Hidden in one of the corners of Diamond Hotel in Roxas Boulevard, Yurakuen – a word which translates to paradise – is a restaurant which would surely take you to a Japanese paradise without flying to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Upon walking along the hallway close to the hotel’s lobby lounge, you would know you have found the right place once you see the glass replica of Japan’s famous cherry blossom tree stood in the middle of the room. The piece, which is a signature one in the restaurant, spells elegance and luxury – something that gives you a hint on what to expect with the dishes you will be munching on in a few.
There is no doubting as to where Yurakuen got its name. Separated only by a glass window, the restaurant is also surrounded by tall and lush trees that make guests feel like they’re in a paradise, and not in the middle of a busy city.
Yurakuen also takes pride in being tagged as one of the most authentic Japanese in Manila, offering a myriad of dishes that are made with nothing but the best and the freshest ingredients they could have here – from sushi and sashimi, to udon, and the prime Wagyu meat.
Here are some dishes sure to give you a taste of Japan:
The Tokujo Nigiri Zushi Moriawase (P1,900) is an assortment of 12 different kinds of nigiri – a type of sushi made of pressed vinegar rice and topped with a slice of raw fish – specifically chosen by the chef. Guests get to choose from the different kinds of nigiri they serve, from tuna to salmon, gindara to shrimp. Whatever their picks are, though, they’re assured that they get nothing but the freshest seafood they could have.
For someone who’s not very sure on what to get and just wants to try the best of everything, they may opt to try Tokujo Yurakuen Bento Box (P1,580). It consists of 5 Japanese favorites: sashimi, nigiri, tempura, gindara, and vegetables.
Fans of sashimi would not be disappointed with Yurakuen’s 9 Kinds of Sashimi (P2,780). Plated artistically to bring out the seafood’s freshness more, every fish and seafood served is of premium quality and sliced generously to keep you coming back for more. A dish fit for the tempura-lover, Tokujo Tempura Moriawase (P980) is also a must-try as it doesn’t only feature the well-loved ebi tempura, but also other kinds of seafood (oyster tempura!) and vegetable tempura.
Since every Japanese meal isn’t complete without some good ol’ teppanyaki, you could also try their Mixed Seafood Teppanyaki which is a part of the Kaisen Teppanyaki set (P1,580). Paired with vegetables, the set includes squid, shrimp, scallops, and salmon cooked on an iron plate. Nabeyaki Udon (P720), on the other hand, is something that would please the palate of those who loves Japanese noodle soup. Cooked in a nabe or clay/earthenware pot, the thick noodles are made even more flavorful by the seafood and vegetables.
If you’re feeling even fancier, don’t forget to order Yurakuen’s Wagyu Steak (P5,400) for some high-quality Japanese meat. Served on a hot stone, you could only imagine how good the marbling of the meat is because of the juice oozing as it cooks. You could try dipping it in one of the three sauces they have, but you could also have it as is to taste all the flavors it has. It’s more expensive than the usual beef, but we promise you that it’s going to be worth it!
Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant is located at Manila Diamond Hotel, Roxas Blvd. cor. Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila. For more information, you may visit Diamond Hotel’s website or like them on Facebook.