A tuna chutoro reveals itself gradually to the taste buds, first introducing texture followed by taste. A perfect balance of the tuna’s fatty and meaty textures gives way to a subtle, almost bitter flavor, which is promptly offset by a sweet tenderness. Apart from its exquisite taste, the chutoro is a particularly unique treat because of its rarity. An entire tuna can only yield just a few servings, because chutoro constitutes a very small part of the fish. This exquisite tuna dish is part of an eight course kaiseki dinner menu, crafted to perfection only at Yamazato in Hotel Okura Manila.
Yamazato promises a truly luxurious experience through traditional Japanese haute dining. Although steeped in tradition, the restaurant is as modern as can be, coming from the first Japanese restaurant in Europe to earn a Michelin star. In fact, since it opened in Hotel Okura Tokyo in 1962, Yamazato has earned the reputation for providing an authentic Japanese cuisine experience tailored to an international clientele.
Yamazato has 10 branches across the globe—including one in Tokyo, Kobe, Fukuoka, Hamamatsu, Kisarazu, Amsterdam, Macau, Bangkok, Taipei, and Shanghai. Now it has come to Manila to lend Japanese food enthusiasts in the Philippines a lux traditional dining experience like no other.
Kaiseki or kaiseki ryouri is a multi-course Japanese haute cuisine that favors traditional food preparation and focuses on the flavors of seasonal ingredients. Small but painstakingly crafted portions are served in sequence, one after another, to allow diners to appreciate every detail. Many believe that the century-old practice of kaiseki gave birth to western tasting menus, which are now offered in the finest restaurants around the globe.
The underlying philosophy in the kaiseki’s focus on seasonal food is the fact that the ingredients are at their most sumptuous, vibrant, and nutritious when they are in season. Also, the nutrients from ingredients in season are most suited to what the body requires at the moment.
The style of the kaiseki menu is minimalistic and the taste, texture, appearance, and colors are perfectly balanced in each course. Kaiseki cuisine does not lend itself to strong flavors and grand presentations, as do Japanese cuisine, generally. Instead, focus and meaning is given to the smallest details. In Yamazato, particular care is given to provide diners a multi-sensory experience. The intent is to engage not just taste, but sight, hearing, and touch as well. Only elegant, handmade crockery and dinnerware in aritayaki porcelain is used. Staff and servers are garbed in traditional kimono which, like the menu, is changed according to the seasons of Japan.
Yamazato promotes “omotenashi,” which means that staff members are taught to take pride in their craft and anticipate guests’ needs even prior to their arrival. Most of all, they adopt Japanese hospitality, which has been defined time and again as “service from the heart” combined with Filipino warmth.
Now Japanese food enthusiasts or those that simply enjoy a luxurious and authentic dining experience can experience kaiseki cuisine at Yamazato in Hotel Okura Manila as it opens to the public later this year.
Those who prefer a live kitchen can sample the restaurant’s sushi counter and the only authentic teppanyaki counter at the Resorts World Manila.
In Japan, people express how much they value others with the amount of preparation they give to the food that they serve. In the Philippines, business meetings can be elevated to a similar experience in Yamazato’s private rooms which can accommodate up to 18 persons.
Truly, food is more than an exploration of tastes. In Yamazato, particularly, it is a shared experience involving history and culture and respect for craft, traditions, and nature. Itadakimasu!
World-class Michelin-rated restaurant Yamazato will open this December 2019 at the 2nd floor of Hotel Okura Manila, situated within the country’s premier entertainment and lifestyle destination, Resorts World Manila. For inquiries or bookings, you may call 5318 2888 or visit www.hotelokuramanila.com.