Wednesday, February 27, 2019

When in Tagaytay: Aozora Japanese Restaurant

It has been a long while since R and I drove to Tagaytay. As much as we would like to have a quick getaway, the horrific traffic discourages us from heading anywhere on weekends. But this long weekend's festivities sure made us change our minds. Our first stop, Aozora Japanese Restaurant.

Hello, Aozora
Aozora has been one of the popular dining options in Tagaytay that it finally expanded and opened a second branch, across One Tagaytay Place.
We dropped by around 10:30 a.m. and we were the first guests around. Customers start to come in around noon. 
While waiting for our food, we were given small serving of anchovies and Aozora Iced Tea (PHP130). The green drink was underwhelming. Thirst quenching, sure. But it tasted weird. I suggest that you get one of the shakes or stick with water.
First served were Aozora Salad (PHP330) and Rainbow Maki (PHP345). 
The Aozora Salad made with fresh greens, mango, kani, fish roe and fried crisps drizzled with mayo is a delightful appetizer. Light and apt to start our meal.
Rainbow Maki features tuna, salmon, shime saba, tamago and mango rolls. Since there were 8 of us, I only got to sample tuna roll. It was quite good. Aozora uses good quality sushi rice and the tuna slice was fresh. 
If you prefer something that has more crunch, Dragon Maki (PHP385) is the one for you. This picturesque dish is quite heavy for one so make sure to share it with someone. I just hope that they added more tempura crisp on top for that lovely contrast with the shrimp and sushi rice. 
Aozora became famous for its Japanese take on bulalo. The Aozora Ramen (PHP350) is Chef Seiji Kamijo Kamura's interpretation of the Tagaytay favorite bulalo. Using beef, corn and select veggies as key ingredients, the Aozora Ramen does give that familiar taste, only it is enjoyed with noodles. I just wish they added bone marrow in the bowl. 
Picky eaters would definitely enjoy Chicken Karaage (PHP320) which was fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, each bite will surely make kids and kids at heart fall in love with this simple yet staple dish. What I loved most is that Aozora's karaage is served with potato chips!
But if fried dishes do not make you salivate, do try Mixed Seafood Teppanyaki (PHP550). This dish made with shrimp, tuna, salmon, and squid served with Yasai Itame is a plate full of textures. Snappy, crunchy, soft and everything good. Complete your meal by grabbing a bowl or two of Aozora Fried Rice (PHP270, good for 2).
As we were finishing our meal, I noticed the staff approaching our table with desserts topped with candles. It turns out that one's for me! 
Thank you, Aozora for treating us for lunch and for the extra surprise. 

Aozora is located at Purok 157, Tagaytay-Calamba Road, Sungay East, Tagaytay City.

Aozora Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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