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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Magosaburo: Japanese A la Carte Fine Dining at The Fort Strip

If you've been a regular reader, you'd probably know how much I love Japanese cuisine. Sushi, sashimi, ramen, nabemono, teppanyaki -- name it and I probably love it. Or, have a general affinity at the very least. However, this posh restaurant and wine bar in one called Magosaburo is far from any Japanese resto I've been to. Read to find out why.
Magosaburo The Fort Strip

For the discerning palates of meat and wine lovers, the opening of Magosaburo in The Fort Strip last July is enough reason to call for a celebration. You see, although the famous Magosaburou (yes, with a "u") in Singapore and Hong Kong prides itself on being an ultra-luxurious Japanese-style BBQ restaurant, our Manila version takes it to an entirely different level, specializing in Wagyu Kaiseki (course meal) and Wine Pairing.

Magosaburo The Fort

The beau and I had the chance to visit Magosaburo last month. However, we weren't there to sample the multiple-course Wagyu Kaiseki since we're saving it for a very special occasion. *ehemAnniversaryehem* It was very timely though that Magosaburo has just rolled out its a la carte menu, so we were invited to give it a go.

Clam Soup in Hot Stone Bowl (P250)
Clam Soup in Hot Stone Bowl
Clam Soup in Hot Stone Bowl (P250)
First on our table was the Clam Soup in Hot Stone Bowl which the owner jokingly called the pinasosyal na halaan. This light and refreshing hot soup item is simple and very straight-forward. It reminded me strongly of my mom's rendition, although I think this Japanese take uses kombu (kelp) dashi and even sake. I also appreciated that it had generous amount of clams, and even has mitsuba leaves (Japanese wild parsley).

Mixed Sashimi Salad with Tomato Dressing (P520)
✓ Mixed Sashimi Salad with Tomato Dressing (P520)
Although the restaurant doesn't have sashimi on their menu, they offer a dish likely to satisfy raw fish lovers like myself, the Mixed Sashimi Salad with Tomato Dressing. Among all the restaurants I've been to, this is the first time I'll have a salad drenched in tomato dressing. It even has raw fish slices thrown into the mix! And while I was skeptical at first, I seriously couldn't stop myself from having more of it after my first forkful. It was really, really good! The tomato dressing was light, refreshing and had a sophisticated flavor, a far cry from tomato sauces used in pasta dishes. And while it nicely complemented the greens, I found it surprisingly better with the sashimi.

Ox Tail Omelet Japanese Style (P220)
Ox Tail Omelet Japanese Style (P220)
Next, we enjoyed a serving of the Ox Tail Omelet Japanese-Style which came with some grated daikon radish and a bowl of soy-based dipping sauce. This dish is commonly known as tamagoyaki, albeit more upscale because of the ox tail. Both the beau and I enjoyed this simple but tasty dish. The omelet was soft, quite fluffy even, while the ox tail encased in the tamagoyaki was savory, tender and very juicy.

Magosaburo Premium Hamburg Steak (P390)
✓ Magosaburo Premium Hamburg Steak (P390)
For mains, we had the Magosaburo Premium Hamburg Steak served on a lava stone. This mixed ground beef and pork hamburg steak didn't fail to justify why it's carrying the restaurant's name. Just one poke from my fork and I already knew it'll be super tender. No need to actually use a knife to cut through the hamburg. And being served on a heated lava stone, we had control if we want the hamburg to be cooked more thoroughly. But of course, to fully enjoy it, never let it sit on the lava stone for too long or it might get overcooked. Drenched in a Japanese-style butter, Worcestershire and probably red wine-based sauce, every mouthful is a savory and succulent hamburg experience.

Double Smoked Bacon Steak (P320)
✓ Double Smoked Bacon Steak (P320)
Another hot dish we had was the Double Smoked Bacon Steak also served on a heated lava stone. Unlike regular bacon that we know of, which comes as cured thin slices, this dish makes use of thicker pork belly which are cooked to medium doneness. Whether eaten bare or with its accompanying sauce, this item is sure to satisfy a meat lover. I may not have been too hooked, but the beau begs to disagree.

Japanese Steamed Rice with Miso Soup (P150)
Japanese Steamed Rice (P150) with complimentary ✓ Miso Soup
To go along with our hot dishes, we had a cup each of Japanese Steamed Rice. The bowl of rice is expensive for its price, but since it comes with Miso Soup, it's reasonable. Now, I'm not sure if you're going to believe me, but I have to say this serving of rice is really good. Even the beau agreed with me on this. Every grain was plump and fluffy -- a mark of perfectly cooked Japanese rice. And no, we're not just imagining this to justify the price tag! As for the complimentary miso soup, it's definitely one of the best I've had. The soft tofu pieces are comparable to most I've tried before, but the soup itself has more umami and tastes more refined. We were told they use not white, but red miso.

Earl Gray Creme Brulee (P250)
✓ Earl Gray Creme Brulee (P250)
For dessert, we first had a serving of the Earl Gray Creme Brulee. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of Earl Grey. However, I found myself digging in spoonful after spoonful. It was sooooo good! The custard itself was soft, smooth and tastes like a good quality milk tea creme with hints of Earl Grey and with just the right amount of sweetness. The top on the other hand, was scorched to a beautiful and crisp caramel brittle. Now, you don't need to be a milk tea drinker to fall in love with this dessert. Even the beau who doesn't like milk teas (more so with Early Grey tea) became addicted to this heavenly treat!

Coconut Blanc Mange (P250)
✓ Coconut Blanc Mange (P250)
Another dessert item we had was the Coconut Blanc Mange which was, in a sense, an opposite of the creme brulee. While the previous dessert was tasty and will probably be a good fit to majority's palate, this one on the other hand, has very subtle flavors and might not rub with the taste buds the right way. At least, for the beau. This soft and smooth panna cotta-like dessert is made using coconut cream and then topped with desiccated coconut. Every spoonful is mellow with creamy coconut-y notes lingering on the palate.

THE VERDICT

Magosaburo in Manila may specialize in Wagyu Kaiseki, but I can definitely attest that their a la carte menu is worth checking out too. Everything we had that evening was nothing short of great. Heck, even the bowl of Japanese steamed rice was done perfectly! And with posh ambiance and courteous service to boot, I'm a hundred percent positive the beau and I will be back again soon. Hopefully on our next trip, we'll be trying out the Kaiseki menus. *ehemanniversarydateehem*

By the way, Magosaburo has just rolled out their Executive Lunch Sets.
Take a sneak peek here!

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4.5/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Magosaburo, The Fort Strip
G/F Fort Pointe Building, The Fort Strip,
28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 856-0795
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter


24 comments :

  1. As I've heard. Price is a bit steep. But, I wanna try it some time. I'll probably skip the rice for additional sushi and other dishes. I'm sure J will be saving up for Kaiseki Menu na. =)

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    1. They don't offer sushi eh. They specialize talaga on Wagyu and other premium meats. :) Haha.. Hopefully we'll have enough budget for Kaiseki for 2, by then! XD

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  2. Wow! Sashimi in a salad?! That looked so good! I'm longing to try that now :)

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    1. It's definitely my most favorite dish of the night! It was really good!!! :D

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  3. I think my dad would love to order the Mixed Sashimi Salad with Tomato Dressing. I can't wait to read your entry about how Wagyu fair in this restaurant.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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  4. hmmm i love japanese food! i'll definitely dine her on my next visit at bgc :)

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  5. hihi natawa ako sa *ehemanniversarydateehem* :) D and I also want to try Magosaburo, but pagipunan muna namin haha! :)

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  6. My oh my ... the food is so appetizing. Every time I check your blog I am craving for Pinoy meals. Well ... remember when I told you I will make sure to ask you for spots to check when I come visit Manila again? I will be visiting very soon so I hope to meet you and even get recommendations from you for me and the boyf to check out.

    As always I love how you share the details of your experience. Keep it up! xoxo

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  7. Waaah I want to try the bacon steak, looks so good! :D

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  8. Ohh my! You got me salivating with that cream brulee! Di ko na maalala yung last time na kumain ako nyan. Wahhh.. I super miss it! :/

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  9. What a nice place to eat Japanese food! But, I have to save lots of money to try this one! :D

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  10. Drool! I love japanese food! Kaso.. no sushi? Sad... The bacon steak looks like it is to die for :D

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  11. the bacon steak looks good :-)

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  12. gotta try eating here


    Annie
    http://www.ohmybuhay.com

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  13. Thank you for this wonderful review and spending your Anniversary in Magosaburo, Ms, Sumi Go. We're glad to be of service to you. We do have Executive Lunch Sets now and our MAGO Wine Lounge is NOW OPEN, too. :-)

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    1. Hi Magosaburo! Thanks for dropping by. Actually, we didn't spend our anniversary there. I was just making "parinig" so when the boyfie reads this post, he'll be convinced to take me to Mago for the Kaiseki on our anniversary. Haha! Anyway, can't wait to visit back again soon. Will try the Executive Lunch Sets when I'm in the area for lunch. More power! :)

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  14. I LOVE Japanese food. Would try this next time :D

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  15. I love Japanese food! Would love to try this one out :)

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  16. Wow, you gave a checkmark on a lot of the food you ordered. Must have been really good. Would keep them in mind especially the creme brulee. It would have been nice to find out some wine pairings with the food you ordered though since you mentioned that that's their specialty. Would love to check out the executive lunch sets they mentioned on the comments.

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  17. Ohhh that salad seems interestingggg. /:) Great mix of vegetables.

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  18. a japanese restaurant that doesn't serve sashimi? that's.. different. haha! but the Mixed Sashimi Salad with Tomato Dressing sure looks good!

    and i have to try that creme brulee!!!

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