Dining at Katsuya, Hollywood

Our family was able to relive the blog about seven tips for parents traveling with younger kids as we visited the US about a month ago. It was a spectacular time for us. A lot of theme park adventures (Legoland, Disney Land, Universal Studios) and long drive escapades (from Orange County to Laughlin to Grand Canyon reaching Las Vegas back to Los Angeles) but the highlight of every stopover is food!

Serving size there is so overwhelmingly huge drooling on Popeye’s fried chicken, Panda Express’ lemon chicken, Shake Shack’s hamburger, Joe Shack’s crabs, Ihops’ pancakes, Kona’s grilled steak and a lot more I can only fancy now.

On top of all the meals we’ve had, one completely stood out. If you are a Japanese cuisine lover and is going to the United States anytime soon, you must include Katsuya by Starck on your itinerary.

Katsuya Hollywood

Katsuya Hollywood

They have many branches around the City (Hollywood ▪ Brentwood ▪ Glendale ▪ L.A. Live ▪ Las Vegas ▪ South Beach) plus Middle East (Kuwait and Dubai). And perhaps we’ve been into the hottest spot, Hollywood!

Sushi Tray at Katsuya Hollywood

Devouring the sushi (at once! So good that we failed to capture in photo the beautiful whole, untouch shot!)

Our tray of sushi was masterfully crafted by the only lady Sushi Chef at the Resto, KitKat Austria. I so love watching her prepare in precise rhythm and with so much passion.

Sushi Chef Kitktat Austria of Katsuya Hollywood

Sushi Chef KitKat Austria in Action!

Everything is outstandingly delicious but my #1 pick is the Baked Crab Hand Rolls! Imagine a baked snow crab lightly kissed with Chef’s signature sauce, wrapped with rice in soy paper. I can eat it all day and crave for more. As part of your starters, don’t forget to add the Crispy Brussels Sprouts with balsamic soy and toasted almonds!

Katsuya Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Katsuya’s Japanese kanji symbol “Katsu” means “victory” or “to win” and it’s fitting considering the loyal following of Hollywood A-listers and Zagat critics the restaurant has won over with its inventive combination of Japanese and Californian cuisine. Exuberant servers welcome you “irashaimase” as you walk in and bid you “arigato gozaimas” as you leave and in between, original creations like the Crispy Rice, Spicy Tuna, Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, Miso-Marinated Black Cod and award-winning cocktails like the Burning Mandarin delight your palate.

Featuring the dynamic pairing of Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and design impresario Philippe Starck, Katsuya by Starck is truly a feast for the senses. With superb talent and exacting precision, it is truly changing the face of Japanese cuisine.


7 Ramen Indulgence Around Alabang and BF Homes

Yes, we love ramen! We would always go to any new ramen restaurants in the Metro even if we have to drive along the consistently-heavy-traffic stretch of Edsa just to eat.

Fortunately, our area is surrounded by spots for Japanese cuisines serving one of the best ramen in town. To our delight, do you know that there are two authentic ramen restos inside BF Homes? One just outside the village at Molito? Some more around the nearby malls?

Writing this makes me hungry already while anticipating a hot bowl and so to sum up the craving, here goes my top 7  ramen indulgence around South.

  1. Ramen Yushoken

Don’t be intimidated by the long line; it’s worth the wait for a bowl of ramen at Yushoken. They offer the best slice of pork in rich, sumptuous broth. My frequent pick is Shoyu (soy sauce) Tonkotsu (pork bone broth), a salty pork bone ramen with shoyu and drizzled with Mayu (roasted garlic oil) with freshly made noodles. It is topped with chashu (Japanese braised pork belly), bamboo shoots, black fungus, sesame seeds and spring onions.


Yushoken’s Shoyu Ramen

Favorites: Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen, Tantantmen, Gyoza

Address: Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Branch: Mendokoro Ramenba, Makati

  1. Ramen Kuroda

Their ramen has a distinct flavor and you won’t confuse it with other brands. I particularly enjoy the Kyusyu Tonkotsu Garlic/Kuro Ramen because of its addictive garlicky taste. If one serving is not enough, you can request for one extra noodle for free.


Kuroda’s Kuro Ramen

Favorites: Kuro Ramen, Aka Ramen, Ebi Tempura, California Maki

Address: #96 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque

Soon to open branches: RCBC Plaza Makati Branch and ASEANA Branch

  1. Mensakaba Geishu

In operation only last February 2014,  they managed to gain followers quite quickly. Nothing fancy here but just real good delicious noodles! You get to watch how your food is done by the owner/chef via its 12-seater restaurant fronting the kitchen itself.  Their yakitori is also yum to try especially the enoki bacon maki (bacon rolled enoki mushroom).


Mensakaba Geishu’s Chashu-men

Favorites: Chashu-men, Tantanmen, Enoki Bacon Maki

Address: Southland Apartelle, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque

  1. Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

They serve a wide selection of tonkotsu ramen while continuously adding more variety to their menu. We enjoyed trying different order for every visit and each one promises a hearty delicious Japanese noodle.

Ikkoryu-Fukuoka-Ramen-ATC-Aburi -Chachu

Favorites: Aburi Chashu Tonkotsu Ramen, Black Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen, Karaage

Address: LGF, The Garden, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa

Other Branches: Shangri-La Mall, SM Aura Premier, Powerplant Mall, Century City Mall, Bonifacio High Street, Estancia Mall

  1. Kenji Tei Ramen House

I recall eating on their first-ever branch along President’s Avenue, BF Homes but it was such a small nook. Eventually, they close this store back in August 2012 to relocate to a bigger venue. Ramen is not the only reason why we come here, other food variants are also worth a try!


Favorites: Shoyu Ramen, California Maki, Ebi Tempura, Katsudon

Address: Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Other Branch: Greenbelt 5

  1. Shitamachi

I prefer a really hot ramen soup but sometimes I fail to have that slurp when I need to feed my son first. Apparently, Volcano Ramen won’t get cold in a snap. It is served in sizzling broth but keeping the “al dente” texture of the noodles.


Shitamachi’s Volcano Ramen

Favorites: Volcano Ramen, Ebi Tempura, Cereal Prawns

Address: Second Level, SM City BF, Sucat, Parañaque

Other Branch: Podium

7. Ramen-Ya

We had a pulse of hunger late last night and opted for a take-out. While driving around BF, we pulled over a crowded, small-corner, opened-restaurant indicating “Ramen Gyoza” plus Japanese writing on their banner. We brought home a simple, hot noodle soup with full egg, 3 pieces thin chashu, spring onion toppings garnished in spices. Now if you are game for a quick, more affordable ramen fix then try it.


Ramen-Ya’s Special Ramen (photo taken at home over a to-go order)

Favorite: Special Ramen

Address: Along Aguirre St., Phase 1 BF Homes

-UPDATE (as of August 2017)

UPDATE (as of August 2017)

Shitamachi – closed


Check the next listing for more ramen adventure: Ramen House to Visit around Alabang (part 2)

Photo Source: Image via FB page of each restaurant except from the last photo.