Date A Girl Who R̶e̶a̶d̶s̶ ̶W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶s̶ T̶r̶a̶v̶e̶l̶s̶ EATS or alternatively, Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
Work. What I thought would be a quick two hour shoot extended into the evening. I broke fast earlier than my usual noontime first meal to make it to my call time at twelve. I had a good three hours of standby time put to good use in writing my delayed deliverables while putting my Ryan Gosling smolder through its paces on the dresser mirror. A good two hours total of posing, primping and squinching with atrociously expensive jewelry between more standby time for setup and we pushed past seven to wrap up.
I flew down from the mountain set to join The PussyKat and the Binondo Girls at IT Park. They had split a full serving of Tinolang Manok earlier for a light dinner. “You need to eat, Love. I’ve had dinner.”, she purred. I was already beyond my feeding window but needed to fuel the furnace. Considering restos I haven’t been to in the area, she suggested Q Bay. We walked into an open, modern Japanese space with a glassed-in, non-smoking loft. As with all Japanese restos, we were welcomed with a raucous “Irasshaimase!” A dressed, fresh cabbage rough chop was served with the menus. “What do you want to have, Love?” “You choose for yourself, Love. I’ve had dinner.” I went with our servers recommendations of the Nokuo Tonkotsu Ramen and the Torikatu Bento. The cabbage paired well with what the server could only say was a cabbage salad dressing. It had the salty and sour taste of a soy vinaigrette with semisolid chunks in the texture of a gel aspic. “This stuff’s really good, Love.” “It’s okay, Love. I’ve had dinner.” “It’s really good, Love.” “Okay, I’ll have a taste.” The Nokuo Tonkotsu Ramen came in an intimidatingly large bowl the size of my head. This pork bone-based ramen is reminiscent of the Pinoy Nilagang Baboy or Buto-buto with the Japanese-y element of miso. Extremely savory but not at all heavy on salt. The noodles were a perfectly firm toothsome and held up well with the flavor of the soup. “Good stuff, Love!” “It’s okay. I’ve had it before.” “Really good!” “Okay, leave me some.” Torikatu Bento was a Chicken Cutlet Bento with a Yasai Itame, a Potato Salad, rice and, strangely, Kimchi. Seasoned very lightly, tender cutlets of chicken encased in very light and crisp panko breading came with a soy dip and mayonnaise. A Yasai Itame of cabbage, carrots, spring onions and onions served as the primary veggie side. A Japanese Potato Salad of carrots, cucumbers, onions and egg mixed into the potatoes with mayo added a creamy sweet and savory touch to the entire set. Although culturally out of place, the kimchi’s spicy-sour ferment somehow worked. Just as well as how a Korean girl worked a Japanese boy at the table next to ours: “Oh, sorry. I forget bring money.” “It oke.” “I pay tomorrow.” “No, it oke.” “Maybe next day” “It oke.” “I kno boys are always pay but me I don’ like.” “It oke.” “I pay tomorrow.” “No, it oke.” “Maybe next day” “It oke.” “OKE!” The PussyKat started poking at the dishes and after oohing and ahhing about everything, started tucking into the bento with gusto. “I thought you already ate?” “Don’t start with me. I’ve had a really rough day.” I quickly put my palms out in a gesture of surrender. Midway through the meal, some smoke started wafting up and the crew rushed up to turn on the ventilation fans. The air progressively getting hazy, they started requesting the guests to move to the seats downstairs. Just as we settled, smoke started billowing from the loft. In a scene straight out of Rescue 911, I quickly slurped up the remaining soup and The PussyKat had the last chicken cutlet as building maintenance personnel rushed in with fire extinguishers. Having called for the bill, we waited outside for our change with the rest of the diners. That was some good, authentic Japanese and it would take much to beat that kind of house entertainment. Q Bay Restaurant is located at the ground floor of Skyrise 4, Cebu IT Park, Apas, Lahug, Cebu City.