Yurakuen for my Birthday
According to their website, Yurakuen is dubbed as the most authentic Japanese restaurant in Manila.
Girlfriend and I decided to celebrate my birthday at Yurakuen, and reserved 2 spots for their all-you-can-eat tepanyaki dinner. We were choosing between ArroZeria and this Japanese restaurant, but a colleague gave disappointing feedback for ArroZeria, so buti na lang we ate at Yurakuen.
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking that utilizes an iron griddle to cook. This kind of dining is where the chef cooks the dishes in front of the guests.
The reservation is at 6pm, we left Quezon City at around 5pm (on a Sunday). Along Quezon Avenue, it started raining really hard. I was worried that we were going to be trapped in flood (tiwala na lang kay Waze). We arrived at Diamond Hotel after an hour and a half and it was still raining (we called prior that we will be a little late due to the unexpected heavy downpour). Fortunately there was covered parking.
Another restaurant at Diamond Hotel, Corniche, was serving at that time a mexican food-inspired buffet. We didn’t immediately find Yurakuen as its entrance was at the far end of the lobby.
Upon entering, we were welcomed by this huge ass Kimono. Is this the actual size of a Kimono or just exaggerated for décor?
We were seated in the teppanyaki table that can seat 6 people. We had the table for ourselves. Hehe.
We were given hot tea upon arriving. While sipping on tea, we checked the menu, but even before arriving we knew that we would never miss out on the scallops!
The dipping sauces was served. There were three kinds for meat, vegetable (miso) and seafood.
I took pictures of the teppanyaki chef on the other table. The aromas from their food being cooked was making me hungrier.
The dinner also consisted of one choice of unlimited drink. I opted for the Japanese beer, Kirin (had 4 of these).
To start the feast, we ordered Chukka Wakame (seaweed) salad. We were used to getting mostly seaweed when ordering this at other Japanese restaurants, Yurakuen’s version had other greens we didn’t like (will fill our stomachs hehe). Both of us didn’t finish the Japanese salad.
Girlfriend had Miso Soup. I just wanted to take a sip to see if there’s any difference compared to other restaurants. It tasted the same. I guess this is really the taste of authentic Miso Soup.
To jumpstart out appetite, we ordered some Sashimi and Sushi. We had the usual, tuna, salmon and cuttlefish. I wanted to try something different – the mackerel. Girlfriend ordered the Flying Fish Roe Sushi. All were fresh to the mouth. I liked the mackerel the most, maybe because this is new to me. It was sweet, salty, sour and refreshing. The wasabi they serve was also unlike other restaurants – it was milder and courser.
The grill heating up.
The seafood and the meat.
Here is our chef sanitizing the grill.
Just look at those huge ass scallops. I think I have yet to see a scallop this huge. Our chef cooked them with justice. Salt, pepper, garlic, a bit of soy sauce, red wine and butter – that’s perfection. The scallops were juicy and tender. We ordered another set of this. 🙂
Next on the list are shrimps and squid. Our teppanyaki chef used the same ingredients as the scallops but we’re not complaining. The squid was tender and supple (not makunat). Very good. The shrimps were also deveined-–plus points from girlfriend.
The Mixed Fried Rice is next. Our chef is just using basic ingredients but the output is delicious. Simple yet delicious. This rice is one of the highlights of the night. I had 1 ½ of this as girlfriend wasn’t able to finish hers. The rice was the right amount of saltiness. You can eat by itself or with the other teppanyaki dishes.
We opted medium rare for our meat. I thought the flame show was done at this point but I guess this is part of cooking the meat and not sanitizing. The Sirloin and Tenderloin was tender and juicy. Marbling was very little to nonexistent but all is good. I particularly liked the short ribs because it had fat, girlfriend preferred the sirloin and tenderloin.
I ordered Lamb as I like its unique taste compared to other meat. Lamb meat can be tough if not cooked properly. Yurakuen’s a bit overcooked but I still finished mine. The mint jelly was incorporated on the cooking process instead of manually adding. No complaints here as it mixed well with the lamb.
Matcha green tea and black sesame ice cream was my expected dessert for the night but they only had Salted Caramel and Cheesecake. No worries as they were very very very good. I’m particular with my ice cream. I want them super creamy–ones that make you feel fatter with every spoon you have. Yurakuen’s in house ice cream didn’t disappoint at all. The flavors were evident and the texture was spot on. The only bad thing about this is the small serving–so I ended up having 3 servings that night. 🙂
In addition to the sanitizing via flame, they also immediately clean the grilling table the usual way – soap and water.
To finish the meal, we had green tea which is good for digestion–thoughtful since I ate a lot.
We entered the main restaurant to take pictures. They had this indoor fountain.
The famous tree.
Yurakuen is one of the better restaurants I have been to. And given the price, it should be. To those looking for good food and good service, this is worth the price. Also, the scallops are a must try. But if you just want unlimited teppanyaki, I can also recommend Wafu located at Greenhills. At less than half the price, you get unlimited teppanyaki but without the scallops. Will I recommend Yurakuen? Depends on the occasion. For a simple eat out, there are more sulit Japanese restaurants out there but since we were celebrating my birthday, something more special than usual was welcome. 🙂
Scallops!! You know how in some restaurants, mostly with tasting menus (degustation restaurants), they usually have a dish with scallop (singular) as the main ingredient, and you just yearn for more? As in scallops, plural. You wouldn’t have that issue here. Please have a go at all those plump and juicy scallops as much as you want and can. But I agree, Wafu is a good place for unli-teppanyaki without the scallops.
Happy birthday! I hope you enjoyed your birthday dinner!
Price to Taste Ratio – 3/5
Budget Per Person – P3000
Mon-Sun – 11 AM to 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM to 10 PM
Location – Diamond Hotel, Roxas Boulevard Corner J. Quintos Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Facebook – Yurakuen Diamond Hotel
Number – (632) 528-3000 or (632) 305-3000