Monday, April 14, 2014

Anime, A Lemon Sour, And Buta Kakuni at T7 Music Lounge and Restaurant

It's always great to discover good food in the most unusual places.  And being served a cold beer by a blue-haired server just keeps the surprises coming at T7 Music Lounge and Restaurant.

A music lounge is probably the last place to go to for some comforting dishes, like who really eats in a music lounge? Unless you drop by T7 Music Lounge and Restaurant, and get ready for some good eats served by a blue-haired server...

I never really understood the craze on anime, but being served by a blue-haired server makes for some interesting conversation at the table. And when the appetizers are served by pink and red-haired servers, you just know this isn't your ordinary music lounge. Not by a long shot.

And the appetizers are served...Mentai Potato, buttered potatoes with spicy fish roe topped with strips of nori. The subtle briny notes of the fish roe add a richness to the boiled buttered potatoes, and the strips of nori add a nutty note to the dish. A good start, and there's still more to come...

Frankfurters (P 200), served on a sizzling steel plate with buttered corn on the side. Can't go wrong with hot dogs. Chef Seiji Kamura, a long-time resident, brings a wide range of dishes to satisfy any craving, from Japanese classics to western favorites, and even some local dishes too.

Tofu Steak (P 120), slabs of soft tofu served on a sizzling hot plate with a side of sweet corn. The soft texture and slightly crisp outer layer combine for contrasting textures, and the rich gravy-like sauce adds a layer of rich flavors to the tofu dish.

Lemon Sour (P 140), a tart and refreshing cocktail with a kick. T7 Music Lounge and Restaurant offers a full range of cocktails, including imported Japanese beer and premium alcohol. Just ask the blue-haired server, and she'll whip up a drink.

Asparagus with Bacon (P 130), fresh and crisp asparagus topped with flavorful bacon. And you know what they say about bacon...

Asparagus Ohitashi, a Japanese style asparagus salad with creamy mayo dressing topped with bonito flakes on a lettuce leaf. Light, refreshing and yet rich with flavor, it's a great side dish to pair with your mains.

Baked Egg (P 100), a light and delicate egg dish served with a side of radish, and another great starter before the mains.

Fish Katsu Curry, breaded fish cutlet covered in a rich curry sauce and served with rice, shredded cabbage and carrots, and potato salad. A full meal in itself, the dish is great after a night of drinking.

Horumon Misoni, a miso-based soup with innards, liver and vegetables. A flavorful broth made even richer by the tender meat and vegetables, now this is a sure-fire cure for any hangover. Served steaming hot, the soup is hearty and comforting, and just perfect after one too many bottles of beer. Or T7 Music Lounger and Restaurant's potent Lemou Sour.

Buta Kakuni, a Japanese style pork stew slow cooked for hours with radish. The tender slabs of pork belly is served with braised radish and topped with shredded cabbage. Great as is, even better with steamed white rice. A few bites of the tender chunks of pork layered with juicy fat and a piece of radish will make you good for a few more rounds of Lemon Sours.

Fish Miso Yaki, delicately grilled fish with miso. If you're looking for something light, Chef Seiji Kamura has a dish just for you. Lightly grilled fillet of fish, with its subtle flavors enhanced by a creamy miso sauce, served with vegetables.

Japanese Hamburger Steak (P 290/200g, P 450/300g), the classic Japanese favorite, served on a sizzling plate. A juicy patty made with a blend of pork and beef covered in a rich gravy and served with buttered corn, onions and potatoes is yet another of Chef Seiji Kamura's comforting dishes.

In between the mains, Chef Seiji Kamura served us Potato Korokke (P 120), crisp, deep-fried and breaded croquettes, served with shredded cabbage and carrots. Crisp on the outside, contrasting with the soft potato and vegetable stuffing. And Chef Seiji isn't done yet as goes back to the kitchen...

Hamburger Steak with Fried Egg and Cheese (P 390/200g, P 480/300g), a comforting pork and beef patty covered in gravy and topped with a sunny side-up. Simply slice the tender pork and beef patty and the let the yolk run and blend with the gravy for rich flavors.

Teppan-Yaki (P 520/300g), beef tenderloin cubes served with vegetables. Tender, rich and flavorful, nothing like beef to go with a few more beers.

Kushiage (P 550 for 20 sticks), deep-fried and breaded skewers of shrimp, pork, lapu-lapu, squid, frankfurter, asparagus, green pepper, onion, chicken, eggplant, ginko nut, menchi, crabstick, scallop, quail egg, shumai, yako and pumpkin, with four dipping sauces. The fun part is not knowing exactly what you have until you take a bite.

Great food, cool cocktails, and interesting blue-haired servers. And pink and red-haired servers too. Definitely different, yet the wide range of comforting dishes makes this one cool spot for a few cocktails. And some pretty good eats. And after a few drinks and a satisfying meal, you're just about ready to rock on stage and belt out a few classics from Pearl Jam. Now that's cool.

T7 Music Lounge and Restaurant is located at the 2/F, Ginbo Building, 824 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati or call 893-7425 for inquiries and reservations.

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