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I love how the “outer spaces” of Manila are getting gourmeted up. Quezon City, for example. A myriad of interesting eateries have sprouted just along Maginhawa Street in Sikatuna Village alone — I want to try them all but QC is just too far for me. Baka malipasan ako ng gutom before I even get to QC. So I am so thrilled whenever an exceptionally good restaurant pops up in the south. One of them, which has become a favorite go-to place for me, is Sushi Ninja.

Specializing in superbly made sushi and sushi rolls, Sushi Ninja is headed by the young Chef Matthew Tanjuakio, a graduate of the California Sushi Academy and the Tokyo Sushi Academy. The servings are quite generous — at least 2 people of average appetites could share one order — so I find the prices reasonable enough. Even their slices of salmon sashimi are thicker than what most sushi restaurants serve, much to my delight. And the sushi roll combinations are creative and filled with delicious surprises. I have no favorites yet because I want to try each and every concoction on the menu. But I do know I’ve enjoyed everything I have ordered so far, especially when complemented with well-chilled peach sake.

Located at what used to be the Serenity Place inside the Westgate Center of Alabang, the restaurant is quite bijou — small, modestly appointed yet elegant. The walls are studded here and there with shuriken (or ninja stars). I enjoy watching the sushi sous-chefs preparing the rice, using the traditional hangiri, the round, flat-bottomed wooden tub or barrel in which the rice is cooled and folded in. That alone, for me, was a good sign — that Sushi Ninja takes its sushi seriously and does not scrimp on the preparations.

Sushi Ninja is getting to be popular now, especially for the Alabang crowd. So I suggest you make reservations: +63917.8378744 / 556-7706

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