By SOL VANZI
Images by NOEL PABALATE
A business meeting with a small group of like-minded executives turned out to be a truly memorable mid-day feast of Japanese classics prepared with premium ingredients. Our organizer searched for a venue that would allow us to casually discuss our project with little or no distraction over a good, healthy lunch. We happily found the perfect place.
A globally-renowned restaurant showcasing the culinary genius of chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s new-style Japanese-Peruvian fusion artistry, Nobu Manila caters to gourmands with the most discerning of tastes. It was such a pleasant surprise to learn that the award-winning dining destination now also serves as a fitting venue for intimate gatherings.
For a minimum of 15 persons, Nobu Manila’s private room can be exclusively booked for lunch meetings, with a Bento Box-inspired menu to select from.
Meeting essentials such as projector screen, public address system, and a podium are available upon request. Reservation of at least three days to a week is required.
The menu, which can also be customized depending on preferences and requirements, comes with a glass of house iced tea or a serving of free-flowing hot tea.
We chose from Nobu’s iconic Black Cod Miso (broiled Alaskan black cod and den miso sauce), Chirashi (chef ’s selection of 10 sashimi), and Chicken Tonkatsu (crispy Panko chicken and tonkatsu sauce) to Pork Tonkatsu (crispy Panko pork and tonkatsu sauce) and Sushi (chef ’s selection consisting of five sushi and one cut roll). The Bento Box-inspired meals are served with Field Green Salad, Chicken Gyoza, Miso Soup, Rice, and a glass of Sweet Iced Tea.
For variety, we also shared the Sushi Roll—House Special Cut Rolls of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab, white fish, masago, and avocado. We also have a taste of two Udons in broth: Spicy Hot Udon Dumplings (with mushrooms, leeks and chicken in clear soup, seasoned with chili garlic) and Hot Udon with Black Cod.
Desserts were classic creations—Chocolate Royal, Green Tea Royal, Miso Tart, and Yuzu Tart.
Bento box meals are also offered at the Nobu Lounge, a chic and cozy Japanese influenced lounge located at the ground floor of Nobu Hotel Manila, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 pm.
Nobu Manila is helmed by head chef Michael de Jesus, a Fil-Am who grew up in the U.S.A., who started his nine-year career with Nobu in the Los Angeles restaurant then worked in Nobu Las Vegas, immediately before coming to Nobu Manila in January 2016.
He leads Nobu Manila’s kitchen as the head chef of the restaurant, bringing with him a wealth of nine years’ experience in Nobu restaurants, where he worked himself up to become sous chef of Nobu Los Angeles and chef de cuisine in Nobu Las Vegas. He has been passionately creating delightful dining experiences for over 20 years.
Born in Manila, Michael’s mother hails from Ilocos Norte while the father’s family is from Zambales. His fondest childhood memories center on assisting in preparing rice or simple dishes, and sharing these meals with the family. After graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, he became the saucier at the Victoria Club in Riverside, California.
At Nobu Manila, Michael infuses Filipino ingredients and methods into Nobu-style dishes, creating exceptional and unique dishes for both the foreign and Filipino palates. Veteran Japanese Sushi chef Kirika Oi supervises the preparations of his specialties.
For Nobu Manila and Nobu Lounge bookings and inquiries, call (02) 691 7637 or (+639) 17 808 4758; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.