I love eating. It probably may not seem physically evident now after dropping 50lbs a couple of years back but I still do.
I love good food. Who doesn’t? And every chance I get to try new food spots, I immediately grab the opportunity. I guess you could also chalk it up to having a travel/food blogger for a wife. I may not be as critical as my wife when it comes to dissecting the different flavors of a dish and how it exquisitely tickles the palate, so to speak… but I do know good food.
Ever since I was a kid, whenever a person would ask me what kind of cuisine I enjoyed the most, I would always reply, “Japanese”. No question that Japanese food is undoubtedly delicious… but the cuisine has also endeared itself to me perhaps because of how their dishes are presented.
What makes Magosaburo unique from all the other Japanese restaurants in the metro is that they deliver a one-of-a-kind experience through the precise pairing of choice wines and sumptuous culinary creations.
Freshfaced restaurateur Abigail Tabuchi-Sumida, President of INSHOCK Philippines (the exclusive franchise distributor of Magosaburo) and Chief Executive Officer of this newly-opened restaurant eagerly explained, “Magosaburo has been warmly received in Singapore, Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Thailand. What makes the Philippine location very unique is that we offer wine pairing through our kaiseki menu. We have over 100 selections of wine available, which are carefully sourced from around the globe.”
Unlike other restaurants wherein ambiance is the only defining factor, Magosaburo is all about experience. The multi-course meal, known as Mago kaiseki, best represents what Magosaburo is all about. As each course is purposefully paired with wine, the entrées transcend to a whole new level of flavor with each hearty toast and taste. At first glance, pairing wine with Japanese cuisine seems avant-garde, but with his 15 years of culinary experience, Executive Chef Takashi Motomatsu assured, “It becomes a wonderful symphony of flavors once the tastes merge. With every pair, each course becomes more defined and can even become quite exciting.”
In good company
Some of the other guests who attended the event and whom we had the pleasure of sharing the table with were Anton Diaz of ourawesomeplanet.com, Town & Country Associate Editor – Pierre Calasanz, and the very bubbly Radio/TV personality – Sam Oh.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
As with anything, you will only know if something is good once you’ve truly tried it yourself. So, enough of the chitchat and let’s move on to the munching.
Small Appetizer: Assorted Namuru (Japanese Pickles)
I’m not really fond of pickles. Not even on burgers and hotdog sandwiches. But my wife assured me that it tasted good so I gave it a go. I took a few bites out of each pickled appetizer and although I’m not particularly crazy about it, the dish can definitely hold its own.
Cold Appetizer: Assorted cold appetizer
The cold appetizers that came next were more right up my alley. The small servings were just enough to tickle our palates and prepare us for what’s to come next.
Soup: Foie-gras Chawanmushi
This. Absolutely rich. Very flavorful. Superbly delicious. The moment I took a bite of the duck liver together with its egg soup, I almost lost my sanity. It was that good. Really. Wow.
Hot Appetizer: Wagyu Beef Shank Stew
This wasn’t as flavorful as the Foie Gras that came before it, but I guess it was intended to be that way. The taste of the Wagyu beef shank was very evident. According to Magosaburo, the beef shank was cooked for a good 24 hours to make sure that it becomes “fork tender“.
Seafood: King Prawn with Mushrooms Wrapped in Seaweed Salt
You can immediately tell by looking at the image above that this particular dish was painstakingly prepared and a lot of time and effort was put into it. As you can see, the prawns are sealed inside a mound made of salt and seaweed. This is done to infuse (and seal) that distinct seaweed taste. The enclosure is then cut open and the prawns are then placed on a plate with a small chunk of seaweed salt on the side. Note that when you order this dish yourselves, it will not be presented to you in the same manner. It was only done during this particular event to show us how this dish was prepared. This entire process is normally done inside the kitchen.
This is how the dish will be served on your table. The prawns are a tad on the salty side but the mushroom’s bland taste evens out the dish’s overall saltiness.
Entremet: Basil Sorbet
This is pretty much the intermission portion of the 9-course meal. The Basil Sorbet is meant to be enjoyed, of course, but its other purpose is to cleanse the palate and prepare you for the next few dishes. This tasted really good. Yum!
Prepping the Lava Stone…
Moments later, they brought out the lava stone stoves where the meat of the next few dishes will be cooked on. Magosaburo explained that Lava stone is a mountain stone from Japan. These stones don’t overcook food, keeping meat in its best flavor. The Lava stone is kept at a temperature of 180-200 degrees – the desired heat to lessen smoke. They use an infrared thermometer to constantly check and regulate heat.
First Main: Lava Stone Special Prime Ox Tongue
Magosaburo uses the inner part of the tongue… the back part. Why? Because this is the section of the tongue that barely moves, therefore, it is more tender and soft.
There you have it! The ox tongue was soft and very tasty. Naturally, it had a slightly chewy texture similar to chicken gizzard but it was very tender and flavorful. Squeeze the juice of the slice of lemon on top of it and use a minute amount of salt on every bite. Yum!
Second Main: Lava Stone Japanese Wagyu Sirloin Steak
Will you look at that! Perfectly marbled Wagyu beef ready to be cooked. I braced myself for what I knew was going to be an awesome steak experience.
Alas! It is ready for my tummy! My excitement was through the roof… LOL!
Just the way I like it. Now that is one good looking piece of meat! Being a meat lover, this was THE highlight for me. Words cannot describe how good this Wagyu steak tasted. Let’s just put it this way… I almost forgot my name the moment I took my first bite. Hahaha!
Japanese Wagyu Chuck Roll Yakishabu
And the Wagyu dishes just keep coming… this time it’s the Japanese Wagyu Chuck Roll Yakishabu. Though the dish is named “Yakishabu”, there is definitely nothing “Yaki” about it! Eh…?! See what I just did? I just interjected some humor there. Hahahahahahaha… hahaha… ummmm…. errr… uhhh… ok… moving on…
The meat was cooked on the lava stone again for that perfect finish. Can’t wait to get it into my mouth!
Oh, baby! I absolutely enjoyed these thinly sliced strips of Wagyu beef. Magosaburo serves this dish with foamy soy sauce. Dip the meat in it and enjoy!
Third main: Tomato Sukiyaki
The next dish Magosaburo brought out was what they called, “Tomato Sukiyaki”. This is not your typical sukiyaki dish. If you’re used to eating this popular Japanese dish, you would know that most Sukiyakis do not have tomato in them.
When the Tomato Sukiyaki is served to you, it’ll come with a separate bowl of whisked fresh egg. Normally, you would place the egg onto the sukiyaki and mix them together… not at Magosaburo. The bowl of whisked fresh egg is where you dip the meat of your sukiyaki. According to the good folks of this restaurant, this allows you to savor the full richness and taste of the egg. It is a totally different take on how this traditional dish is eaten. Very delicious, indeed. (No need to worry about Salmonella… Magosaburo uses only the freshest eggs.)
Rice: Magosaburo Curry Rice
Remember when I asked you earlier if you ever wondered why the Tomato Sukiyaki doesn’t contain noodles? It’s because the dish that follows it (which is THIS) already contains rice. According to Magosaburo, the traditional “kaiseki” course serves their rice last. And since rice is already heavy, they did away with the extra carbs that would’ve been in the Tomato Sukiyaki by way of the noodles.
I love the Curry Rice. The taste of the curry had just the right amount of ooomph! Just the way curry should be.
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake
Yum! Flourless means less carb… and anything with less carb is always something I tend to lean towards. The chocolate was rich and moist… just the way a chocolate cake should be. Match it with Magosaburo’s delicious cappuccino and you’ve got a winner right there!
Not your usual restaurant
Apart from having function rooms for small groups or private gatherings, Magosaburo also happens to be a wine bar (located at the 3rd floor) with over a hundred selections of wine to choose from. The main restaurant is open from 6PM-11PM while the Wine Bar is open until 3AM.
The 9-course meal (like the one we just sampled) is priced at Php 3,500.00 per head. But Magosaburo also serves ala carte dishes just in case you’re not too keen on going for any of their course meals. As you can see… the experience, the taste and the ambiance comes at a slight premium. But it is well worth it.
Would I visit this place again in the future? For sure. Would I recommend this place to others? No doubt.
If you happen to be searching for a place for a special occasion… planning to impress a girl, or to celebrate an anniversary or a birthday, you will never go wrong with Magosaburo.
With so many Japanese restaurants to choose from in and around Metro Manila, Magosaburo, in my opinion, is most definitely up there with an elite few. The experience is superb and the food will not disappoint.
Located at Fort Pointe 2, The Fort Strip, Taguig, Magosaburo has already softly opened and is gearing up for its grand opening on July 30, 2013.