Doing food blogging for almost 5 years now has given me the opportunity to try a vast selection of cuisines both local and international – from fine dining setups, down to street food. And I must admit, this kind of work has honed my palate, making it even more diverse.
But there are still times when I crave for a specific food that I can only get outside the metro. Or worse, abroad! Thankfully, because of food crawls that have been happening here and there as of late, satisfying my cravings has become a whole lot easier.
With the growing Manila food scene, you no longer need to hop on a plane just to try dishes that you can only eat in a foreign land. Most, if not all of these dishes, are already here! And through SM City North EDSA’s “30” delectable offerings, you can now enjoy food tripping with your co-foodies right here in the Philippines.
SM Supermalls is celebrating its 30th year! Yes! You heard that right! That’s 30 years of providing quality service and offering wonderful dishes to please each and every customer that enters their door. And because they are celebrating their 30th year, SM City North EDSA’s The Food Circuit at The Block (#TheFoodCircuitAtTheBlock) will take you on an incredible gastronomic journey.
Just recently I was able to join a Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA with my foodie warriors which lasted from 11AM to 4PM at The Block. Imagine a group of foodies walking around The Block with cameras and smartphones on hand snapping away and just talking about food non-stop, yet still managing to keep a large appetite until we reach the last restaurant stop of our food crawl? Yup! It was food coma to the highest level!
There was just so much to enjoy during our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA. Let me take you around The Block to familiarize yourself on what dishes and offerings to order. Let’s begin, shall we?
One incredible Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA
Our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA first led us to Kumori. I have been a fan of this place ever since and this has been my go-to pastry store for some sweets and different kinds of bread. The moment I stepped into the cafe, the smell of buttery goodness coming from the freshly baked bread inside the bakeshop was just divine.
I have already tasted some of Kumori’s products before, like these Apple Cheese Danish (Php59.00), Cherry brioche (Php51.00) and Crabstick Bun (Php58.00) and they are still delectable and fun to eat as ever!
But there are also a couple of items that I haven’t tried yet, like the Custard Butter Bun and Mozzu Chizu Pan.
The bun was light and fluffy with a creamy custard filling that’s not overly sweet. It has just the right sweetness and especially delightful after eating a savory bun.
Mozzu Chizu Pan (Php59.00)
This one could pass off as the offspring of a bread and a pizza. It has just the right amount of cheese on top of the pan. Salty, savory and filling.
If you love cheese, you will definitely enjoy eating this. Creamy, rich and indulgent! Easy to bring along, too!
While you’re at it, don’t fail to try their milkshakes. Kudos to whoever concocted these shakes… they’re both pleasing to the eyes and palate.
2ND STOP: Nadai Fujisoba
Nadai Fujisoba serves Soba, Tempura and Donburi and they’re pretty damn good at it! Currently, they have 110 outlets in Tokyo and their outlet at The Block is their 5th in the Philippines. The number of branches they have is a clear testament to how successful and good their offerings are.
During lunchtime, the place was packed! Though small in area, Nadai Fujisoba’s interior offered a welcoming atmosphere.
Specializing in soba (buckwheat noodles) and udon in bonito broth, we were happily served different kinds from hot to cold.
Aka Fuji Soba (Php260.00)
If a hot and spicy noodle soup is more your thing, then this dish might be right up your alley. This specialty has beef and egg and the soba was firm to the bite with a nice kick. Not so spicy for me, though.
Ebi Ten Mori Soba (Php260.00) with Cold Dipping Sauce
A first for me to try cold soba. Though I’m used to the usual scalding hot broth, this particular variant did not disappoint. Underneath the soba, you’ll notice a bamboo mat.
Cold Dipping Sauce
Mix the onions and wasabi into the dipping sauce. Go ahead, don’t scrimp. Go heavy on everything to ensure that you get the full taste and experience. Then get some soba, dip it into the dipping sauce and savor each flavor. Don’t forget the tempura for some crunch and texture!
If you are not a fan of cold soba like me, don’t worry. You’ll be happy you tried it! The soba goes perfectly well with the flavors of the sauce! And since the soba wasn’t soaked in broth, I get to enjoy the firmness and chewiness of the noodles.
3RD STOP: Bistro Remedios
Our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA has led us to some incredible local dishes. In as much as I enjoy eating international cuisine, nothing beats our own Filipino dishes! During this stop, I got to indulge in delicious Pinoy fare!
Bistro Remedios has long been serving home-cooked dishes to both local and international guests. As a part of the LJC Chain of Restaurants, you know that you are enjoying quality food and good service.
Being of Kapampangan lineage and growing up eating mostly Kapampangan food, I have learned to appreciate this popular local cuisine. At Bistro Remedios, you will see and taste several of these dishes like the Bamboo Rice (Php275.00).
I first tried Bamboo Rice at Abe, a restaurant also under the LJC Group. It has been my favorite ever since. This dish consists of mountain rice steamed in a bamboo shell with mushrooms and bamboo shoots. This rice dish is so flavorful that 1 order is not enough! You can partner it with any fried or grilled food.
Sinugba Platter (Php585.00)
Fresh from the grill, this platter boasts of prawns, chicken and pork belly served with pickled papaya and vinegar dip. Lip-smackingly good!
We were also able to enjoy a couple of dishes from Cafe Adriatico Express in the same restaurant since both establishments are under the LJC group. Here are some their must-try dishes:
Lola Ising Adobo with Adobo Rice
Looking for something comforting? I recommend this. Cafe Adriatico Express’ version of Adobo has been fried with the sauce served on the side and partnered with Adobo rice. Adobo never fails to please the palate and always hits the spot however way it’s cooked.
Chicken ala Kiev (Php395.00)
Who would’ve thought that a Filipino restaurant would serve a Russian dish? Why not? This deep fried classic breaded chicken is stuffed with garlic and herb butter served with pilaf rice and greens. Make sure to eat it right away because it’s best eaten while hot. The butter deliciously oozes out when cut open. Another noteworthy dish!
You think that’s it? There’s more! Our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA doesn’t stop here. Hahaha! Off to our next stop!
Cafe Shibuya is not new to me. In fact, whenever I happen to be at Glorietta and I get a craving for something sweet yet filling, Cafe Shibuya is always my go-to place.
I have always loved their Original Shibuya Honey Toast topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with honey. (Baby: Php145.00 / Regular: Php175.00). A visit to Cafe Shibuya wouldn’t be complete without it!
Mentaiko Pasta (Single: Php265.00 / Sharing: Php480.00)
This Japanese-Italian fusion pasta dish is cooked in olive oil with cod roe.
Tebasaki Fried Chicken (6 pcs: Php485.00)
This fried chicken is a delight to eat if you like your chicken sweet. Fried chicken pieces in sweet-soy-garlic glaze partnered with kimchi rice was an absolute hit for me! Think of this as the Japanese cousin of Buffalo wings (but not spicy) and Korean fried chicken.
On to our next stop on our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA…
5TH STOP: Casa Italia
The country’s newest Italian bar concept hits The Block!
For all coffee and gelato lovers, fall in love all over again with Casa Italia’s coffee creations any time of the day, either hot or cold, dine-in or to-go.
What’s with the number 8, you might be asking? The number “8” or “Otto” in Italian is Casa Italia’s freshness guarantee. They brew their coffee no later than 8 weeks from roasting.
Their Gelatoccino is Frappuccino with authentic Italian gelato giving you that rich and flavorful coffee concoction. I went crazy over this.
Pair your preferred drink with some baked goodies or sandwiches and pasta. All freshly made, of course.
They have 7” rectangular pizzas! Take your pick! Bleu Cheese (Php180.00) or Pepperoni (Php150.00)?
Chicken Cazuela (1/2 Roast Chicken: Php350.00)
This fresh-from-the-oven herb baked chicken is so flavorful. The tasty browned skin and potatoes that have been crisped around the edges deliciously contrasts with the moist and tender chicken meat.
As they say, always leave room for dessert or coffee! Have some Carrot Cake or Cannoli with Cream Cheese.
How about some gelato? Casa Italia has over 50 flavors but they only serve 32 Gelato Flavors on any given day. And of all the flavors there, I especially liked this Apple Pie Gelato. Truly a hit!
They even have gelato with liquor? Care for some (R) Toblerone with Baileys? How about (L) Nutella with Sambuca?
6TH STOP: Dohtonbori
Dohtonbori can easily be found at the City Center. What sets Dohtonbori apart from other Japanese restaurants is their Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) which is cooked right in front of you.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even grill your own Okonomiyaki.
For starters, we had Quattro Formaggi Teppan Pizza (Php240.00)
Mixed cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan then drizzled with caramel sauce for a playful combination of sweet and salty flavors.
A delightful hodgepodge of ingredients – ginger, onions, seaweed, tempura bits, cabbage, bean sprouts, squid, pork, shrimps, egg and Okonomiyaki paste. Sprinkle some katsuobushi, bonito, aonori and “BAM!” You’ve got a very flavorful Japanese pancake just ready for the taking!
Add this to your must-eat list at Dohtonbori! Packed with pork, cabbage, bean sprouts, egg, tempura bits, tororo-kombu, noodles and Hiroshima Yaki Paste, it is truly an explosion of flavors!
One of Japan’s famous traditional dishes, the Monjayaki may not be so appealing visually compared to the Okonomiyaki, but it certainly makes up for it in taste! You need to use the small turner to get a bite-size portion of that sticky and chewy monjayaki. If you prefer yours a bit toasted, scoop some and press it down on the pan a little longer.
The whole dining experience at Dohtonbori was extremely fun! Something my kids will definitely enjoy!
Well, that ends our unforgettable and belly-filling Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA.
Oh boy! Our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA was truly one extraordinary experience. I don’t think I’ve ever been this outrageously full in my entire life. Not complaining, though. Haha!
We weren’t able to visit the other establishments during our Food Crawl at The Block SM City North EDSA because there’s just so many food places to enjoy – not just at The Block, but all over SM City North EDSA.
Here are some of the other food spots you might also want to check out:
- Project Pie
- Ramen Nagi
- King Bee
- Baskin Robbins
- Lugang Cafe
- Cafe Mary Grace
- Mister Pizza
- St. Marc
- Tim Ho Wan
- Baker’s Maison
- Cafe Adriatico Express
- Rock & Seoul
- Osaka Ohsho
- Churerria La Lola