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Ukokkei is Open Again!


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It’s official! I just called and confirmed that Ukokkei is open again on Pasay Rd. in Makati despite rumors from the mayor’s office that they had no plans to reopen.

Please go and report back. I’ll be going in for a long awaited bowl of tan tan men very soon.

Edit, after visiting:

So I heard from Twitter that Ukokkei was open, picked up the phone and called. Indeed! They are. I was wrong in my earlier conclusion that they had closed for good.

I didn’t waste a minute from there. Traffic was grid-locked, as usual around dinner time in Makati, so I just hoofed it. When I arrived I was greeted by this sign, kind of explaining the closure.

The same chef was at the helm and an older Japanese gentleman was there that I presumed was the owner. I was one of the first to arrive but before long the restaurant filled up.

As much as I missed the tan tan men, the most classic ramen was what I really craved. In just a few minutes I was staring down at a steaming bowl of Shoyu Chashu with a cold Pale Pilsen on the side. There was an old man sitting next to me at the bar loudly slurping his noodles, eating it with rice. For just a fleeting moment, everything seemed right in the world.

After I finished my ramen, the waitress brought over a bottle in a paper gift bag. “Bottle of wine, sir” she said awkwardly to me. I was confused so I asked. She explained that they are giving a bottle of wine for each bowl of ramen today and tomorrow. Clearly they have responded to the negative press they have suffered from in recent months.

Welcome back Ukokkei.

Stand up for Foie!

No animals were harmed in the making of this beefcake....well maybe just a few

Foie gras is life-changing delicious-ness

The time draws near. July 1st will begin the ban of sales and production of foie gras in the state of California. This ridiculous Hollywood-backed bill signed into law by Hollywood personality-turned Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has won this battle against one of the best practitioners of animal welfare in the meat industry.

No animals were harmed in the making of this beefcake....well maybe just a few

No animals were harmed in the making of this beefcake....well maybe just a few

Which one you ask? Artisan Sonoma Foie Gras. There is only one producer of foie gras in the state of California and the law will specifically ban the production of foie gras in the state. So this is in effect an assassination on one of our brethren, somebody who’s doing it all the right way. These people handle their ducks with greater care and humanity than most who raise ducks as pets.

Without any grounding in science, the proponents of the ban have resorted to emotional appeals and Hollywood personalities to persuade the unknowing public to support their campaign. Their long sappy internet videos make me sick, not from their content but from their low quality of thought. It’s quite easy to make a villain out of that which is misunderstood and most people simply do not understand what foie gras is or how it is raised.

Foie gras or fatty liver is produced by force feeding ducks or geese (usually ducks) in the final weeks of their lives. Avians, like pythons, will store food in the esophagus for a slow digestion process. They use this mechanism to consume whole fish. They are very different physiologically from humans or other mammals. For example the trachea of a duck extends out through their tongue and they are in no way choked or gagged by the force feeding process. These animals also naturally store fat in their skin and livers to be stored for long migrations.

Anthony Bourdain did a great segment on No Reservations on the topic.

The truth is foie gras is an artisanal product and its producers are some of the more ethical in the industry. The anti-foie gras movement found them to be easily bullied because of their relatively small voice and lobbying power. Tyson Foods is a far greater villain and these people know that but it’s a hard target. But imagine the backlash if America couldn’t get its frozen chicken tenders in the freezer aisle.

Furthermore this is not just an anti-foie gras campaign but an anti-meat campaign. This is just one step toward painting meat eaters into a corner and they know very well that they can’t tackle the whole industry at once. Thus one by one, your choices will be taken away from you.

So! In defiance to this encroachment of personal freedom and in solidarity with our friends in the foie gras industry I will create a foie gras theme brunch menu on Sunday, July 1st. This will surely be even more epic than the Epic Brunch at the Slagles’. Now clearly this is no great act of courage or defiance as nobody is trying to ban foie gras in the Philippines but it will be a hell of a good time. Comment below if you’re interested, six seats available.