Photo Diary: Brunch in Melbourne, The Crux and Co.

My Top Restaurants in Siargao – What I Ate

Here are all the best restaurants and cafés that I tried in Siargao (in no particular order):

1. Shaka Siargao

A quaint cafe for those looking for a healthier alternative. Smoothies, juices, coffee, tea, and powerbowls are what make up their menu. Shaka caught my eye last year, while Douglas and I were walking from Cloud 9, Siargao’s surfing spot, to our resort. We ordered a smoothie instead of a powerbowl. Although, I can’t say that was a mistake since the drink was impressively creamy, and had more fruit than ice – something that you can’t come across Cebu very often. I was still a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to try their powerbowls that first try, so this time I meant to get it.

AND. IT. WAS. HEAVENLY.

2. Lux Siargao Boutique Resort

Okay, so this is a resort that has its own restaurant (as are the other ones down this list) and I actually failed to come here on my second visit. However, I was lucky enough to have had a poke bowl there with Douglas 🙂

3. Kermit Surf Resort and Restaurant

I tried their kinilaw, which is chopped up raw fish drenched in vinegar,  on my first try last year, and I was surprised to have liked it. I don’t usually like kinilaw. But Kermit Resort had their twist on it, and the sour taste of vinegar was in good balance. It didn’t hurt my throat. This made me ask what else could be good on Kermit’s menu. So I made it a personal mission to go back. This time, I got their Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap. I believe it’s meant to be a snack under their menu, but it’s big enough to be very fulfilling.

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180 pesos well spent

4. Bravo Beach Resort

I already told you what I thought about their resort on my previous post. It may not be my top one, but it’s absolutely worth the try. I had the pork coconut curry, which is almost like humba, a Filipino favorite, with that curry aftertaste and a good amount of shredded coconut on the side.

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5. Wind Del Mar

I had my best meal on the island from Viento. A resort that’s conveniently located next to Bravo. I had their chicken adobo, which they served with mashed potatoes instead of rice. If you’re Filipino, you know how much we love our rice. But I wasn’t disappointed at all. The chicken adobo and the mashed potato worked well together in sweet perfection.

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That’s mashed potato underneath the chicken, red bell pepper, and onions.

6. Miguel’s Taqueria y Cerveceria

I think this is the only Mexican place on the entire island, but I could be wrong. Please do correct me if you know other places. Also, it isn’t a restaurant per se. It’s more like a stall with a couple of wooden chairs and plastic tables on the side.

I’m not sure what legit Mexican burritos taste like, but I know when it taste good. I also ordered their fish taco, which I liked because the fish wasn’t too soft underneath the scrap/batter. It was all evenly cooked.

7. Buddha’s Surf Resort

I also failed to come here during my last visit, but it wouldn’t be fair to this place if I didn’t at least mention it. It’s where Douglas and I had our Valentine’s dinner. awwe. But the chicken curry we had was good, mind you. A little watery than I would have liked, but nonetheless flavorsome.

Good wagyu and a new experience in Shinjuku, Tokyo? 

Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, 新宿区Kabukicho, 1 Chome−26−3
Price range: 90-400 JPY
Rate on Yelp: 5 stars
Standing

Walking around Shinjuku with five hungry people who are depending on your choice of restaurant, but having no idea where to eat, is a situation you do not want to be in.

I created an opportunity for my family to grind my gears that one afternoon. After a long day of walking and going from one district to another, I found myself getting badgered with questions like “where are we eating?” “which restaurant?” “didn’t you search for it beforehand?” I should have, but I didn’t know which district we’d find ourselves last or if my family would be interested in wagyu. So there was really no point to look for a restaurant if I didn’t know where we’d end up in.

Finally, I gave in. I turned on my mobile data despite knowing that I would be paying 599 PHP once I came back home (I already saw my bill – it’s insane). I opened Yelp, the famous business locator app that I previously gave no mind until I met my now boyfriend. He uses it like a bible to find the best and cheapest restaurants in town.

I eventually found Jirōmaru, a Yakiniku place that only had 2 Japanese Yen signs next to its name. It was the cheapest around. Good reviews, only 0.6 kilometers from where we were standing. “Let’s check it out!”

I almost walked past it while I was looking at google maps. I thought that the front of the restaurant would be wide and conspicuously placed in between other establishments. Nope. The front was just about two and a half meters wide with two doors on each side of the facade. One door was for the customers to get into, while the other was for the chefs. As I peeked into the door I found myself looking at a line. This is a standing restaurant! One of the chefs firmly pointed that out when he saw us waiting and looking clueless about these kinds of places. My mom was not happy with this information.

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Much to my family’s reluctance, we stood outside for about 5 minutes before half of our group was allowed to go in. We had to wait for one couple to finish up because the space was that limited. I believe there were only about 6 small grills out on the counter. Three of us made our way to the grill that had just been cleared by the couple, while the other two waited for another 10 minutes before they could come in. My brother chose to eat at McDonald’s.

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As we were facing the area where the chefs stand, I noticed the small wooden blocks (bars?) hanging on the walls. Japanese characters were written on them, with numbers at the bottom of each bar. That’s how they displayed the menu, each wooden bar showed a part of meat together with its price. How nice. We couldn’t understand a single word.

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Thankfully, the chefs spoke good English. So they asked us if we’d like for them to pick their favorites for us. We said yes, and left everything entirely up to them. While the orders kept coming, with seemingly no sign of stopping, I thought that maybe letting them decide wasn’t such a good idea. I wondered to myself if we’d end up paying a fortune after dinner. The prices on the menu ranged from 100 to 400 JPY, which isn’t so bad compared to other sit-down (?) restaurants that offer wagyu. But small plate orders such as what were getting can add up. 

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True enough, our orders did add up to an amount I’d rather not disclose because it can speak of either two things: one, is that my family and I CAN EAT; or two, we got ripped off. The more that I think about it now, the more convinced I am of the latter.

We should have checked the bill more closely. Although, we could have probably paid for each slice of wagyu. I just checked the bill from another restaurant that we ate in on our last day in Tokyo, and one plate of wagyu was 900 JPY. I don’t know! I wasn’t briefed before going inside Jirōmaru.

Be that as it may, at least the food was far from disappointing. And even though I hate reviewing food (because I don’t know how), I’m going to list down a few thoughts:

  • The meat exploded like water, bursting from a dam, inside my mouth.
  • Scratch water and replace it with melted butter.
  • Wagyu does melt like butter.
  • The meat didn’t need any seasoning.
  • It was that flavorful.
  • Their sauce didn’t really do anything to the meat. Meaning, no added flavor.
  • Or maybe I’ve just forgotten.
  • Good thing the meat was that flavorful.
  • There’s a lot of rice in a small bowl.
  • Next time count the plates.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The food was great at Jirōmaru, as proven by the countless five star ratings on Yelp. Trying a standing restaurant, and possibly having been fooled into paying more for food, was also a first for me which I may not rate as a five star experience. But both are great to add to the imaginary travel portfolio! That’s not to say that I have never been fooled while travelling before, just not with food in particular. But every traveller must go through these things, otherwise, what fun stories would there be to tell? So cheers to great wagyu and new experiences in Tokyo. May our future travels introduce us to more food minus the problems. 🍺🎉

In Sushi Heaven

Address: 36-2 Shogencho Higashi-ku Hamamatsu Shizuoka
Tel.: 053-463-7666 (+81-53-463-7666)

For our second day in Hamamatsu, my brother and I chose to stay in the hotel. I know, such a waste of day in a new city! No need to remind me since I’d been told many times by my mother and my uncle. I just wasn’t feeling it because of a couple of petty events which led to my loss of interest. Such events I will no longer recount because they are not the topic of this post.

What I want to talk about is the Daiju Sushi Restaurant, where we had a hefty dinner that night.

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According to my aunt who brought us here, the restaurant has been running for almost 50 years. The owner, Mr. Kazou, is the itamae of the sushi place which he inherited from his father and it looks like it’s always been doing great. I guess any establishment does well when the owners are hands-on.

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Left to right: my aunt Mildred, my mom, my sister, Mr. Kazou, my uncle, my brother, my aunt’s step dad, and our family friend Tita Edith.

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First thing you see upon entering. The trophy is the owner’s win in a golf tournament.
The Daiju Sushi Place isn’t your everyday go-to sushi restaurant. It is one of the fancier places in Hamamatsu. Reservations have to be made, money has to be prepared, and your attachment to said money has to end even before you go inside the restaurant.

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Once you order your food, I guarantee that you’ll like what you see and will want to order more. In our case, our orders eventually stacked up.

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Sashimi Katsuo

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Kuchi No Nitsuke
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Tempura

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Chawamushi
This was the most full I’d been during our entire stay in Japan. Even though I was almost full to the brim, I still had room for the sushi platter.

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Mr. Kazou is such a friendly guy and is very easy to talk to, despite the language barrier (we had my aunt translate for us). He was eager to let us try everything on his menu, but too bad we didn’t have enough room in our stomachs. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll be sure to order all the food that we failed to try and know that I’ll enjoy them just as much.

Photo Dump: Food, Glorious Food

Day One

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Day Two

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Day Three

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Day Four

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Day Five

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Day Six

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Sweets

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