By Stella A. Estremera
Goin' Places

EATING time again and the area to be explored is this food strip that seems never to run out of new places: F. Torres Street.

We were not quite sure where, we just knew there is a new Japanese restaurant along that strip, the signage of which you can see right on the road.

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It was there, alright, and it's in the area where the Durian Paradise sprouts every durian season (right in front of Let's Crab Eat).

The name is Nonki Japanese Restaurant, and from the menu and chopstick cover, it appears to have originated from Cebu.

Choosing was a difficult task because there were a lot of choices, including unintelligible and unfamiliar ones.

We stuck close to the familiar.

Charmaine chose the hand-rolled stuff -- salmon sushi and fresh tuna wrapped in nori with veggies.

I got my Jap staple, Agedashi Tofu plus an order of the deep-fried veggies that isn't in the menu. I asked if they had the vegetable tempura since I couldn't find it in their menu, and the waitress said, they did. Frittered ones, not the sliced ones.

Imee got the gyoza and the cold noodles.

Deng, since she arrived late, just dug into what we already ordered.

Now...

The interior is cool, like really cool. The center portion is surrounded by bamboo, infusing privacy. The couches were separated from each other by backrests. Meaning, you can barely see who's dining inside after you have taken you seat -- especially if you chose one of the couches, which we did.

But we did glimpse the other diners as we were entering, there was Stephen Tan Cases and Rudy and Janice Ong and Imee's friend whom she recognized through his voice.

The food is good, like really good. Although the wasabe isn't as 'hot' as we would have wanted it. We simply asked for extras.

The appetizer was a tuna salad, which tasted like tuna salad.

Service is fast, the waitresses are smiling, and they pop out from somewhere just as you look around to catch one.

The price is... mahal.

It's a place you will not visit often if you're a regular employee like me. But it's a place you'd proudly bring your guests to, to impress them. Irishaimashe!