One of the few things I enjoy in life is dining out and having a good meal – mostly by myself. But last Wednesday, I was invited by Tsukemen to try out their new Lenten dishes which include the Spicy Tuna Sashimi (P395), Mala Agedashi Tofu (P265), and the Squid Ink Ramen (P530), and thought ~heh~ why don’t I tag along one of my best friends, Arvin, to a whole day of eating.
Tsukemen is located inside The Grid food court at Powerplant, Rockwell. You can’t miss it, it’s on the second floor, left side of the “newer” building.
We were pretty hungry since I just came from the gym, and Arvin, from doing work errands.
Tsukemen Lenten Dishes
Judging from the spread above, the tasty meal looks good for 2 people I presume.
First up on the menu is the Spicy Tuna Sashimi. It’s a mix of fresh tuna chunks, spicy Japanese mayo, topped with tobiko (fish eggs), chopped onion leeks, and crispy tempura batter. There seems to be large pieces of fried rice crisps? I think on the side? That we used as a “holder” on the sashimi each time we take a bite. It was light, crisp, and perfect to balance out the squishy softness of the spicy tuna. It was pretty yummy. Although I wished it was a tad less sweet, and more spicy – but that’s just my personal preference.
Next up is the Agedashi Tofu which the restaurant described as deep-fried silken tofu in spicy mala sauce topped with bonito, spring onions, nori, and sesame seeds. Arvin loves this one! He practically ate all except one piece for me. The tofu was soft and melts in your mouth, and the spicy sauce compliments all the flavours nicely! Hope this becomes a regular!
While eating, I forgot what this was and torn if it was squid or octopus. Apparently the Squid Ink Ramen has both. Tsukemen described the dish as something packed with so much flavor and umami, you’ll surely risk stained teeth for it. This new noodle dish has squid-ink-seafood-broth ramen topped with grilled octopus, mussels, leeks, white onions, and kikurage.
The grilled octopus on top of the noodles was MASSIVE, although I hoped it was more tender because it was hard to bite of off it. I had to request for a knife to be able to chew it well. The squid ink soup was black as it is tasty, because the best part of any squid dish is its ink. I even wonder why some restos serve squid dishes and remove the black ink. I’m like ~what?~
If you’re ever in the area these three new dishes from Tsukemen are a safe bet if you’re trying to avoid the usual meats like pork, chicken, or beef.
Arvin and I decided to hang around at Rockwell and stayed until dinner time. Again our stomachs grumbled and our second stop was the ever-famous, ever-viral Italian restaurant, A Mano.
Based on reviews, we heard the place gets packed a lot so we went earlier at around 5PM. The indoor seats were FULL so it’s a good thing they had tables outdoors. Their store at Rockwell has a pretty nice ambiance even outside and exposed to the cars, because of the trees and plants everywhere. It wasn’t hot at all.
The staff were polite! Even if we didn’t look “rich”, and were attentive to our needs even if the place was packed. It was a carb-loading day so for dinner we ordered: Margherita con Bufala (P615) , Pollo al Burro (P565) , Panna Cotta (P365), Burrata Gelato Soft with Balsamic and Strawberries (P325), and Iced Tea (P250) for drinks.
We talked how this day and age, we just liked a simple pizza, with basic toppings, and this was perfect. The crust was crisp and chewy, just as you would expect from something that comes out from a brick oven, and the buffalo cheese (similar to kesong puti) was light and mild just how I want my cheese. The basil and tomatoes used were fresh.
You can request for chili oil, honey, or even spiced honey to take the pizza a notch higher. I loved the spicy honey!!! However, the pizza can have the tendency to go soggy over time. I don’t see this as something worth eating for delivery or even take out. It’s best eaten seated in the resto.
Served to our table sizzling hot! The fried chicken was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Perfectly fried thighs soaking in olive oil and rosemary. For a fried dish, it didn’t have that “umay” factor, but it was very filling! It was seasoned well and I just took bite after bite until we can’t no more. Hahaha. I’m ordering this again when I return though! PROTEIN
I wouldn’t recommend their Iced Tea. For P250, it was pretty basic. A purple-colored iced tea, sweet, and tasted whatever ordinary iced tea you would have at let’s say, Jollibee. Get water instead, or their alcoholic spritzers. Too bad I’m temporarily banned from alcohol.
and finally we get to the DESSERTS! The gelato was more cheese than ice cream so it’s not as sweet as you would expect – and we love. The balsamic and strawberry topping adds a nice punch to it too, so you’ll forget it even was “sinful” each spoon. It was firm, rich, creamy, sweet, and salty. If you’re solo and you didn’t eat a lot of mains, you can definitely finish a cup.
Their pannacota was DIVINE, and leaned towards this more than the gelato. The pannacota melts in your mouth, and is pure as it can get – no fillers. Just cream and richness. Eat it together with the crispy honeycomb and it’s just an explosion of flavours that linger in your tongue even after you have a bite. Having this again!!!!
Hopefully, I would get to review more food places soon on the blog, and did you know people still do read blogs, and they prefer to read real feedback and not just overly hyped places. If there’s something “bad” about the food or a place, I would definitely include it in the write-up.
In a world of deceptive content creators that are only in it for the clout, authenticity counts.