*This establishment is already closed.
Hubby and I like celebrating our anniversary with an eating spree. This year was no different — we wanted to eat at Vikings and the branch nearest us was in SM North EDSA. We thought that since it was a weekday lunch we wouldn’t have a problem. We got there past 12nn, lo and behold, we were #34 in Vikings’ queue. Since that plan was a fail, we decided to find another place to eat. And so we discovered Arafu Cafe SM North EDSA.
So we ended up at Arafu Cafe SM North EDSA. Arafu Cafe offers authentic Japanese home cooking.
The Japanese owner was actually there working at the table beside ours. We liked the neat and spacious interiors. Free wifi too.
We were immediately served water on eco-friendly cloth coasters.
We decided to order Gyoza Ramen — you can opt for either a Dashi soup base (P258) or Tonkotsu soup base (P288). Chose Dashi (made from fish stock), as we wanted something clear. Tonkotsu would’ve been heavier and greasier since it’s pork broth. We found the serving size to be on the small side.
Two pieces of Gyoza (Japanese pan-fried pork dumpling) is served on the side.
I was surprised by how thin the Gyoza were, but they tasted okay. One for hubby, one for me.
We also ordered Hamburg Steak & Ebi Furai Dish (P420). We found it pricey considering the serving is kind of small. The burger patty is really yummy though, mainly because they used good quality ground beef (tender with no telltale tough bits which you can’t chew). They served it with Japanese rice and Japanese mayo as well as a stick of shrimp tempura, tomato wedges, sweet corn kernels, and string beans. We were asked to choose a sauce prior and we picked demi-glace, a rich brown sauce made of beef stock.
You get a small cup of soup with the Hamburg Steak & Ebi Furai dish too.
We decided to indulge and order dessert — Homemade Japanese Marble Cookies (P80). Half of it is chocolate-flavored, half is plain old butter. It’s served with a ramekin filled with whipped cream you can use for dipping if you decide to have it for dine in. I normally dislike crunchy cookies because I prefer my cookies chewy. Well, these are crunchy (shortbread-like in terms of texture actually) but we both loved them! I would dip each in whipped cream before taking a bite. I love how they’re not overly sweet.
You can buy these cookies for takeout (also P80 for 6 pieces, same as the dine in price), they’re packed in a very cute way. They’re not Green Tea though, they’re Homemade Japanese Marble Cookies, they may just be using leftover decals lol.
We had a nice meal at Arafu Cafe SM North EDSA but we felt the servings were quite small, so it comes out pretty expensive considering the price. I like how the subtle the flavors are though, so it’s really like eating a home-cooked meal. Service is excellent — fast, friendly, and efficient. They offer interesting sandwiches for snack time too.
P.S. We’re still frustrated over Vikings, lol!
3/F SM City North EDSA,
North Ave., Quezon City
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