Sunday, August 16, 2015

Aozora Japanese Cafe + Bistro

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Introducing the first authentic Japanese restaurant in Tagaytay - Aozora!



Aozora, which in Japanese means "blue sky," is located on the roofdeck of Domicillo Tagaytay - an elegant boutique hotel designed by Budji Layug. Aside from its exceptional interiors, Domicillo is also located on a ridge, with an amazing view of the Taal Volcano. Who wouldn't want to eat at a place like this? Japanese is one of my favorite cuisines, and to have authentic Japanese food so high up, it's almost like dining in heaven! Aozora is perfect for dates, family dining, group outings, special events like weddings and birthdays, or just being alone with your favorite book and wine. And the best part is - it's just a short two hour drive from Manila!
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The food at Aozora is organic and cooked in authentic Japanese style by Chef Seiji Kamura. The same goes for the ingredients they use; they import items like seaweed, sashimi, sushi, yakiniku, green tea, and ramen noodles from Japan, so you know you're getting the real deal.
Aozora
We started off with the Aozora Iced Tea (P120). It's a blend of pandan, lemongrass, and mint which I found very refreshing. We were also treated to their Chuka Wakame Salad (wakame being a type of seaweed or kelp common in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines). Crunchy and flavorful - it's a great dish to start your authentic Japanese experience with!
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Another drink unique to Aozora would be their Kalamancello. Make sure to take your time with this, it looks harmless, but it's actually an organic calamansi coco nectar cocktail with 13% alcohol. Not a bad drink to have during the daytime with your girl friends. Not bad at all.
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For the appetizer, we got to sample their most colorful offering - the Rainbow Maki (P320). It's an assortment of tuna, salmon, tamago, and shimesaba, all in one dish! A maki sampler, if you will.
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Thin bite sized grilled pork belly slices make up the Pork Belly Yakiniku (P390). Grilled to perfection and topped with their special sweet sauce and sesame seeds, it's a dish that even kids will surely enjoy.
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The Yasai Itame is another common Japanese dish that they serve here. It's stir-fry vegatables that, unfortunately, didn't stand out for me - it was ordinary compared  to all the other dishes we got to try.
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Since the most popular dish in Tagaytay is bulalo, Aozora created their own version of this through their Aozora Ramen. They added ramen noodles to the well-loved dish, and the beef they use is purchased directly from Mahogany market in Tagaytay as their way of supporting the local community.
Aozora
The Yakisoba needs no introduction. It's a dish I'm sure everyone is already familiar with. But what I liked about this one is that it's a stand-alone dish. It doesn't have to be paired with anything; you can have it on its own, much like chapchae. It's perfectly seasoned and packed with ingredients, but not too heavy a dish for one person to finish.
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The Mango Tempura Ice Cream (P180) seem to have been a favorite that afternoon. Sweet mangoes fried in tempura batter, served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. So many things I like put together in one dessert! Definitely a thumbs up! :)
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Aozora also serves KEY Sumiyaki coffee for those who are fans of the Japanese brand (P120/cup). Lazy coffee days in Tagaytay - I say why not?

Aozora Japanese Cafe + Bistro
Domicillo Hotel, KM Gen. E. 58 Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
(0906) 350-1704 | (046) 413-4486 | (0915) 503-8800
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Aozora Japanese Cafe + Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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