Saturday, October 9, 2021

From East to West: Chef Tom Hines Brings the World's Finest Ingredients to Your Plate at Kobe Jones

Chef Tom Hines takes your palate to both east and west with the freshest and finest ingredients at his newest dining concept in Makati...

The day's freshest sustainable catch, premium Wagyu mb5 and mb7 Ribeye and handcrafted cocktails combine for a memorable dining experience at Makati's newest dining destination. Located along Valero Street in Makati's Salcedo Village, Kobe Jones takes the best of both east and west in an elegant setting under the helm of noted chef, Tom Hines. Step inside for a elegant and tasty peek at Kobe Jones...

The clean, uncluttered and refined vibe at Kobe Jones reflects the personal style of Chef Tom Hines reminiscent of his previous dining concepts from Wasabi back in the nineties to LuLu+Hooch, Smith Butcher and Grill Room and Foundry. Leather, wood and marble brings a play of both tactile and visual warmth, it's the perfect stage for an elegant dining experience with the distinctive touch of Chef Tom Hines. Through the years, Chef Tom Hines weaves a common and consistent theme for all his previous and current concepts threaded by the use of the finest ingredients, from succulent seafood to prime Wagyu beef. 

And this remains the underlying theme at Kobe Jones as well. For Chef Tom Hines, Kobe Jones is the latest reflection of this uncompromising approach to premium quality ingredients masterfully executed with classic and modern contemporary techniques.

But Chef Tom Hines sets it straight, explaining the culinary offerings at Kobe Jones is not fusion. Far from it. Japanese is Japanese, and western is western. It's the ingredients that ties the east west concept together while Japanese dishes remain Japanese and the same goes with the western dishes at Kobe Jones. From plump Hokkaido Scallops to mb5 and mb7 Wagyu Ribeye to foie gras and caviar, the name Kobe Jones reflects the use of the very best ingredients from both ends of the globe. 

By The Numbers With The # 1 Special

Chef Tom Hines starts our dining experience at Kobe Jones with the # 1 Special, an intricate roll filled with fresh snapper, crab and caviar. Elegantly plated, the aptly named # 1 Special sets the tone for the evening's elegant dinner at Kobe Jones. 

The refreshingly clean notes and briny sweetness of the snapper, crab and caviar come together in a velvety smooth burst of vibrant flavors. The roll contains no rice, so you get all the fresh flavors of the sea in one bite. No dining experience by Chef Tom Hines would be complete without a curated pairing with a handcrafted cocktail...

...and the fresh briny flavors of the # 1 Special are perfectly complimented by the Vodka Sake with cucumber lime syrup. The mildly sweet and citrusy notes of the Vodka Sake cleanses the palate, tempering the delicate briny finish of the # 1 Special. 

Libations And The # 2 Special 

Handcrafted cocktails have always been part of the experience with every dining concept by Chef Tom Hines, as the bar at Kobe Jones whips up another cocktail...

...with the soothingly crisp Saketini with sake and Manchino Blanco... 

...paired with the # 2 Special with hand dive Hokkaido scallop on spinach draped in Ikura Unagi Glaze. The presentation is pure elegance in simplicity, where the fresh ingredient remains the highlight of the dish.  

After all, you don't need to overly complicate a dish when you're using some of the world's finest ingredients. The succulent scallops bring a subtle sweetness to the palate followed by the mildly intense hints and depth of the Ikura Unagi Glaze. The spinach completes the dish with its silky smooth consistency while the sorrel pops a whisper of mint and citrus for another layer of flavor.      

The play on flavors are delicately nuanced with a bold freshness that can only come from the very best seafood. The scallops from the cold waters of Hokkaido has a firm yet soft bite, slowly melting in your mouth draping the palate with its succulent notes. The spinach and special glaze bring textural contrasts and flavors, all coming together in a delicate balance.

The Best Of The West

For the third course, Chef Tom Hines served his Foie Gras with Black Truffle on crisp crusty bread with thin slices of sweet mango. Foie gras is indulgent on its own, adding black truffle just elevates it to pure savory decadence.

The buttery melt-in-your-mouth texture and savory richness of foie gras is unlike any other, pair it with black truffle with its woody, earthy and nutty notes and it becomes a sensory experience remembered long after the last bite. It's an experience you simply can't replicate with ingredients of lesser quality. 

The zen-like presentation highlights the premium ingredients, just like all of the dishes at Kobe Jones. The dish combines elegant aesthetics and flavor in perfect sync, in true Chef Tom Hines style. 

The savory bite is paired with another handcrafted cocktail...

...with their version of the Mule with its comforting blend of Stolichnaya Vodka, lime and ginger beer. The sharp citrus and zesty notes of lime and the deep sweetness of vodka and ginger beer combine for a soothing finish to temper the richness of the Foie Gras with Black Truffle

Freshness On A Half Shell

The medley on fresh and clean flavors continue with a platter of Oysters on ice served with Ponzu Shallot Sauce. This is pure freshness, uncomplicated and honest flavors served on a half shell. 

A light drizzle of the Ponzu Shallot Sauce with its citrusy finish brings a subtle hint of sharpness with each bite without overwhelming the delicate notes of the oyster. Fresh oysters on a half shell are the perfect next course after indulgent bites of the foie gras with black truffle. 

Fresh seafood, foie gras and black truffle paired with cocktails, and it just keeps getting better. The day's freshest catch at Kobe Jones continues...

...with the Kobe Jones Sushi Platter with fresh tuna, salmon, uni, unagi and assorted rolls. Covered in a glass cloche, the reveal is as dramatic as it can be adding to the dining experience at Kobe Jones.

Seeing Seafood

The vibrant colors and fresh flavors tempts the eyes before the palate, and a liberal dab of fresh wasabi brings out even more flavors from the medley of seafood. The fresh and clean sweetness and the buttery texture mingles on the palate releasing bright notes with each bite. 

I vividly remember one chef telling me "freshness is flavor." And it's true. The nuanced sensibilities and aesthetics of the east shine with the specialty seafood dishes at Kobe Jones.

The delineation of east and west are clearly marked at Kobe Jones, with the best from both worlds taking the spotlight. The Kobe Jones Sushi Platter is a prelude to even better things yet to come that memorable evening...

Sides of Creamed Spinach and condiments are then served on the table, which means the main course is up next.

Bring On The Beef

Boasting a wide selection of premium world-class beef, a savory platter of the very best from both the east and west is showcased with the Prime Angus Tenderloin and Wagyu Ribeye mb7. Kobe Jones also serves a selection of sauces, but a liberal sprinkling of English Smoked Maldon Salt is all you need for beef this good. 

The Prime Angus Tenderloin delivers bold beefy notes with a tender yet mildly firm bite before releasing its savory richness on the palate. I've always enjoyed beef with that firm texture, and this one is spot on. Perfectly grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center, the premium slab of Prime Angus Tenderloin represents the best of western breeds...

...while the Wagyu Ribeye mb7 highlights the finest from the east. Richly seasoned with their own specialty rub, the Wagyu Ribeye mb7 is an experience in itself. Buttery, juicy and savory, a slice and a bite drapes the palate with a silky smooth richness that lingers as you sit back and take in the elegant vibe of the interiors and graceful service at Kobe Jones.

Indulgent, savory and memorable, that's just some of the key takeaways from Chef Tom Hines' newest dining concept. From elegant seafood starters to savory mains, the east west concept is clearly defined with the finest ingredients sourced from both ends of the globe at Kobe Jones. 

Chef Tom Hines caps our dinner experience at Kobe Jones with a duo of decadent desserts with the Matcha Chocolate Mousse...

...and the Lemon Cheesecake...

...paired with the Matcha Espresso, a bold yet soothing cocktail from the matcha and espresso blend to cut through the sweetness of the dessert creations by Kobe Jones. 

The Playlist To A Memorable Dinner by Kobe Jones

The menu at Kobe Jones reflects the east west concept with its wide selection of premium offerings from the day's freshest sustainable seafood catch to the prized Caviar "Oscietra" Paris Prestige... their Sushi, Nigiri and Sashimi prepared as you order (you can even ask their Sushi Chef to surprise you)...

...and savory mains from Tuna, Salmon and Duck Breast to their specialty steaks for the very best of east and west at Kobe Jones.

The metro's culinary landscape continues to change and transform with the new normal, but there's nothing that can replace dining out. Kobe Jones by Chef Tom Hines is one good reason to step out and rediscover the culinary offerings of the metro. And experience the very best from both the east and west in one place. 

Kobe Jones is located at the Ground Floor of Le Grand Condominium, 130 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati or call 0915 098 5735 for reservations. You can also visit their website at, Facebook Page and IG Feed at and @kobejonesph for more updates.

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