Celebrating Japan’s Unagi Festival at Izakaya Sensu

Celebrating Japan’s Unagi Festival at Izakaya Sensu

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Business Mirror | September 15, 2017

Eel Thrills

In Japan, an old tradition known as Unagi Festival is widely anticipated and celebrated for a day. Unagi or eel is believed to have a property that could ward off the intense summer heat and at the same time allow one to gain his or her energy. As for its health benefits, eel contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and has a wealth of vitamins and minerals.

Luckily for Filipinos, there is no need to set foot on the Land of the Rising Sun. At Bonifacio Global City Izakaya Sensu, you can savor the many ways unagi is prepared through its version of the said festival. The festival, which runs until the end of September, gives lovers of Japanese food, as well as adventurous foodies, a chance to indulge in its masterfully prepared signature unagi specials.

Unagi Bo Sushi

There is more to the taste of eel being sweetish, light and having a firm texture. One will have a grand time discovering the medley of flavors that goes in each of the eight unagi dishes—Uzaku, Kurikara, Unagi- Shira-Yaki, Umaki, Unagi Chawan Mushi, Unagi Tempura, Unagi Bo-Sushi and Una-Don.

The Japanese chef of Izakaya Sensu uses locally sourced fresh-water eel for its versatility and pronounced taste. Butchering an eel, however, is no easy matter. A chef must earn his stripes in mastering the Unagi knife. It takes five years to be proficient in this cutting tool according to consultant chef Nobuhide Andoh.

The protein-rich dishes are surefire palate pleasers. The kurikara (grilled stick unagi with teriyaki sauce and “Sansho Japanese Pepper” miso sauce) provides and interesting taste and texture contrast with its skin and meat. The grilled dish pairs perfectly well with an order of some sake shots, Japanese beer or whisky highballs from Chotto Matte, the bar operation of Izakaya Sensu.

The Ozaku (Unagi and Vinegared cucumber salad) and the Unagi Shira-Yaki (Grilled Unagi with wasabi and soy sauce) exhibit the absorbent quality of the eel. The Ozaku cleanses the palate like an atchara would.

 

Japanese Chef of Izakaya Sensu

Have a bowl of steaming rice topped with unagi with an order of Una-Don. Discover how unagi brings life to Omaki ( Japanese Omelette Wrapped Unagi) or enjoy its delightful crunch in Unagi Tempura (deep-fried Battered Unagi and Okra). Pay attention to the delicate taste of Unagi Chawan Mushi ( Japanese Steamed Egg with Unagi).

The dual-concept restaurant of Izakaya Sensu and Chotto Matte is a showcase of creativity and style that brings fun and excitement to the modern Filipino, while being true to its Japanese roots.
Enjoy the Unagi Festival more by availing yourselves of Chotto Matte’s buy-one-take-one offer on select cocktails from 2 to 7 p.m. everyday.
Izakaya Sensu/Chotto Matte is at the ground floor of Net Park, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Tel no. 283-2979.

Cesar Cruz Jr.

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Cesar studied communication arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He writes articles in the Lifestyle Section of Business Mirror as a lifestyle writer. He manages Pancit Malabon, his own restaurant at Banawe St.

Going Beyond Sustainable Seafood

Going Beyond Sustainable Seafood

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Business Mirror | September 12, 2019

The Philippine Sustainability Month 2019

The launching of the Philippine Sustainability Month 2019 in Marriott Manila, was all about aligning the country with the United Nations development goals of sustainability not just in terms of providing sustainable seafood and supporting local farmers through local produce, but also supporting local communities by way of nonprofit organizations.

The topic of the by-invitation-only event covered the sustainable supply chain, which includes organic and integrated farming, seaweed products, food waste reduction, plastic reducing solutions, sustainable tourism, energy and waste management, greenhouse-gas monitoring and carbon footprint.

This is a breakaway from the previous focus, which was mainly about sustainable seafood. This year, the organization behind Philippine Sustainability Month 2019 took a more holistic approach. It partnered with various agencies, hotels, establishments, and entities from all across the country in order to push an agenda that sends the message that sustainability is of utmost importance and priority.

It also highlighted the important message that sustainability is more of a necessity now rather than something that is optional for companies and stakeholders alike. In fact, an audio visual presentation at the venue cannot stress enough the message that—“Nature does not need man, but man needs nature.”

Making a Difference in the Hospitality Industry

A lot of hotel brands were present at the event. Without doubt, hoteliers are contributors in driving sustainability in their campaign toward its day-to-day activities in its thrust toward its businesses toward food and beverage, and hotel experiences. They have sent the message across that they are doing their best to make positive impact no matter how small the environment.

Host-hotel the Marriott Manila, for example, led the way in reducing plastic consumption by using refillable glass water bottles in its hotel rooms, instead of the conventional disposable plastic water bottle. Another admirable practice of this hotel is converting its plastic waste to school chairs, thereby benefiting educational institutions. Plus, they make food donation to a charitable institution in an effort to decrease food wastage and help feed the hungry in the process.

On the other hand, Prestine Solution, a coorganizer of the event, served as the glue that held the whole event together. They were the ones who pulled all their resources together in order to get everybody to participate and call attention to generate awareness and basically highlight the need for sustainability at present. Another important organization that was highly involved was Greenpeace. It has done a lot of advocacies in terms of environmental impact toward climate change and the pro active stances in preserving the environment, and they are coming up with ways to improve people’s lives through environmental activities and programs.

Seafood Galore

Hotels, culinary schools, food suppliers were on their toes as they showcased their creative take on a sampler portion of a seafood dish or a medley of them. Some of the participants were Alaska Prime Seafood which presented their Hawaiian Lomi/Lomi Wild Alaskan Salmon. Center for Culinary Arts churned out Gambas with Black Pandesal Bites and Breaded Shrimp with Sauce Marie Rose. Discovery Hotels whipped up some Spiced Seared Tuna Tacos, Grilled Prawn Satay, Fish and Chips. Hilton Manila cooked up Mapo Shrimp with Soy Custard. For New World Makati Hotel, simplicity is elegance as it let the freshness of its raw oyster wow the guests.

Attendees made a beeline at the different food booth to sample the freshest taste of the bounty of the sea, which was made a la minute. The feast was ode to seafood everyone could not get enough of.

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Author Profile

Cesar studied communication arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He writes articles in the Lifestyle Section of Business Mirror as a lifestyle writer. He manages Pancit Malabon, his own restaurant at Banawe St.