Written by Aaron S. Medina, Joshua Muñoz, and Gideon Tan. Edited by Denise Joaquin and Matthew Yuching.
Photo Header by Jamie Lao.
Ateneans, especially those with long breaks, would flock to the food hotspots around the area; from Regis Center to U.P. Town Center (UPTC).
Tori Chizu, which specializes in modern Japanese cuisine, recently opened its doors to hungry customers craving for Japanese food on a hot and busy day.
Located on the ground floor of UPTC, Tori Chizu is not at all difficult to find. Greeted by a bustling, modern-designed Japanese restaurant filled with people, customers order the fast food way: through the counter.
The overall atmosphere of the place was not your typical high-end, bamboo-furnished, traditional Japanese restaurant. It is a casual place where conversation thrived, a haven for friends and foodies.
Prized at P185, a lot seemed to be happening with the restaurant’s Pork Tonkotsu Ramen: it was topped with an egg, which, when mixed, made the broth thicker. Thin slices of pork with just the right amount of meat and fat. A dash of sliced green onions and seaweed didn’t fail to make their mark; although the flavor of the onions was overpowering at certain points. Bits of sesame seeds in the middle. And of course, a generous serving of noodles underneath all of it; the most enjoyable part!
Despite some flaws, the broth was still quite sumptuous. First, it was served hot—a must for it to be considered quality ramen. Second, the taste boasted of a balance of saltiness and other flavors which captured that distinct Japanese taste.
The Hambagu Doria was presented like an island in the tropics: a round hamburger steak plated atop a sea of glorious, melted cheese. It was plated in a round sizzling plate, as if nudging the diner to take their first bite before the dish loses its appetizing warmth. Below the visible layer of yellow and red, the familiar texture of rice was settled underneath the cheese. But the surprise was surely welcomed, as stretching the rice from the bottom of the plate also brought along with it the baked cheese, a truly magical combination sure to please taste buds. Then there was also the juicy, delicious hamburger patty, the star of the plate, which would no doubt play its part in stuffing empty stomachs.
The fried chicken had a delectable crunch to it, with its spices unique to Tori Chizu. The gravy was a decent complement, but the fried chicken can definitely stand on its own with its crunchy skin to the succulent white meat. It’s good ol’ fashioned fried chicken — it’d be hard to mess this one up!
Tori Chizu’s Swiss Cheese and Mushroom Hambagu, on the other hand, is an innovative take on the conventional Japanese Hambagu. The oozing Swiss Cheese, situated on top of the succulent chunk of beef, makes its way down to the mushroom sauce and the rice. The consistent tenderness of the meat, in addition to the savoury medley of flavours, makes the palate hunger for more. The subtle hint of Swiss cheese brings out the flavor of the mushroom sauce, making a perfect harmony of flavours.
Of course, a meal isn’t complete without dessert. The restaurant offers Milk Chiz ice cream, a cheese-flavored ice cream. Its texture was really soft, and the flavor seemed to emphasize the cheese, but not too much. Not too sweet, for the non-sweet tooths out there, and a perfect way to end your Tori Chizu meal.
Tori Chizu in UPTC presents itself as a budget friendly, Asian-inspired, casual experience with a unique dish selection. It distinguishes itself as a restaurant in UPTC that serves baked rice dishes, while still providing fan favorites like ramen and fried chicken. If you’re feeling adventurous with your food, or even just looking to try something new, Tori Chizu is a restaurant that will welcome you with open arms.
Learn more about Tori Chizu by checking out their Facebook page!