Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant at Diamond Hotel Philippines

The first time I dined at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant of Diamond Hotel Philippines was during the time when we tried the Teppanyaki Eat-All-You-Can with fellow foodies.  The experience was legendary and from then on, I have been meaning to revisit Yurakuen and try their ala carte dishes. If I was floored with my teppanyaki experience, there isn't a snowball chance in the desert that I wouldn't like Yurakuen's other dishes.

When I finally got the chance to revisit Yurakuen, it steeled my resolve that they are one of the best Japanese restaurants in Manila, at least in my book, but I am confident a lot will agree. 

Located inside Diamond Hotel Philippines in Manila, dining at Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant feels like dining in a small paradise.  Their signature cherry blossom glass tree sits pontifically in the middle of the dining area that gives the restaurant an elegant feel to it.  The roof to floor glass walls serves as a thin line that separate the dining area to the beautiful garden surrounding the restaurant.  

The place is classy without overbearingly so.  It exudes comfort and elegance, but definitely not snobbish.  The place looks spectacular in the evening with its impeccable lighting, and during day time it still exudes charm making every corner very welcoming.

During our lunch visit, we were greeted with tuna appetizer and refreshing Chuka Wakame Salad made of greens and seaweeds with Japanese mayo based dressing. These appetizers were a beautiful prelude to the Japanese feast that was about to transpired that afternoon.

The Japanese Feast:

When we were served Yurakuen's Nigiri Sushi Moriawase I almost burst into a shameless applaud as I revel in the beauty right in front of me.  The aesthetically pleasing combination of selection of maki, ebi (shrimp), tamago (egg), fish roe, tuna, cuttlefish, salmon, and unagi (eel) beautifully arranged in a circular container made me salivate just by looking at it. When it comes to taste, it definitely didn't disappoint.  

Sashimi Moriawase on the other hand was equally beautiful in appearance.  This platter boasts of tuna, salmon, octopus, fish roe, hamachi (yellow tail) and prawns.  Everything exudes freshness in every bite particularly the prawn sashimi which I finished in no time.

As if the sushi and sashimi were not enough, we were also served with Dragon Maki and California Maki.  Between the two it was the Dragon Maki which I enjoyed to bits.  It has a little kick of spicy flavor which wasn't overwhelming at all. 

After the feast of sushi, sashimi, and maki, the Tofu Steak was a welcome variation.  The play of texture that played on my palate from the  crispiness of the coating to the softness of the tofu meat was notable, but what made an impression was its taste.  The sauce combined with the distinct taste of the vegetable incorporated in it played well together transformed this rather simple dish into something worth celebrating.

While I always prefer my salmon raw, Yurakuen's Salmon Teriyaki was definitely a different story.  I love how it was grilled in such a way that it only illuminates the fatty component of the fish.  Glazed with the savory sweet teriyaki sauce, it was such a simple yet perfect dish.

Tori Karaage was another dish I deem to be such a pleasure to the bite.  It may look like a simple chicken popper, but this kiddie boasts of flavorful component that when sprinkled with a bit of lemon, an unexplainable experience of the palate will surely ensue.

To veer away from the usual meat gyoza, we were served with hefty pieces of Ebi Gyoza to feast on.  I loved how generous they were with the prawn filling that made the bite into a soft and chewy covering all the more pleasurable to the palate.

While the Salmon Teriyaki was such a treat for a fish dish, Yurakuen's Gindara Teriyaki please my palate more.  The silky soft texture of the fish meat went perfectly well with the sauce.  Truth be told, in all it's freshness and glory, it was the best Gindara dish I have ever eaten in a while.

While I wasn't in the mood for ramen that particular day, the mere sight of Yurakuen's Seafood Ramen and Wagyu Beef Ramen changed all that.  Packed with different seafood and vegetables, this Seafood Ramen was the culmination of all the good thing about seafood flavored ramen there is.  I could easily say pass to a simple beef ramen but since we are talking about wagyu beef here, I happily indulged.

Aside from the ala carte dishes, we also got to try set meals from Yurakuen.  Mixed Seafood Set comes with vegetable appetizer, a bowl of miso soup, bowl of rice, dipping sauces, and a sizzling plate of different seafood.  Personally, this is something I would definitely order when craving for seafood because its generous servings features a lot of seafood variation in it. 

Yurakuen's Beef Ishiyaki on the other hand is one of the dishes that one should not missed when dining at Yurakuen.  One cannot go wrong with this stone-grilled wagyu beef especially when craving for some meaty goodness loving. Served with vegetable appetizer and different dipping sauces, this set meal is good for sharaing.

With all the delectable Japanese dishes I have tried at Yurakuen's Japanese Restaurant, I can definitely recommend it to anyone who loves Japanese cuisine.  When not in the mood for ala carte, one can always opt for Teppanyaki and Yakiniku Eat-All-You-Can for extreme foodie satisfaction.

Diamond Hotel Philippines always takes pride with every restaurants they handle such as The Cake Club, Corniche, and The Lobby Lounge so it is not really surprising that just like the aforementioned foodie places, Yurakuen also floored me with the gastronomical fare it dishes out.

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant
Diamond Hotel Philippines 
Roxas Boulevard, corner Dr. J. Quintos Street,
Manila, Philippines
Contact Nos.: 528-3000/305-3000
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