Choto Stop Japanese Grocery and Restaurant — My Japanese Fix
The last few Sundays have seen me trying to piece back together the lost memories of the Saturday night before, while slouched over the sink trying to purge my oftentimes empty stomach. Many of these mornings, the self-gratifying part of me would just want to crawl back in bed and sleep the rest of the day off, while the other part knows that I have to get up, scrub myself clean and try and eat something.
During such times, for some reason, only good Japanese will be admitted easily by my body, which is why Choto Stop has seen us in all our bloodshot glory for quite a few Sundays now. When I suffer, H usually suffers as well, so we’re on the same boat—the barely functioning boat.
We discovered Choto Stop during one of our DVD excursions around Cinema Square, and as is customary we would make a quick stop at the Japanese grocery in front of Plaza Fair to grab a few random items whose use we have absolutely no clue about. We may have been searching for a good bag of Gyoza, and checked out the tiny nook at the corner where they serve food and decided to try it next time.
I know that first time I ordered Miso Ramen and Gyoza and remembered being blown away by how good the Ramen was. Piping hot, with leeks, spring onion, onions, ground pork, bean sprouts and wilted cabbages, it was FAN-TAS-TIC. What makes it even better is that its only P140 a bowl, a bowl that can easily be shared by 3 people. The Gyoza (P110, 6 pieces) was freshly cooked, right crispiness, and they give you total control over your dipping sauce by just having this host of condiments at the table. We were so impressed that we knew we were gonna be regulars.
The next time H ordered unagi (I think the most expensive on the menu at P280) and I remember commenting that I wasn’t THAT into unagi. When the bento box came, that was the start of my love affair with the eel. A fat, splayed half unagi, lying on a bed of steaming Japanese rice drizzled with some kind of sweet-savory sauce, accompanied by a light, transparent broth. Now there are days that I find myself staring into space, thinking about the fat fish and that I just have to have to have to have it.
We haven’t been very adventurous with our orders but these three really get me up on a bad day. Last time we were with the Mo’s and we shared the same fare but with pork tonkatsu and curry udon. I was in barf mode barely talking to anyone so I couldn’t tell you how those tasted, but according to reviews, it wasn’t half bad.
The best thing about Choto Stop is that after the meal comes playtime, where we just run loose on the supermarket aisles (all two) picking up random goodies. A couple weeks ago I discovered the ice chest where all the good frozen candies were, OMFG. Hangover cure I tell you – frozen fruit balls by Glico. I love you Choto Stop. (heart heart)