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A Day at Parqal: Big Bad Wolf and Umi Matsu · Kat&Beyond

Saturday – 25 May, 2024, we decided to head to PARQAL for the Big Bad Wolf event. Arriving really early, the parking lot was practically empty. Immediately upon arrival, we noticed numerous posters promoting the event. Since it was only 10:00 AM, we opted to eat an early brunch before exploring the event.

Before heading to the restaurant, we decided to stroll around to see how the place was. Not all establishments were open yet, and some were still under construction. However, the overall ambiance was really great. It’s cozy, with well-maintained plants outside, and the place looks nice overall. It’s a great spot to chill out, especially with both Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Starbucks coffee shops nearby. The location is perfect for unwinding and relaxing.

Exploring Restaurant Options

Roaming around, we found a variety of restaurant choices. However, none were familiar to us.

Umi Matsu Parqal Restaurant Review · Kat&Beyond

Among them, Umi Matsu, a Japanese restaurant, caught our attention with its prominent 50% off promo on Chasu Ramen. Despite our unfamiliarity, we decided it was worth a try and here is my  Umi Matsu restaurant review.

The Ambiance at Umi Matsu

Walking into Umi Matsu, we were greeted with a cozy and Instagram-worthy setting. The place was clean, nicely decorated, and had a great vibe.

Umi Matsu Parqal Restaurant Review · Kat&Beyond

After being seated, our waitstaff handed us the menu. We were served what they called “corn tea.” Being a huge tea fan, I quickly realized it was actually Barley Grass tea. Not a big deal, though.

Overwhelming Umi Matsu Menu Choices

Our waitstaff handed us a menu that was around 25 pages long. It was overwhelming with so many food choices. 

We finally decided on Crab Inari Sushi, the 50% off Chasu Ramen, Original Pork-Based Curry Rice, Donkatsu Rice Bowl, and OKKI Ebi Tempura.

The Food Experience at Umi Matsu

The first dish to arrive was the Inari, followed by the Tempura. The Inari tasted how it should, but it was fancier and more expensive compared to other places I’ve tried.

Umi Matsu Parqal Restaurant Review · Kat&Beyond

The Tempura was standard, nothing special, but they did include some onion rings, which was a nice touch.

When the main dishes arrived, the experience took a downturn. The Chasu Ramen had shredded cabbage, sliced carrots, and bell peppers, giving it a taste reminiscent of Filipino Sopas (kulang nalang hotdog). The noodles were overcooked and soggy, not al dente as expected. 

The Original Curry Rice – Original Pork Based Curry RIce dish, according to my friend, tasted odd, and the Donkatsu Rice Bowl  – Deep Fried Pork Cutlet Rice Bowl was dry and unappetizing.

Reflecting on the Main Courses

The main dishes were a letdown, especially considering the ambiance and the service. The food did not live up to the restaurant’s appearance. The prices were reasonable, but the quality did not match. It was quite disappointing, and we struggled to enjoy our meal. I couldn’t finish my food, and my friend had to force it down due to hunger.

Heading to the Big Bad Wolf Event

After the unsatisfying meal, we headed to the Big Bad Wolf event. Given the lack of a proper meal, I was worried about having enough energy for all the walking required. It was a challenging experience, and I still feel a bit off about it.

2024 Big Bad Wolf Parqal · Kat&Beyond

This year’s Big Bad Wolf event didn’t quite capture the magic of previous years for me. I’ve been attending the event since it started in this country. The first one I attended a few years ago, before the pandemic, was held at the World Trade Center in Roxas Blvd. That venue was particularly memorable with its major wow factor due to its vast space and impressive setup.

Over the years, the event has felt a bit more routine. The 2023 Big Bad Wolf event, by comparison, lacked that same excitement. This is just my opinion, though. Maybe I was just having a bad day because of the food experience. I really don’t know, but perhaps it was just a bad day, and it affected how I saw things.

2024 Big Bad Wolf Haul at Parqal · Kat&Beyond

Despite this, the air conditioning was excellent, providing a comfortable shopping experience. I found some fantastic book sets, some for personal collection and others for Christmas gifts. It was a productive trip, helping me start scratching off items from my gift list for this year.

Disclaimer: Personal Experience and Taste Variation

This Umi Matsu restaurant review reflects my personal experience and comparison with other Japanese restaurants I’ve dined at. Taste preferences can vary greatly, so your experience at Umi Matsu might differ. Despite the beautifully decorated space and friendly staff, the food did not meet our expectations.

It’s important to acknowledge that taste is subjective, and what may not appeal to one person could be a favorite for another. While Japanese cuisine is not my first choice and typically falls as my second option, I do appreciate its flavors and enjoy it on occasion. However, despite Umi Matsu’s aesthetically pleasing ambiance, we found the taste of some dishes disappointing.

For instance, Santouka’s version of Tonkotsu Cha-Su Ramen and Ebi Furai is simply incredible, and their soup always leaves my mouth watering. Here’s a photo I took last time we dined.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka · Kat&Beyond

Umi Matsu operates several branches, and this Umi Matsu restaurant review pertains specifically to the Parqal branch. Variations in staff and kitchen practices could account for differences in dining experiences between locations.

Mixed Feelings: Reflecting on Our Day Out

Wrapping up our day, we left Umi Matsu with mixed feelings. While the food didn’t quite hit the mark, our day started with anticipation at Parqal and the Big Bad Wolf event. Despite the letdown in the dining experience, the vibrant atmosphere and productive time spent browsing books added a silver lining to our day out.

Remember, Taste preferences vary, so while our dining experience may not have met expectations, yours could be different. 

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Harsh Truth

Loving the wrong person might feel like a storm of emotions, but don't forget that storms destroy as much as they cleanse. Choose the love that nurtures, not the one that devastates.

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Latest Comments
There are 2,350 valuable comments on my blog so far. Many thanks!
  • Sue-Tanya: Thank you for sharing your review. The food looks so tasty. [...]
  • Jupiter: I love eating japanese food but that menu would really [...]
  • Nikki Wayne: Wow! This is a mixed emotions experience you have there. [...]
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Harsh Truth

Don't let your heart become a museum of broken promises from the wrong person. It's time to renovate.

Related Posts
Latest Comments
There are 2,350 valuable comments on my blog so far. Many thanks!
  • Sue-Tanya: Thank you for sharing your review. The food looks so tasty. [...]
  • Jupiter: I love eating japanese food but that menu would really [...]
  • Nikki Wayne: Wow! This is a mixed emotions experience you have there. [...]
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