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My co-workers were craving Japanese food one time and so while we weren’t that busy that day, we decided to dine out in a Japanese restaurant. We were choosing between “Roku Ramen and Sushi” in Katipunan and “Takeiya” in Maginhawa. We have already tried the former restaurant and we had very good first impressions with the food. Having eaten a lot of ramen, theirs isn’t in the high end but still tasted pretty good and satisfying. Their sushi rolls are also highly recommended. Meanwhile, no one haven’t tried “Takeiya” and I have read mixed reviews about this restaurant. Still, we decided to go to “Takeiya” mainly because we haven’t tried it yet and also for the convenience.

They offer so much variety, I was surprised! Anyway, my co-workers ordered the usual ones like katsudon, fish fillet, etc. while I tried their miso ramen (being a ramen fan). Also we ordered two kinds of sushi for group sharing.

 

I guess it’s okay. The sushi in “Roku Ramen and Sushi” is still better though. The miso ramen I ordered tasted nice but I felt the noodles should not belong there, maybe they’re kind of egg noodles instead of wheat? In general, the taste and ambiance felt like “Masshitta”  in UP Shopping Center but more expensive. But I don’t think I’ll be coming back here because there are far better alternatives.

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“Next year, I will never be the same again.”

This is what I had told myself last year, and without even realizing, everything came in a blur. Even now, I still feel that it was just a moment ago.

I graduated last year. After a week, I had a job offer in a research laboratory. Then I became a graduate student majoring in Microbiology. Sampling, laboratory work, papers and studies kept me busy that I lost track of time. Christmas was nearing and I had to apply to universities abroad. Just this November, I took courage and sent emails to professors asking for openings in their laboratories. I am still unsure if things will go well but I do hope for my sake. I want to see new perspectives, learn more laboratory techniques and to experience working in a different environment. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I wish everyone a Happy New Year! My new year’s resolution is to have time for my hobbies. I need to develop my other skills so that I will become a well-rounded individual and not just someone who does scientific stuff for the rest of her day.

I already knew so much stories of hold up along Agham Road, especially in UP-SM North Edsa jeepneys during the brief stops at the intersections. I became even more fearful after hearing personal stories from my co-workers. But they assured me that it would most likely happen during late afternoon to night. However this one happened during noontime, under the scorching heat of the sun.

I wanted to meet up with my sister and do some grocery in SM North Edsa so I rode the UP-SM North Edsa jeepney which is the default transportation route. I sat near the driver because it’s much safer. When I have already seated, I noticed some passengers wearing earphones and their cellphones exposed. I was irritated by that fact because they’re really eye-catchy to the snatchers/hold-uppers. I just prayed and asked for Mama Mary’s intercession for the trip to be safe. There was this image of Her in the jeepney driver’s dashboard and I just constantly looked at Her because I was feeling anxious.

Then came the most agonizing part of the ride: the Agham road intersection. The jeepney stopped several times because of the traffic. Then suddenly a young guy in yellow shirt wearing a Jeje cap came. Actually I didn’t notice him come because my eyes were in front, but I was alarmed by the sudden commotion among my co-passengers. It happened so fast. A bag and a cellphone was taken and the hold-upper ran away quickly. I didn’t know what really happened but the old woman told us that there should have been another backup along with that guy but they didn’t attempt to continue because someone shouted (a young boy selling rags) “Ay! Hold-upper!!” several times and was probably alerted. I remember that the hold-upper even denied while running away. The woman also added that the hold-upper was carrying a knife. Then she kindly scolded the passengers wearing earphones to not wear them again during jeepney rides because they attract snatchers/hold-uppers.

Thank God! The hold-up didn’t happen and no one was hurt! But it’s frustrating that the roads and public vehicles do not feel safe anymore when you should be actually be assured that you are safe, especially at daytimes. Hay.

Since I live in someone else’s house (hence, a boarder), I am limited to use the stove for boiling purposes only. Still, I really wanted to cook and concoct my own dishes. Also, I cannot forget the rich miso ramen broth of Roku Ramen and Sushi we ate just this Friday. So I decided to add some twists in a seemingly cheap taste of  just-add-hot-water instant noodles.

That night, I looked for whatever was available in my food container and decided to use Lucky Me! Supreme Jjampong as the base. In my bowl I added the noodles, soup powder, a little bit of Cowhead lactose-free milk (because I’m lactose intolerant) and Century Tuna Hot & Spicy for some meat ( and for more spicy kick!). Then I poured boiling water onto the bowl and sealed it until the noodle’s done.

Then came the moment of truth – tasting, and I’d say it turned out quite nice! Or was it just me with a weird sense of taste? It may not look like in the picture but it was really good. The spiciness was dampened a bit (might be because of the milk) but it still kicks in because of the Century Tuna oil. The soup was also creamier and had a slight taste of sopas. Overall, 4/5.

The one thing that really bothered me was that I ended up having lactose-intolerant symptoms after eating this. Maybe the hot water denatured the lactase enzymes in the milk? I might not do it again, sadly, because of that.

My friends and I, being ramen enthusiasts, decided to have our lunch date in one of the nearby ramen restaurants in TriNoma: Hanamaruken. It was said to be established from Osaka. I have read a couple of reviews about them beforehand and almost all gave positive comments. The most crazed of all is their bestseller and specialty ramen: Signature Happiness Ramen. So I ordered it even though it was so expensive.

So here it is in all its glory. The broth was shoyu-tonkotsu. There was also something written in the nori, haha, I can’t read it. The pork cut was braised rib which was very soft and tender. The soup was okay, you can tell that they have prepared it for a very long time due to the richness of the broth. But I don’t know… it was not deep enough for a shoyu or maybe it was just me still missing the shoyu broth of Moshi Koshi. The noodles are very thin and slippery so I slurped them all the way. It was generally delicious, nonetheless. But maybe next time, I’ll order Pot Belly or Chasyu Ramen instead because I still prefer the pork belly cut. It think it will be more melt-in-the-mouth experience.

Here is their gyoza. Nothing spectacular, I would say. All gyoza I have tried tasted the same. I still prefer Chowking wanton/siomai.

I like the ambiance of the place, the shamisen music playing, etc. Something to note also is their very straightforward menu. Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable lunch. Hooray for ramen!

 

At first, the thought of college graduation was too much of an idea to sink well in my head. Why, I’ve been studying for almost 16 years of my life! But anyway, it doesn’t matter. I plan (not just dream) of getting a Ph.D. So, I still have a very long way to go.

I was offered a “summer job” in a laboratory by helping out in a certain project. Had I wanted, I could have started the day right after my graduation. But I asked for one week of rest so that I can do a little bit of career planning and contemplation. And it was a good decision. I was able to confirm my resolve in doing graduate studies and research. My mind was always filled with college student’s worries back then that I wasn’t able to think a lot of my future career. So I used this one week in searching for information about scholarships abroad (hopefully).

So I am currently working on microorganisms, in short, microbes. I like the different colors of the media we use to culture them, prescribed according to their needs and how we can identify them. I also like working in the laboratory. The neatness, cleanliness and orderliness are very much accentuated.

By the way, the picture shown above is an XLD agar positive with Salmonella sp. Pretty, isn’t it? However, it’s pathogenic consequences isn’t as pretty as it looks.

My friends and I dined out in UP Town Center months ago during the most stressful moments of our college life. We chose to eat in Ryu Ramen & Curry since we like eating and discovering Japanese food. And besides, we heard some positive reviews about it.

And so we entered the restaurant. We were the only customers that time since it was an odd afternoon hour. My friends were on a tight budget so they ordered katsudon, gyoza and fried rice. Meanwhile, I was able to save some money for this dine-out so I ordered their best-seller ramen, Tantanmen.

It was good although I’d say that miso ramen is my least favorite among the ramen versions (shio and shoyu). The taste reminds me of laksa from Singapore. I like the spicy kick though. Maybe next time, I will order the shoyu version. Still, we did not enjoy our dine-out as much as we did in Suzu Kin. We felt that they’re food are overpriced. And so that ends out Japanese food trip to Ryu Ramen & Curry. Next time, we’ll try the Little Tokyo in Makati!