Words by: Oriana Cuenca
Photos by: Kimberly Reyes
Trends come and go in the Philippine food scene, but Japanese food is here to stay. The mild yet powerful flavors of Japanese cuisine is something Filipinos have grown to love. However, dishes like ramen and tempura are nearly synonymous with a premium price tag, so the cravings usually have to wait until payday.
Look no further than SM Manila’s Fudo-San for a full bento box (a combination of rice with a main dish and side dishes) that doesn’t skimp on the quality or the portions. Originally targeted at students, Fudo-San serves hearty meals that are often fit for two. The budget-friendly prices and casual restaurant make it a great place for a quick and very filling lunch.
Chicken dishes are the star of this restaurant. Fudo-San buys whole chicken, larger than industry average, so the fried chicken comes out meatier and juicier than most fast food chains.
Like the fried chicken, Fudo-San’s chicken burger is just as thick and juicy for when you need a rice alternative. The crunch from the cutlet pairs perfectly well with their buns, so the burger on its own is as filling as any rice meal.
The chicken karaage, deep fried chicken thigh mixed with leg, is cut into small pieces, so every bite is an unexpected burst of flavor.
If you want to get a taste of these dishes, Fudo-San has one of their best selling bento boxes which comes with one piece chicken, karaage, two-piece tempura, and rice.
Filipinos love gravy and Filipinos love rice. Fudo-San has the mandatory gravy pump to top off its large portions of rice, but here’s a pro tip: the one-piece chicken goes great with gravy, but the karaage is meant to be enjoyed without any condiments.
Besides the bento boxes, Fudo-San has katsudon with enough rice for two. Chicken cutlets are put on top of a bed of rice and half-cooked seasoned egg is poured over it. The warm rice cooks the egg the rest of the way and finally, the whole dish is topped with onion. Warning: Katsudon is a very filling meal. After trying this, you might just be convinced to ditch the fried chicken for katsus instead.
No Japanese restaurant is complete without this signature dish: ramen.
Making ramen is an old-time and time-consuming tradition, and the effort can truly be tasted in the ramen’s broth. Fudo-San serves Spicy Seafood Ramen that uses imported seafood to incorporate a taste of the sea into their unique noodle dishes.
If the food isn’t enough to convince you, Fudo-San has charging outlets all over the restaurant for cramming a deadline over lunch. With Fudo San’s big portions and bigger flavour, you’ll walk out of this restaurant with a full stomach and a (reasonably) full wallet.