Celebrity Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Jets To Manila For An Exclusive One-Night-Only Nobu Experience
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa was just in Manila for a special Black Saturday dinner dubbed “Nobu Experience” held at his Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu Hotel, City of Dreams Manila. The dinner served as a fitting end to his just concluded month-long promotional world tour to select Nobu hotels and restaurants in London, Milan, Munich, Paris, New York, Melbourne, Perth, and Kuala Lumpur.
Chef Nobu with a copy of his memoir
Of course, Chef Nobu needs no introduction as the chef-founder of the Nobu group with 38 restaurants and 7 hotels (including in Manila) established around the world. It has been 23 years since Chef Nobu opened his first Nobu in New York, and I can still fondly remember the many family meals I spent eating at that original branch, which was then my mother’s favorite New York restaurant aside from Peter Luger. Thus, it is doubly nice to see that his Nobu empire is still going strong. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is a truly deserving recipient of last year’s very prestigious GQ Lifetime Achievement Award, an accolade presented to him at the 2017 British GQ Food & Drink Awards.
Nobu's outdoor cabanas
At the “Nobu Experience” dinner, Chef Nobu was supported by Nobu Manila’s Head Chef Michael de Jesus and Head Sushi Chef Kirika Oi who, together with their teams, served a tour finale dinner that showcased Chef Nobu’s signature Japanese-Peruvian fusion cooking through various buffet stations, versus the usual sit-down format. This informal set-up enabled Chef Nobu to interact with guests as if he was hosting one big party at his house.
Assorted sushi presented in mini bowls
The early birds were treated to rounds of freshly made hors d’oeuvres that included some of Nobu’s best dishes and my personal favorites, such as Japanese Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño and the Nobu Mini Tacos filled with king crab, tuna, Wagyu, salmon, avocado, and pork.
An extra-long sushi buffet, filled with mostly cold dishes, served crowd pleasers like Japanese uni sake shooters with ponzu and Kumamoto oysters with Nobu sauce. A robatayaki or charcoal grill station was well-stocked with assorted meats, seafood, and vegetables that included baby octopus. In lieu of the usual carving station, the teppan station offered Nobu-style Wagyu pastrami sliders and Wagyu gyoza with spicy ponzu sauce.
Nobu mini Wagyu tacos
Japanese uni sake shooters
We were treated to various dessert stations set up around the restaurant, including sweet treats prepared à la minute like the decadent Mini Miso Cappuccino and the refreshingly light, Nobu-style halo-halo consisting of shaved ice made of either fresh fruit-infused Fiji water or fresh coconut water.
Nobu-style halo-halo and mini miso cappuccino
This one-night dinner experience included a meet-and-greet and photo op with the celebrity chef himself, who sent off all his guests with an autographed copy of his book, Nobu: A Memoir.
City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue, Parañaque City, (02) 691-2882, https://www.noburestaurants.com/manila/home/
Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa
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