Thursday, August 8, 2019


flatlay by @johnbunag


Yu Lei is originally from Okada in Hongkong and so is its  Michelin-starred  Japanese Chef Mikiya Imigawa.

Yu   means  Jade
Lei  Blossom

Per Shelly Bernardo ( Marketing)Yu Lei  or  Jade Blossom, apparently symbolizes the beautiful Lotus flower which blooms amidst adversity.

First Sight

Elegant. Opulent. Extravagant - the adjectives that came to mind when I entered Yu Lei.

A wall to ceiling wine cellar  housing the most expensive and rare wines all over the world

A  glittering hallway with lofty ceiling and   more than 10,000 pieces of delicate hand blown lotus flowers (by a Czech artist )  encased in glass walls on both sides intrigued and impressed!

In  the main dining area, 10000 pieces of  hand blown crystal lotus flowers adorn the ceiling while a predominantly purple, gold and maroon theme greets the eyes.

Just outside the restaurant, you can  go for a romantic stroll before dinner and  catch an unobstructed view of the amazing  sunset .

First Bite.

What happens when a Michelin-starred Japanese  Chef  uses Japanese ingredients in Modern Shanghai cuisine?  You get a unique cuisine that is distinctly Yulei.

Seasonal Vegetables in Tofu Skin Roll
Think spring roll. In lieu of the regular wrapper though, Chef Mikiya used Tofu Skin . Another difference was that it was served cold

Pan Fried Steamed Kurobuta Pork Belly & Vegetable Buns
Home-made and house-knead bun no less filled with savory minced pork and assorted vegetables.

Seasonal Mushrooms and Vegetable Spring Rolls
Familiar and comforting, this dish clearly echoes our very own local lumpia which is understandable considering the Chinese influence in our history

Grilled Chicken & Black Truffle with "YouLin" Sauce in Casserole
Chicken was marinated in youlin sauce then garnished with black truffle. This is the most popular dish of the night with most foodies  liking how tender  and flavorful the chicken was.

Stir-fried King Prawns in Kung Pao Sauce
Stir fried King Prawns were succulent and scrumptious. Loved the mushroom and the Kung Pao Sauce.

Oven-Baked Grouper Fillets with Rice Wine Sauce
I loved that the fish were baked and in awe of the technique that went into it. Fish can be easily overcooked with this method of cooking

Crispy Sweet & Sour Kurobuta Pork in Three Types of Vinegar
Interesting how the apple jam, black vinegar, white vinegar and apple vinegar blended together  create a harmonious backdrop for the crispy Kurobuta. Might just replicate this at home using the 3 types of acidity to create sweet and sour pork

Stir-fried Ten Types of Seasonal Vegetables in Soy Sauce
Tried to identify the 10 types of vegetables in the dish.  I tasted the brussel sprouts, bokchoy, carrots, different types of mushrooms . This dish reminded me of our very own chopsuey

Yangzhou Fried Rice
The rice was really delicious and it married well with the different dishes served that night especially the chicken.

Black Sesame Dumplings with Sweet Jasmine Soup

This dessert is reminiscent of our very own bilo bilo sans the coconut cream

Chilled Almond Tofu with Seasonal Fruit

Mango jelly with Coconut Milk & Tapioca
Quite enjoyed the silky mango jelly and how it  was nicely complemented by the "gata" and the "sago".

Deep-fried Golden Sesame Balls
Among all the desserts served that night, this was my favorite. I loved how perfectly thin, crunchy and chewy the outer wall is preparing the palate for the filling inside which was also delicious

Egg Tart

The crust is perfectly thin and chewy with flaky layers. Think puff pastry instead of the shortbread crust you would expect from the quintessential egg tart we  know.


One goes to Yu Lei not only for the food but for the whole experience. 

Michelin-starred Chef, top notch service (thank you Joseph and Shelly) , elegant surroundings, what's not to love?

Well perhaps the price. It is really expensive. So you go here for the special milestones in your life.

Personally, I feel we just grazed the tip of the iceberg on this one. I am still wrapping my head around the idea of the fusion of  Japanese ingredients into Modern Shanghai cuisine.

I am all agog for a second visit to try  the best selling items in the menu.

I keep having the nagging feeling that we did not order the dishes that would best showcase Yulei's cuisine.

Yu Lei - Okada Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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