Sunday, October 13, 2013

あらふカフェにようこそ (Welcome to Arafu Cafe)

こんにちわ! 今日のレストランはSM North Edsa のあらふカフェです。
(Hello! The restaurant for today is Arafu Cafe in SM North Edsa.) 

 今日のフドツリプは家族を一緒に食べます。(For this foodtrip, I'm eating with my family. - I don't know if my grammar is correct, just comment if it isn't.)
 I'll just switch back to English because my Japanese is still a bit rusty, after all the French classes that I took. The Gang missed out this time. In today's food trip, I'm with my family, except for my mom. I'm with dad and 3 of my older sisters. Wow, this is again the only time that all 4 of us are complete, mainly because both of my sisters are busy, one having her own business and the other being a doctor. So, after some window shopping and stuff, we ended up having dinner in Arafu Cafe, 3rd floor of SM North.

Arafu Cafe is owned by a Japanese couple. Manami Maejima-san is the chef for the restaurant so it is indeed authentic Japanese cooking. This is their 2nd branch; the first one is in BGC, which has been open for 1 year already. We get to chat with Manami-san for a while and she is really nice. She is quite fluent in English. Too bad I wasn't able to get a picture with her.

Back to food. Most of the items in the menu are hamburgers, which is their specialty. The first part of our meal, the appetizer, is composed of Dashimaki Tamago & Ika Tatsutaage. 

The Ika Tatsutaage is my favorite dish. It's like Calamari. The squid was cooked evenly, not too hard or soggy. The skin is crispy and when you bite into it, it pops in your mouth. It's really fresh and it doesn't have this fishy smell to it, unlike other restaurants selling seafoods.

Next is Dashimaki Tamago. This is unlike your typical tamago; you dip this one in soy sauce with daikon radish in it. For me, this is a new way of eating it because most of the time we eat it as is or with soy sauce and wasabi in it. The problem I had with this dish is that the egg is quite soggy. It easily breaks apart. Also, it lacks the texture and sweetness of your average tamago. However, if you really like egg dishes this would be just fine with you. I like dipping it in soy sauce; it tastes better that way.

My sisters ordered Japanese Green Tea Latte for their drinks with a complimentary homemade cookie. I'm not really a fan of green tea flavored stuff but I love this drink. It tastes really nice. The green tea flavor isn't overpowering and you could adjust the sweetness of the drink based on your preference. My sisters were actually fighting over this drink.

Also, the cookie was really tasty. I wasn't able to get a picture of it because my sisters ate the cookie instantly but it was really good. They are actually selling the cookies if you really want to take some home.

My sister ordered Syougayaki Chicken Don. This is actually your normal chicken teriyaki with rice. This dish was fine. The chicken was really flavorful. The only problem was that there was too much ginger for garnish. I hate ginger so it was really a struggle to pick them out so I could eat peacefully. I love the sticky rice by the way.

Next up are the hamburger dishes, which dad, my sis and I ordered. I just combined everything because they are all technically the same dish. The upper left dish is the Tawara Jr. Hamburg Steak. This is the standard one and the smaller size. The next one is the Combo Ebifurai and Combo Karaage w/ Demi Glace sauce. I didn't really like what I ordered. First of all, I really don't have a thing for burgers. I hate anything that is made out of burger patties. I only ordered this one because it's like 65% of the menu and it's their specialty. Second, the burger was somehow soggy in the inside. It's not that it's under cooked or anything; I just didn't like the texture of it. Third, the sauce wasn't that good, as well. I don't like the aroma of it. All I could say was that the Karaage and rice was great. Sadly, I wasn't able to taste dad's ebi so I couldn't comment on it.

Last is Arafu Ramen (Tonkotsu), which is also the best of the bunch. I'm not into noodles but I liked this dish. The chicken mixed well with the soup of the ramen bringing out a new flavor and aroma to it. I regretted what I ordered and wished that I just order this one. The soup was really tasty and the noodles were cooked just right.

My problem with this place is the price. Your budget for this should be about 300 per meal. I don't think the food was worth the price and there is an additional 10% for service charge, which is a really big amount. Though, I could say that the service was really nice and fast. Well, if you have a thing for hamburger meals and chatting with Japanese people this is your place.

Rating: 2/5

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