With a buffet selection that boasts of fine quality and food served with inflections of Japanese flavors and techniques, Nobu Restaurant gives delicious reasons to wake up early.
Breakfast in Nobu is enjoyable in its languid and leisurely pace: diners are laid back and not rushing to the food stations, queues aren't unreasonable, and the buffet setup is straightforward, Zen-like in its simple and distinct style.
The signature Nobu experience is also about the food itself, the selection flavorful yet not too heavy, entrees savory but never overwhelming. While the food selection seems lesser than typical dizzying multi-station setups of other buffet restaurants, food is well-curated and well prepared. Touches of Japanese are present in their dishes, either as a traditional item or an inspired dish adding components and ingredients to familiar comfort food.
To start your morning, have a couple of Japanese classics like the Spicy Tuna Chirashi and Inari, the vinegared rice pairing well with the spicy tuna topping and the thin pocket of tofu. A staple for myself whenever I am having breakfast buffet is a hearty serving of arroz caldo, and at Nobu, arroz caldo is appropriately and deliciously replaced by their Congee Station. Here, you can customize with premium toppings like miso salt, oshinko (pickled radish), scallion, bonito flakes, pork flakes, edamame, and sliced tofu.
Nobu's breakfast buffet also includes staples like an Eggs and Omelette Station to have eggs cooked just the way you like it (you can add a little Nobu touch to your omelettes with their umami ketchup) and a Pancake and Waffle Station for your sweeter breakfast option. Items in this station include freshly made Nobu French Toast, Soba Pancakes, and Green Tea Waffles. It's also not your usual add-ons and syrups here: there's toppings of dark and white chocolate bits, blueberry-shisho compote, mango ginger compote, miso pecan butter, and yuzu whipped cream. For the kids and kids at heart, there's also a cereal station for your bowl of crispy carbs swimming on fresh milk.
The selection of mains change every so often, but always have options of meat, fish, and vegetables. During our visit, the Scrambled egg with Salmon and Soy Salt was an excellent companion for strips of Crispy Bacon and Nürnberger sausage. Their Roasted Tomato was topped with crumbs of chorizo, making every bite a burst of refreshing sweet tomato intertwine with the salty and meaty topping. For fish option, there was Anticucho Glazed Mahi-Mahi, the fillets of fish tender and lightly flavored with a sauce; the stir-fry Yasai Itame a good pair with the fish along with white rice. The most popular dish in this station (aside from bacon of course) is the Okonomiyaki, the Japanese savory pancake made fresh and served hot.
At Nobu's breakfast buffet, it's an easy decision to leave space for dessert: the restaurant has a solid selection of baked goods and is well-known for it, and the spread isn't too much that it confuses you on what to choose. Also, sweets here are never over the top, showing the finesse and restraint Nobu is known for -- desserts here are well-balanced and delicious.
Carbo-load on their baked goods and pastries, like assorted sliced bread and pandesal you can slather with butter, strawberry, mango, and blueberry jam. They offer classic items like Croissant, Cinnamon Cream Cheese, and Chocolate Croissant, and have the Nobu touch on others like Sakura Danish, Yuzu Pound Cake, Miso Muffin, and Green Tea Muffin. The Yuzu Pound Cake and Miso Muffin are personal favorites, the cake getting a hint of citrus from yuzu and the muffin with whispers of saltiness from miso. Both are perfect with a cup of coffee.
If you want to skip bread and pastries, there are healthier meal-enders like fresh fruits, yogurt, earl grey mango parfait, and coconut sago. If you want a less sugar option, try the coffee chocolate chia bowl, a dessert that's packed with nutrients and only mildly sweet.
A long-time buffet favorite is Nobu's interpretation of the Filipino treat taho sold in the streets, sweetening many childhood afternoons. This station at the breakfast buffet is a regular, where you can have endless bowls of fresh silken tofu topped with as much sago and syrup as you wish. Here, the local arnibal is replaced with Kuromitsu Syrup -- it's thinner and light, with enough sweet pull that doesn't overwhelm the sweet tooth. Every spoonful of it is quite nostalgic, yet more refined to suit your palate that has grown up over the years.
Nobu Buffet Breakfast is served from 6am to 10am on weekdays, priced at P1,364/person. Nobu Restaurant is located at Level 1 South Tower of Nobu Hotel Manila at City of Dreams Manila, Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque. Visit www.nobuhotelmanila.com, like on Facebook (/NobuHotelManila) and follow on Instagram (@nobuhotelmanila).