I was not into Japanese food before, but my forever food and travel buddy had consistently exposed and taught me to appreciate and then now, Loved, Japanese foods.
I am creating now a series post that I am dedicating to the Japanese restaurants and Japanese foods that I have been to and have eaten. I am collectively calling it:
First of the series that I am featuring is RAI RAI KEN.
Here is a brief history of the success of Rai Rai Ken:
It was in 1992 when Mr. Benjamin Garcia, the President & CEO of Rai Rai Ken, decided to put up his own raetaurant at Bautista St. in Makati City. He called it Maste Chow. It was not even a full-pledged restaurant. It was more of a "karinderya" (small eatery) that sold Tapsilog to the office workers in the area. Later, they started offering Ramen which becamce a big break and gave birth to the restaurant's name - Rai Rai Ken.
Rai Rai Ken offers authentic Japanese foods that went through product research. Chef Benjie, the owner heads the R&D, ensuring customers of delightfully appetizing foods that are truly Japanese!
As of this writing there are a number of branches of the restaurant all over the Philippines, you can see HERE, and 5 of which can be found here in Cebu.
This particular branch of Rai Rai Ken is located at Gaisano Mactan Mall 2.
Complete address: GF PH-1 Gaisano Mactan Mall 2, Pajo, Lapulapu City, Cebu
Sashimi and Gyoza are just two of the many Japanese dishes and which are also making it to my list of go-to Japanese foods.
The Maki is my least favorite but my forever food buddy can eat all these in one setting.
Below are photos of the food that we ordered.
The famous MISO SOUP. I love the taste any miso soup and this version in Rai Rai Ken is ok too. My rating is 8 of 10.
f.y.i. Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called "dashi" into which softened miso paste is mixed. Many ingredients are added depending on regional and seasonal recipes, and personal preference. Wikipedia
SALMON SASHIMI - a taste of heaven in Earth - this is how I describe my every bite of this dish. I only eat SALMON Sashimi, no other else. My rating for Rai Rai Ken's Salmon Sashimi is only 7 of 10 because the wasabi is not as tangy and biting as the other wasabi's that I have tasted.
f.y.i Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces. Wikipedia
SUSHI ROLL - i think this was a CALIFORNIA SUSHI ROLL (MAKI)
f.y.i Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨?) is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice (鮨飯 sushi-meshi?) combined with other ingredients (ネタ neta?), raw uncooked seafood, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Ingredients and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is rice - Wikipedia
GYOZA - Japanese pan-fried dumplings. My rating is 9 of 10.
f.y.i. Gyoza is a classic Japanese-style pork and cabbage dumplings with a juicy, moist filling and a crisp-chewy wrapper.
Another discovery, which made me love Japanese food more, was the STEAMED JAPANESE RICE. Since we ordered for a tasty viand, the dumplings, there is an urgency to order for rice! I love the whiteness and stickiness of Japanese, which makes it easier to eat with chop sticks.
Completed our meal with glass of cold LEMONADE (hers) and glass of MANGO SHAKE (his).
I find this branch clean and somewhat refreshing, maybe because of the natural sunlight coming in the restaurant.
My overall rating: food (taste + serving) + ambiance + service = 8 of 10
Eat Japanese, and Eat good food, everyday!