Delectable Asian cuisines find a home
March 02, 2017  • Malaya Business Insight

Japanese and Korean dishes are among some of the much-loved Asian cuisines in the Philippine culinary scene. Many Filipinos simply love their fresh ingredients, scrumptious medley of flavours, and colourful, healthy side dishes. 

The sheer pleasure of enjoying these cuisines is at the heart of the newest artisanal restaurants Shinsen and Kko Kko which are located along the retail promenade of The Sapphire Bloc at Ortigas Center in Pasig. 

Handpicked by Robinsons Residences to join its condominium complex’s delectable collection of restaurants, Shinsen and Kko Kko infuse Asian flavours into the retail strip which is fast gaining renown as a culinary destination. Both restaurants offer a rediscovery of authentic concepts combined with a taste of heritage and modern ideas. 

Australian Ribeye Steak

Shinsen, which means “fresh”, transports diners into Tokyo’s world-famous Tsukiji Market whose local restaurants are known for their casual and fun atmosphere. 

 “We love how our guests describe our restaurant. They say it looks like a humble local eatery in Japan and it’s such a ‘delicious surprise’.” This is exactly the vibe that we’re aiming for – a cozy restaurant that gives a taste and feel of Japan by serving its genuine cuisine in an authentic atmosphere with five-star service,” explained Rommel Regino, one of the founders of the WNR Restaurants. 

Ebi Tempura

Shinsen was built by a group of friends who are highly trained professionals from the customer service and food industry. Their passion for Japanese food inspired Shinsen’s expansive menu that offer only the freshest, finest, and most flavourful dishes.   “While most people think Japanese food is not pocket-friendly, all the items on our menu are reasonably priced. On days that you are on a budget, we have dishes that guarantee satisfaction,” said Bubbles Enriquez, Vice President for Marketing and Operations at WNR Restaurants. 

Crowd favourites at Shinsen include the Ebi Tempura with its juicy shrimp and crispy batter; the melts-in-the-mouth, honest-to-goodness Salmon Sashimi; the Spicy Tuna Salad with its perfect balance of fresh, fiery and zesty flavours; the tasty and filling Spicy Miso Ramen, and the succulent, tender Australian Rib-eye Steak. 


Meanwhile, Kko Kko was established by TV news anchor Grace Lee out of her sheer love for food, cooking, and trying out new recipes. Formerly known as Hoolala, the restaurant was rebranded to reflect its modern take on traditional concepts especially the Korean fried chicken. 

“The unique point of our concept is that you can enjoy Korean fried chicken in six different sauces and we present even more variety in form. Of course our best selling chicken cheese fondue has become a quite phenomenon in the local dining scene,” shared Lee.

The restaurant serves authentic Korean food but is redefined to present something new from the usual Korean barbecue restaurants. The menu is divided into three categories – Korean Fried Chicken, Korean Street Food, and Dosirak or the Korean lunchbox. 

Jjampong Seafood Noodles

Kko Kko’s specialties and must-tries include the Snow Chicken which was originally introduced into the country by Hoolala, the Crispy Fried Chicken tossed in a powder of Korean spices, and the Dosirak which is complete with steamed white rice, crispy sweet anchovies, cooked kimchi, and one’s choice of Korean viand like beef bulgogi and spicy pork. 

The Korean Chicken Cheese Fondue is the one dish that stands out among the rest, with its boneless chicken tossed in Yang Nyum sauce and served with spicy fries, homemade onion rings, and a bread bowl filled with either regular, spicy, or garlic mustard cheese. People from all over the metro reportedly visit the restaurant to try the dish. 

Both Shinsen and Kko Kko are strong inclusions in The Sapphire Bloc’s array of sought-after restaurants as they are sure to satisfy every discerning foodie’s appetite for something traditional – and new – at the same time. 

The Sapphire Bloc’s retail promenade is part of Robinsons Residences’ vision to give the best of city-living for residents of the vertical community, and for the urban dwellers and professionals along Ortigas and neighbouring business districts. Its other premium dining establishments include The Stockpile, Moonshine PUB, Cazuela, Sobremesa, Cable Car, Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream, and Starbucks Reserve. 

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