My eldest daughter Ali had been excited for months. Her best friends Stephanie and Madison were coming over from Canada to visit the Philippines for the very first time.
I saw these girls grow up when we were still residents of North Vancouver. Anyone who makes my kids happy, I also love. I treat them like they are my own.
But show them a good time? Ali had that covered.
She took them to the beach in La Union; Coron in Palawan; and, this coming week, to a beautiful, largely undiscovered place in Pico de Loro, Batangas.
Not wanting to intrude on their bonding, all I could contribute were places where they could experience good Filipino food and, of course, make my “daughters” have unforgettable dining experiences.
Ali had taken them to Wooden Spoon in Rockwell and they were so happy with the food. I love it when foreigners enjoy Pinoy food. Pressure on my part to match this.
I thought, how about Japanese?
I texted Ali to meet us at Marufuku at Pearl Drive in Ortigas. This place is consistent. It has superb, authentic Japanese food with a Japanese master chef manning the grills. The place is nicely decorated, the servers are all attentive, and it has dishes not found in other Japanese restaurants.
We ordered a spicy tuna as starter. It was mildly spicy and served with bits of tempura batter for added crunch.
Something many overlook is the Gindara with Teriyaki Sauce. This was succulent and good with Japanese rice—an old dependable.
Tarako Udon is seafood charcoal noodles, which, as far as I know, is served only in this place. It also has a variety of perfectly grilled seafoods. I had Kisu Tempura or fish tempura with Japanese fried rice. Fantastic. I also ordered a prawn tempura and, may I declare, Marufuku makes the best tempura in town.
The top-selling sushi is the Marufuku Roll. It was huge and outstanding. After experiencing a fantastic Japanese restaurant that specialized in sushi in New Westminster, Vancouver, it was hard for me to find equally good sushi, until I came across the Marufuku roll.
I plan to go back for the best seller Donburi. There are many interesting items on the menu, but—you know how you plan to order something new but because you’re so hungry, you go back to the old reliables? I’m like that, especially with my kids. If they don’t like it, they blame me. Hay, buhay!
Final verdict? “Best Japanese restaurant experience ever,” according to Steph.
Marufuku Japanese Restaurant, G/F 29 Crescent Bldg., San Miguel Ave. Ortigas Center. Call 5703989.
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