When was I last at Katipunan?
Frankly, I have no clear idea. Passing by may not cut it. So, if my memory serves me right, it was March 2013.
This year, I returned and with Drix in tow. We met at UP (University of the Philippines-Diliman). And for that day, he left the planning to me. Thanks to friend John who gave me the tip that Sango, The Burger Master is back to flipping Japanese patties. I’ve missed them since they disappeared from Shangri-La Plaza years ago. And Sango was where we were headed.
Despite careful planning, it was still a disappointment. Though their announcement said that they would be closed only until January 2, they were still closed on January 3. Hopefully, it’s not like their neighbor Mushroomburger, which is making way for a new eating establishment.
So, where did Drix and I eat?
I wasn’t keen on trying out the Regis Center because I had my eyes somewhere else, which was the UP Town Center. Or, as some call it, the Uptown Center.
When we entered, Canadian burger chain Triple O’s greeted us with their poster of milkshakes. Tempting but no. Up one floor was Italian Rita with sweet, flavored ice. Still no. I had something different in mind.
Keeping with the Japanese food goal, we headed for Cafe Shibuya. Even before we entered, I wondered how much they have changed since I was last there. Not much, I guess. While I was surprised that we were the only customers at 4PM, I was far from shocked that they still used the high tables with low-deep chairs; I’m referring to the ones with the blue cushions.
Our waiter handed us pastel-colored broadsheets. Oh, wait! They’re not newspapers. They’re the menu.
I searched for my favorites among the new items. Drix went for the familiar: Chicken Parmigiana paired with their new Chocolate Lava Cake. I heard no complaints about the chicken. He offered me some of the cake and it was sinful yet heavenly. I loved it.
Meanwhile, I went as Asian as possible, at least with the entree: Tebasaki Fried Chicken with Kimchi Rice. Those who know me well would find it strange that I asked for something that used soy sauce, which I rarely use. Yet, for that particular dish, I loved how strangely sweet-tasting it was on the meat. And the kimchi rice was a good complement. I didn’t care for the seaweed strips though.
Not surprisingly, I had two desserts. I have that much of a sweet tooth. First came the Cookie Choux. Drix remarked that it was like a classier version of the pan de sal with ice cream. He was floored with the Strawberries and Chocolate Toast though. It was an explosion of bitter and sweet, fruity and chocolaty swirling in the melted goodness of vanilla ice cream.
Save for the seaweed strips and the chicken bones, we finished the whole meal. Though it did take us hours to do so because it was a catch-up session that took hours.
Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan, Quezon City