ground floor offers all your favorites Eng Bee Tin goodies – mooncakes7, hopias4, tikoy8, Chinese deli and bakery products, mochi9, noodles, etc.

1-eng bee tin goodies-ok

There is also an escalator which easily brings you to the second floor.1-2nd-fl-1-ok

1-2nd-fl-shop-okOn this floor, you not only feast your eyes on Chinese charms and decorations but also on native bags, fans, etc. in an open-style souvenir-shop display. I bought a beautiful rattan bag and a couple of lucky charms. Of course, this floor is also where you can dine and enjoy Chinese cuisine.

1-2nd-fl-buddha-okThe café looks so spacious and what will attract your attention on one side of the dining area is the huge golden buddha statue with two intricately carved wooden chairs on each side. Guests may take turns posing with the buddha and/or seated on the chair/s. This is indeed a welcome feeling of space compared to other restaurants in the area.There is also free wi-fi.

Coming soon would be the Eng Bee Tin museum on the third floor. I guess they will feature the history of this brand and the process of making their famous hopia4.

I read somewhere that this building has a wheelchair-accessible lift. I will check it out next time I visit.

Here is the menu:

1-menu-1-dimsum-ok                                                                          Dimsum10 

1-menu-2-claypot rice-ok                                                                         Claypot Rice 

1-menu-3-roastings-ok                                                                          Roastings 

1-menu-4-side orders-ok                                                                           Short Orders 

1-menu-5-noodles=congee-ok                                                              Noodles and Congee11 

1-menu-7-squids-ok                                           You can also order squids dishes

1-menu-8-siomai-frice-okFried Shrimp Wonton, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Chicken with Anchovies and Black Pepper Beef are also available

1-menu-6-desserts-drinks-ok.jpg                                                            Desserts and Drinks 

Sorry, no alcoholic beverages are offered.

And now, for my dining experience in this restaurant:

The senior citizens in my group, including myself, appreciated the automatic glass door and the Chinese deli and goodies shop on the ground floor (a must stop before leaving this building for “pasalubongs12”); the escalator to bring us to the second floor; the souvenir shop on the second floor, a few steps away from the escalator; and of course, the very spacious, well-lit, and air-conditioned dining area complete with its smiling and friendly service staff.

1-2nd-fl-dining-okI had lunch here with four other family members. The air-conditioning temperature was just right even when the dining area was full.

We ordered: Hainanese Chicken, Salt and Pepper Fried Squid, Pork Ribs Glazed with Honey Garlic Sauce, Beef Tendon Claypot Rice, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Xiao Long Bao13, Pork and Shrimp Siomai14, and Sun Cake ala Mode.

1-order-1-hainanese chixThe Hainanese Chicken (PHP600 for a whole chicken) was served hot. The chicken was so tender and flavorful and I really enjoyed it along with the Ginger Sauce, made of ginger, garlic, sesame oil and chicken broth. I like the idea that the sauce was portioned per person so we do not have to take turns getting from one large container.

1-order-2-squid-okThe Salt and Pepper Fried Squid (PHP340) was fried and seasoned just right. The chopped red and green pepper not only improved its appearance, but its overall taste as well.

1-order-3-pork ribsThe Pork Ribs Glazed with Honey Garlic Sauce (PHP320) was delightfully savory. The pork was very tender and crispy, and the flavorful honey-garlic glaze was so magical to my taste buds.

1-order-4-claypot riceThe Beef Tendon Claypot Rice (PHP260) was good for one generous serving. The tendon was very tender and the sauce tasted just right with the beef tendon and plain rice.

1-order-5-fried rice-okThe Yang Chow Fried Rice (PHP240) was served hot and the rice was pleasantly mixed with shrimps, meat, bits of scrambled egg and other colorful and flavorful ingredients. This was a welcome accompaniment for the main dishes we ordered.

1-order-6-xlb-okTheXiao Long Bao (XLB for short, PHP248 for 10 pieces) was served hot in a bamboo steamer basket. The skin is just right (not too thick, not too thin) and did not easily tear when lifted onto the Chinese soup spoon. The soup inside the dimsum10 was tasty and the meat filling was tender. We appreciated the portioned dipping sauce made of black vinegar and fresh ginger slivers.

The Pork and Shrimp Siomai14 (PHP128 for 4 pieces) was likewise served hot in a bamboo steamer basket. It was tender and very tasty, and we enjoyed it with a soy sauce-calamansi15-chili-garlic dip.

1-order-7-dessert-okI ordered the HK-Style Flaky Egg Tart (PHP58) but was told it was already sold out. Next time, I will come earlier and try it. Anyway, I settled for Sun Cake16 ala Mode. It was served with chocolate ice cream on top with chocolate syrup. I found it too sweet, so next time, I will request them not to place the chocolate syrup.

1-2nd-fl-dining-crew-okThe dining room employees were all very accommodating and efficient. Dishes were served at the right temperature and pace.

You can also request the waiter to buy your favorite milk tea17 at a nearby store. Now that is what I call SERVICE!

1-order-sauces-dips-okAccompanying sauces/dips were given to each person which we really appreciated. Oh, you can also ask for more, just in case you are partial to them, like the ginger sauce for the Hainanese Chicken.

Cash is the only form of payment accepted.

The restrooms are on the third floor, a bit far from the second-floor dining area, especially for senior citizens, but are very well maintained. Both the men’s and ladies’ restrooms smell good and are very clean, with automatic faucets and well-supplied soap and toilet paper.

The escalator from the second floor to the ground floor was much appreciated after our meal, and prior to a much-awaited stop to shop at the ground floor to buy “pasalubongs”12.

We will definitely come back for more and even try other food/beverage items.

Contact information: Telephone Numbers (02) 288 8888, 288 8881 local 129, and 241 9999; Instagram @greatbuddhacafe and @loveengbeetin

This is not a sponsored post. I paid for my visit in this restaurant.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you re your dining experience in this restaurant. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Tohsiah! (“Many thanks!” in Hokkien)

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The following terms are defined for interested readers, especially non-Filipinos, those with “Senior-Moments”, and those too busy or lazy to Google such terms:

1Binondo is the Chinatown of the Philippines, considered the oldest in the world, established in 1594 by the Spaniards as a settlement for Catholic Chinese. It is a district in Manila and the hub of Chinese commerce, according to the Wikipedia page “Binondo”.18

2Metro Manila is the official and administrative urban area in the southwestern portion of Luzon surrounding Manila, established in 1975. It is the center of culture, economy, education and government of the Philippines. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Metro Manila”.19

3Ube is the Filipino term for purple yam (Dioscoreaalata). It is a kind of vividly violet to bright lavender colored yam or tuberous root vegetable, with origins in the Asian tropics. It is also called greater yam. It is used in a variety of desserts as well as a flavoring for ice cream, milk, and a variety of pastries. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Dioscorea alata”.20

4Hopia is the Filipino term for bakpia, a popular, inexpensive, Philippine and Indonesian bean-filled mooncake7-like pastry, originally introduced by Fujianese immigrants in these countries’ urban centers during the turn of the 20th century. It is also a favored gift for families, relatives and friends. The flaky type uses Chinese puff pastry while the cake-dough type uses a soft cookie-dough similar to Japanese bean cakes. There are four traditional and popular fillings: mung bean (called “mongo” in Filipino), azuki (red mongo), purple yam (called “ube” in Filipino), and pork. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Bakpia”.21

5https://www.manilatimes.net/mr-ubes-quest-sweet-success/346473/

6Grab is a private car for hire service provider.

7A mooncake is a Chinese baked pastry, traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, held late September to early October, with a full moon. It is typically round, with a rich thick filling, usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste, surrounded by a 2-3 mm thin crust, and may contain 1-2 yolks from salted duck eggs in its center, according to Wikipedia page “List of Chinese bakery products”.22 It is usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by tea. It is offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival. It is also customary for businessmen or families to give mooncakes to clients or relatives as presents. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Mooncake”.23

8Tikoy is the Filipino term for niangao or Chinese New Year’s cake, originally from China, and widely consumed in the Philippines. It is eaten all year round but is considered good luck to eat it during Chinese New Year (on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, i.e., between January 21 and February 20) and traditionally during Duanwu Festival (held on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar, i..e, between the end of May till mid-June). This sticky rice cake is usually sliced, dipped or coated with beaten egg, fried until crispy but chewy inside, and enjoyed among all members of the family for closeness or unity, due to its sticky nature since it is made from glutinous rice flour. It is sweetened with brown sugar, giving it a dark yellow to light brown color, often prepared with different flavors. It also means “raising oneself taller in each coming year,” symbolizing a higher position, higher income, the growth of children, and generally, the promise of a better year. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Nian gao”.24

9Mochi is a chewy Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grained japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. It is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year (held December 31/January 1 till January 4), and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. In Japan, it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Mochi”.25

10Dimsum refers to fully cooked, ready-to-serve, small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. The term literally means “heart’s delight” or “touch heart”. They are usually served with tea and together, form a full tea brunch. In some Cantonese teahouses, carts with dimsum are served around the restaurant. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Dimsum”.26

11Congee, or conjee, is a type of thick, Chinese rice porridge or gruel, popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten plain, served with side dishes. Meat, fish and flavorings can be added. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation. Culture also often dictates the way congee is cooked and eaten. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Congee”.27

12 Pasalubong is the Filipino term for the tradition of giving gifts or souvenirs, from a destination visited by a Filipino, to family and friends upon one’s return home.

13Xiao long bao (XLB), literally “small basket buns”, are steamed dumplings or buns, named after Xiaolong, the small bamboo steaming baskets they were traditionally steamed in. It is a kind of tang bao (“soup bun”) or guantang bao (“soup-filled bun”). This soup dumpling is served piping hot and has a delicate skin that encases a pork-based filling and a gelatinized meat broth created by wrapping solid meat aspic inside the skin. During steaming, the broth liquefies, poaching the pork in a rich, savory soup. As the dumpling cools, the broth solidifies and the skin hardens, so eat this quickly but carefully. How? Place your Chinese soup spoon close to the dumpling. Grab the dumpling close to the knot with your chopsticks, and gently lift it from the steamer. If the dumpling sticks to the bottom of the steamer, peel it off slowly; do not tug so as not to rupture the skin. Remember, you want to savor the soup intact and inside the skin. Do not put the whole, hot dumpling in your mouth because it might be too hot, scald you, and cause you pain. You need to let the steam out and let it cool for a few seconds. In a fine dining restaurant, you could be given a big spoon so you can take a smaller bite along the side. The broth then drains into the spoon and you can decently sip it. In regular Chinese restaurants, you can nip off the top of the dumpling, or nibble off a piece of the skin on the side of the dough ring using your front teeth, pause to give it a few moments to cool, and savor the rich broth by sucking the juice directly out of the skin. You can then easily devour the rest of the dumpling in one slurp. You just need a little amount of the dipping sauce made of black vinegar and fresh ginger slivers. You have 4 options: you can put the sauce in your empty spoon before scooping up the dumpling; you can dip the dumpling in the sauce before putting it in your spoon; you can place the dumpling in your spoon then drizzle the vinegar over it; or, you can add the sauce to the drained dumpling after you have slurped all the broth out.28, 29, 30

14Siomai is a traditional Chinese dumpling, usually served hot as a popular snack item in the Philippines. It is usually made of seasoned ground pork with bits of shrimp, mushrooms, and other preferred ingredients/seasonings.

15Calamansi is a small (about 30-mm in diameter), tangy-sour citrus fruit with a thin, green skin (which turns yellow-orange when ripe), with a yellow/orange pulp. The juice is used in various food and beverages as a major/minor ingredient, seasoning or dipping ingredient for siomai14 and lugao31.

16Sun Cake is a round Taiwanese dessert with a flaky crust and filled with condensed malt sugar. It is usually sold in special gift boxes as souvenirs for visitors. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Suncake (Taiwan)”.32

17Milk tea is a Hong Kong-style tea drink made of black tea, sweetened with sweet evaporated milk21 or condensed milk, usually part of lunch in Hong Kong tea culture, according to the Wikipedia page “Hong Kong-style milk tea”.33

18“Binondo,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binondo

19“Metro Manila,” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Manila

20“Dioscorea alata,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_alata

21“Bakpia,” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakpia

22“List of Chinese bakery products,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_bakery_products

23“Mooncake,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooncake

24“Nian gao,” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nian_gao

25“Mochi,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mochi

26“Dimsum,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimsum

27“Congee,” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congee

28https://thetakeout.com

29https://www.thrillist.com

30“Xiaolongbao,” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao

31Lugao is the Tagalog term for a slightly thick congee11, seasoned, and boiled with ginger, onion and garlic. The stock depends on the desired taste/topping: ground pork, chicken, fish, liver, kidney, tripe, with a hard-boiled egg, or just served plain. It could be garnished with chopped green onions and toasted garlic, and served with fresh calamansi15, fish sauce and pepper.

32“Suncake (Taiwan),” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suncake_(Taiwan)

33“Hong Kong-style milk tea,” accessed January 4, 2019,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong-style_milk_tea.

GINZADON: JAPANESE AND KOREAN CUISINE TOGETHER

Location: 2/F, Maxims Hotel, Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

The name of this fine dining Japanese-Korean restaurant, GINZADON, is a combination of two words: “Ginza”, the upscale Tokyo district, and “don”, the Korean term for money. Together, these terms assure the customers that they get the best of authentic Japanese and Korean dishes, served together for a “thrilling interplay of textures and tastes.”1

0-intro

This authentic Japanese-Korean restaurant is open from 11 am till 12 midnight, daily. It has a casual, yet comfortable, dining facilities.

It offers a wide range of dishes2:

  • SASHIMI3 (PHP200-1,100): Ama Ebi (Sweet Shrimp), Hamachi (Yellow Tail), Hokkigai (Surf Clam), Hotate (Scallops), Ikura (Salmon Roe), Ise Ebi (Live Lobster – PHP1,250/100g), Kanibo (Crab), Madai (Snapper), Madai Ozukuri (Thinly Sliced Snapper), Madako (Octopus), Maguro Tataki (Seared Tuna), Shake (Salmon), Shake Tataki (Seared Salmon), Shime Saba (Marinated Mackerel), and Tamago (Baked Egg).
  • Sushi4 (PHP100-440): Ama Ebi (Sweet Shrimp), Ebi (Shrimp), Hamachi (Yellow Tail), Hokkigai (Surf Clam), Hotate (Scallops), Ikura (Salmon Roe), Kanibo (Crab), Madako (Boiled Octopus), Madai (Snapper), Maguro (Tuna), Shake (Salmon), Shime Saba (Marinated Mackerel), Tamago (Thin Egg Omelet), Unagi (Eel), and Uni (Sea Urchin).
  • PLATTER (PHP900-2,160) – Sashimi and Sushi Moriawase (Sashimi3 and Sushi4 Platter), Sashimi Moriawase Matsu (Special Assorted Sashimi), and Sashimi Moriawase Take (Regular Assorted Sashimi)
  • URA MAKI5 (PHP370-1,500) – California Ura Maki (Inside-out Roll with Mango, Cucumber, and Crab Meat), Canadian Maki (Inside-out Roll with Mango, Crab Meat, Salmon, and Crispy Salmon Skin), Crazy Maki (Crunchy Maki Topped with Crabstick Salad), Dragon Roll Maki (Mango, Cucumber, and Crab Meat, Wrapped in Grilled Salmon Skin), Ebi Avocado Maki (Prawn and Avocado Roll), Futo Maki (Big Sushi Roll), Kani Maki (Soft Shell Crab Roll), Maguro Aburi Maki (Seared Tuna Roll), Maguro Ura Maki (California Roll with Tuna), Rainbow Maki (Avocado, Mango, Salmon, Tuna and Snapper Rolls), Shake Aburi Maki (Seared Salmon Roll), and Yulonagi Maki (California Roll with Eel Teriyaki)
  • SOUPS (PHP95-2,540) – Chawan Mushi (Steam Egg Custard), Hamachi Misoshiru (Yellow Tail Head Miso), Kani Misoshiru (Crab Miso, PHP398/100 g), Misoshiru (Plain Miso), Sakana Osuimono (Fish Clear Soup), Shake Misoshiru (Salmon Head Miso), and Yose Nabe (Seafood and Vegetable in Broth)
  • SALADS (PHP620-1,000) – Kanibo Salad (Crab Sticks, Cucumber, Tobiko6 and Japanese Mayonnaise), Poke Salad (Sliced Tuna and Green Ice Salad), Seared Tuna Salad (Lollo Rosso Leaves Topped with Seared Tuna), Shake Poke Salad (Sliced Salmon & Green Ice Salad), and Spicy Tuan Salad (Lollo Rosso Leaves Topped with Spicy Tuna in Special Sauce)
  • TEMPURA7 (PHP310-860) – Chicken Katsu (Deep-fried Breaded Chicken), Ebi Tempura (Shrimp), Ika Ring Karage (Fried Squid Rings), Kisu (Japanese Whiting Fish), Mixed Furai (Deep-fried Breaded Meat and Seafoods), Tempura Moriawase (Assorted Tempura), Tori No Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken), and Yasai Kakiage (Deep Fried Vegetable Strips)
  • YAKIMONO8 (PHP280-2,490) – Aspara Bacon (Bacon Wrapped Asparagus), Butayaki (Pork Barbecue), Ebi No Shioyaki (Prawn with Salt), Gindara Teriyaki (Black Cod in Special Sauce), Hamachi Okashira Shioyaki (Grilled Yellow Tail Head), Kani Bacon Maki (Crab Sticks and Bacon Maki), Shake Harasu Yaki (Salmon Belly), Shake Okashira Shioyaki (Grilled Salmon Head), Unagi No Kabayaki (Thin Snapper), Uzura Bacon (Bacon Wrapped Quail Egg), and Yakitori (Chicken Barbecue)
  • TEPPANYAKI9 (PHP240-4,750) – Asparagus in Butter, Bean Sprouts, Chicken Teppanyaki in Teriyaki Sauce, Fillet of Salmon (Salmon Steak), Fillet of Yellow Fin Tuna (Tuna Steak with Pepper, Onion and Mange Tout), Green Capsicum, Local Lobster Teppanyaki (PHP1,288/100 g), Seafood Teppanyaki (Mixed Seafood Cooked with Sake in Special Japanese Sauce), U.S. Wagyu Beef Ribeye, U.S. Wagyu Striploin (Snake River Farms, Meat Marbling Standards A4, and Yasal Itame (Stir-fried Vegetables), and Yakimeshi (Japanese Fried Rice)
  • VEGETABLE DISHES (PHP205-620) – Agedashi Tofu (Deep-fried Tofu with Special Sauce), Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings), Gyutama Okonomiyaki (Pancakes with Beef and Eggs), Mabu Tofu (Braised Beancurd in Sweet Chili Sauce), Okonomiyaki (Japanese Cake with Vegetable and Seafood), Tofu Steak (Beancurd Steak)
  • RAMEN10 (PHP440-570) – Chasu Rane (Ramen Noodles with Pork Barbecue in Special Japanese Soup), Miso Ramen (Ramen Noodles with Japanese Miso Soup), and Shouyu Ramen (Ramen Noodles with Japanese Soya Sauce)
  • SOBA11/UDON12 (PHP360-830) – Hiyashi Chuka (Summer-Style Cold Noodles), Hiyashi Somen (Cold Thin Noodles), Tempura Soba (Japanese Thin Noodles Topped with Tempura in Special Soup), Tempura Udon (Japanese Thick Noodles Topped with Tempura in Special Soup), Tenzaru Soba (Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Tempura), Yaki Soba (Stir-fried Japanese Thin Noodles with Pork, Seafood, and Vegetables), and Yaki Udon (Stir-fried Thick Japanese Noodles with Pork, Seafood, and Vegetables)
  • RICE (PHP95-240) – Gohan (Steamed Japanese Rice), Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice), and Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Hand Molded Rice)
  • RICE TOPPINGS served with Miso13 Soup (PHP550-1,570) – Ebi Katsu Don (Deep-fried Braised Prawn on Steamed Japanese Rice), Gyudon (Black Angus Beef Topped on Steamed Japanese Rice), Katsudon (Japanese Pork Cutlet Topped on Steamed Japanese Rice), Tendon (Ebi Tempura Topped on Steamed Japanese Rice), Tori Don (Grilled Chicken Topped on Steamed Japanese Rice), Unagi Don (Grilled Eel Teriyaki Topped on Steamed Japanese Rice), and Yakiniku Don (Stir-fried U.S. Beef Striploin Topped in Japanese Steamed Rice)
  • KOREAN BARBECUE (PHP800-1,320) – Kalbi Sal (Black Angus Beef Short Rib), Kkeot Ssam Gysop Sal (Grilled Pork Belly), L.A. Kalbi Gui (Barbecue Beef Spare Ribs), and Yang Nyeum Tweji Kalbi (Grilled Pork Belly)
  • PORRIDGE (PHP160-570) – Hobakjuk (Pumpkin Porridge), Jun Bok Juk (Rice Porridge with Abalone), and Patjuk (Seared Salmon Sashimi)
  • CLASSICS, served with rice (PHP330-1250): Bibimbap (Steamed Rice Topped with Beef and Vegetables), Bul Go Gi (Stir-fried US Beef with Vegetables), Dak-Dori-Tang (Spicy Chicken Casserole), Ddeok Mandu Guk (Rice Cake and Korean Dumplings in Ox Bone Soup), Doen Jang JjiGae (Soy Bean Paste Stew), Gal Bi Jim (Braised Prime Beef Short Ribs), Haemul Kalguksu Bukkeum (Stir-fried Kalguksu14 Noodles with Seafood and Vegetables), Haemul Pajeon (Seafood and Spring Onion Pancakes), Hobak Jeon (Pan-fried Stuffed Zucchini), Hweh Dup-bop (Raw Fish Topped on Japanese Steamed Rice), Japchae (Sauteed Sweet Potato Noodles with Vegetables and Beef Strips), Kimbap (Korean Style Roll), Kim Chi JjiGae (Kimchi Stew), Mandu (Korean Dumplings), Nak Ji Bok Keum (Stir-fried Baby Octopus with Fine Noodles), O-Jing-uh Bukkeum (Spicy Stir-fried Squid), Sengseon Jurim (Spicy Braised Fish), Seol Leong Tang (Ox Bone Soup with Fine Noodles and Sliced Beef), Shin Ramen (Korean Instant Noodles), Sundubu (Spicy Korean Stew), Ugeoji Galbitang (Beef and Cabbage Stew), and Yuk Gae Jang (Spicy Beef Soup)
  • DESSERTS (PHP140-235) – Anmitsu (Assorted Fruits with Jelly in Sweet Red Bean Paste, Mochi and Ice Cream, Back Sesame Ice Cream, Deep-fried Matcha15 Ice Cream (Green Tea Ice Cream Coated in Crunchy Deep Fried Bread), Kanten Yose (Mixed Fruits Gelatin), Kohe Kanten (Coffee Jelly), Kwail (Assorted Fruits), Nuk Cha (Green Tea Ice Cream), and Shiratama Zenzai (Sweet Red Beans with Rice Balls)
  • BEVERAGES, alcoholic and non-alcoholic (PHP150-270) –Fresh Juices and Smoothies, Lemon Iced Tea, Sodas, Bourbon, Brandy, Local and Imported Beers, Rum, Sake16, Scotch Whiskey, Soju17, Gin, Tequila, Vodka
  • COFFEE AND HOT CHOCOLATE (PHP120-160)

It also offers special monthly and seasonal treats.

0-menu

When we dined in Ginzadon, they offered an Eat All You Can Menu for only PHP888 net per person, consisting of the following, inclusive of 3 pieces of Salmon Sushi and 3 pieces Ebi Tempura:

  • SUSHI4 AND URU MAKI5 – California Maki (California Roll), Futo Maki (Big Sushi Roll), Kanibo Salad (Crabstick, Cucumber, Tobiko6 and Japanese Mayonnaise), Madai (Snapper), Maguro (Tuna), Shake Maki (Salmon Sushi Roll), Tamago (Japanese Omelette), and Tekka Maki (Tuna Sushi Roll)

0-sushi

  • SOBA/UDON/RAMEN – Chashu Ramen (ramen noodles with pork barbeque in special Japanese soup) and Yaki Soba/Udon (Stir-fried Japanese noodles with pork, seafood and vegetables)
  • YAKIMONO – Butayaki (Pork Barbecue), Kani Bacon (Crabstick Rolled in Bacon Strips), Shake Okashira (Salmon Head, subject to availability), Tori Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken), and Yakitori (Chicken Barbeque)

0-yakitori

  • KOREAN SPECIALS –Doen Jang Jigae (Soy Bean Stew), Gohan (Steamed Japanese Rice), Japchae (Sauteed Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef), Kimchi Jigae (Kimchi Stew), Misoshiru (Miso Soup), and Yakimeshi (Japanese Fried Rice)

0-soup-rice

  • DESSERTS – KoheKanten (Coffee Jelly) and Nukcha (Green Tea Ice Cream)

0-desserts

A customer can pay cash, through credit card, or points18. Prices are VAT inclusive and are subject to 10% service charge.

If you want to dine in this restaurant but find it a bit pricey, why not book online to avail of promotions. I surfed (but have not tried) and found www.eatigo.com which offers 10-50% discount, depending on the time slot. You just need to present your Eatigo booking confirmation to the reception staff before being seated.

Now let me describe our dining experience. We availed of the Eat All You Can Menu I mentioned above.

0-appetizers-x                                                         We were given appetizers.

Overall, the taste of the food was good but not much to rave about.

My group included a 6-year old kid and we chose dishes he liked and he was satisfied with what we asked him to try and eat.

The dining staff were accommodating. Service was paced, but a bit slow.

The comfort room was clean and well maintained.

For reservations, call (02) 9088888.

This is not a sponsored post. I paid for my visit in this restaurant.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you re your dining experience in this restaurant. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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The following terms are defined for interested readers, especially non-Filipinos, those with “Senior-Moments”, and those too busy or lazy to Google such terms:

1www.rwmanila.com

2https://www.rwmanila.com/web/ginzadon/; prices and menu items are subject to change without prior notice; prices are VAT inclusive and are subject to 10% service charge

3Sashimi is a Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced, fresh, raw fish or meat, often served as the first course in a formal Japanese meal but may also be served as the main course. It is garnished with long thin strands of daikon (white radish) or single leaves of the shiso herb (perilla). It is served with soy sauce as a dipping sauce, along with condiments – wasabi paste (the hot Japanese green paste made from the wasabi rhizome), grated fresh ginger, and ponzu (Japanese dipping sauce made of fish flakes, lime juice, soy sauce and vinegar). The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Sashimi”.19

4Sushi is a Japanese dish made of specially prepared vinegared (medium grain white rice or brown) rice, usually with some sugar and rice, combined with a variety of ingredients (e.g., raw/cooked seafood, vegetables, tropical fruits), served as an appetizer or as a main dish. Fillings, toppings, condiments (shoyu or soy sauce, wasabi, Japanese-style mayonnaise) and preparation vary widely. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Sushi”.20

5Ura maki, literally “inside-out roll”, is a medium-sized cylindrical piece with two or more fillings, developed as a result of the American creation of the California roll21, as a method originally meant to hide the nori22. The (avocado, carrots, crab meat, cucumber, mayonnaise, tuna) filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and optionally an outer coating of some other ingredients, such as roe or toasted sesame seeds. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Sushi”.20

6Tobiko is the Japanese word for flying fish roe. The eggs are small (0.5 to 0.8 mm), naturally red-orange in color, with a mild smoky or salty taste, and a crunchy texture. It is used to make sushi more attractive so sometimes it is colored to change its appearance: squid ink to make it black, yuzu23 to make it pale orange, and wasabi24 to make it green and spicy. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Tobiko”.25

7Tempura is a Japanese dish, usually consisting of seafood (e.g., shrimp, squid rings) or vegetables (e.g., strips of carrot, eggplant, onion) that have been battered and deep fried. It is eaten hot immediately after frying, and may be sprinkled with powdered green tea and sea salt, or yuzu and salt, before eating. It is commonly served with tentsuyu sauce (about 3 parts dashi26, 1 part each of mirin27 and shoyu28) and grated daikon29. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Tempura”.30

8Yakimono is a Japanese grilled or pan-fried dish, often served as an appetizer, made of pieces of marinated, skewered and grilled meat. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Japanese cuisine”.31

9Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food.

10Ramen is the Japanese term for a noodle soup consisting of Chinese-style wheat noodles, a meat/fish-based broth, often flavoured with soy sauce or miso, with various toppings (e.g., chashu or sliced pork, menma or lactate-fermented bamboo shoots, negi or green onions, and nori or dried seaweed). The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Ramen”.32

11Soba is the Japanese term for buckwheat. It usually refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour, or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours. They contrast to thick wheat noodles, called udon12. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Soba”.33

12Udon is a type of Japanese thick wheat flour noodles, often served hot as a noodle soup, according to Wikipedia page “Udon”.34

13Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients. It is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup. It is typically salty, but its flavour and aroma depend pn various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Miso”.35

14Kalguksu is a traditionally considered seasonal Korean noodle dish consisting of homemade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles, served in a large bowl with broth (e.g., dried anchovies, shellfish) and other ingredients (like vegetables, often aehobak36, potatoes and scallions), usually seasoned with salt, consumed most often in summer. The term literally means “knife noodles” since the noodles are not extruded or spun, they are cut. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Kalguksu.37

15Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It is used to flavour and dye foods such as mochi38 and soba11 noodles, green tea ice cream, matcha lattes, and a variety of Japanese wagashi39 confectionery, as well as hot tea in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Matcha”.40

16Sake is a rice wine which is the national beverage of Japan.

17Soju is a clear, colorless, distilled Korean beverage which is traditionally made from rice, wheat or barley, with an alcoholic content of 16.8-53% alcohol by volume. It is usually consumed neat. Modern producers often replace rice with other starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes or tapioca. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Soju”.41

18You can earn points when you shop, dine, or gamble in Resorts World Manila. You can then redeem points the next time you visit said hotel and dine in Ginzadon, among others.

19“Sashimi,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sashimi.

20“Sushi,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushi.

21A California roll, or California maki, is a makizushi42 sushi roll that is usually rolled inside-out and contains avocado, crab meat or imitation crab, and cucumber. Sometimes, crtab salad is substituted for the crab stick, and often the outer layer of rice is an inside-out roll (ura maki) is sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, tobiko6 or masago (capelin roe). The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “California roll”.43

22Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red algae genus Pyropia. It has a strong and distinctive flavor. It is shredded, rack-dried, formed into sheets, and sold in packs in grocery stores for culinary purposes. It is uses chiefly in Japanese cuisine as an ingredient to wrap rolls of sushi4 or onigiri44. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Nori”.45

23Yuzu is the Japanese term for a round, yellowish citrus fruit with fragrant, acidic juice, used chiefly as a flavoring. It is called yuja in Korean. This fruit looks like a small grapefruit with an uneven skin. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Citrus junos”.46

24Wasabi is the green, highly pungent, paste served as a Japanese condiment for sushi4 and sashimi3, made from the wasabi plant.

25“Tobiko,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobiko.

26Dashi is a class of soup and cooking stock used in Japanese cuisine. The most common form of dashi is a simple broth or fish stock made by heating water containing kombu (edible kelp) and kezurikatsuo (shavings of katsuobushi – preserved, fermented skipjack tuna. It forms the base for miso soup, clear broth, noodle broth, and many kinds of simmering liquid. It can also be mixed into flour base of some grilled foods. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Dashi”.47

27Mirin is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine. It is a type of rice wine, similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Mirin”.48

28Shoyu is the Japanese term for soy sauce, according to the Wikipedia page “Soy sauce”.

29Daikon, literally “big root,” is a mild-flavored winter radish. It is originally native to Southeast or continental Asia. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Daikon”.49

30“Tempura,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempura.

31“Japanese cuisine,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_cuisine.

32“Ramen,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramen.

33“Soba,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soba.

34“Udon,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon.

35“Miso,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miso.

36Aehobak, Korean zucchini or Korean courgette, is an edible green to yellow-green summer squash which belongs to the species Cucurbita moschata, commonly used in Korean cuisine. It is shaped like a zucchini but with thinner, smoother skin, and more delicate flesh. It is usually sold in shrink-wrapped plastic. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Aehobak”.50

37“Kalguksu,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalguksu.

38Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grained japonica glutinous rice, pounded inot a paste, and molded into the desired shape, traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki, and commonly sold and eaten during Japanese New Year. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Mochi”.51

39Wagashi refers to traditional Japanese confections/sweets that are often served with tea, especially those made of anko (azuki bean paste), fruits, and moch138. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Wagashi”.52

40“Matcha,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matcha.

41“Soju,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soju.

42Makizushi is a cylindrical piece of sushi4, formed with the help of a bamboo mat called a makisu. It is generally wrapped in nori (seaweed), but is occasionally wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or shiso (perilla) leaves. It is usually cut into 6 or 8 pieces, which constitutes a single roll order. It is also called norimaki or makimono. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Sushi”.20

43“California roll,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_roll.

44Onigiri is a popular staple food in Japanese restaurants worldwide, made from (sometimes lightly salted) boiled white rice, fried rice, o-kowa or kowa-meshi (sekihan, glutinous rice cooked/steamed with vegetables like red beans), maze-gohan (“mixed rice”; cooked rice mixed with preferred ingredients), formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes, and often wrapped in nori (seaweed). It can be filled with umeboshi (pickled ume fruit), katsuobushi (dried fish prepared in hard blocks from skipjack tuna), kombu (dried, dark brown seaweed), miso13, okaka (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), salted salmon, tarako (plain, salted sacks of Pollock or cod roe), tsukudani (small seafood, meat or seaweed simmered in soy sauce and mirin), pickled fruit and vegetables, fried foods, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative. It is also called omusubi, nigirimeshi, or rice ball. It is not a sushi4. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Onigiri”.53

 45“Nori,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nori.

46“Citrus junos,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_junos.

47“Dashi,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashi.

48“Mirin,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirin.

49“Daikon,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daikon.

50“Aehobak,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aehobak.

51“Mochi,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mochi.

52“Wagashi,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagashi.

53“Onigiri,” accessed January 4, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onigiri.