Photography by Karlo Cadang

If you’re familiar with Japanese culture, then you might have heard of their traditional taverns where professionals flock for after-work drinking. A pub is to the Irish as Izakaya is to the Japanese. With that in mind, you might expect that this restaurant has a very concise menu and traditional interior design, but nothing can be farther from the truth.

We won’t blame you if you mistook this restaurant for an art gallery. Upon entering, you’ll quickly notice how artistic the whole vibe is . The walls are filled with patterned wallpaper, Japanese-inspired murals, and every angle of the place screams “take a picture!” Marketing Officer Erika Lim mentions that they intended for it to be this way to become more appealing to millennials, ad we must say, it is effective!

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Tori Karaage literally means Japanese Fried Chicken

While waiting for the main attraction, a couple of their starters are surely going to whet your appetite. The Tori Karaage is a plate filled with bite-sized fried chicken akin to chicken poppers. On the other hand, their addictive Vegetable Kakiage contains vegetable cuts gorgeously deep-fried in tempura batter.

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Did you know that Kakiage is also a type of Tempura?

If you think their interiors are colorful enough, wait until you see their specialty Soru Ichiban Maki. These masterpieces will make you wonder if they turned the chefs into painters and the plates into canvases. Their bestseller, the Lava Maki, is a mountain of sushi stacked on top of each other while tuna, salmon, and spicy mayo drips down like flowing lava. The whole thing actually looks like a volcano good enough to eat!

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Pro tip: You can request for your own artwork! Just ask them politely.
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We’ve never seen a maki so gorgeous

If the previous fare looks like a volcano, the Oh Umi Maki takes the form of a dragon. Each sushi contains hefty portions of shrimp and salmon and if you look closely, the last one even includes a shrimp tail and the tempura batter on top resembles the scales of the mythical creature.

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Make sure to take a picture before you dig in

The dining adventure doesn’t stop there. According to Erika, the Udon Carbonara is their way of spicing up their contemporary menu. It contains bits of salmon and shiitake mushrooms on top of thick Udon noodles. It is then mixed with rich wasabi cream sauce and truffle for the big finish. Indeed, a savory smack your tastebuds will love.

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Carbonara made the Japanese way

For those who crave the traditional, have no fear. Patrons can order the Saikoro Wagyu Cubes which is grilled tasty high-quality beef cut into squares. On the other hand, the Gyudon is your familiar rice bowl with delectable thin strips of beef and warm egg on top.

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Don’t worry. They also have your usual favorites like these flavorful wagyu cubes.
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These rice bowls will be an all-time favorite.

Hold your horses because there’s another course for this filling meal. We’re talking dessert and their cakes are to die for in taste and in aesthetic. The Japanese love their matcha so much that it’s only fitting for them to include the Matcha Cheesecake in their lineup. Aside from its flavorful layers, it has crushed grahams for its crust and two sticks of matcha biscuits as toppings.

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After one bite, we can confidently say that it’s “Matcha-rap”.

Aside from matcha, another of their fan-favorites is the Tiramisu. Just looking at each layer of coffee fingers and cream cheese frosting is enough to make your mouth water.

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The sweet substitute to your Cup of Joe

In a country that has a Japanese restaurant in every corner, Soru Izakaya takes a big leap to distinguish themselves from other traditional places. With their wide array of dishes, it is no wonder how they are able to cater to every single age group. And with the artsy ambiance, this Izakaya is sure to bring out the creative side of just about anyone.

The newest branch of Soru Izakaya is located at Technopoint, 1 Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Pasig. They have other branches in Maginhawa and BGC.

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