Tender is the Bite

Tender is the Bite

Gabrielle R. Borromeo

Published in Daily Tribune |September 17, 2019

Shaburi and Kintan Buffet

The Dice Tender was ridiculously addicting, I might have even dreamt of it. The sauces included Teriyaki or Spicy Miso but eating it grilled as is was perfect as well.

You know life is good when reality is better than your dreams. This was how I felt when I was invited to the grand launch of Shaburi and Kintan Buffet at Glorietta 2, Makati.

Universal alliance Dining Concepts Inc.’s managing director Masahide Araki, directors Luis Manuel Banson and Atty. Severino Sumulong, president Hubert Young, Tomoyoshi Nishiyama chairman of Dining Innovation Ltd; chief executive officer Eiji Kamada; and chief operating officer Shinichiro Matsufuji.

It felt like a dream but I knew I was wide awake. I was eating one of the best meat I ever had in my entire life. It was called the Dice Tender which I literally ordered about 10 times. It was that amazing.
The meat was diced, making it easy to consume. The tenderness of the meat was phenomenal, it was almost unrealistic. Biting into it was like biting into liver without the gritty texture (which liver usually has) but still with the meaty satisfaction. Yes, it was amazingly tender which is why I could not have enough of it.

Everyone invited to the launch that I talked to about the meat was as obsessed with it as I was. The Dice Tender was ridiculously addicting, I might have even dreamt of it. The sauces included Teriyaki or Spicy Miso but eating it grilled as is was perfect as well.

This was the Kintan buffet which had four options: Regular Buffet, Kintan Buffet, Premium Kintan Buffet and Special Wagyu Buffet. Customers are also given their choice of rice and the meat they want.

The premium meat in the menu are Chicken Steak in Spicy Miso, Cheese Curry, Teriyaki or Garlic Shio; Lamb in Spicy Miso, Teriyaki or Garlic Shio; Chicken Cheese Sausage or Beef Cheese Sausage; Tasty Karubi in Teriyaki, Garlic Butter or Double Pepper; Rosu in Teriyaki or Spicy Misu; Dice Tender in Teriyaki or Spicy Misu; Kintan Karubi in Teriyaki or Double Pepper and Gyu Tongue.

To be shamelessly honest, I tried each and every one of what was listed above. Each plate of the premium meat ordered came in small portions that could easily be consumed in just a few seconds. I found this a great way to please the customers because it did not feel like they were just stuffing everyone with the same meat in big portions.

Aside from the premium meat, there was also a buffet bar that one could salivate over. These included vegetables, noodles and other appetizers.

For the shabu-shabu buffet, there are the Regular Shabu, Special Shabu, Shaburi Wagyu or Special Wagyu. What makes the shabu-shabu option different in the restaurant is that each customer gets his/her own boiling pot of preferred soup or soups. No one has to share.

Meat choices for both the kintan and shabu-shabu include premium chicken, pork and beef cuts.

Impressive concept

The restaurant was spacious. The seats were comfortable, exactly as a buffet spot should be. When I came in, the buffet bar was right smack in front of me, enticing me to eat, eat and eat.

I was then ushered to my seat and was advised by the restaurant’s friendly staff that I could choose one buffet of the two choices.

Of course, my carnivorous self chose the yakiniku buffet without a doubt. I promised myself to try the shabu-shabu area later on. I will return.

While waiting is a virtue that not everyone has, waiting for the meat I ordered to be grilled was almost as satisfying as eating. I couldn’t keep my eyes from the circular grill in front of me, which was in the middle of my table.

What amazed me was how there was hardly any smoke from the grilling, until I was told that a Japanese technology was used to make the smoke “magically dissipate.” This I can vouch for, because the same perfume I came in with was still the same scent I came out of the restaurant. Shaburi and Kintan Buffet was already seven steps ahead.

Shaburi and Kitan executives during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Indulging one’s palate at Shaburi and Kintan Buffet, which recently opened its first branch in this country, raised the bar for all buffets.

I was immediately impressed with Shaburi and Kintan Buffet, which is a dining concept by Dining Innovations Ltd. chairman Tomoyoshi Nishiyama who partnered with Universalalliance Dining Concepts Inc.’s president Hubert Young to bring the brand to the Philippines.

This casual meal concept encourages customers to satisfy their craving for authentic Japanese dishes in shabu-shabu, yakiniku and buffet settings.
The concepts can either be broken into either a combination of Shaburi and Kintan, which is shabu-shabu and/or yakiniku. Yes, the customer can have the option to break it down to just one choice, either a shabu-shabu or a yakiniku choice.

Young is the entrepreneur behind many of the successful Japanese dining brands in the Philippines, including the UCC Coffee chain, the Japanese food concepts like Coco Ichibanya, Mitsuyado House of Tsukemen, Mitsuyado Ramen Shokudo and Tendon Kohaku. It was even revealed to me that Young was also bringing the popular Japanese chain MOS burger to town (which I was only able to try in Taiwan).

Nishiyama, the founder of Shaburi and Kintan Buffet, one of the best yakiniku restaurants in the world, is also responsible for introducing the dining innovations of shabu-shabu, udon and yakitori in over 200 restaurants in different countries. Nishiyama was recently in the Philippines to welcome guests to the grand launch of Shaburi and Kintan Buffet.

“I’m very happy to have Shaburi and Kintan at the center of Makati. The Philippines has a very big market for Japanese cuisine with its large population, which is second to Indonesia in Southeast Asia,” Nishiyama said.

Young was also present and greeted the guests who were able to make it despite the rainy weather. “I hope you would give Shaburi Kintan the support you have afforded UCC throughout the years. We are also planning to open five to ten more of Shaburi Kintan in the coming years, and we are hoping for your continuous support.”

Shaburi and Kintan Buffet restaurants can also be found in Indonesia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Gabrielle Borromeo

Author Profile

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