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No Strangers at Yujo Izakaya

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A TREND has been on the rise in the Angeles City gastronomic scene. The arrival of many dining concepts serving international cuisine, particularly Korean, Chinese, and American, ushered in the introduction of the standard food experience. 

Bucking that trend though are new stars-on-the-rise along Fil-Am Friendship Highway that promise heartwarming offerings of unique blend of comfort food, signature drinks, and atypical soundscapes.

Named after the Japanese word for “friendship,” Yujo is a contemporary izakaya that aims to fuse authentic flavors from the land of the rising sun with a local Kapampangan touch. Offering something in between Japanese bespoke drinks, local-inspired food, and carefully thought-out music – this brings the whole Yujo experience to the next level.

The brainchild of Raymond Cunan, a Pampanga entrepreneur, and Marco Viray, one of the names behind Makati’s buzzing nightlife scene, the elevated izakaya bar and restaurant is an offshoot of one of Manila’s after-hours staples, Kampai. Cunan and Viray sought to introduce a sister concept of the Poblacion bar outside Manila, and Angeles makes the perfect spot.

“Our goal is to offer something fresh in Angeles, a city on the up and up, with surrounding developments creating a new metropolitan,” says Viray. “With Yujo, we’re not just copy-pasting the Kampai concept outside Manila, but mixing in the local flavor that can only be found in Pampanga to create something totally unique.”

Managing the different aspects of Yujo are the same familiar faces behind Kampai. With Lee Watson heading the bar program, guests will be spoiled for choice at Yujo’s fully stocked bar, featuring special selections of Japanese whiskey, sake, and more. Made for the casual drinker and the discerning connoisseur alike, Yujo offers their signature concoctions like the Suika Paloma, a refreshing Japanese-inspired version of the tequila-based cocktail, made with honey and watermelon. Other must-tries include the Daijin-Mai Sour, a whiskey-based drink with Japanese plum and topped with bonito flakes to make for a perfect mix of sweet and umami; and the Yuu-Hi, a whiskey highball with a sweet and tangy twist.

Complementing its beverage menu is Yujo’s bar chow, made in collaboration with Chef Kel Zaguirre, known for his work with the Locavore group and developing Kampai’s dining options. Guests can sample traditional Japanese dishes fused with a unique Kapampangan twist, such as the Batute-age, that is frog and chicken karaage served with spicy mayo, and the Yujo Gyoza, a spin on the traditional Japanese dumpling made with sisig and served with ponzu sauce. 

Yujo’s patrons can also look forward to a carefully curated music and event lineup, with Jason Soong and Kiko Nepomuceno Antonio handpicking the DJs and themes for nights that can’t be beaten in Angeles. 

It’s time to spark new friendships at Yujo Izakaya, the place to be in Pampanga for Japanese-Filipino fusion dishes and drinks, feel-good tunes, and unparalleled nightlife experiences.

Located at Lot 9-11 Blk 49 Friendship Highway, Angeles City. For reservations: 0936 468 6544 IG: @yujo_pampanga. With PR

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