For me, Angeles City in the Philippines is like my Las Vegas.
I live in Dumaguete – a small, more local, and super chill city two plane rides to the south – so the chance to come to Angeles (or AC as its known) means that I can relax in comfort and live like a tourist on holiday for a couple of days. Of course, AC is known for its sinful girlie bars and nightlife, but that’s not what attracts me. Instead, I love that I can enjoy the modern conveniences of AC – which aren’t available to me in Dumaguete. That means going to one of their big modern malls and buying some clothes or anything else I need, getting basketball jerseys custom made, visiting the best dentist I’ve ever been to anywhere in the world, and easily doing any banking or making travel arrangements. But the other big attraction is the food scene here in AC, because they’ve stepped up their culinary game far better than anywhere else in the country save for maybe Metro Manila.
So one of the first things to check off of my list every time I land in Angeles City is to get sushi. Or SUSHI!!!! as I think of it because it’s one of my true loves.
Niji Sushi in Angeles City
I’ve been to three sushi restaurants here, but Niji is my go-to spot for several reasons, one of which is convenience since it sits on the main Don Juico Road, on the far end near Korea Town opposite the Walking Street. The other sushi places were either in the mall or on the other side of the highway, which doubles or triples the time it takes to get there in a trike and increases the cost, too.
Niji also has a great ambiance and classy appearance, from the moment the doorman greets you to the water feature covering their front lobby window. The waitresses and staff wear traditional Japanese dress and are trained to say hello and thank you and the like in Japanese. The place is also big and well laid out, with a sushi bar, big tables for large parties, side rooms where you can sit on the floor, and eat at low tables, and plenty of normal restaurant tables. When you sit down, they bring you something small to nibble on and a warm washcloth right away.
Of course, the best thing about Niji is actually the sushi. I always go for sashimi, and their single course sampler is about 550 Pesos, or $11. It has four slices of four different fish, and while it won’t fill me up completely, it’s a great start and tastes good. It’s not quite as fresh as the best sushi places you’ll get in the states, but I can tell that they care about quality. I also get a teriyaki salmon dish that costs $5. It’s not huge, but perfectly cooked and a great compliment to the meal.
There are also plenty of sushi rolls, ramen soups, and just about any Japanese dish you could imagine. Add in a $1 cold local beer or a $2 and change Japanese import and it’s the perfect meal for me!
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