Shiseido and Sofitel brings the flavors of Kyoto to Manila

The two most memorable meals in my life so far were served in Japan. The first one was at the Shiseido Parlour Restaurant in Ginza, sometime summer 2013, where I experienced a three-course dinner with foie gras and roast beef. The second would be during autumn, also 2013, when I finally understood what sushi really is - a taste of the sea on land - in Tsukiji Market. I've been a fan of Japanese food since then, and I go there so often just to eat!

This is why when Shiseido Philippines invited me to experience the flavors of Kyoto at Sofitel, I just had to go. Master artisan, Chef Hiromi Yonekawa, took food lovers to an epicurean voyage that capture the culinary specials of his mother’s hometown and Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto. Kyoto dishes are known to be healthy and comforting culinary creations that have been passed down from generation to generation. Obanzai food is famous for its long culinary tradition with the use of fresh ingredients in season bursting with natural flavors. 

Last Thursday, for the first time ever, Sofitel together with Shiseido held a Chef's Table dinner where guests experienced an eight-course dinner prepared by their chef. I had the honor of trying out the best Chef Hiromi can offer. For a few hours there, it was just like I was back in Tokyo and Kyoto eating my way through!

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We started with an appetizer with onsen tamago and fresh tuna with a miso sauce. This was served with Ume Syu Cider, which perfectly complemented the sweet and salty flavors of the dishes. This was then followed by a plate of sashimi with freshly grated wasabi - the fish was so, so fresh.


Grilled sous vide salmon was then served. It was sweet, juicy, and perfectly medium rare. I've always been a bit iffy about sous vide-ing my meat, but I am reconsidering it after this delicious piece of fish!

A plate of deep-fried shrimp, crab, and eggplant followed. For the main dish, Chef Hiromi served sous vide beef tenderloin which just melted in my mouth.

Right after, the Chef and his team made the guests fresh sushi. The star of the show has to be the tuna smoked with Jack Daniels wood chips. The aroma and slightly alcoholic smoked flavor of the fish was a revelation.

Rice and miso soup followed to warm our bellies as we digest the feast. Finally, a matcha cake and azuki ice cream ended this dreamy experience. The balance of bitter, sweet, and sour was the perfect cap to an amazing dinner.

It was a meal to remember, indeed. Come visit Sofitel soon as they have a special Chinese New Year selection this week, with Chinese Chef Michael Tai whipping up a menu showcasing recipes from the Canton and Sichuan province and select dishes from Taiwan. There will also be an elegant and nostalgic fashion show by international and multi-awarded fashion designer Albert Andrada sponsored by Guerlain on November 25.

For more information, please call +63 2 832 6988 or email