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discoveries after the wedding bells

Weekend Food Choices Week 53: Itadakimasu

It was a rainy Friday and we were told the on coming storm had decided to spare us so hubby and I decided to celebrate by trying out the new restaurant next to his building

Hana ichi replaced the tapas bar we never got to try because it kept getting bumped down our list of places to feature. The location is not very ideal as company buildings and banks surround the restaurant so you really have to go out of your way on a weekend to dine there and its not exactly in the fast food category.

As we approached Hana ichiā€™s doors we were welcomed by a waitress who looked like she stepped out of a Japanese anime, complete with shorts, puffed sleeves and a high ponytail. We were seated in a comfy corner of the restaurant with couch seats and a cheery looking Japanese woman at the sushi bar, who we presumed was the owner, was looking our way as if she was trying to figure out if we spoke Niponggo or not but finally decided to let us scan their menu in peace.

Hubby was torn between the cold soba noodles and the gyudon.

Now, whenever I think of soba noodles, I remember a silly situation I got myself into a couple of years ago. On my way to Saitama to visit hubby, who at that time had some work in the land of the rising sun, I was served soba noodles. I opened my small bowl and saw delicious looking barley noodles and, as I would like to think I must have been very hungry (but actually just very ignorant), started to devour the noodles. A Japanese man I was sitting beside was looking at me funny and I realized why, as he pointed to the small packet of shouyu. Even in his broken English I realized I had forgotten to add the sauce to my cold soba noodles and he must have been horrified at the site of me eating the cold barley noodles bare. *cringe* I remember telling hubby this funny story and, as he must have thought poor me, took me to eat proper cold soba noodles after enjoying my first kabuki.

We always have a good laugh when we remember that story!

As we were trying to decide what to order, we asked for our favorite sushi: Maguro, Uni, and Unagi

Ok, i know what you may be thinking, that sushi on the left most doesn’t look like maguro…

Its actually mackerel and we realized it only after we got photos. Hubby was ready to let the mistake go but i though that the sushi was a bit too expensive not to enjoy the right one.

Apparently our server thought we wanted “mackerel” when we said “maguro”. It’s either she heard wrong or she wasn’t yet well versed with the Japanese names of the sushi.

They did replace our saba (mackerel) sushi with the maguro we originally ordered.

As we were savoring our sushi, we noticed the tables were filling up with Japanese diners. By now, the cheery lady had come up to our table and asked how our food was and as the mistake in our order was already undone we politely told her it was good. Even the itamae went around and spoke to a couple of diners and after some polite bowing offered the days special. You could almost fool yourself into thinking you were in Tokyo except for the ad of the Taguig science museum that’s soon to open displayed across the street…

For our main dishes hubby finally decided on the gyudon as it looked really good on the menu

The dish came with miso soup and pickled ginger.

The beef in the donburi was good. Thin slices of beef atop delicious japanese rice. Hubby however was disappointed at the sparse portion of the beef in the bowl. We also noticed that the gohan was not topped with shirataka noodles or my favorite raw egg rendering the donburi a little dry.

I, on the other hand was quite happy with the unagi plate i got

The portion was a good size, enough to share and the fresh water eel was just perfectly seasoned and cooked. This was delicious with a steaming cup of gohan!

It was a lovely dinner but frankly, we weren’t thrilled with the sushi. With a 3 digit price for each piece i expected, well, to actually taste why it was priced as such. Hubby and i thought that we enjoyed the food at Omakase better. Ok, i feel some eyes rolling at this statement…i know that Omakase is more of a fastfood restaurant but the prices are much better and although i don’t quite remember if the itamae at their greenhills branch was actually japanese (the one near Eastwood is), their sushi are pretty decent. Now if you want the real deal (short of going to Japan that is) i think the ambiance at Tsukiji in makati fairs better with its draped entrance, wooden furniture, long sushi bar and private tables where you have to take off your shoes. But hey that’s just our opinion…

Where is the best sushi bar you’ve gone to outside of Japan?

The Luxe Residences
28th St. cor 4th Ave
BGC, Taguig City


June 5, 2011 - Posted by | Weekend Food Choices | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Look so yummy. I wanna try that when I visit you soon ok

    Comment by Mom | June 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. We enjoy Omakase, too, but are always on the look out for new Japanese places to try! So thanks for this review, even though the sushi wasn’t quite as good as you may have preferred. We’ll definitely have to give Hanaichi a try!

    Comment by Tracey@Tangled Noodle | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  3. wow, doc mitzi! this one’s a feast! i love japanese!
    i like your photos of those sushi, made me stare (and drooled) at my monitor for few minutes!
    the post also briught back some fun memories of my sushi-sashimi-sukiyaki indulgence in tokyo last year.
    not to forget, also reminded me of omakase…we’ve tried it several times at their branch in il terrazo near abs-cbn in morato. sarap! šŸ™‚

    Comment by docgelo | June 13, 2011 | Reply

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