The Ohana Platter at Kaizen Davao

The Ohana Platter at Kaizen Japanese Street Dining
Itadakimasu!
Kaizen Davao Ohana Platter, P1,199.00

Kaizen Davao will celebrate its first year anniversary on December 13, 2017. And as a way of giving back they’re offering PISO ROLL. As in one peso for every roll you order. There will be no reservations but door opens at 5PM. So see you there!


When Kaizen opened about a year ago, I thought it was just another Japanese restaurant that adds up the list of sprouting restos in town. Me and my husband attempted to come and thought about trying what their ramen taste like, but we failed on our first attempt to dine. I remembered it rained that night and because Kaizen mainly set up their dining tables on the side street and there were no vacant seats, we aborted the plan. We finally made it on our next try and ordered their house special, Kaizen Ramen. 




Albeit the small space they managed to work around well. We’re one happy couple so full with our Kaizen ramen at that time. When we left, I looked back at the resto all lit from afar. I immediately thought about similarities between Kaizen and that Japanese Manga turned into drama that I followed religiously, Shinya Shokudo. The series was set in a small restaurant along an alley in Japan. Unlike Kaizen where it has various food list on the menu, Shinya Shokudo consist only of just few choices. However, the patrons can come and ask the chef to cook any dish whenever possible. What’s interesting in this drama is that all of the food the chef prepares evoke so many stories to tell that intertwined with the lives of the customers. To sum it all up, ordinary people don’t just come to this small rendezvous for the food but they come for conversations not just about food but sharing stories about their complex everydayness as well.

In the beginning I thought, Kaizen just lay all of their food offerings on the table and that’s it. But hearing the owners, Dana and Chang Zapanta talked with passion about the stories behind their food offering is just as intriguing as much as it is appetizing. So many of what Kaizen offers on the menu has a story to tell.

Just recently we got invited to try out their newest offering, The Ohana Platter. It’s a four-group sushi roll board that comes with inspirational names – Aloha Roll, Commitment Roll, Essence Roll and Vision Roll.

Not too long ago, the couple owners attended an “Ike Pono’ workshop. It’s a Hawaiian term that translates “to knowing yourself with absolute clarity”. “Ike Pono” is a self-discovery, self- empowerment and visioning workshops created by life coach, Bruce Conching in Hawaii. The workshop is conducted in the United States, Mexico, Japan and the Philippines.

Because of the intensity of the connection fostered among the attendees, graduates of the workshop call each other ‘Ohana’ or family. Hence the inspiration for Kaizen’s Ohana Platter. They’re not just rolls but they’re nourishment with inspirational stories to tell.

“Through the Ohana Platter, we really wanted to share Ike Pono with you and the Ohana Platter as the name suggests is a way for families to bond together, sharing a good meal.” Said Kaizen’s proprietor Melissa “Chang” Arandia-Zapanta.

So now let’s talk about each roll on the board;

Davao Dining: The Ohana Platter at Kaizen Japanese Street Dining
Aloha Roll 

Aloha Roll is made up of Tuna salmon, cream cheese, avocado unagi sauce, mango sauce, ebiko and green onions. But more than its deliciousness is the idea that this roll is named so because Aloha in Hawaii, aside from the customary greeting, implies a deeper meaning. Aloha means being connected to acknowledge the person’s being and spirit. 

This is quiet a hefty roll so prepare to take each roll in two bites. Taste wise, contrary to popular belief, Aloha Roll contains no pineapple but it has an interesting outer crisp texture and a delightful combination of sweet, sour and non-overpowering umami flavour. If you prefer your rolls bend towards the sweet side, this one’s for you.

You can also order this on ala carte, 10-12 pcs for only P399.


During the Ohana platter launch, Ms. Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan, also a graduate of Ike Pono workshop, explained further to us the deeper meaning of ALOHA which she wrote lengthily on her book, Remember Who You Really Are. She was even so generous in sharing to us a signed copy of her book. I'm making a review of it so please subscribe to my blog so won't miss a post.

Davao Dining: The Ohana Platter at Kaizen Japanese Street Dining
Commitment Roll

Commitment Roll. This is how my sushi should be, I love this roll. It has little of everything – sweet, crisp, spicy, fleshy and the roll size fits perfectly in my mouth in just one bite. This is made up of cream cheese, spicy sliced tuna, cucumber, unagi sauce, kaizen sauce, ebiko, green onions and topped with tempura flakes.  This is named so because in Ike Pono, commitment is a precious life value of commiting oneself going through it all, whatever it takes.

18 years of togetherness is a proof enough that I’m true to my commitment. It’s a work in progress and it’ll be done so when I’m all ashes and gone. But for now, keep calm and indulge with Commitment!

Ala Carte is also available and is priced at P299 for 8 slices.

The Ohana Platter at Kaizen Japanese Street Dining
Essence Roll

Essence Roll. This is my second personal favourite. This is made up of shredded salmon skin, cucumber, cream cheese, teriyaki sauce, furikake, black and white sesame seeds and green onions. This is named so because in Ike Pono, it teaches that essence is finding our core, which is all good.

In this world of social media and make believe, so many of us get confused imbibing this ethos. Finding our core can only happen when we detach and get involve into the real world.  But to put it lightly, the essence of these rolls is to indulge it generously, right?

Ala Carte is also available and is priced at P179 for 8 slices.


The Ohana Platter at Kaizen Japanese Street Dining
Vision Roll

Vision Roll. If you love your rolls saucy, vision roll is perfect for you. This a mouth-watering combination of nori, crab stick, cream cheese, unagi sauce, kaizen sauce, black and brown sesame seeds and green onions. It is named so because in Ike Pono, the clarity of vision comes from knowing with certainty oneself without the externals.

I have no idea how this value is explicated in 'Ike Pono,' but I know one thing from this woman I admire – Oprah Winfrey and have always been a firm believer of her philisophy that you have to ‘Create the highest and grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.’

Vision Roll Ala Carte is also available and is priced at P322 for 8 slices.

The Ohana platter which is a combination of the four new rolls is priced at P1,199.00. This is now available for orders at Kaizen Davao!


Other than the rolls, I had this bowl for my starter, the Kaizen Salad.

Kaizen Salad at Kaizen Japanese Street Dining
Kaizen Salad


Our two yakitori platters for the night!

Toriniku (grilled chicken white meat)

Butabara (Pork Belly BBQ)

Dana and Chang Zapanta 
giving us a backgrounder of the Ike Pono inspired 'Ohana' Platter

 Kaizen Japanese Street Dining, Davao City
Kaizen Davao, a Japanese Street Dining rendezvous 
along A. Mabini St. corner F. Torres St., Davao City

 Kaizen Japanese Street Dining, Davao City
Other Kaizen Davao offerings on the board!

 Kaizen Japanese Street Dining, Davao City
Kaizen Davao is on social media, you may follow them for updates.

 Kaizen Japanese Street Dining, Davao City
#TeamDDI at Kaizen Davao!
Thank you for having us.

For so long stories have always been shared over food, this time around at Kaizen your food has a story to tell. Try out their Ohana Platter! Bring the whole family or your friends. Celebrate the essence of life through these inspirational food rolls.

Kaizen Davao will celebrate its first year anniversary on December 13, 2017. And as a way of giving back they’re offering PISO ROLL. As in one peso for every roll you order. There will be no reservations but door opens at 5PM. So see you there! 



KAIZEN DAVAO: Japanese Street Dining
Unit 201, B & L Bldg., A. Mabini St., corner
F. Torres St., Brgy. 33,
Davao City, Philippines

Call;
0917 714 4331 | (082) 225 1817




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