Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Magosaburo: The Ultimate Wagyu Experience

The very best of Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture comes to Manila with the freshest and finest ingredients at Magosaburo. And if you're looking for a true Wagyu experience, Magosaburo is the place. 

The very best Japanese Wagyu beef cooked right by your tableside on traditional lava plates is an art mastered at Magosaburo for a unique dining experience.

Established in Japan back in 2009, Magosaburo has gained both local and international recognition with its premium, fine grade Japanese Wagyu beef prepared in Magosaburo's unique Ishi-Yaki method, or stone-roast cooking. 
Specially crafted by Japanese artisans, Magosaburo's lava plates bring out the very best flavors with precise temperatures, for the richness and melt-in-your-mouth texture that can only come from the finest grade of Japanese Wagyu beef.

Magosaburo also has a well stocked Wine Lounge at the upper floors, with a wide  range of vintages from around the world. A glass of wine to go with your meal caps your experience at Magosaburo.  

A customized wine dispenser allows guests to sample different vintages with a push of a button. Magosaburo's cuisine follows tradition, and is evident in each and every dish. But one finds a duality of contrasting themes at Magosaburo, where traditional dishes are prepared with the most modern techniques. The best of the old, preserved and updated, with the latest in technology. Tradition meets high tech, and the wine dispenser is just one of the cool things you can find at Magosaburo.

A perfectly chilled glass of crisp white wine kicks off my Magosaburo experience. The wide and spacious interiors follow clean lines, almost zen-like, for that traditional yet contemporary vibe. The cool, understated elegance is highlighted by the simple and spartan polished concrete walls, accentuated by modern lighting fixtures that seem to float from the high ceiling over the deep brown and black furniture. A dramatic setting, and appropriate, to Magosaburo's signature dishes.

Start with Magosaburo's Namuru (P 180), with three kinds of pickled vegetables including cherry tomatoes and radish, that serve as perfect palate cleansers. For lunch, we sampled Choice 2 of Magosaburo's Sukiyaki Set (P 5,600 for a complete set meal good for 2).  The set includes a Small Appetizer (a choice of Namuru or Three Kinds of Kinchi), a freshly prepared Salad (a Mixed Sashimi Salad with tomato dressing or California Salad), an Appetizer (Cream Cheese Tofu or Deep-Fried Prawn with Mayonnaise Sauce), Fry (Assorted Tempura or Assorted deep-Fried Skewers), and Rice (Cheese Curry Rice in Stone Bowl or Garlic Fried Rice in Stone Bowl) to accompany the main dish, a Japanese Wagyu Sirloin Tomato Sukiyaki

Three Kinds of Kimchi (P 200), another starter option to go with your main dish. The sharp flavors of the pickled vegetables complement the rich flavors of your main dish.

Magosaburo's Luxury Green Salad (P 490), with fresh greens, truffles, tomatoes, and mixed herbs with a smooth truffle dressing, prepared by your table. The Luxury Green Salad is also an option with Magosaburo's signature Lava Sets.

Why call it a Luxury Green Salad? This. A black truffle is freshly shaved to complete your Luxury Green Salad.

The fresh greens, tomatoes, mixed herbs and freshly shaved truffle combine for pure, clean flavors, accentuated by the rich nuttiness of the truffle dressing.

Mixed Sashimi Salad with Tomato Dressing (P 480), one of the salad options in Magosaburo's signature Sukiyaki Sets, is yet another dish that combines fresh and clean flavors. The addition of fresh and premium sashimi adds a subtle sweetness to the dish, balanced by the tart tomato dressing. 

Cream Cheese Tofu (P 280), an appetizer option in both the Sukiyaki and Lava Sets, is another unique dish from Magosaburo, and a rich blend of flavors and textures. I did not expect the tofu and cream cheese blend to deliver a surprisingly rich flavor, making this dish just one more reason to visit Magosaburo.  

Ox-Tail Omelet Japanese Style (P 220), an appetizer option with the Lava Set, and one of the many things the Japanese do best. A Japanese style omelet always comes out delicately fluffy with a rich, almost creamy flavor, and this is further proof. The ox-tail blends perfectly with the moist and soft omelet for a blend of delicate flavors.  

Clam Soup in Hot Stone Bowl (P 250), a soup option with the Lava Set, with plump clams and fresh scallions. A deceptively simple dish with bold, briny flavors, just the way it should be. Elegantly served in a stone bowl, the fresh clams provide contrasting flavors with the main dish.

The Assorted Tempura, an option with the Sukiyaki Set, features prawns, fish and vegetables with a delicate and light batter served with freshly grated radish. The light and crisp texture allows the fresh flavors of the prawns, fish and vegetables to come through in every bite. 

If you're looking for flavorful rice dish to go with your main course, Magosaburo's Beef Garlic Fried Rice (P 380) is definitely the perfect choice. The rich flavors of beef are infused in each grain, making this dish great on its own. 

Then, the first of the main courses arrived, starting with the Japanese Wagyu Sirloin Tomato Sukiyaki, proudly presented and cooked by your tableside. Just one look at the vibrant colors and marbling of the  Wagyu Sirloin  tells you this is no ordinary beef.

And after just a few minutes, one can observe the gradual transformation of colors as the aroma slowly fills the air. The thinly sliced Wagyu Sirloin, with its beautiful marbling, slowly simmers adding its rich flavor to the broth. A bowl of freshly beaten egg is served as a dip to balance and temper the sharp flavors of the Sukiyaki.

For our Lava Set, we go for Choice 5 (P 6,200 for a complete set good for 2), an Assorted Japanese Wagyu Steak Palette with 100 gm of Japanese Wagyu Sirloin, 100 gm  of Japanese Wagyu Short Rib, and 80 gm of Special Prime Beef Tongue. Like the Sukiyaki Set, the Assorted Japanese Wagyu Steak Palette includes a Small Appetizer (choice of Namuru or Three Kinds of Kimchi), a Salad (Luxury Green Salad or California Salad), Appetizer (Cream Cheese Tofu or Ox Tail Omelet), Soup (Clam Soup or Spicy Vegetable Soup) and Rice (Cheese Curry Rice in Stone Bowl or Chicken Rice in Stone Bowl). Other options include Choice 1 (P 3,000) with assorted Kurobuta and Chicken Yakiniku, and Choice 2 (P 3,600) with 80 gm of Wagyu Chuck Roll, 80 gm of Wagyu Sirloin, and 120 gm of Wagyu Hanging Tender, plus the same options of appetizers, salad, soup and rice.

First, the Prime Beef Tongue is grilled on the lava plate. Magosaburo's distinct lava plates are made by traditional masons, the same select masons responsible for repairing the walls of Japan's historic castles and structures. Each lava stone is carved precisely to specifications, with 3cm thickness that's perfect for grilling premium meats at low heat. At Magosaburo, tradition meets high tech once again, as an infrared scanner monitors the temperature to a constant 180.

After a few minutes, a rich buttery aroma begins to gently rise, and it's ready to serve. Special dipping sauces come with each entree, but quality meat like this is really good on its own. Tender, juicy and full of flavor, you just gotta have another. And another...

Next, the Japanese Wagyu Short Rib is neatly arranged on the lava plate along with vegetables. A mute sizzle can be heard as the premium beef is grilled. The deep, bright colors of the premium beef, and perfect marbling, are a visual cue on the premium quality, as the buttery aroma once again whets your appetite.  

The lava plates provide an even cooking surface, ensuring that each cut of beef is perfectly grilled. And in just a few minutes, the Japanese Wagyu Short Rib is served. Tender and juicy with a rich butter-like feel, definitely one of the best I've had.

And finally, the Japanese Wagyu Sirloin is arranged on the lava plate. The centerpiece of Magosaburo's Lava Set, with its perfect marbling, each course in the Lava Set keeps getting better and better.

The slices of Japanese Wagyu Sirloin are then flipped to lightly sear the other side, leaving a juicy pink center as you hold on to your seat resisting the urge to just dive right in. But good things come to those who wait, as I take a sip of wine. And another.

After yet another sip, the Japanese Wagyu Sirloin is ready to serve. The perfect blend of marbling and an unbelievably tender butter-like texture makes each bite special. And if you find yourself chewing with closed eyes, that's fine. An understandable reaction, and don't worry about your friends at the table, they probably have their eyes closed too...

The ultimate Wagyu experience? This could definitely be the place. From starters to mains, plus an impressive wine list and excellent service, Magosaburo is way up there on my list. Special thanks to Socorro "SC" Cariaga and Chef Motomatsu Takashi for an awesome Wagyu experience at Magosaburo. 

Magosaburo is located at Fort Pointe 2 Building, 28th Street, The Fort Entertainment Complex, Taguig City or call 856-1808 for inquiries and reservations.

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