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Bad Start, Good Finish

It’s always hard going out with a big group. The Clan is comprised of 4 big families, totaling 24 pax. So you can just imagine what lengths we go through to buy movie tickets, reserve seats, get tables.. you get the drift.

The other night, The Clan decided to have dinner in BF because they didn’t want to go far. ATC & Molito were out of the question because it was a saturday & for sure we wouldn’t be able to get tables or parking. So they decided to go small. Funny, for a group of 24 pax, lels.

Looloo (app) came up with a Fearless Foodie’s Guide to BF.. The Clan decided we must try all, at one time or another. Having just read Jin’s post on Sensei Sushi, I cajoled the group to put it on top of our bucket list.

I really wanna try Daniela’s Mia Casa next. Any thoughts on that?
The resto is really small, unlighted, and hard to find so you have to slow down a bit along Aguirre Ave..
The price is competitive. Not too high, not too low.
The 15-course omakase/degustation menu ranges from 1.8k-2.8k depending on the ingredients C.B. will use.
Reservation is needed for this particular food set-up.

I was surprised when the owner, Chef Bruce (C.B.), answered the call I placed himself. He’s really hands on with his resto, that’s for sure. After making the necessary reservation, I proceeded to daydream the rest of the saturday aftenoon the awesome OMAKASE DEGUSTATION treat I & the 7 other adults were in for. My tummy grumbled at the mere thought! ;)

On the dot, our 24-man contingent arrived at Sensei Sushi in paranaque, only to find out we only had available tables good for half our people. Worse, they were still welcoming walk-ins inspite of my prior reservation. When I went up to C.B. to ask what happened to my reservation, he was surprised that it was 8pm already (his exact words to me: Oh, it’s 8 o’clock already?), the hour we agreed upon. I guess he lost track of time as he was cooking for another degustation group at the bar. I guess he’s too hands on with his business, maybe someone else could have handled the booking & reservation because C.B. is too busy already. Sometimes delegating is also good to avoid unnecessary bloopers & inconvenience.

The bar seats 4 pax. If you want to try the degustation menu, it is best to sit at the bar so you can see the preparations & chat with the chef.
If you want C.B. to handle the food himself, you need to get the degustation menu.
The rest of the food are prepared by his in-house sous chefs.

To get over their boredom, the girls turned japanese-ah, played with the chopsticks,  & voila..

And so we waited, and we waited, and we waited, until finally all his customers save for the ones in the bar left & we were all able to take our seats group by small group at time. (Our 24-pax contingent occupied all the seats, save for the ones at the bar. That’s how small the resto is, so you can gauge.) By this time, most have already ordered from the ala-carte menu so we decided to just try the Omakase Degustation another time since C.B. was still entertaining the other group by the bar & we weren’t willing to wait around any longer. And with less people too so we can fully enjoy the degustation experience at a less harried pace.

Can you say.. BLURRY??? ;P
Can you spot us oldies waiting outside for our seats?
Seeing C.B. was not going to delight us with his presence, or offer an apology, we just called him over for a photo op.
Maybe he was just really shy.

To be honest, the service that night was really bad -maybe because we were too many. But if you bog it down, it’s just like serving 4 families in 4 separate tables really. Food came before the drinks. The servers were harassed & brushed us off. Some orders, like the Sensei Seafood Pasta, didn’t arrive at our table due to lack of ingredients & none of the servers told us about it. The kids just kept waiting for that particular food to arrive. Even C.B. didn’t extend his apologies to us or bother to talk to the group as we waited OUTSIDE where the mosquitoes feasted on our sweet, sweet blood.

See? No drinks even after repeated requests.
I guess the servers were really harried due to the full house.

Sorry I accidentally cut-off your beautiful head, ate! :(

But the upside, food was REALLY good. So good that the group forgave “my” faux pas and the hour-long wait. Everything we ordered off the menu were ravished with delight. I particularly loved the Softshell Crab Tempura, the Fried Oyster, and the Kampachi Sashimi. Here are some of what we ordered. The peeps (especially the boys) were really very hungry and weren’t very cooperative when it came to picture taking haha, so I wasn’t able to take some shots of the other food.. (and forgive me for the poor picture quality. I had to snap quickly as they were all giving me the evil eye already every time I intercepted a delivery!) ;))
C.B. doing the degustation.
I’ll try this next time for sure!
Tuna Sashimi 245 php
Salmon Sashimi 240 php 
Tuna Tartare on Kangkong Crisps 160 php
Spicy Tuna Maki 195 php
(tempura chunks & spicy mayo) 
Chicken Popcorn 165 php
Beef Teppanyaki 480 php
Tuna & Scallop Dynamite 285 php
(tuna, cucumber, cream cheese, crispy scallops, dynamite sauce)
Spicy Ramen 320 php
THAT IS NOT MY FINGERNAIL. IT’s THE SERVER’s. :P
Fried Oysters 140 php
Softshell Crab Tempura 390 php
I wouldn’t mind going back for this baby alone! <3 
Crispy Salmon Belly Roulade 175
Malansa to the taste. I suggest you skip this. ;P
Paella Balls 150 php
(squid, pimienta, garlic)
Spicy Seafood Ramen 360 php
(assorted seafood, ebi tempura, shredded nori, ginger, scallions)
Can you see how big their ebi tempuras are? <3
Crispy Philly Salmon 185 php
(cream cheese, asparagus, atoli, unagi sauce) 
Pork Gyoza 137 php
(sauce was not recommended for this. To be eaten alone.)
Ebi Tempura 380 php
The ebi used were long & fat! <3
Cali Roll with Prawn Popcorn 235 php
(Kani cream cheese, green goddess, aligue atoli)
Kampachi Sashimi 385 php
Quite pricey considering it’s such a small serving, but must try, I promise! <3
Half-baked Chocolate Cake 200 php
(soufle-like cake oozing with melted chocolate syrup inside. LHAV!)
Grilled Banana 175 php
(Tofu Cheesecake, miso & peanut butterscotch, chocolate ganache)
At least we had a good finish, albeit a very bad start. All’s well that end’s well, nobody is perfect. I would definitely go back to this little japanese wonder in BF, but on a smaller scale. And not on a crazy weekend. ;)

PS- Thank you ate for sharing some (clearer & better) photos with me! :-*

Oh. And please allow me to say hi to a reader, KATHRINE “ADING” ESTANISLAO! :)
She was right in front of me at the payment lane in S&R and she casually turned to me & told me she reads my blog.
Thank you so much, Ading, for talking to me. I got kilig bumping into you, knowing you read my posts!
Thank you! <3
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9 Comments

  • Reply Paper Treats

    Love Sensei! The few times weve gone was for early dinner so I guess thats why our experience was never bad. :) Next time, have him cook in one of the SF house instead!

    August 12, 2013 at 1:43 am
  • Reply wenggaye

    if it was me i would never back despite good food and affordable prices. i can never forgivd bad service esp if they never apologized.. the chef owner should have tKen time to approach your group since he personally handled your reservation and the resulting i convenience.. being shy is never an excuse

    August 12, 2013 at 2:34 am
  • Reply michymichymoo

    I'm intrigued of what Chef Bruce has to offer. I do hope you'll have a better experience next time. Baka windang lang si Chef that day. :)

    August 12, 2013 at 2:41 am
  • Reply ading

    Hi Jane. This Ading. Thanks for posting our picture. It was really nice meeting you and your kids. I wish to correct my name – Kathrine "Ading" Estanislao. You posted my friends' name – Yolanda Arcinas. She was with me when we saw you. Anyways hope to see you again. Hope your feeling better.

    August 12, 2013 at 2:55 am
  • Reply Sugar and Spice

    zOMG sorry for the confusion, Ading haha. Mali pa pala yung pag-stealth mode ko sa register to peek at your name, lels! ;)) Corrected it na. Hope to bump into you again soon! ;)

    August 12, 2013 at 3:14 am
  • Reply Sugar and Spice

    The restaurant offers japanese fusion food, so kakaiba talaga. They should be sanay na coz they are full almost every night. ;)

    August 12, 2013 at 3:15 am
  • Reply Sugar and Spice

    You have a good point, actually! :)

    August 12, 2013 at 3:17 am
  • Reply Sugar and Spice

    And to be fair, we were a lot. :) I was just looking for an apology -he did handle my reservation himself. Oh well.. ;P

    August 12, 2013 at 3:19 am
  • Reply edelweiza

    I haven't been to that popular foodie haven in BF. (I'll download that LooLoo app nga.) But because of you blog, parang nakapunta na rin ako sa mga restos dyan! Thank you for sharing all your food trips with us. I hope to visit Larcy's kasi mahilig ako sa sweets. Hehe. :)

    August 14, 2013 at 7:06 am
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