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.

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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.

A Taste of Iloilo in Manila

A Taste of Iloilo in Manila

Gabrielle R. Borromeo

The Daily Tribune | June 27, 2017

Living in the confines of a busy metro can make one long for nature and all that comes with it – the windy breeze, the green wonders, the salty ocean and, of course, the fresh produce and mouthwatering seafood. And although “absence makes the heart grow fonder” (Eleanor Roosevelt), nothing comes close to having what the heart wants. With Marina in town, the gut-wrenching wait for fresh seafood feasts come to an end.

Marina is an IloIlo based restaurant that offers a menu of seafood delights including baked oysters, blue marlin steak, and chilled shrimp.

Marina’s oysters are flown in everyday from Iloilo for the restaurant, assuring customers of consistent quality. There will be no reason to fear, especially when it comes to oysters, where many are wary. The best part is that the oysters can be prepared the way one wishes, whether raw on a bed of ice or grilled with cheese or garlic butter. This is perfect for oyster lovers who enjoy the shellfish as a meal or as an accompaniment to beer.
Marina’s Blue Marlin is also a mouthwatering delight, flaky and moist. Ilonggos sure have a way of cooking that makes for a satiating meal.

They also have a classic chicken inasal that may easily become anyone’s favorite. It is marinated without soy sauce, but is chock full of macerated garlic, hints of chopped ginger, the faint sweetness from brown sugar, sour with counterpoint of sinamak (native coconut vinegar) and kalamansi with earthy lemongrass), salt and coarsely ground pepper, all combined for a true inasal. On the grill it is basted with butter and achuete oil for that tasty hue of yellow that distinguishes it from other grilled chicken.

All these are prepared with provincial flair that can be enjoyed in a spacious garden or in air-conditioned comfort located at their Mother Ignacia branch, Quezon City. This branch has a huge tree that creates a provincial feel. Not only this, every night except for Sunday, there is a live band to entertain customers. It also has the space compared to other branches for big celebrations, all available for reservations.

Marina was born on October 1987, when Ross Gorriceta, inspired by his wife Marina Luz, decided to put up a native seafood restaurant on the breezy banks of the Iloilo River serving succulent seafood.

Of course, he named the Ilonggo restaurant after his loving wife, Marina. Along with his wife. They wanted to share their love and passion for fresh seafood and Ilonggo cuisine with their fellow Ilonggos and visitors to Iloilo City.

It was only in May 2002 that Marina finally arrived in Metro Manila, when their son Ross Paul Gorriceta brought it to the big city in honor of his parents. He set out to open the world of wonder, a “portal” to Iloilo for Metro Manilans to experience fresh seafood served in the Ilonggo way.

Definitely when it comes to the best of Iloilo hospitality and Filipino specialties, Marina not only makes the cut but tops it, maintaining the authentic native Filipino taste in its offerings. This is the true Filipino pride!

Gabrielle Borromeo

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Gabe organizes what she sees around her and loves to put it into words. She has been contributing her articles for the Daily Tribune newspaper, Tinig ng Marino (maritime) newspaper, Cook magazine, Appetite magazine and F&B World magazine.

You can contact Gabrielle at: gabrielle_borromeo@write-experts.com

High Five to Five Years of Shrimp Buckets

High Five to Five Years of Shrimp Buckets

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Business Mirror | January 4, 2018

“Shrimp Buckets ups the ante by holding a cookout under the stars in an open parking lot in Bonifacio Global City…”

Shrimp Buckets, established in 2012, has made itself as a top of mind seafood restaurant for those looking for a generous portion of seafood served in a plastic container. Customers can choose to have either shrimps, crabs or mussels. The seafood of choice is then paired with one of seven flavors: Mardi Gras, Salty Eggsperience, Coco-Sol, Frenchy Lemon Pepper, The Spaniard, Sebastian and Coco-curry.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Shrimp Buckets ups the ante by holding a cookout under the stars in an open parking lot in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) last December 9, 2017. The outdoor setting further boosted the casual, easy-going atmosphere Shrimp Buckets exuded in its restaurants. Several bands provided entertainment by their masterful rendition of catchy jazz tunes, as well as heartfelt performances of blues music.

Diners had their fill not only of plump, juicy shrimps but ribs and chicken wings, as well.

According to Shrimp Buckets owner Paul Martires, the restaurant chain will be launching new sauces and flavors this month in its UP Town Center branch.

Shrimp Buckets is now serving seafood lovers from seven locations: BGC, Naval, Greenhills, UP Town Center, Il Terrazo Mall, Ayala Malls The 30th and Circuit Makati.

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.