Dining Out

Jipan: it never disappoints

Some restaurants we try out of curiosity. If we don’t like the food or the service, or if the prices are way out of proportion with the quality of the food, we don’t go back. If we like the food, service and price, the restaurant becomes a habit. Jipan is one those habits. We’ve been Jipan customers since Sam and Alex were toddlers, and we’re still happy Jipan customers ’till now.

Yesterday, we were at the SM Megamall to buy a new school bag for Sam, Sam asked where we’d have lunch, I tried to think of a good but inexpensive place and Jipan was the first name that came to mind. If you’ve never heard of Jipan, it is a bakery and coffee shop on the ground flour of SM Megamall’s Building B. It’s a small place, less than ten tables for four (most customers go there to buy bread) but, my goodness, the food is so very, very good.

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And I’m not just talking about the bread which, though a bit pricey than those found on supermarket shelves, are truly artisan stuff. The owner has an aversion for margarine (there is a poster on the wall that says margarine is one molecule away from plastic) so Jipan bread is made with real butter. The taste and aroma prove it.

But we weren’t at Jipan to buy bread yesterday; we were there to eat lunch. And what was lunch?

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For Speedy, it was the katsu sandwich. Tonkatsu (see my chicken version) between slices of Jipan bread. I had a bite and it was wonderful. Still crisp panko coating the meat and just the right amount of thick sweet-salty sauce.

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Sam ordered her usual — ebi tempura udon. She gets that on practically every visit to Jipan. So it must be good. Sam is a harsh food critic. Very harsh.

Thinking I was very hungry, I ordered a full meal which was preceded by miso soup topped with fried tempura batter.

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I had never ordered a full meal at Jipan before (I’ve always chosen ramen or udon) and I was quite unprepared for the size of the meal.

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Sukiyaki-cut beef flash fried in sweet soy sauce, vegetable tempura, cubes or fish fillet, salad, eggplants and rice. I was very hungry but, gee, one look and I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish all of it. So, I asked Speedy to share it with me. After all, he only had a sandwich. Surely, he had enough space in his stomach for a portion of my gargantuan meal…?? Okay, he did. And we loved every item in the bento box. So, soooo delectable.

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Speedy looks happy, doesn’t he?

And the price? All that food plus Sam’s iced tea (Speedy and I had the free house genmaicha) cost P590.00. Like USD13.00.

We love Jipan.

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