CEBU: I dined at Izakaya Goku in Mabolo

Here you go, Japanese Food!  

One of my favorite cuisines is Japanese apart from Filipino, British, Indian, Chinese, Italian and Thai cuisines. The Japanese attitude towards food making is so brilliant and that’s another thing I love about them. The creativity of bringing their food to life right there in your plate is amazing and the taste is- Oh so mouth-watering. The work-of-art foodies and its taste are so tempting and I really appreciate their dishes even before my stomach can enjoy it.

Generally, food is a masterpiece and not only Japanese foods emphasized by season and quality but as well as presentation. Therefore, taste is not the only thing that matters to them but their sense of sight also plays a vital role as they eat. They also pay attention to the detail of their dining area that when you visit a Japanese restaurant, you can even notice the ambiance of their place which is so charming, quiet and relaxing.

Japanese foods in Cebu, Philippines is quite rampant nowadays as well as any other cuisines that sprouted like mushrooms in almost every corner of the place. Sushi, Sashimi, tempura, Yakiniku and etc are just one of the foods loved by Japanese and numerous Cebuanos nowadays starting to have grown their love in it. That’s why Japanese cuisine had grown a lot in our market today as Cebuanos embracing this kind of dishes which I can’t blame them either as I am also into Japanese meal.

Izakaya Goku was first established in Banilad Town Center and later had opened a branch in Mabolo, Cebu. This restaurant offers a medium authentic Japanese food at an affordable price, and works their best to impress customers. Being said about the ambiance, the place is peaceful and lovely and as far as I can remember I think there was a Wi-Fi connection there at that time but not too sure though. So you better ask the attendant instead when you get there. Furthermore, inside the restaurant is a tidy, spacious, friendly and attentive waitress.

I was not only literally hungry but I am actually craving for Japanese food that we end up with festive foods on our table with only me and my friend to eat- Oh bless our tummy.  All the foods were so appetizing that I can’t wait to savor them. However, I would like to have a say in the service which on the other hand I also understand. The food took too long to be served that I already fantasizing about my food in my mouth. So a piece of advice, do not visit a restaurant when you are too hungry or at least grab a light snack first otherwise, you might end up daydreaming of your food in your table like I did.

SUSHI

I’m quite impressed with their authentic Japanese foods especially this one. I love the smell, the looks and the taste of these raw fish. They are thin slices that they seem to melt in my mouth. I love the onigiri wrapping the sticky rice with a delicate of fresh tiny vegetables inside it. I exactly don’t know what’s the purpose of that pinky raw fermented ginger over there, whether it gives minty flavor and cover the smell of your mouth after eating or is it part of the food that gives balance to the taste of the sushi? I don’t have an idea but that ginger compliment to the sushi though, so to me, it’s a bit more like it.

EBI TEMPURA

The Ebi Tempura or shrimp tempura that is battered and deep-fried creates well-rounded crispy sounds to my ear. Dip it in a sauce and you’ll get the perfect match.

GYOZA

These cute little dumplings are called gyoza and they are prepared in different ways namely; boiled, steamed, pan-fried or deep fried. I want them to be transparent so the best way I want my gyoza to be is to steam them. It is one of my favorite because its meat is wrap in a delicate thin dough that melts in my mouth. I love condiments and dipping them in a mix vinegar and soy sauce just added a perfect flavor to these translucent dumplings. By the way, I would prefer to eat my gyoza all the way and not in a soup or ramen.

TAMAGOYAKI

This one is typically an eggy meal to me except that its flavor is a bit sweet and savory. Tamagoyaki simply means Japanese rolled omelette with dashi or an edible kelp accompanied by soy sauce.

AGEDASHI TOFU

Who wants Tofu? I don’t know if how many people fancy tofu but I do. I like eating tofu may it be cooked fried or mix in a soup. Agedashi tofu is a soft tofu coated with a starch and deep-fried to make its outer layer crispy but soft in the inside. It is decorated with a bonito flakes on top of it and typically serves as an appetizer. A soy sauce beneath it soaks the tofu which helps add flavor to the crispy tofu.

NIKU JAGA

Niku Jaga is ideally potatoes and thin meat with a sweet soy sauce boiled or if not simmered together until the meat is tender and the liquid is slightly reduced. The potatoes play a role in this dish and the meat serves as the source flavor of this dish. This food is quite great, especially during the cold or rainy season.

GYU DON & MISO SOUP

Gyu Don or Beef Bowl in English is a very popular food in Japan and this has been my favorite Japanese dish. A bowl of rice with beef toppings simmered with onion, sweet sauce with dashi (edible kelp or fish stock) and sweet rice wine. This meal sometimes goes with egg toppings either raw or poached egg. I’m truly happy eating it as it is without the egg topping, so I don’t mind really. In fact, I am not sure if this one came with one. Anyway, these two dishes, Gyu Don and Miso soup is my ultimate favorite of all time!  Miso soup is very delicious and savory, it is a traditional Japenese soup with tofu, Japanese stock, miso paste, and wakame seed. Oh, Miso soup I can’t get over it and if I could have soup every day, I would like it to be Misu soup. I wish one day I can prepare my own Misu soup in my home to feed my craving.

OKONOMIYAKI

This dish is known as grilled “Japanese Pancake” while others call it as “Japanese Pizza”. To me, it is sort of an omelet pizza but the healthy version. It’s a battered flour with eggs, shredded fresh cabbage, dried seaweed, dried bonito flakes, green onions and some meat either thin pork belly or seafood like shrimp, squid or octopus. I love Japanese Mayonaise and these condiments as well as the Okonomiyaki sauce, gives balance to the flavor of this meal. Unfortunately, I can’t remember if the one I had that night, as shown above, contains any kind of meat but this one does taste good also.

Eating in a cuisine in general, may a bit costly but I guess it all depends if you like their foods or not and if it satisfies you and as for me, it did. I reckoned that the price I paid for was just right although it’s not cheap either. I thought I paid about a thousand pesos or so-so but hey, I can’t blame though given the number of foods I ordered that night. I believe that from time to time, it is good to treat yourself in a place like this once in a while then go back to your staple foods or homemade foods. Don’t get me wrong I like homemade foods too, I cook a lot on my own and decide the quantity and the quality of food in my meal. If you have the passion for cooking and a time, you get the right ingredients with you and voila! cook some foods with something like this.

My friend and I had a fabulous meal that night and a happy tummy means a happy customer!. So kudos to the meals in Izakaya Goku restaurant for the fantastic meals they served to us.

This was my experienced when I dined here. If you fancy eating Japanese food, you may try this place and their dishes. My only concern is, I know that it does take a time to prepare the food but the waiting is just too long before they serve it which I hope they can expedite a little bit next time. But overall, the ambiance, the staff, service, and the foods were incredible and I will definitely visit this place again. I know that having been said, loads and loads of Japanese restaurant are booming in our area nowadays and if you have been to other Japanese restos, you may post a comment and share your experience with me. That’s it! I hope you guys enjoy reading my blog and have a great day! ’till next time.

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