I don’t recall any authentic Japanese restaurant in Tagaytay. And Christine Arriola-Villongco, owner of Aozora, confirmed this by saying that they are the first to provide authentic Japanese cuisine. Their array of dishes is led by Japanese Chef, Seiji Kamura, who is usually in the area during Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They make sure that the ingredients used comply to the Japanese way with some bought from Japan and some bought locally from the market. As this is situated in Domicillo Hotel, the design was made consistent to agree with Budji Layug’s concept for the hotel. The result was something that was simple and minimalist.
As a starter, we had this salad which was actually made from seaweed. I liked how beautifully plated it was. This was complimentary though I’m not sure if that is the serving if you decide to order extra serving of it. It costs P195 if ordered as solo.
I’m not big on alcohol since my face gets so red. But I’ll risk it for this: Kalamancello. It’s a proudly made Pinoy calamansi drink with vodka. It only has 13% alcohol which is good to have as a starter. Best to have this while still cold.
When this placed on our table, I was surprised at how green it was. I had to blink my eyes to see if it really was that green. Consisting of pandan, lemongrass, cucumber and honey, it had this odd taste that might not be for everyone. It still was a refreshing drink though its aftertaste was quite strong for me.
Being that Tagaytay is famous for their bulalo, they did their own mix to it by adding some ramen. The bulalo itself was good with the meat being so tender. The ramen noodles were good too as it was bought straight from Japan. Overall, it was good. It was an interesting twist to a well-loved dish.
I liked the presentation on this one. It was just too cute! I got the salmon piece and loved the color of those veggies inside. Personally, I don’t think anyone could go wrong with maki. And they sure didn’t disappoint on this area.
And this was just pretty. I liked how the chocolate was just drizzled around that still placed the highlight on the mango pieces and vanilla ice cream. I think that this was one smart dessert because if the mangoes aren’t in season yet, it could always be balanced by the sweetness of the ice cream. I enjoyed this.
I was gearing up for coffee that time. It took awhile before this got served but it was well worth the wait. I liked how strong this was. Just by looking at it, you could sense that the brew had strong acidity. I balanced the flavor out by adding some sugar and milk. This is a perfect pair for their Mango Tempura Ice Cream.
Though they have only been open since May of this year, they’ve already held events at their place and been welcoming budding customers at their side. Since we dined there while it was still on soft opening, the dish line-up wasn’t final yet but it does look promising. The location is good for some family bonding, dates, barkada food trip or even a solo food travel. So if you’re craving for some Japanese cuisine while touring this city, do drop by Aozora and dine under this blue sky.
Aozora Japanese Cafe + Bistro
Domicillo Hotel, KM Gen. E. 58 Aguinaldo Highway,
Thanks to Aldous for another food tasting event invite! Thanks to Ms. Christine too for spending some time with us and allowing us to taste the offers of this resto!