Nadai Fujisoba: No Ramen Here, Just Soba and Udon

Last month, I took my Nanay out to see a movie. We still had an hour to waste before the screening, so we decided to have dinner first. We headed down to the ground floor of SM North EDSA The Block because I remembered a number of restaurants are scheduled to open in February. When we got there, we saw two new Japanese restaurants standing adjacent to each other. It was a tough choice to make, but we ended up choosing Nadai Fujisoba since my Nanay wanted to eat some ramen (or so we thought).

Nadai Fujisoba Japanese Restaurant SM North EDSA The Block

When we were handed the menu, I asked the server what their bestselling flavor of ramen is. She was quick to inform us that they don’t serve ramen and that they only use udon and soba for their noodles. At that point, I still had no idea what she was talking about. It turns out, udon is a thick noodle made from wheat flour, while soba is thin and made using buckwheat. Well, I was extremely glad I learned something new about Japanese cuisine that day.

Nadai Fujisoba is a popular restaurant chain in Japan, which was established in 1966. The Philippines is only the second country they have entered after Taiwan. Now they have five branches in Metro Manila: Bonifacio High Street, Lucky Chinatown Mall, SM Aura Premier, SM Mall of Asia, and SM North EDSA The Block.

Dining Area of Nadai Fujisoba Japanese Restaurant SM North EDSA The Block

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Dimsum Break : Steamed Rice Craving, Satisfied!

I wrote about how excited I was that Dimsum Break is opening a branch in SM North Edsa last year, and I was desperate to finally have a taste of their Steamed Rice again after years of longing for it since I moved back here in 2009 after my 1-year stay in Cebu. Days after their opening in October 2012 (I know, this post is a year late), I dragged my nanay to their first branch at SM Annex and ordered away.

Dimsum Break's Original Steamed Fried Rice

Cebu may be known for many delicious food, but I’m willing to bet that Steamed Rice is on the list of dishes that Cebuanos, or anyone who has lived or even visited Cebu, are craving for when they go anywhere else.

Dimsum Break is the self-service, fast food restaurant of Harbour City Dimsum House, one of the popular Chinese restaurants in Cebu. I’ve dined in both restaurants there and the quality of the dim sum and Steamed Fried Rice are well-kept, so I know they’d make sure to maintain the quality even here in Manila.

So, Steamed Fried Rice, or simply Steamed Rice, is like your typical rice topping dish – rice topped with a savory mix of their ‘secret’ rich sauce, peas, shrimp and pork. The sauce is what makes this rice bowl so irresistible. We’ve tried making them at home – check out Mai’s Steamed Rice recipe – but we have yet to finally uncover the formula of Dimsum Break or Harbour City’s Steamed Rice.

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Dimsum Break : Finally in SM North Edsa!

Update: Dimsum Break at SM North Edsa Annex is FINALLY open! Read our review here.

One thing most of you don’t know about me is that I lived in Cebu for about a year. Sure, there are many dishes and food places that anyone traveling there shouldn’t miss like Taboan (best place to buy pasalubong like danggit and dried squid) and Sutukil near the Mactan Shrine (Dampa-style restaurants). But, there’s one specific dish that I have been longing to have a taste of again and that’s Steamed Rice, Cebu style. So, I was frantic when I learned that Dimsum Break from Cebu is opening a branch here in Manila – at SM North Edsa! 😀

Dimsum Break in SM North Edsa is opening in October 2012

(Photo from Dimsum Break’s Facebook page)

When I moved back here, I have been longing for another taste of their Steamed Rice. In a desperate move, I begged Mai, one of the contributors in this food blog, a pure Cebuana, to come up and share a recipe for Cebu style Steamed Rice that she made here at home. The flavors are close to the actual dish from Cebu, but there’s something missing. Still, the recipe did satisfy our craving.

Cebu Style Steamed Rice -

You might be wondering what the heck this Steamed Rice dish is. Don’t take it literally. It’s not just plain steamed rice. It’s a mix of many ingredients and with just one small bowl, it can fill you up because of the combination of the rice, the sauce, peas, the shrimp and pork (or beef). It’s so good that it’s one of the things I deeply miss about Cebu. 😀 If you’d like to try making at home, check out Mai’s Steamed Rice recipe.

Harbour City Dimsum House from Cebu

Anyway, going back to Cebu. There are 2 popular restaurants there where you can order Steamed Rice. One is Harbour City Dimsum House, which is my favorite spot. Here’s a REALLY OLD and LOUSY photo of our lunch there one weekend (taken back in 2008, I think, and I didn’t know better 😀 ):

Steamed Rice and dimsum from Harbour City - photos from 2008

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Seoul Garden in SM North Edsa : Review

We were supposed to write a year-ender post for 2011 featuring our top favorite restaurants, food products and/or recipes/dishes we prepared, but since we still had a ton more reviews we haven’t posted yet, we decided to skip it this year and will do one next year instead. One of these uber delayed reviews is of Seoul Garden in SM North Edsa Annex.

Seoul Garden at SM Annex in North Edsa -

When Ken and I have time to spare or we need to relax after hours of shopping, we usually end up at buffet style or eat-all-you-can restaurants. Though we spend a lot of time together at home, sometimes, talking about tasks seem to be more effective when we do it somewhere else. That afternoon in July 2011, we had hours to spare because we were scheduled for a Harry Potter movie screening late in the evening. Ken insisted he wanted to watch on the first day so we ended up with the last screening time. 😐

We decided to check out the restaurants at the newly-renovated SM Annex building. First restaurant we considered was Seoul Garden because, at that time, it was the least busy of all the places there.

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