Jalapeno cream cheese onion tonkatsu is crunchy, delicious and something that you would want to have more of. It’s soft pork cutlet with crispy coating and jalapeño cream cheese and onion filling, served with Japanese slaw on the side. Crunchy exterior but still has the meat tender and not dry. Its eye candy with the way it is plated.
San Juan City is a burgeoning foodie mecca with several restaurants and eateries popping up. I’m not at all familiar with this area that when I got invited for a food tasting event at 5th Taste, a modern/fusion Japanese restaurant, I was having difficulty going to the place, and relied on Google Maps for directions.
5th Taste, Modern Japanese Cuisine bases it’s name from umami or savory, the fifth basic taste after sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It is located at the second floor of a building, above a takoyaki and milk tea place place called Tamayaki. The food served that night were some of the restaurant’s favorites plus some new ones that they will be introducing.
There were standouts and I especially love the Kani Pizza. The same with the smoked mackerel sushi and the 5th Taste Cheesesteak Sandwich. Check out the captions below each photo where I wrote more about the specific dish served.
Crispy chicken with omu rice (steamed rice wrapped in omelette with Japanese curry and mozzarella cheese). Although just okay for my taste, I do like that they actually use those short and plump Japanese rice.
5th Taste Cheesesteak Sandwich is ciabatta bread filled with stir fried beef sukiyaki, cheese sauce and mozzarella. It’s delicious and the beef is flavorful although I would prefer a more crusty ciabatta that breaks with a slight crunch when you bite.
Kani salad pizza with nori and chili powder. It’s colorful and out of the ordinary with a super thin and crunchy crust then topped with shredded carrots, kani, cucumber, mozzarella and Japanese mayo. This is one of the best dishes served. I didn’t expect that a simple looking pizza can be a crowd favorite.
Mussels tempura is lightly battered mussels with wasabi mayo and sweet eel dressing. It’s just an okay dish that doesn’t surprise or make it memorable. Crunchy outside, soft inside. I like its plating though.
Smoked mackerel maki is one of my favorites. It has smoked mackerel flakes that is spicy and I just love how the savory taste makes its mark with the palate. Tasty. The addition of mango bits give a wonderful contrast.
Deconstructed miso soup bowl with a bed of pork floss topped with tofu and leeks. While we are familiar with the usual miso soup, this one has an added surprise ingredient: pork floss which actually goes well, providing a sweetish taste and an added texture especially when compared with the silky tofu. It’s interestingly served too.
Interior of 5th Taste at the second floor.
Thanx to 5th Taste for the food tasting invite
453 P. Guevarra St.
San Juan City, Metro Manila
+63 2 705 1856
Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.
He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.
I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.