There are dozens of great Japanese restaurants to choose from in the southern suburbs — from BF Homes to Alabang to Sta. Rosa. One newcomer I came upon is Shinomiya — a small, Mom-and-Pop-like restaurant unobtrusively tucked away just behind UCC at the Alabang Westgate’s main plaza. It’s what the Japanese would perhaps call a taishu shokudo. So do not expect gourmet dining — this is your typical neighborhood eatery, casual and unpretentious, where one can enjoy simple, hearty meals at friendly prices.
I would have preferred their sashimi to come in thicker cuts, though. But they do grilled fresh fish beautifully. Their ramen dishes are pretty good — although I prefer my tempura crisp rather than soaking in the broth — and the servings are quite generous. If you like it spicy, order the Tantanmen. Its spiciness levels range from zero to 5 — 5 being the equivalent of hell-fire, I suppose. The “inferno” comes from a combination of chili oil, Japanese chili powder (shichimi), and fresh chilis chopped up and sprinkled on top. Tantanmen, after all, was originally a Szechuan noodle dish which the Japanese have adopted as their own. And Shinomiya‘s version is not for the faint of heart.
Eponymously named for its proprietors — a Filipina and her Japanese husband — the kitchen is run by two Japanese chefs. And the customers are usually all Japanese — which for me is a good sign of the food’s authenticity and acceptability.
And — so sorry neh but… — I get a good giggle from some of their signs… Yup, there oughta be a “law”, heehee.
Carbs and cheese — nobody combines those two ingredients better than the Italians! In the few times I got to go to Cubao Ex (where the old Marikina Shoe Expo used to be), I made it a point to eat at Bellini’s — for great authentic, hearty, and rustic Italian food. To this day, I don’t know why but I cannot forget the complimentary breadsticks I munch on while deciding which delicious pasta dish to eat. It was a delicious precursor to the flavorful food to come. But what with the impossible commuting situation these days — whether by car or by MRT — it’s been more than a couple of years since I’ve been.
When old man Bellini’s son Daniele settled in south of the metro 6 or 7 years ago, he brought along his passion for cooking as well as the skills and recipes he learned from his father to open his own Italian restaurant — Daniele’s Casa Mia. The restaurant is as folksy, friendly, and very vivace as Bellini’s in Cubao and the food is just as crazy-good. A little bit hard to find, though. Daniele’s is very discreetly located, almost hidden, along the westbound Sucat Road (now known as Dr. A. Santos Avenue). It is in a small apartment building, beside a shop that makes lapidas (or tombstones — perhaps as if to imply that the food is to die for?), between Manila Memorial Park and the entrance to BF’s President’s Avenue. Let me warn you, parking is tough — you’ll have to cajole the shops nearby if you can park in their front if you go during work hours. But let me also tell you — if you love honest-to-goodness Italian food, in a warm and homey setting, then the dining experience here will definitely be worth it.
The pizzas are fresh-made and baked in a real wood-burning brick oven. The pastas are made fresh as well. And they are pretty generous with the truffles … or truffle oil. If you have a special request … an Italian dish you’ve been craving, maybe something you tasted in your last trip to Tuscany… don’t be shy to say so. Chef Daniele and his crew will be more than willing to make it for you.
Prices are very reasonable. And they carry some pretty good wines to choose from, too.
You may call 826-5163 or 501-0998 for reservations. The restaurant is open everyday, EXCEPT Mondays, from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. Check their facebook for more details.
Just click on this link — Daniele’s Casa Mia Italian Restaurant