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Daily Dish! #2: Katsudon at Mashitta

A magazine-quality picture.

Mashitta is a newly-opened Japanese-Korean hybrid restaurant located on the second floor of the University Mall. They specialize in popular Korean food favorites, like Bibimbap and Jap Chae, as well as Japanese culinary mainstays, like Ramen and Sushi. The average price for a meal at Mashitta is about P110, but the servings, especially soups, can easily serve two moderately hungry individuals. Today, however, we take a look at one of Mashitta’s Japanese rice meals, which is one of the most popular Japanese combos in the Philippines: Katsudon.

Perfectly cooked pork.

Katsudon generally consists of a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, known as Tonkatsu, an egg, and some form of sauce. As you can see in the slideshow, all of the elements are present in Mashitta’s take on the dish, with a sprinkle of sauteed vegetables on the side. The vegetables are done well; they are crisp, fresh, and taste like vegetables. That may be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The sauce is sweet-and-sour, and very flavorful, accompanying the rice just as well as the Tonkatsu. However, I was slightly disappointed with the hint of egg that seemed to drown helplessly in the sauce, as opposed to sucking it up and standing out. A powerful presence of egg in Katsudon usually takes the dish up a level in flavor and texture range. Still, Mashitta was able to make up for the want of egg with a perfectly done Tonkatsu. The pork was coated all over in what looked to be a panko crust, which helped protect the pork from drying out as it cooked, and was perfectly crispy the entire time I ate it, even as it soaked up the sauce. This is something that’s generally difficult to accomplish, and was the deciding factor as to my opinion on the dish. The opinion: Nom nom nom.

The Verdict

Price – P105. With the elevated price levels at the University Mall, I’d say this is a very reasonable amount to pay for a tasty bowl of katsudon. The free iced tea really makes the value here.

Taste – Although it doesn’t necessarily match the Katsudon that the more established Japanese restaurants in the Philippines would serve, it doesn’t fail to satisfy either. The slightly less eggy katsudon sauce is a bit of a downer, but the extra crispy pork strips definitely make this meal worth trying.

Katsudon at Mashitta – MUST TRY!

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Introducing the Daily Dish! #1: Chap Chae at Bon Chon Chicken

AAAaaaaand we’re back! With a new type of review too!

Due to the clear and ever-present danger that is schoolwork, we at Extra Rice have come to realize that making the long, winding reviews that we love to do will not be possible on a regular basis. That being said, we will still try to do full-scale restaurant reviews about once or twice a month.

To compensate for that loss, however, and since we wanted to get back to writing so badly, we are introducing a new, more regular review theme: The Daily Dish!

The Daily Dish will work as follows:

  • It will not be daily! It’ll just come about more often 🙂
  • One dish from one restaurant will be reviewed.
  • Only the value and flavor of the dish will be judged.
  • No restaurant features will come in play.
  • The review will be as short as possible (quite the challenge, but we’re ready 🙂 )
  • Using the “Like” style of voting for a final grade.
  • It’s either TRY IT or DIET!

So, without further ado, let’s get on with our first Daily Dish!

Chap Chae @ Bon Chon Chicken

Bon Chon Chicken is a Korean-inspired restaurant known for it’s extra crispy, double deep-fried chicken and their unique soy garlic wing sauce. However, one of their dark horses on the menu is the Chap Chae, a traditional Korean noodle dish. It is not one of the highly promoted menu items that you would see on their overhead, but to the budget-minded eater, it can easily be spotted. That’s because it’s one of the (if not THE) cheapest items on the entire menu, and it definitely gives you a bang for your buck.

Chap Chae generally consists of dark, glassy rice noodles mixed with thinly sliced vegetables, scrambled egg slices and sesame seeds, and is finished off with a generous drizzle of sesame oil. If that is the exact definition that a Korean would have for Chap Chae, then Bon Chon does it spot on. The noodles give an incredibly smooth mouth feel, and are the perfect al dente that you would demand from a high-quality Italian pasta. The vegetables are thin, but lend a nice, slightly crunchy variation to each chew. The egg gets a bit lost in the fray, but it’s an egg, and I’m not expecting miracles. And the sesame seeds and oil are just the right amount and top the dish better than anything I could think of. It’s like the olive oil and Parmesan cheese that would garnish the previously mentioned Italian pasta. It is probably the best Chap Chae I’ve ever had, and possibly even one of the top noodle dishes as well. A definite taste treat.

The Verdict

Price – P75. I think I might jinx it by saying it’s priced too low, but this is definitely a steal, especially among the other Bon Chon favorites.

Taste – Read above paragraph. Repeat.

Chap Chae at Bon Chon Chicken – MUST TRY!

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