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Euphoric taste of the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ in La Union’s diner

Have your eyes reached the universe of Japanese manga and anime wherein it is dotted with the epitome of traditional Japanese dishes?


Ever wondered what Ponyo’s favorite noodle dish tasted like? Ever wanted to try the variety of delightful dishes in Studio Ghibli’s animated masterpieces?


Food in anime has inspired numerous gourmets to try their hands at preparing dishes that match the visual splendor of cartoonish cuisine.

PHOTO CAPTION: Chu’s Diner which has the old Japanese Izakaya style structure, serves fresh, clean-tasting sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish).

Come and discover the history, taste, and texture of your characters’ favorite food in a surfing spot in San Juan, La Union – Chu’s Diner.


The Chu’s Diner, which is owned by Kiara Takahashi, a Filipino-Japanese who was a second big winner of Philippine reality TV show “Pinoy Big Brother” and an actress and singer in the country, offers a slew of enticing dishes to keep tourists' eyes fixed and their mouth watering.


“This Japanese restaurant started on June 22, 2018. Over the years, we are hooking the locals and tourists with our food because that is our main goal – to make them happy through our food,” Tsuyoshi Takahashi, Kiara’s father and one of the two Japanese chefs of the restaurant, shared. 


Takahashi added that his daughter Kiara wants to continue his legacy which is preparing comfort food to touch people’s hearts.


The diner, which has the old Japanese Izakaya style structure, serves fresh, clean-tasting sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish), donburi (rice bowl dish), and ebi (simple fried shrimp).


“My specialty is the Hawaiian Japanese poke bowl, which means mixed seafood and special sauce. It is one of the best sellers in our restaurant. I can also make Japanese food like katsudon (Pork Loin and Boiled Eggs with Bonito Broth)” said Takahashi.


Besides these raw fish dishes, the diner also serves a wide array of other Japanese food, including soba noodles and yakinikudon (beef bowl) for a more filling Japanese meal.

For quick snacks, The Chu's Diner also offers gyoza (dumpling).

For quick snacks, it also offers takoyaki (fried octopus balls in a Worcestershire-style sauce) and gyoza (dumplings).


“What makes our restaurant stand out is that we offer the best quality Japanese food with real Japanese chefs,” said Takahashi.


He added, “Soon, we will start to establish a ramen restaurant and also somebody asked me to franchise our diner in Manila and Baguio.”


Trigger your appetite and take your tongue on a voyage of incredible taste as your senses embrace Japanese culture.


The next time you’ll be watching your favorite anime, you don’t have to dream about trying the sumptuous food and snacks they have – you can enjoy them at Chu’s Diner which is open during weekdays and weekends from 11 am to 2 pm, and 5 pm until 9 pm. (JCR/JPD/KCR, PIA La Union)

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Kathlene Joyce Ramones

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