Food Diary : Hamaru Yakitori and Sushi

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sometimes when I'm thinking of an intro for a new food article I'm about to do, I wonder if I should just change my blog to Ochi in the City - Japanese Food blog, lol. I would say sorry but I am not! I am so into Japanese and Korean cuisine lately that I want to immerse myself not just with their food but also their culture. It's amazing how a deeper understanding of culture would lead one to better appreciate the food we're being served with. 

So today, I'll be sharing a new discovery, and I mean that to its purest sense. We literally had to uncover this hidden Izakaya along Visayas Avenue! What is an Izakaya, you ask? It's bascially Japan's version of a gastropub! Ever since I watched Simon and Martina's Izakaya video, I've been wanting to go and try one myself. Imagine my joy upon finding out I get to try one out--finally! Hamaru offers your usual Japanese favorites with a twist. We were served Japanese fusion food while still being able to incorporate traditional Japanese recipes. The menu was lovingly created by their head chef consulting with the owner of Ninyo's Fusion Cuisine. We loved that restaurant too but it's been a year and still haven't blogged about it, huhu. Anyway for today, let's talk more about Hamaru and why it was a delight to have finally tried the place!

The Place
I dub thee a hidden Izakaya because it was not easily visible if you're trying to look for it from the road. You have to enter a food park before you get to see the all black facade which is equally mesmerizing. The interiors was also amazing--the lights are pretty dim and red but it just adds more charisma to the place. On the outside, the place might look small, but don't be fooled for they have more than enough seats to accommodate several groups because of their spacious 2-tiered structure. One slight problem with the place though, just like most food parks, is parking space. Since it's technically within the grounds of Food Hive, you'd be sharing a small parking space together with the rest of the food park goers. Good thing I took an Uber when I had my visit, no parking hassle. 

The Food
To be honest, I don't know where to start. Most of the things we ordered were insanely good and out of this world. I say out of this world because of the fusion recipes they have--something so unique I'm pretty sure you'll have a hard time finding the entrees anywhere else. We ordered the following : Hamaru Soft Shell Crab Roll – P430, Japanese HighBall – P240, Oyster Motoyaki – P195, Matcha Beer - P240, Corn Croquettes – P155, Rising Sun – P240.00, Black Sakura – P195.00 and Yakitori. 

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you'd know I love drinking! And Hamaru wasn't a disappointment when it comes to their alcoholic beverages. My personal favorite was the Japanese Highball, which I was told contains Japanese Whiskey and soda. It was my first time to have one but I felt like I could drink 10 more. The glass it was in was also interestingly structured because the ice took a really long time before it was melted keeping the drink true to its flavor. Please refer to the photo for reference! The Matcha Beer was also interesting. I'm not a fan of Matcha but I was able to down that beer. 

For the grub, my favorite was the Black Sakura--it's Chicharon Bulaklak soaked in squid ink and flavored with Uni sauce. OH MY GOD, I literally died when I had my first bite. It's the perfect match to beer any alcoholic beverage! And I thought spiced vinegar is the only way to go with Chicharon Bulaklak. The Oyster Motoyaki was also a revelation. I usually just prefer my Oyster raw or baked with butter or cheese on top, but never have I ever had them with cauliflower puree! It was a bit too creamy for my taste but I love the flavor combination. I was also thrilled with Hamaru's Soft Shell Crab Roll because it's a meal on its own--you just need water. Just look at all that serving size per roll! And to literally top off the roll, they even had a Kani concoction on each roll!

Last but not the least--their Yakitori! I wasn't too excited about it at first because when I visit Japanese restaurants, I usually always go for the raw fish varieties. Two chopping boards were laid out for us, the other one containing all the white meat of the chicken, and the other one containing red/dark meat! Each part of the chicken was fully utilized and also has a unique dressing, if I may say. Of course being the dark meat lover that I am, I easily dove in and tried that set first. Everything was good! From the butt to the thigh! The set with the white meat on the other hand was equally tasty!

By now, you probably have figured out what the final verdict is. Would we come back? Definitely! I have yet to try their wide array of alcoholic beverages. And when I say wide, I mean it to its fullest extent. They also have a fresh fusion spin on how they serve Sashimi so I'm all over that part of the menu as well. In summary, Hamaru exceeded my expectations. The price may not be as budget-friendly as other Japanese restaurants, but I tell you, your money will be well worth it given the multitude of new flavors you'll be exposing your palate to. 

11:30 AM - 12:00 MN | 246-9069 ext:176
80 Visayas Avenue, Tandang Sora, Quezon City
Hamaru Yakitori & Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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