Izakaya Cowan Grill
Robinsons Luisita, MacArthur Highway, Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City, Tarlac
- 2 Reviews
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IZAKAYA COWAN GRILL
I partly grew up in Tarlac, but I had never tried eating Japanese food there before. A few weeks ago, I went to visit my mum and bro, and they suggested Japanese food. I was quite excited because Japanese cuisine is my first love when it comes to food nationalities. What's there not to love? It's flavorful, fresh and healthy. I really hoped the place would offer these qualities in their dishes, but knowing how most wanna be Japanese restaurants are, I lowered my expectations.
So background and location check. My mom tells me this has been here forever since Luisita was here. It was around the same time Max Restaurant across the street opened. It's quite easy to find as their sign hangs at the entrance of the old fashioned exterior of the place. You can definitely smell that this place has been here a while. Don't get me wrong. I like it! It's a scent of traditional cooking and old wood and bricks. Red lanterns hang from the ceiling of the outdoor dining area. If it wasn't a hot day, I would choose to eat outside, sadly there was no breeze. Noting on the numerous chairs, it seems, and I would assume, that this place would be fully packed during certain times of the week, and especially at night. We were here for lunch though, so we stepped into the air conditioned indoor dining area.
I really love how the place was set up. There's this private dining tables dressed up traditionally Japanese style on the side. The floor is made made from terracota tiles waxed and buffed to reflect the warm red lights shining from the lanterns. It had a very calm and soothing vibe to it, along with it's choice of mellow music.
Since my mum and bro had been here before, they already know what to order while I scouted the menu. It was really a classic, I tell you. Even the menus has been there for ages!
They ordered the Beef Teriyaki, a Tonkatsu set meal with miso and cabbage-kani salad, and requested for a complimentary warm pot of house tea. I decided to try their best selling Ramen, according to the waitress and ordered the crunchy Sushi.
We took a few pictures, chatted, and drank the house tea while eating the free side dish that they gave. I am not sure of the English term for these little fishes, but here in the Philippines, it's called Dilis, and I am sure there's another variety of these. The side dish also comes with a serving of Korean Kimchi, which was excellent! One of the best kimchis so far. And believe me, I had a lot from various Korean restaurants in Baguio. They're not too sour, and they're a bit spicier, which I love.
Our orders arrived pretty quick. Maybe because there were only 5 active tables as of the moment. But the timing is better than expected. Now let's move on to the presentation. We ordered 2 bowls of Beef Teriyaki (?) and they came out differently but tasted the same. Not salty, not sweet. It was perfect and the carrots and zucchini was fresh and perfectly cooked, not overcooked at all.
The cabbage-kani salad looks cute, topped with nori (seaweed), and fresh tomatoes. And the miso soup tasted quite good too!
I really loved the crunchy sushi! It's topped with clumps of crabroe and Japanese mayo. I love it so much. My mouth is already watering while thinking of it's scrumptious moist texture. I suggest laying off the soy and wasabe.
My brother's tonkatsu was crunchy and not oily. The sauce came in separate in a small plate.
And last but not the least, the ramen. Itreally surprised me because I was looking for authentic tasting ramen like how it is supposedly cooked in Japan. The toppings wasn't much but the broth is the winner here! The broth was tasty and not quite salty. You can tell it was simmered for hours because of the flavorful burst in your mouth. The noodles were the perfect firmness. Soft and absorbent on the outher layer of the thread and snappy firm in the inner layer. It was a huge bowl, and I couldn't finish it. I wish I could, but I was too full! I asked my bro to help me finish it because we didn't want it to go to waste. Remember to slurp!
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My family's go-to japanese restaurant for celebrations. This is a local japanese restaurant that serves dishes which are around 150 and up per person. This is where to get "authentic" japanese cuisine when in Tarlac. The staff are very kind and the place itself is great. A hidden food find..
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