Saturday, July 8, 2017

Omakase Night at Nobu Manila

Nobuyuki Matsuhista known all over the world simply by his monicker Nobu, is the chef owner of Nobu restaurant chains all over the world.  A classically trained sushi chef born and raised in Japan , he married the Japanese way with  South American influences and created the Nobu-style cuisine that is now as famous as one of his partners -- Robert de Niro , yes the Hollywood actor.

I was privileged to be invited to a Foodie Meet Up here at Nobu last July 6  by  China of Zomato Ph  

Together with 14 other foodies , we sat down to dinner ,  quite excited to experience Chef Oi and Chef Michael's Omakase Spread . It was to be an 8 Course Degustation Menu split into the Cold dishes first by Chef Oi followed by the hot dishes by Chef Michael.


1st course: 
Toro Tartare with Caviar  

"Toro"        the fatty part of the tuna

"Tartare"    chopped finely then served raw

A circle within a circle within a circle.  The tiny round pop of black caviar sat atop a small mound of  pinkish toro tartare which in turn waded in a  brownish  soy-yuzu-wasabe-dashi pond. 

The whole ensemble was kept cold by crystal ice cubes in a small bowl . The only other colors in the dish are the garnish -- a touch of  red-magenta curled sliver of onion and   a touch of  bold green  from the little Japanese peach called Komomo.

The dish " Toro Tartare with Caviar " looked simple. The colors were muted. The portion was really small.  It looked like a "quiet" albeit  elegant little dish in its "bareness". But what it lacked  in impact was more than made up for by its  humongous flavor. The toro tartare was silky, scrumptious and addicting. The soy-wasabe-dashi combo provided the kick which gave the dish an additional oomph. The cute japanese peach and the sliver of curled red onion  was there to give your palate a brief respite from the richness of each spoonful. Everything was well thought of. What an amazing way to start the omakase meal. It heightened my anticipation for the next courses . 

Toro  Tartare with Caviar  

2nd course : 
Signature Trio

A beautiful trio of  Yellowtail Jalapeño,  Kumamoto Oyster New Style and  Lapu Lapu Tiradito 

Its a good thing we were told to eat from left to right. Otherwise, I would not know where to start to honor this lovely dish, As in any Japanese dish, I  can't help but notice the subtlety and simplicity in their presentation.  They seek to highlight the freshness of the dish and to complement it with bright garnish and  sauce.

Lapu Lapu Tiradito

The Lapu Lapu Tiradito on the rightmost was the lightest  in color. I took the square plate from its base and smelled the fish's freshness.  Chef Oi mentioned that this lapu lapu is locally sourced so yehey for that.

"Tiradito" is a Peruvian dish of raw fish cut into the shape of sashimi similar in aspect to carpaccio. It is quite different from ceviche. Where in ceviche the fish are cubed and marinated in something acidic and therefore "cooked",  in Tiradito  the fish  is sauced immediately only before serving   so the fish is raw and fresh.

The Lapu Lapu was garnished with cilantro, a touch of Peruvian hot chili sauce and those black things on top that looked a little like caviar were actually volcanic salt.

The whole dish was very simple. It was the freshness of the Lapu Lapu with a little kick from the chili and a bit of the volcanic salt, that made  the dish very delicious . 5/5

Chef Michael's tip : Cilantro is there to cool your palate. So if you see cilantro in your dish get ready to enjoy something spicy

Kumamoto Oyster New Style

Per Chef Oi,  "new style " means  the inclusion of  "yuzu" or Japanese citrus.  The oysters were from Australia and were small and creamy.   The oysters were slightly seared in olive oil and sesame oil.. Again the sauce used were a combo of soy-yuzu-dashi with some ginger.

Although  in the pic above the oysters looked chunky, the oysters that were served to me were very small. In fact, they looked like they were drowning in the sauce they were in. Oysters were my favorite so imagine my chagrin when I saw my portion. Naturally the sauce overpowered the oysters.  My rating  3.5/5

Yellowtail Jalapeno

Per Chef Oi, this particular Yellowtail came from Shikoku Japan. It was  also garnished with  the special soy-yozu-dashi sauce and jalapeño for a little kick.

This was an enjoyable dish. The fish was so fresh. I ate that beautiful yellowtail with jalapeño, cilantro with a bit of that sauce. Beautiful! 5/5

3rd course  
Salmon Sashimi Salad with Yuzu Dressing

YUZU  per Chef Oi, is a Japanese Citrus. This dish was a sight to behold. I just stared at it for a few seconds just admiring the contrast of the color of the salmon against the green of the lettuce, the darkness of the arugula and the redness of the cherry tomato. Then I dove in. Ambrosia! The slightly seared salmon was delicately flavored by the yuzu. The lettuce and the red tomato provided the contrast in texture. It was scrumptious! I want to have seconds  and thirds..... maybe even 4th?  This was a perfect 5/5

4th course
Chef Oi's Selection

We were presented with a beautiful selection of blue fin tuna, soba mackerel, japanese scallop and tamago with Nobu's label.

Oh my they were all so goooood!  All of them were fresh. The scallops were sweet and have layers and layers of flavor. The blue fin tuna was succulent. I guess if I were asked, I would say  my favorite would be the mackerel. This was a 5/5 for me. Thanks Chef Oi !


5TH course  
Rock Shrimp Tempura Creamy Spicy

The shrimp were fresh and succulent and warm and all kinds of delicious. I can't believe I finished the whole bowl.  The only thing missing is some  rice. I was good so I ate the lettuce. This one was a 5/5 too

6th course
Black Cod Miso

We waited with bated breath for this 6th dish. Our friend from Nobu Mr. Nikolai Galicia  sort of let it out that we were in for a treat so were looking forward to tasting this dish.

Oh yes, definitely worth the wait. The black cod was wrapped in a leaf perhaps banana? Im not sure. I forgot to ask.  You are to open it and smell the aroma of the black cod.  It came with a ginger garnish inside. It was not your usual ginger though. It looked like a long pink and white stalk. Like the Komomo aka japanese peach in the first course, this ginger was also a palate cleanser.  Its a cue that we shall be enjoying a particularly rich meal.

Indeed it was a scrumptious meal. The Black cod simply melts in your mouth. It was sweet and rich and beautiful. I tried to eat slow appreciating all the wonderful textures and flavors my palate was luxuriating in . It was so hard because the fish was simply divine. I gave this a 5/5

7th course
Akadashi Soup

Per Chef Michael this was a favorite of Nobu. The recipe for this soup is more than a hundred years old.  It was a perfect  "cleanser" to put it indelicately to a  deceptively simple yet very delicious 6 courses that we enjoyed. The soup was there to prepare us for the last course - dessert

8TH Course
Miso Cappuccino 

Miso Foam, Vanilla Ice Cream, Miso mouse, Miso brûlée, candied pecans.  This was a perfect ending to a delicious omakase.  You have to dig at the bottom to get to the brûlée and the miso mousse. So yummy ! 5/5

Ambiance :  5/5
Service : 5/5 Hats off to Tim and his crew
Food : 4.5/5

Price : 

Nobu is for that super special milestone in your life. 

This outstanding 8 course omakase is P4,480 per head.  Yes expensive I kid you not.They can create a bespoke menu for you according to your preference upon request or your can order ala carte. Considering the quality of the ingredients , the topnotch dishes served which were almost works of art, the exemplary service, the beautiful ambiance - You get what you pay for. 

Congratulations to  Chef Oi and Chef Michael for a beautiful Omakase. Definitely coming back with the family

Nobu Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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