Along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard where the sea meets the city, the view of the sun meeting its final breath can easily be seen from a hotel named after a king who turns everything he touches into gold, Midas Hotel and Casino. In relation to Midas touch, this hotel is famous among fans of luck and Casino. Who would have thought that behind its luxurious façade hides our tummies’ treasure? Yanagi Japanese Cuisine, located at the __ floor of the hotel, offers delectable buffet and ala carte meals for everyone’s cravings.
On our weekend visit in Yanagi, we got to try some of the head chef’s pride ala carte meals. As soon as we sat down, a small appetizer dish known as Otoshi was immediately served to us. This represents the restaurant and is usually specialties of the restaurant. The Otoshi served to us can really whet someone’s appetite. It was a grilled salmon skin with wakame (edible seaweed) and cucumber made slightly sweet and sour by a vinegrette sauce.
Moving on to the main dishes, we have tried six of their ala carte meals:
To start with the meal, their famous Appetizer with Three Kinds was served with mango juice. Looking at the piece of art made with everything edible aside from the leaf below the set makes it really hard to eat but at the same time, it’s exciting! It is composed of three main appetizers which include (1) sea urchin on top of a fish base shaped like a sea urchin with noodle spikes, (2) red molo miso beans, and (3) egg rolled with beef wrap. You can really taste the mixture of sea and nature in this set. The fresh mango juice compliments with the fishy and meaty taste of the appetizers.
Next served is their Kaki Papaya with sparkling white wine. It is a baked papaya with oysters inside topped with a very cheese-like miso sauce wherein a pickled ginger stalk garnished the dish on top. This dish is super cheesy even though there is no cheese in the ingredients. The combination of the oysters, papaya, and miso in one bite will take you into your own heaven. It is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory. For its garnish, the bottom part of ginger stalk is usually eaten first rather than the appealing upper side because this side is softer.
Since this is an authentic Japanese restaurant, sushi is also definitely their expertise. We got to try their Aburi Sushi (Five Kinds) served with hot sake. The five kinds include (1) anagi (eel), (2) hamachi, (3) lapu-lapu, (4) salmon, and (5) tuna with various fruits on top. The sauce at the bottom is egg sauce glazed with teriyaki sauce and torched cheese. This dish can also be served with only three kinds or two pieces of one kind only, so you have a lot of choices.
Tempura and maki are both must-tastes in a Japanese restaurant, then how about a mixture of these two? Their Tempura Maki served with piña colada will really satisfy your Japanese food cravings. These are deep-fried prawns wrapped in maki with rice torched with cheese and egg sauce at the bottom. The crunchiness of the maki and the juiciness of the prawns will surely make you ask for more servings.
Whether you’re a Japanese food enthusiast of you just love to eat in general, you’ll definitely like their Ebi Tempura served with Choco Latini. It is the restaurant’s signature not to press shrimps just to be elongated. According to the head chef, he strictly monitors how the other chefs peel the shrimps and makes sure that the shrimps are peeled elevated. As a result, their tempuras are very juicy because the shrimp’s original shape was not disturbed by any pressing. The sweet choco latini is a bonus!
As the cold season approaches, we always find ourselves craving for a nice filling soup. Their very own “Kami Nabe” paired with Midas Signature Iced Tea is really perfect for a cold-day chill. The vegetables and seafood mixed and boiled in a very flavorful soup will make your tummies bulge in fullness. It’s pot is placed above a small fire upon serving so the relaxing soup will remain warm until you’re finished. You can savor this with the refreshing Midas’ signature iced tea. Refreshing, relaxing, and filling meal it is!
Lastly, we also had the chance to try their very unique and interesting Wasabi flavored Ice Cream, which to our surprise was delightfully delicious.
All dishes served and prepared by Yanagi’s Japanese Head Chef: Chester S. Lucas