Roku Sushi + Ramen will satisfy your craving for modern Japanese food

This restaurant's big portions mean light eaters may want to bring a friend along.

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Roku Sushi + Ramen isn't easy to spot on the restaurant-dotted side of Katipunan Avenue, across Ateneo de Manila University. Although there is a sizable billboard on the side of the Oracle Building, which houses it, unless you catch the restaurant's details on the board and manage to turn into the building's parking area in time, you might end up having to do a double U-turn to get to it. The restaurant's on the fifth floor, which means it isn't visible from the street, but a standup sign at the building's entrance helps you get a glimpse of what Roku has to offer.

You'll have to take the elevator to the fifth floor, but Roku is right beside it, so finding the restaurant isn't too much of a problem. It's got a great view of Ateneo de Manila University's grounds, and the interiors are well-lit, modern, and comfortable. It's a good place for families, friends, or casual dates.

The sushi is well-made and generously so. I really hate it when sushi rolls are made with more rice than anything else. It's for this reason that I'm a fan of their California Maki Roll (P179)--besides rolling up kani and mango slices in rice, seaweed, and roe, each piece is topped with kani for a crab overload. The Roku Roll (P239) is another option for those who want to order something more unique. The roll is stuffed with kani and topped with tuna and salmon sashimi slices. The spicy sauce drizzled onto the roll adds a bit of a kick to each bite. And the S.S. Roll (P199) is a must-try for salmon lovers. Salmon skin and cream cheese are rolled up and topped with fresh salmon sashimi. The salmon skin gives the roll a bit of crunch, while the cream cheese and salmon smooth it down.

The ramen bowls are pretty huge--one bowl is good for two, especially if you're ordering sushi or other dishes with it. The noodles are made fresh at a restaurant, which really makes a difference. The broths are flavorful and served steaming hot. For a comforting bowl of goodness, try the Roku Ramen (P219) or Gyuniku Ramen (P249). But we also enjoyed the rich aroma and flavor of the Katsucurry Ramen (P249). All three ramen dishes use a broth that is wonderfully flavorful from the shoyu soy sauce mixed into it.

While I thought that the donburi dishes tended to have more rice than needed, I had no other complaints, and I realize that this may only be an issue because I'm trying to cut back on carbs. For someone in college, this might well be the perfect amount of rice for a rice bowl. I tried both the Katsudon (P189) and the Gyudon (P259), but I'll admit I was partial to the Gyudon because the sukiyaki beef was really tender and I really love the saltiness the shiitake mushrooms add to the dish.

For dessert, I'd definitely recommend Milka's Apple Pie Gyoza (P189), which consists of five flaky apple-stuffed dumplings drizzled in caramel and served a la mode. Also available are Dark Belgian Truffle Cake (P189) and Mochi (P79)--you can choose to have it filled with Green Tea, Red Bean, or Vanilla ice cream.

I've been to Roku twice, both times with my husband, and had food picked up from there twice more. All in all, while the rates are a bit above what I'd call student prices, I would consider eating here a bang-for-your-buck experience. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, the view is great, and the ambiance is quietly comfortable.

Check out the gallery below for photos of the food and interiors at Roku.

Roku Sushi + Ramen is open daily from 11AM to 11PM. It is located on the fifth floor of the Oracle Building on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. You can call 02-3525780 for inquiries and reservations, or check out their Facebook fan page.

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