Where to Eat in Timog Ave : 81 Sehai
by: Audrey Trinidad
Japanese cuisine has to be one of the most well-loved cuisines in Manila. You can find everything from quick service to premium to specialty restaurants, all catering for a taste of the land of the rising sun.81 Seihai Sushi Lounge sets itself apart by offering fusion Japanese food. Like many new restaurants these days it also takes into account how many Filipinos love taking photos by creating a space that is very instagrammable. Aside from the sleek interiors, there are also some very attractive murals of dragons, koi fish, and yes, even cherry blossoms. Created by artist Mandy Martinez, the murals give the place a youthful vibe and an indication that 81 Seihai is not your usual Japanese restaurant.
What I found particularly interesting, is that the restaurant also caters to a lot of young professionals and students that frequent the Timog Ave restaurants. Aside from the standard restaurant table setup, they also have elevated tables that have built in outlets with USB ports. So if you happen to need to have a working lunch, this restaurant is definitely a good place to go. You can even choose from a variety of their smoothies and frappes. I preferred the mango smoothie but they also have banana and watermelon. If you like coffee, you can get the vanilla frappe, mint choco frappe, strawberry Okinawa or caramel frappe.
81 Seihai also has the advantage of switching from a restaurant during the day to a bar at night, with a DJ booth and a full bar setup inside. So once they turn the lights down low, it becomes a more intimate venue.
But we need to talk about the food.
For the starters, I liked the Jalapeno Poppers and the Shitake Termidor. The Jalapeno poppers had a mix of jalapeno and cream cheese that gave the right amount of heat and crunch, without overwhelming the spicy tuna on top. The Shitake Termidor, is basically a shitake mushroom head with a cheesy topping. So if you like cheese and mushrooms, you should definitely try this dish.
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