I have been very excited about the changes taking places in Alabang Town Center (ATC), ever since Ayala took down portions of the old mall to make way for new wings. The idea of all the new shops and restuarants made me want to run around like a kid on Christmas morning. I am more partial to the new restaurants because one, I am avid ‘window’ shopper; and two, I am an even more avid foodie. Since I only got around creating a new blog today, my past foodie adventures were left undocumented and, sadly, ‘un-photographed’ as well (thank you, telecommunications-company-who-will-remain-nameless for keeping me away from my iPhone 4). Anyway, my most recent food adventure revolved around John and Yoko.
No, I’m not pertaining to Lennon and Ono; rather, to the new Japanese fusion restaurant, located in the new wing of ATC. I’ve passed by the Greenbelt branch a couple of times and I was intrigued by it’s graphic interior. I am a lover of Japanese cuisine and mix that with the eye-candy, well, it’s safe to say I was hooked. I heard fairly good reviews from friends who have dined in the said restaurant. Luckily, my Mom (who has the biggest credit limit in the family, much to my Dad’s dismay) has taken on a foodie adventure herself, ever since she noticed the new restaurants popping up everywhere. John and Yoko is the latest dining experience we added to our belt (after Bulgogi Brothers and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro) and I’d like to share that with you.
First of all, I’m sad to say that John and Yoko did not really meet my expectations. The food was good, yes; but it wasn’t that great to separate it from the others. Like I said, I love the interior; maybe because anything that has to do with Japanese interior and structural design intrigues me. I like the plates that they provided, and the crockery where they placed their chili powder and soy sauce. We asked for smaller bowls so we can share the large serving of Ramen we ordered. I like the bowls but I found it awkward to use the small, soup ladels/spoons(what do you call those anyway) they provided; maybe because they were too ‘fat’ and too ‘shallow’ to be used comfortably. Of course, you can’t avoid the mass-manufactured chopsticks and paper napkins, typical of a Japanese fast food restaurant.
We ordered a lot of food, which is typical for our family whenever we’re trying out a new joint. We ordered California Maki Salad, Dynamite Roll, Uni Sushi, Tuna Sashimi, (Tonkatsu) Buta Kakuni Miso Ramen, Chicken Teriyakil, Crispy/Curnchy Squid Teriyaki, Agedashi Tofu, and Gyudon. Most of the food we ordered were good but, like I said, this restaurant didn’t really stand our from the rest. The waitress told us 15 minutes into our meal that Uni (Sea Urchin Roe) was not available; then, much later, claimed it already was. Having ordered so much food for three people to properly consume, we decided not to push through with the Uni Sushi. We definitely love the Crispy Squid Teriyaki and it was, as it name implies, crunchy and very savory. I like the Dynamite Roll; although, I would still prefer Red Kimono and Nihon Bashitei’s version of the said dish. I didn’t care for the Agedashi Tofu and only kept snacking on it because I like tofu. The sauce was too bland and too runny for me. I can’t help but compare it with Rai Rai Ken’s version of the popular Japanese fried tofu dish. The Tuna Sashimi was fresh but it was pretty obvious that whoever sliced it was no Sushi Master.
I like the (Tonkatsu) Buta Kakuni Miso Ramen because it was good for three people to share. We were given the choice between a Shoyu and a Miso soup base; and as expected, I chose the latter because I love the fermented taste. The Gyudon was good for three people as well and it tasted good too. Reminds me of the Sukiyakidon I used to order from the Aristocrat back when I was still in College.
I didn’t touch the California Maki Salad because it looked plain and uninteresting to me. I wanted to order the Spicy Tuna Salad but I was not able to get myself to say to my Mom. One, because she’s my mother; and two, she’s the one paying the bill (LOL).
The soda was obnoxously priced at 78Php per can, by the way. My Mom and my sister ordered Watermelon shake, and it’s priced at 128Php per glass.
I would have enjoyed my dining experience even more if a fly was not buzzing around the restaurant. My Mom inquired about it and she was told that it’s a “mall problem”. I kept my mouth shut to keep myself from saying anything snarky. If there’s a problem, shouldn’t you find a way to resolve it?
I haven’t really figured out how I will go about rating my foodie adventures but it would definitely be N out of 5 somethings (as per usual). For John and Yoko, I would give it a disappointing 3.5 out of 5 somethings. The servings were big and the price was sort of reasonable. Taste-wise, it does not stand that much compared to other Japanese restaurants like Red Kimono and Rai Rai Ken. Would I recommend it? Yes and only for the sake of trying out a new place. How soon would I go back to John and Yoko? Not anytime soon. Perhaps this rating will change once I try the other dishes there and if I come at a better time.
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