Dining Out

Pre-mother’s day dinner at Kuretake Japanese Restaurant

The plan last night was to dine out and see a movie. I thought we were going to Shangri-La Plaza but Speedy preferred the Power Plant Mall in Makati. I don’t know too many restaurants there — in fact, we ended up dining in a Japanese restaurant with so-so food on a previous visit because we couldn’t find Kuretake. Well, we managed to locate Kuretake last night.

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Like in most of the better Japanese restaurants, the diner is treated with a complimentary starter. At Kuretake, that means pickled seaweeds and vegetables with tiny bits of squid. Delicious. But we were going to need more appetizer than that because it was late, we had just spent the last two hours navigating the city traffic and we were very hungry.

casaveneracion.com seaweeds with ponzu sauce

I chose seaweeds with ponzu sauce which came topped with grated radish (Speedy said it was ginger; I insist it was radish).

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And fried tofu which, for me, was the most outstanding dish in our entire meal. The lightly battered tofu was fried to a crisp then served with a jelly-like sauce that coated each piece of tofu beautifully.

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Sam, ever the salad girl, ordered a bowl of kani salad. No mangoes but the vegetables were fresh and crisp and coated with just enough Japanese mayonnaise to moisten them but not turn the greens soggy.

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Alex ordered tamagoyaki, egg rolls cooked with dashi.

casaveneracion.com tuna and salmon sashimi

Then, there was sashimi… I don’t think I’ve eaten restaurant tuna and salmon sashimi this fresh! The freshest sashimi I’ve had were ones we prepared at home — the fish straight from the market.

casaveneracion.com ebi (shrimp) tempura

Sam had ebi (shrimp) tempura (she ordered a separate bowl of rice)…

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… and she insisted I take photos of the cross section to show that there were whole shrimps, rather than mere strips, inside.

Sam didn’t eat the sweet potato and okra tempura. I’m an okra lover so I ate what she didn’t want and the coating was everything that good tempura should have — light, crisp and not greasy at all.

casaveneracion.com shake onigiri

Alex, salmon lover like me, had a shake onigiri (salmon rice balls wrapped in nori).

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I had a rice topping meal with pork cutlets and eggs. Ooooh, delectable. Perfectly cooked meat, moist rice and with just enough sauce to flavor but not overpower everything.

casaveneracion.com chicken teriyaki

Speedy also had rice — with chicken teriyaki.

casaveneracion.com miso soup with clams

The boxed rice meals each came with miso soup with clams — large clams that were cooked so thoughtfully so that there were soft but not shrunken.

Sam’s tempura and Speedy’s meal as well as mine were all so large that we ended up sharing everything with Alex because we thought she’d still be hungry after her shake onigiri. Well, she managed one ebi tempura and a slice of my pork with a little rice but she was too full after that to try Speedy’d teriyaki. Too bad because I tried Speedy’s teriyaki and it was very, very good — not too sweet and not too sticky.

We had earlier planned to have coffee and dinner elsewhere after dinner but we were so full after our magnificent Japanese meal that we declared there was no space left in our stomachs for dessert.

casaveneracion.com fresh watermelon and pineapple

Then came the complimentary dessert — slices of fresh watermelon and pineapple. The watermelon was all I could manage.

The bill was a little over P2,700.00 (around USD64.00). Not cheap but the food was superior (with very fresh premium ingredients), service was satisfactory, the ambience was relaxed, cheery and comfortable.

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For those planning on dining out tomorrow, Mother’s Day, if your family is smitten with Japanese food, you might want to check out Kuretake at the ground floor of the Power Plant Mall.

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