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Dotonburi Sushi
I’ll be posting a lot of backlog from my last Osaka trip so this is just a heads up. I get a lot of messages from family and friends asking me what my favorite Osaka food finds are so I thought it’d be convenient to just post them all here for everyone to see.

Dotonburi Sushi
I have no idea what this restaurant is called but we found it when as we were walking around Dotonburi for brunch. It was a brightly lit take-out sushi and sashimi joint where all the fish is freshly packed and refrigerated, just like in the grocery aisles. What sets this place apart from a grocery is that there are stools and high tables on one side where diners who buy their fish can dine. The tables have soy sauce, tissue and chopsticks and the place sells drinks as well.

Dotonburi Sushi
It’s a pay at the counter kind of place. I can’t say it’s a restaurant cause it’s a lot more like a deli with rows and rows of pre-packed sushi and sashimi.

Dotonburi Sushi
There was even a booth where they were selling fresh and grilled oysters for ¥400 a piece.

Dotonburi Sushi
We had grilled oysters topped with soy sauce, butter and lemon.

Dotonburi Sushi
Then we looked through the different rows of fish and picked out the stuff we wanted to try. There was a wide array of sorts, from the affordable to premium.

Dotonburi Sushi

Dotonburi Sushi
I was happy to see fresh slabs of otoro in the mix. It’s the fattiest best part of any tuna and comes straight from the belly. It’s usually pricey but in this fine establishment, Otoro Sashimi was ¥1500 which at Php 550 is affordable.

Dotonburi Sushi
Of course, I ordered it. After paying, you can have it sliced by any of the chefs on-hand. If they’re not prepping stuff for customers, you’ll find them slicing and packing more fish and putting them in more take-out containers.

Dotonburi Sushi
Sake Nigiri and Rolls for ¥500 / Unagi Nigiri for ¥200 / Tamago for ¥100

Dotonburi Sushi
Look at the stripes on the salmon slabs, absolutely gorgeous. Tasted great and fresh as ever.

Dotonburi Sushi
The Otoro was served with hot, seafood miso soup with baby clams. It was the best sashmi I ever tasted. It melts in your mouth just like butter and it’s rich, creamy and just such a dream to eat. I savored every second I had it in my mouth. It’s best eaten with your eyes closed.

Dotonburi Sushi
We also saw that they were filleting a huge tuna by the time we were done eating. It’s some sort of tourist attraction there. There are guys gutting and cutting this huge fish and showing the different parts of meat inside.

Maybe you’ll all laugh at me when I say this was one of the best sushi/sashimi meals I had in my life. Never cared much for ambience and I find that the most unassuming places end up surprising you. What makes this place so special to me is how fresh everything is and the quality of the products and the prices all just don’t add up! It’s too good to be this cheap but I’m glad. Thank you Japan for going above and beyond my expectations every single meal.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
My first encounter with Bono was at a dinner at my friend Mara’s house. For dessert, she made this peanut butterfinger pie and took out an unlabeled tub of spiced cookie butter gelato to go with it. Having it there in her porch made me feel like the world was just awesome. I found out a couple of days later that Mara’s aunt was in the process of developing a gelato shop with some friends.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
Yesterday, I got the chance to visit Bono and sample some flavors before they really open. Despite the fact we wasted a lot of plastic spoons, I enjoyed myself. Talking to Ria, who’s in charge of marketing Bono, I found out that they all went to Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna to learn about the art of making real gelato. They have 11 flavors up this week but they’re looking to expand and experiment on more, depending on the natural ingredients they can pool together for the mass market.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
There’s a Laboratorio at the back and through the windows you’ll see these huge machines churning really fresh gelato. Ria says they’re the first gelateria to use the Cattabriga Effe in the Philippines and that it’s actually the “Ferrari” of gelato machines. They made us try spoons with freshly churned gelato right out of these machines and my god, it was smooth. It had such a lovely, creamy texture.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
I had 4.5 scoops of ice cream that afternoon and this was my first cup. A cup goes for Php 85 bucks and in here, I had two flavors: Mad about Malt and Lavande. Mad About Malt has a malted milk base with chocolate malt balls, think Horlicks and Maltesers! So much yum. Lavande is a lavender flavor with a cream base with fresh lavender flower buds for a subtle burst of flavor. I’ve always loved the smell of lavender but I never imagined what it’d taste like. The folks at Bono say that it’s a hit or miss kinda flavor and not everyone enjoys it. I liked it a lot though, perhaps because I enjoy some flowery teas.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
The place was closed still and being fixed up so we decided to sit outside to take up less space. Mara and Michelle played hookie from work to go get some gelato. When they offered us seconds though, we couldn’t say no.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
Sara, the one on the left, is part of Bono’s research and development team. I made a mental note to make friends with her to get her to make some flavors I have in mind.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
I got the flavors I’d usually get for my second cup, Matcha and Pistacchio. I loved how strong the flavor was in their matcha, it’s often just creamy and subdued, like a green tea latte. I like it better when it feels like a good kick in the face, that’s how I like my green tea anyway. I was telling Mara it reminded me so much of Royce’s seasonal green tea nama so I’ll be buying a scoop of Bono to beat that craving instead. The Pistacchio was great too because they didn’t scrimp on the fresh toasted nuts, every bite had a bunch.

Bono Artisanal Gelato
The spiced cookie butter gelato I had before I knew Bono existed is called Speculoos and it’s this Belgian/Dutch Christmas cookie butter. This flavor isn’t out yet because they’re in the process of perfecting it but my god it was good. I think this could actually be the best flavor Bono has. I’m a huge fan of Haagen Dazs’ Caramel Biscuit and Cream and this is a wee bit close to it.

They open officially today. Here’s the full list of flavors they have for the week and snippets of what I think of them.

Vaniglia – Made with a mix of Tahitian Vanilla Beans, Vaniglia is quite a rich vanilla. I know this may sound repetitive but you can actually see the bean bits in every bite.
Cioccolato – Made from 70% pure dark chocolate, I like how this isn’t very sweet. I’m not super into chocolate though so I’d get Malt over this. Lol
Caffe Moka – With Chocolate + fair-trade Philippine Coffee beans, you’ve got a strong mocha flavor. I think coffee lovers would appreciate this.
Fragola – With fresh California strawberries on a bed of milk, this reminded me of a warm summer day at the beach. Sarap.
Pistacchio (toasted pistachios) – Refer to commentary above.
Lavande (Fresh summer lavender) – Refer to commentary above.
Matcha (Stone-ground Japanese Green Tea) – Refer to commentary above.
Stracciatella (Italian Chocolate Chip) – I didn’t get to try this!
Snack Attack (Chocolate covered potato crisps, Chocolate Malt balls, Caramel) – This is a pretty cool flavor with a hodge-podge of everything junk food. I snuck a bite from Michelle since she got a scoop of this. It’s vanilla with all of that mixed in.
Rocky Road (Toasted walnuts, marshmallows) – Generally not a rocky road fan so I didn’t get to try this.
Mad About Malt (Malted Milk + Chocolate Malt balls) – Refer to commentary above. I would like to note that this is the box office hit among all their flavors. Really a must try!

Bono Artisanal Gelato is located in the 2nd floor of SM Makati, next to the bridge that leads to Glorietta. They mentioned they’d be rotating flavors weekly so I can’t wait to check back next week to see what they have in store.