5.072 Zha Jiang Mian

Cycle 5 – Item 72

 18 (Tue) March 2014

Zha Jiang Mian


at UCC Café Terrace

(Robinsons Place)

-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-


Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place (32) (see also TERRP)

For whatever reason, the tables out in front are almost always occupied by vaguely creepy old men, mostly white.

UCC Café Terrace is a Japanese restaurant and coffee shop.  Seems to be Filipino-founded/owned/operated and may be linked with several other establishments under different names throughout the city, but unconfirmed.  The vast majority of the menu features Japanese fusion dishes (e.g., omurice, curry rice), some localized (e.g., kani mango salad, chicken adobo pita bread), with a few traditional items (e.g., donburi, ramen), as well as a random smattering of Chinese (e.g., kungbao), Italian (e.g., spaghetti), French (e.g., gratin).

Zhajiang Mian is a Chinese dish.  According to the UCC Café Terrace menu: “very popular sweet and mildly spicy minced pork noodle dish from Northern China.”  Sauce typically made with some type of bean paste, depending on regional variation, usually fermented.  The progenitor of the Korean-Chinese classic jjajang myeon, sometimes referred to in English somewhat misnomerically as “black bean sauce noodles” – black beans being something else entirely.

Beyond the superficial description, I can offer nothing more, as I’ve never actually tasted the dish, not really.

The zha jiang mian was okay.  Perhaps unfair to judge a restaurant on a single dish that’s clearly not among the house specialties – then again, a restaurant should be fully responsible for every item on its menu – but I couldn’t resist.  The noodles were instant-ramen-esque in appearance, texture, flavor – not bad per se.  The sauce was reminscent of mapo doufu – not bad per se.  I doubt that I’d ever order the dish again, but I wouldn’t mind eating it again if someone ordered it for me.



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