Shinomiya Japanese Restaurant
Westgate Center, Alabang-Zapote Rd. cor. Filinvest Ave., Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila
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Most Recent Reviews
Upon first peek into this unassuming Japanese place tucked into an unnoticable corner at Westgate, i got really excited at the prospect of having a Japanese restaurant with a Little Tokyo vibe in this neck of the woods.
It seemed so perfect: Japanese owner, chef, and some expat clientele, tacky decor and table dividers/fences, various menu items not found on the main menu written on or plastered onto the walls in English and Japanese, and posters, pictures, and printouts of Japanese food near the counter. #LittleTokyoFeels i tell ya!
But sadly, it all stopped there. I so really wanted to give this place a glowing review. I really, really did. I even ate here 3x just so i could eat something to redeem the previous visits. I even observed and took note of what others were ordering so i could order them myself. But no... nothing, zilch.
On my first visit i asked for the bestsellers. They mentioned the 2 most expensive items on the menu: the unagi and the wagyu steak. Oh, but of course. Right, right. This sort of response has always been a pet peeve of mine and makes me sometimes want to stare and burn a hole through the waitstaff. Anyway, I could be wrong but in my 3 visits i haven't witnessed a single person order anything with unagi in it or the steak. Not even the japanese patrons.
I was craving for chahan so i tried the mustard fried rice, even if overpriced at P320. I wass hoping it tasted interesting enough or came in a really huge serving... but nope. Just plain chahan on a plate at P320. I felt cheated.
The deep blue see roll with salmon, tuna, and kani at P480 was also a rip-off. It was good, well, passable and the seafood tasted fresh. But i've had better rolls at a cheaper price in Little Tokyo or even Sensei Sushi. Well, with fresh seafood and sashimi you'd think they'd make a great bowl of chirashi sushi. But nope. At P650 i found the serving waayyyy too small and the sushi rice waayyyyy too tough. I've had much better chirashi sushi for less at Little Tokyo.
As for the tantanmen, ughhh. P380 for a small bowl of bland, watery red broth and what seemed like instant ramen noodles. And if you look at the attached pictures, you can see just how soupy it is. And it was practically tasteless if not only for the spice. The ground pork and garnishing was minimal and no peanut-y aftertaste that i always look for in a tantanmen. Gyoza wasn't noteworthy either.
Lastly, i tried the yakisoba and buta hirekatsu (tonkatsu). It should be pretty hard to screw those up so its a good thing they were decent. The servings were good in size and both didnt exceed P300. The pork was tender and flavorful and came with shredded cabbage in sesame dressing. The chawan mushi was decent as well. I guess my last visit somehow redeemed my first 2, but not nearly enough. Staff were generally friendly and attentive enough to warrant tips (no service charge). All in all, i was really let down. Andun na lahat eh, yung pagkain nalang haha (and i guess the prices too).
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