November 26, 2010

Niji Japanese Restaurant of Angeles City

                Pampanga is another food destination in the Philippines. You can find the best Ensaymada, the Original Sisig, Razon’s Halo-Halo, a whole bunch of exotic food at Everybody’s CafĂ©, one of the best Italian restaurants in the country, C’ Italian and the famous culinary experience at Bale Dutung. Even the famous TV Chef Personality Anthony Bourdain visited the culinary delights of Pampanga.

                C’ Italian is the restaurant we planned to visit but we didn’t have a reservation so we were not accommodated. Off we go to find another place when we spotted Niji Japanese Restaurant.

                Niji Japanese Restaurant is a simple one-storey restaurant. The exterior looks plain with minimal Japanese motifs but the interior feels homey and more elaborate on the Japanese design. As soon as you enter, the waitress will ask you where you want to stay. You have the option to sit on a tatami floor with a low table, in the main hall with regular tables [where you can view the TV] or you can have a private room. We opt to have our own room for no extra charge.

                Niji has an extensive menu, a little confusing on which to choose. Good thing the waitresses are very accommodating and very patient in answering all our questions. As soon as we had our orders, they gave us hot towels to freshen up and a starter: young Okra in soy sauce.

                For appetizers, we ordered Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki, the Japanese version of a pizza.

                Takoyaki. 6 pieces at P175. The Takoyaki is too soft and is not the usual round, fluffY balls I’m used to. Even though it’s a little unusual, the takoyaki still tasted good but Hana’s Takoyaki in Little Tokyo is better.

                Okonomiyaki. P220. Niji’s Okonomiyaki is the best I’ve had so far. It has more toppings, bigger in size, flavorful and the price is reasonable. It’s better than Kagura’s in Makati.

                Niji also offers different meal sets. Every set includes a starter, appetizer/s and your choice of dessert, usually a scoop of ice cream.

                Chirashi Sushi Set. Includes miso soup, Japanese pickles and Ice Cream. P400. The sashimi is good and fresh. Slices are big. Very generous serving. We didn’t even finish the rice. If you’re real hungry, order this one.

                Shake Teriyaki Maki. P220. This is my favorite of all the dishes. The salmon is really fresh and the dash of teriyaki sauce enhances the flavor. Presentation-wise, simple yet appealing. Highly recommended.

                Karubi (US Short Ribs). P270. The Karubi is tough, slightly overcooked. I was expecting it to be soft and tender since it came from the US but it was a disappointment.

                California Temaki. P110.

                Fried Ice Cream. P175. The fried ice cream is served in a big bowl, good for 4. A big scoop of vanilla ice cream with slices banana, mango and pineapple fried in butter. Better eaten as soon as it was served or else, the butter will slightly solidify and it won’t be as appealing.

                All in all, Niji Japanese Restaurant is a great dining experience. Misfortunes happen for a reason. We didn’t get to visit C’ Italian but if we did, we may not have discovered a good Japanese Restaurant like Niji. I highly recommend this restaurant if you visit Angeles, Pampanga.

                Niji Japanese Restaurant is located at Don Juico Avenue, Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City, Pampanga. Don Juico is parallel to Manuel Roxas Highway.

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