Isn't it ironic that I don't usually go to restaurants and malls in the North, even if I'm from Quezon City? This came as a recent realization when my friends and I were deciding on where to meet for dinner. A'las, SM City North EDSA won. I told myself, "it's time to meet my neighborhood up north."
Work ended at 6PM; soon enough, I found myself selecting a restaurant to dine in at the Ground Floor of The Block in SM North EDSA. Because I am very fond of Japan, Cafe Shibuya piqued my curiosity. As soon as I entered, I immediately asked the staff if the restaurant is a franchise from, well, Shibuya in Japan, and was told it isn't. I figured I'll try it out anyway, since the ambiance is good and it wasn't too noisy for my friends and I to effortlessly chitchat.
We asked for what's new and what's best-selling in the menu, and gladly ordered them even if some sounded admittedly 'risky.' Dishes came in one by one, surprisingly with fast and efficient service. It's time to dig in!
For starters, we got the Beef Bulgogi Nachos (Php295). It comes with good amount of Bulgogi sirloin beef cubes, combined with tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, then topped with cheese plus wasabi mayo sauce. We really enjoyed this one as the different flavors of sweet, salty, and a bit of spicy all made up one great appetizer!
Although this restaurant's name got its origins from Japan, they're offering a lot of food items from other cuisines as well. One of which is the Kimchi Pasta (Php275 single, Php495 sharing), which we decided to explore. It's made up of spaghetti pasta cooked al dente, flavored with homemade kimchi, Gochujang paste, and bacon strips. All of us liked it and commented that the kimchi flavor tasted legit.
For my main dish, I got the Honey Lemongrass Chops (Php310). It came with two pieces of pork chops that were grilled and marinated in honey lemongrass concoction, and served with a side of tomato-corn salsa and java rice. No other dips or sauces needed, as the meat already has its own flavor in it.
My friend A had the Fireside Grilled Chicken (Php275), which is a quarter-cut chicken that's baked then grilled, served with guacamole and java rice. We consider this dish healthy from the manner it was cooked--it wasn't oily as well, so eating the skin was guiltless. Its taste was born from herbs and spices, which gave it a bold flavor.
The best entree for the night was ordered by my friend L, called Crispy Pork Belly with Kimchi Rice (Php315). It sounded so usual that it gave us much of a surprise. The deep-fried, succulent pork belly came with its sweet and salty flavor, which greatly complemented the spicy kimchi rice. We would gladly order this again next time.
Onto desserts to cleanse our palettes, we indulged ourselves with the Strawberries and Cream Molten Cake (Php185). The warm strawberry cake was very moist, and when sliced had its molten core oozing with strawberry decadence. Eating the cake with vanilla ice cream was such a delight!
And because Cafe Shibuya specializes in dessert toasts, we couldn't leave without trying the Sans Rival Toast (Php215 small, Php275 regular). It had butter cream, cashew meringue, and pistachio ganache layered delicately over toast, finished with vanilla ice cream. We unanimously voted that this is great for snacks or as a standalone dessert, since it's very filling and quite heavy to have after eating our entrees.
These are the drinks that we had throughout dinner—Pink Passion (Php85) and Mango Coconut with Aloe (Php155). The former has a tangy and sweet taste brought by the combination of pineapple, orange, and cranberry juices altogether, while the latter is more on sweet and creamy. I'd order the Mango Coconut drink again and again!
Cafe Shibuya currently has four branches in Metro Manila—TriNoma Mall, SM North EDSA The Block, SM Megamall, and Glorietta 2. It's a great place to dine and meet with family and friends. Choosing this restaurant as our meet-up place didn't disappoint.
Ground Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Quezon City
Open daily from 10AM to 10PM
+632 512 0527