Tag Archives: The Kapitolyo Walking Food Tour

Ninak: Asian Food Fiesta

All photos courtesy of my boyfriend on his Cherry Mobile Omega HD. Great camera on a phone, no?Image

Finally! Another Kapitolyo Walking Food Tour post! I realize it’s been a while but I haven’t had the impetus to take photos as I ate in the past. It’s always been order, food, lamon. Well, I thought it prudent to start up again and fill my blog with some yummy food (albeit to also drown out all the ramblings of recent posts).

Anyway! Welcome to Ninak. One of the newer restaurants in Kapitolyo. Situated where Adobo Republic once was, this Asian restaurant takes on the hefty challenge of surviving past a year. I’ve been living in Kapitolyo all my life, and this particular spot has had its share of failed businesses. Hopefully, Ninak doesn’t succumb to the curse but only time can tell.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what cuisine Ninak specializes in. It’s sort of a mix of different Asian dishes. I did overhear a man, who I assumed to be the owner, talk about the place being Singaporean and Malaysian and Thai, etc to one of the guests.

My boyfriend and I decided to have a quiet dinner out last April 27,2013. We rounded the corner from my home, which is literally just some footsteps away, and entered Ninak. The decor was very spartan. Bare tables, white plates, unadorned chairs. I guess modern minimalist design was the peg for the restaurant. We were seated quickly as there weren’t many patrons yet. Here’s what we ordered:

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Lamb Massaman Curry

Soooo delicious. As a fan of lamb (sorry Lambchop!), I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. First of all, it’s a huge serving. We thought it best to order just one viand to be split between the two of us, but even our combined stomachs weren’t enough for this dish. Not to say we had any leftovers. The lamb was so good that we “forced” ourselves to finish off the serving. The curry wasn’t too spicy (just the way I liked it but my boyfriend wanted it a little spicier) and the meat was very tender. Gold stars from me! 🙂

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Ninak Rice

Nothing too spectacular about the rice. Quite ordinary and the serving size was a bit small. I’m not sure if it’s because my boyfriend and I really enjoy eating rice with our meal or if the serving really wasn’t enough for two. But as pinoys know, you can’t eat certain viands without rice.

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Turon Halo-Halo

A disappointment here. The serving was, again, too small for the price point. I mean, it’s just turon right? Apologies from the cheapskate in me 🙂 It was OK. It was quite tough, though, and not that flavorful. My boyfriend noted that one fast food chain’s fried halo-halo was better (sorry I forget >.<).

So, all-in-all, a quaint little spot for dinner. Something to try at least once, especially if you love Asian cuisine. Though maybe I should try their other dishes before giving a final verdict. For now, I say “yes” to questions about visiting the Kaptiloyo branch of Ninak. Mid-level, price-wise. Our total bill ended up being around 500+php for everything.

Kapitolyo Walking Food Tour Part 2: Ramen Cool

Last December 30, my family and I were all set to go watch the lights show at Ayala Triangle. Unfortunately, my brother got sick so we had to cancel our plans. Instead of staying home, we decided to walk to a newly opened restaurant just a handful of meters away.

Ramen Cool opened just this month and I was so excited to try it. Looking at the exterior alone enticed me very much. Add to that the fact that I love Japanese food and the dinner was so on.

It’s not only the outside that was gorgeous, as soon as you enter, you’re welcomed by modern decorations. Check out the cute art on the walls and the interesting lamps on the ceiling.

The design on the panes intrigued me. It had a sense of the traditional Japanese aesthetic yet kept it modern by applying it to glass. Enough about the pretty, on to the food!

Pictured below is one of their bestsellers, the Beef Ramen. The broth was quite tasty, similar to miso, and the beef was good as well. I didn’t have this order but took a few spoonfuls by myself.

Here’s what I had, the Seafood Ramen. To be honest, it was quite a let down. The soup was bland and there was fewer noodles than I expected. My dad added a lot of spicy powder and oil to make it enjoyable. I ended up coughing a lot but it was better than the original flavor, which was lacking.

We ordered California Love which is simply California Maki with some crab on top. It was so-so, quite ordinary. And their wasabe wasn’t the authentic one.

Here is my favorite dish of the night. It was another bestseller, their Spicy Chicken. It was so good, we had to order another plate. I highly recommend this dish if you were planning on visiting Ramen Cool.

Here’s me full from a big meal and my dad to the side paying the bill. We also ordered some dessert which consisted of soft-serve ice cream topped with Choc Nut with a surprise base of mashed sweet potato. YUM!

If I hadn’t tried an authentic ramen place beforehand, I would recommend Ramen Cool. But, my friends and I had already eaten at Shinjuku Ramen House and the difference between the two places is staggering. I guess I’d call Ramen Cool a mainstream Ramen house, for those not too picky about their ramen. Even the names on the menu suggested that this was a restaurant for those who want simplified Japanese cuisine.

The food at Shinjuku had all these weird names I was hard-pressed to pronounce and all these weird ingredients I couldn’t name. The flavors were also very foreign to my taste buds. Here’s a review of the place and some more information from a random blog I looked up. Shinjuku Ramen House.

If you’re not too picky about your ramen and want a cool place to hang out with your family or friends, then a trip to Ramen Cool would suffice. Just be sure to bring cash as they are still at their soft opening stage and the prices can be quite steep (for students like me, anyway).

Ramen Cool is located at the corner of East and West Capitol Drive in Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Here’s the Google Maps snapshot for reference (I included Shaw blvd. and Pioneer St. just as landmarks. Look towards the bottom-center of the map to find the corner of East and West Capitol):

Ramen Cool now stands where Kamarada used to be, FYI.

The Kapitolyo Walking Food Tour Part 1

As promised, here’s part one of my food tour of Kapitolyo 😄

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kapitolyo and it’s burgeoning food scene, here’s a map to the small yet lively community where restaurants of all kinds are popping up.

Our first stop was Thai Dara located along East Capitol Drive, near the corner of San Francisco. My kuya was planning on treating us for dinner since he just got his first job this November. Thai Dara was walking distance from our house so we decided to check it out. Now, my family has been to Thailand so we had high hopes for the food here. We are all avid fans of Thai food.

We started off with the Tom Yum soup. I for one was disappointed with it. I was expecting a sweet, sour and spicy soup but this one was just spicy. My mom loved it, though, so I guess it depends on your taste.

One of my favorite dishes of the evening was the Pomelo Salad. Though it didn’t have a lot of veggies in it and the serving was quite small, I’d recommend Thai Dara first-timers to order it. It’s a great complement to the heavier dishes such as the Pad Thai and the Satay.

Next was the Pad Thai. My kuya and I loved their Pad Thai. It was a bit sweet but still didn’t lose it’s flavor. The noodles were also firm and not smushy. I can’t describe it but it’s one of the best Pad Thai’s I’ve tasted. If you’ve tasted Pad Thai from Thailand before, it’s almost 100% similar to the authentic dish. Though considered street food in Thailand, Pad Thai for me is one of the indicators of a good Thai restaurant.

The next dish was something new we haven’t tried before. It’s the Basil Chicken. Like it’s name suggests, it’s shredded chicken flavored with Basil. It’s a different taste than what you would expect from a chicken dish. The Basil flavor was strong without being overpowering. It’s has a sense of freshness in your mouth once you take a bite.

Another classic Thai dish, Pork Satay. The meat was really good. I’m very particular with the taste of the meat itself without the sauce. It was yummy but the peanut sauce was nothing special.

Our dessert was sticky rice with mango. Sorry for the blurry shot, I only had 10 seconds to snap a photo before my kuya and mom devoured everything. The rice was goooood. The consistency was great, not too sticky and not at all runny.

(Edit: Went back recently to Thai Dara for Mother’s Day and had Nom Tuk and Green Chicken Curry. I recommend both very much! Num Tok is a beef dish that is often described as a beef salad. It’s very good. The Chicken Curry was also delicious, creamy and just the right amount of spicy. Great dishes)

While the three of us were having dessert in Thai Dara, my dad and younger brother snuck off to CAB Cafe just across the street. They ordered a delicious Banana Cream Pie. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, it was already half-eaten. So much for the photo-op. Instead, let me tempt you with other cakes they had on display.

Here ends part one of the Kapitolyo food tour. I hope I gave you an idea of which restaurants to visit if you were ever in the neighborhood. Until next time!