Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Dining in the Next Normal: Setting the Standard for Authentic Japanese Cuisine for 50 Flavorful Years at Kimpura

It was the restaurant that defined our love affair with Japanese food, setting the standard for authentic Japanese cuisine along the way. And for fifty flavorful years, Kimpura continues to trigger fond memories of that first and memorable experience with their wide array of specialty dishes. Few restaurants have stood the test of time and as Manila's culinary scene adapts to the new normal, one brand turns another page in a continuing story of memorable food moments.

You can say it started the Japanese food trend back in the seventies, pioneering the way for the popularity of authentic Japanese cuisine in the metro. The name of the iconic institution is a combination of two words roughly translated as "golden tempura" and it still resonates to this day. As it celebrates its milestone 50th anniversary, Kimpura takes you back to that first time you experienced authentic Japanese flavors. An enduring brand built on history and tradition, the passion for perfection continues and Kimpura is ready for the new normal with its classic dishes and service.

That first bite of tempura followed by a spoonful of soft mixed rice prepared from the teppan grill at Kimpura from countless childhood summers is a memory that's deeply ingrained in our internal hard drive, and one never forgets that first time. Since then, Kimpura has been a part of every celebration and milestone. Beneath the trademark red torii gate, Kimpura welcomes guests once more in the new normal. As the quarantine experience transforms our daily routine, Kimpura keeps in step with the times following the latest health and safety protocols for dine-in. Each guest is scanned for a temperature check followed by filling up a health declaration form. Physical distancing is also strictly enforced inside the restaurant with guests positioned one seat apart. It's steps like these that are now part of the new normal, yet the experience at Kimpura remains exactly as you remember it. 

Temperature scans, social distancing, face masks and face shields are now mandatory for dining out in the new normal. But some things never change, liking dining at Kimpura. Inside, the elegant interiors bring back that familiar Kimpura vibe as their master chefs prepare intricate sashimi and sushi with the freshest and finest seafood. Back in the seventies, there were only a few Japanese restaurants in Manila. A pioneer in authentic Japanese cuisine, Kimpura offered a true taste of Japan when it opened back in October 10, 1970 by bringing in noted Japanese chefs Akira Mishimura, tempura master Mitsuo Okuya and sukiyaki wizard Mayu Ishimura. Japanese dining, as we know it today, began at Kimpura 50 years ago. It was the dream of the founders, Luis Yulo, Gilberto Teodoro Sr. and Joseph Henry Ng to bring Japan to Manila with authenticity in each dish served at Kimpura. Half a century later in the new normal, Kimpura continues to immerse the palates of loyal diners with fresh Japanese flavors.

Manila's Japanese restaurant scene slowly transformed that day in October of 1970, ushering in the rise and popularity of Japanese cuisine in the culinary mainstream. With branches located in the commercial districts both north and south of the metro, authentic Japanese cuisine was made accessible to more diners who would later become loyal customers of the enduring brand. Fifty years later, Kimpura continues a tradition of authenticity and memorable dining experiences as it transitions to the new normal. Begin your nostalgic culinary journey of Japan at Kimpura located at O Square 2 in Greenhills with the fresh and clean flavors of premium Tuna Sashimi and Salmon Sashimi to start your Japanese feast... 

...with each bite melting in your mouth releasing its sweet briny notes draping the palate with an indulgent richness. It's flavors like these that made us all fall in love with Kimpura, and one more bite just seals the deal. 

A refreshing salad with fresh cucumbers, carrots and tender squid in a mildly sweet and creamy white dressing completes your first round of appetizers. In true Kimpura style, your Japanese feast continues with their specialty maki creations... 

Japanese cuisine is known for its elegant aesthetics combining fresh and vibrant flavors with artful presentation. It's the full sensory experience that makes Japanese cuisine special, and this is recreated with each dish at Kimpura. With over fifty years of history and tradition, each dish at Kimpura represents the culmination of a long legacy in Japanese dining.

The Dragon Maki (P 395) first feeds the eyes before the palate with its vibrant colors and elegant plating. The ornate unagi maki with garden fresh cucumber topped with sweet mango is a colorful palette of freshness with equally clean and bright notes. The mildly sweet and smoky notes of the unagi are complemented by the ripe mangoes, finished by soft sticky rice with just a hint of sourness from the vinegar. The multiple layers of flavors completes each bite. 

The Spider Maki (P 495) is another specialty creation at Kimpura of mat rolled sushi with succulent soft shell crab, ebiko, cucumber and lettuce drizzled with unagi sauce. The fresh and bright colors of the rolls are a visual clue to the rich flavors...

...with contrasting textures from the succulent and crisp soft shell crab and the crunch from the ebiko releasing bursts of briny notes combining for bold flavors. Using only the freshest and finest ingredients for creations like this pays off with pure, clean and uncluttered flavors. Time and again, dishes like this prove that freshness is flavor.

Japanese dumplings have become popular Japanese staples over the years, high up there on everyone's list of all-time Japanese favorites. The Yaki Gyoza (P 175), steamed dumplings filled with juicy pork and cabbage with a flavorful sauce, is masterfully created at Kimpura with its delicately seared bottom with a light crispness and the soft texture of the top portion. A bite delivers the juicy richness of the pork and cabbage filling with garlicky notes, capped by the soft, thin and crisp steamed dough. A dip in the sauce completes the flavors with its sharp hints.

Take one more look at that seared bottom. Soft on top and crispy on the bottom, another perfect gyoza from Kimpura's kitchen. The savory richness of the gyoza are tempered by the sharpness of the vinegar-based sauce for balanced flavors. Like any good gyoza, one bite leads to another and it's gone just like that. 

The Gindara Teriyaki (P 975), soft, flaky and buttery codfish draped in sweet wine sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds is yet another specialty dish at Kimpura. The silky smooth and butter-like texture of the codfish is just pure indulgence on the palate. The sweet wine sauce adds the perfect finish to this lavish seafood dish. 

If there's one dish that sparked your love affair with Japanese food, it probably all began with a delicately crisp tempura. And since 1970, Kimpura set the benchmark for the perfect tempura. Fifty years on, the tempura still hits all the right spots just like the first time. The light and delicate batter draped around the succulent shrimp is perfectly crisp delivering fresh flavors with each bite. It's the flavor and texture you get from the freshest ingredients and the combination of time and temperature in hot oil mastered through years in the kitchen.  

The classic and all-time bestseller, the Ebi Tempura (P 620 All Shrimp Tempura/P 520 Mixed Tempura), perfectly battered and masterfully deep-fried fresh and plump shrimps served with a special sauce is still the undisputed go-to dish at Kimpura. After all, the very name of the restaurant is inspired by this seafood specialty.  

It was this kind of tempura perfection that captivated diners fifty years ago, and it still does. It's one of Kimpura's many legacy dishes that have remained popular throughout its fifty year history.

Pair your crisp tempura with the special Mixed Fried Rice (P 115), a Japanese style fried rice with chopped fresh vegetables, egg and special seasoning. Other tasty variants include Beef, Shrimp, Seafood, Chicken, Vegetable and Garlic Rice.

The teppan grills at Kimpura are fired up for the next savory courses...

The Scallop Teppanyaki (P 680), fresh off the teppan grill, is served. Plump and succulent imported scallops infused with Japanese wine and draped in special Japanese sauce with mushrooms and vegetables is always hard to resist. Prepared right in front of you, the dish is served at its flavorful peak by Kimpura's master chef. The tender and soft, springy texture of the prized scallops deliver a fresh, briny sweetness made even richer by the special sauce and garden-fresh vegetables.

More fresh off-the-teppan grill dishes were served, like the refreshing Enoki Teppanyaki (P 410) with golden mushrooms, tender chicken and plump shrimps. The savory dish is the perfect starter before the main course...

...of US Tenderloin Fillet served with fresh bean sprouts, onions and green peppers.  

The US Tenderloin Fillet (P 1,495), premium imported meat seasoned with special teppanyaki sauce, is grilled on the teppan with butter and garlic. The sound of the sizzle and the fragrant aroma add to the sensory experience at Kimpura, and in just a few minutes, the dish is portioned and served...

Each juicy bite brings a burst of savory beefy notes followed by hints of garlic and butter. The side of bean sprouts, onions and green peppers add a layer of crunch and sweetness to the main course. The Japanese dining experience becomes so much more memorable with the teppan grill where your dishes are prepared in front of you and served hot off the grill. Kimpura simply takes it to a whole new level, and they've been doing it for five decades.  

Other savory options include Wagyu Ribeye, US Angus Ribeye, US Sirloin and Teriyaki Beef. You can also opt for Kimpura's Teppanyaki Combinations like Tenderloin Steak & Scallops, Ribeye Steak & Prawns, Scallops, Cuttlefish & Blue Marlin and Chicken & Prawns paired with the Teppanyaki Specials like Beef Usuyaki, Seafood Mix, Tofu Steak and Maguro Teppanyaki.

Sumptuous dishes and exceptional service have welcomed loyal diners at Kimpura for fifty years, and they're ready for a new generation of guests in the new normal. Have I missed some of your favorite dishes at Kimpura?

Cap your feast on a sweet note with their selection of desserts...

...like their indulgent Coffee Jelly. From sushi and sashimi to gyoza and tempura and their specialty teppanyaki selections to desserts, Kimpura has it covered. That's why Kimpura has always been top-of-mind for groups and family celebrations.

In addition to their specialty a la carte offerings, you can also customize a festive feast for groups at Kimpura. You can choose from Kimpura's sumptuous Set Meals for 6-10 or if you prefer to bring home the Kimpura dining experience, you can too with their Take-Out Platters with the Appetizer Platter, Yaki Tori Platter and Karaage Platter.  

Few restaurants have that enduring staying power in a fickle market where culinary trends come and go. Traditional and authentic Japanese cuisine became part of the metro's culinary mainstream that 10th of October back in 1970 with the opening of Kimpura. Today, it still shines bright in the competitive clutter of dining options and the challenges of the new normal. Relive your Kimpura dining experience once more at their Greenhills, Greenbelt 5 Makati and Trinoma branches, now open for dine-in and take-out. 

Kimpura is located at the Ground Floor of O Square 2, Greenhills, Ortigas Avenue corner Wilson Street, San Juan City or call 8822 5308, 8822 5329 and +639564591627 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/kimpura.com.ph/ for more updates.

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