IF you simply love Japanese food like I do and wish that your Sunday brunch buffet featured more Japanese selections than just the usual rolls, miso soup, salads, teriyaki, tempura, soba and green tea ice cream, then you might want to check out Nobu Manila’s Sunday Brunch Buffet.
The hip and modern celebrity-inspired restaurant located on the ground floor of Nobu Hotel Manila (which is one of the hotel brands that make up City of Dreams Manila), Nobu Restaurant welcomes diners to an extensive buffet spread of delicious Japanese dishes that range from appetizers and soups to main dishes, noodles and desserts every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Sunday Brunch Buffet crosses over from breakfast to lunch because its Japanese buffet spread features more than 50 items all the time.
The finely curated brunch buffet includes some of the signature dishes of highly acclaimed Japanese chef and Nobu owner Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, such as Wagyu Beef Taco, Tuna Tataki in Cilantro Dressing, Salmon Karashi Su Miso and White Fish Tiradito.
Regular items on the brunch menu include Okonomiyaki (which is the Japanese’s answer to pizza, with lots of ingredients crowned by generous bonito flakes), Sea Bass Jalapeño (premium melt-in-the-mouth sea bass fillet) and Crispy Pork Belly in Spicy Miso.
Diners can get the Sunday brunch buffet rolling by starting with sashimi, sushi and other rolls. More often than not, there is a huge fresh tuna sitting on a bed of ice by the sushi bar—all set to be carved by the executive sushi chef, Akihisa Kawai. And when he does, it is always a great performance watched intently by lots of guests. He first carves out half of the ‘giant’ fish, taking the fin on one side of the fish and making a slanting cut under it. Upon hitting his sharp knife against the central bone, he turns it to fillet the fish, slicing directly above the central bone from the fin area all the way down to the tail. He then takes the whole slab of fresh premium boneless tuna and takes parts to slice into sashimi.
The Tuna Sashimi goes very well with Shrimp Oshizushi and other sashimis, sushis, makis and cut rolls, including California, Vegetable, Salmon Avocado, Spicy Tuna and Shrimp Tempura. How about Daikon Wraps with Chili Garlic Dressing for bites without the usual sticky sushi rice?
Over at the salad bar, you definitely must try the Kelp Salad, Watermelon Salad in Honey Yuzu Dressing, Shiitake Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing, and Baby Spinach Salad with Dry Miso and Parmesan. There’s also Fresh Oysters on ice and Baked Mussels for those who want to have them.
When it comes to hot dishes, the chafing dishes on the buffet table keep sumptuous Japanese fares warm all the time, including Umami Marinated Chicken, Braised Short Ribs with Sautéed Mushrooms, Shrimps in Spicy Garlic Sauce, and Truffled Cabbage. There are also certain hot dishes that are passed around, such as Seared Scallop with Saffron and Quinoa Risotto.
Several live stations continuously churn out delicious food, including yakitori and other barbecues at the grill station. There’s also a whole lechon at the carving station because this is atop favorite among Filipinos. Foreigners also like to have a taste of what Anthony Bourdain calls the best tasting pork dish in the world. The Nobu twist to this Filipino all-time favorite is that it is served with a choice of three sauces—teriyaki sauce, anticucho sauce, and Nobu lechon sauce. There are warm pots of all three sauces by the lechon so you can have your chops of roasted pig with any of the sauces you prefer and as much as you want, too.
Then there are teppanyaki tables, where Alaskan Crab Legs with Aji Amarillo with Uni, Asparagus with Egg Sauce and Salmon Roe, and XO Fried Rice are prepared a la minute for diners partaking of the Nobu Sunday Brunch Buffet.
Dessert lovers among diners are likewise discovering that dessert is not just a meal-ender at Nobu Manila. It is a whole dining experience here, as breakfast pastry selections and pastry miniatures abound in the dessert buffet. A nice go-to dessert is Green Tea Muffins. Or have a fill of the Matcha white chocolate ganache fountain with all the condiments surrounding it. Try asking for a scoop of Green Tea Ice Cream, and the chef stationed there would surely ask if you want a nice oven-baked warm chocolate cake, baked a la minute, to go with it. They go perfectly together.
Other desserts to try include Kiwi Mint Parfait, Hazelnut Streusel with Yuzu Cream and Mango Jelly, and Toasted Macadamia Cremeux Whiskey Ganache Apricot Guimauve.
The Nobu Sunday Brunch Buffet is priced at Php2,880++ inclusive of sodas, juices, mocktails, coffee and tea. Diners can also opt for the Nobu Sunday Brunch Buffet with free-flowing Moet & Chandon, a selection of Champagne cocktails, Bloody Marys, Mojitos, wines and beers for Php4,580++.
Children aged 6 to 12 get to dine at 50% off, while brunch is complimentary for kids aged 5 and below.
For inquiries or reservations, call 800-8080.
(Nobu Manila is located on the ground floor of Nobu Hotel Manila, which is the first Nobu Hotel in Asia. It is one of the three luxury hotel brands within the City of Dreams Manila, an integrated resort complex located at Entertainment City, Manila Bay, Manila.)