By Chanda Shahani
From the makers of American-Japanese restaurants SumoSam: Steaks, Seafood, Sushi and John and Yoko: Cosmopolitan-Japanese, comes Mr. Kurosawa: Euro-Japanese as the newest spin-off from the expanding chains of restaurants founded by successful restaurateurs and businessmen and friends Raymund Magdaluyo (owner of Red Crab Group of Companies), Ricky Laudico (former GMA Sales and Marketing Manager) and Marvin Agustin (award-winning actor and celebrity). Such collaborations were motivated by their love for food and travel through their explorations across the boundaries of Asia, Europe and the USA, venturing into each continent’s culinary expertise.
This writer, together with fellow Diliman Diary writers Robby Robiso and Dolly Mose (now with GMA 7 News) attended the mass and formal launch of Mr. Kurosawa last August 8, 2010 at the 2nd Floor, Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Cybertourism Zone, Pasay City. In attendance was Mr. Marvin Agustin, Ms. Lovely Grace P. Sarzaba, Restaurant Manager, other company officials, investors, staff and an estimated crowd of 1,000 attendees who were also present to attend the simultaneous launch as well of The Red Crab Alimango House, and New Orleans Bourbon Street Steaks & Oysters. A joint mass was held and a Chinese Dragon and pounding drums snaked its way through every corner of the atrium where the three restautrants were ensconced to drive away evil spirits and receive the Lord's blessings.
Inspired by the late Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, the flagship restaurant opened last February 12, 2009 at the ground floor of the Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, promising a new concept in fusion restaurant dining which is a notch higher than what the founders had done before – Japanese cuisine with a touch of European flair. Spearheaded by Corporate Chef Christine Nicole Nicolas and her team of internationally-trained chefs, various innovations were introduced such as French-Japanese items like tempura or gyoza souflaits, steaks and fine wines; Greek-Japanese items like Japanese kebabs and salads; Spanish-Japanese items like the japaella; and Italian-Japanese items such as pastas and pizza. And this is complemented with traditional Japanese favourites such as kobe, teriyaki, tempura, donburi, sushi and sashimi.
Iwo Jima Pizza
For those desiring to discover Mr. Kurosawa’s signature flavours, for instance, one might want to start with Chicken Shuriken Salad, a serving of mixed greens with chicken terriyaki, ebi fry w/ balsamic miso dressing, or enjoy the sweetness of Gyoza Fondue, a serving of mini pork and chicken gyoza with ryo cheese dip. One can also try various rolls namely Crunchy Tuna Roll, a serving of maki w/ spicy tuna, Dream Rolls, a serving of maki with crispy salmon skin and cream cheese inside wrapped with smoked salmon, and Empire of the Sun which is a set of crepe temakis composed of four kinds – Kani and Cheese tempura, Fried Jandory, Chicken Teriyaki and California.
Roppongi Braised Pork
Craving for more? The pasta and pizza will never fail one’s big appetite. The Akira Sesame Chicken Pasta, a serving of linguini with slices of chicken, yasai in tobanjan sauce, and Smoked Salmon Linguini, a serving of linguini with smoked salmon, mango, and ikura, will surely keep one stuffed and delighted. The bestseller among the pizzas is Iwo Jima, pizza served with chicken teriyaki and mango, teriyaki and tonkatsu sauce, che-vital and mozzarella.
And there’s more. One will never forget Mr. Kurosawa’s Kobe, which is proudly served with garlic and mushroom rice and mixed vegetables cooked in teppanyaki. The Roppongi Braised Pork is a must-try, a serving of pork belly braised in sweet soy-based sauce served with mashed potato. And one will not dare miss the scrumptious serving of the Japaellas, which is served in two kinds – Chicken and Ebi Japaella and Seafood Japaella – one will surely scream ‘delicioso’ and ask for more. The list goes on and the magnitude of the number of the items will surely keep customers coming back for more to try every item available, making each dining moment at Mr. Kurosawa better than the ones before!
The Smiling Staff of Mr. Kurosawa
The concept doesn’t end with the food itself, but with the whole package of the restaurant, as it is completely true to what it promises to be. The bold architectural design of the interiors that generates hip ambience and chic atmosphere exhibited through red velvet curtains, dark furniture and orange bricked walls which are pretty much very European, with stark accents of purple and red through the unlikely combined chopsticks-inspired wall design, the cleverly designed backlit posters hanging on the ceiling with animal skin patterns as displays that are very contemporary mixed up with classic samurai and geisha graphics, the wide mirrors giving a spacious illusion to the place, and the music that has touches of the sound of the Tokyo Fashion District, make the diners feel the amazing clash of the east and the west. And even most of the items on the menu were named after popular international film stars and directors, coming from the brainwave enthused by the great director Akira Kurosawa.
Empire of the Sun (Kani and Cheese Tempura, Fried Jandory, Chicken Teriyaki and California)
Now that Mr. Kurosawa has found an extension of its home, now at the 2nd Floor of Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City, it is destined to impart its inimitable concept as a fusion restaurant to the visitors and diners of the place. With updated interiors and exteriors such as the honeycomb windows and Victorian walls and elegant fixtures, the logo itself as well as the menu, the people behind it promise to give more of what it had given before more than what is only seen by the eyes – excellent food, unparalleled value for money and passion for outstanding service.
The Diliman Diary team will return soon to review the dishes offered by these three restaurants.
Mr. Kurosawa Euro-Japanese is located at the 2nd Floor, Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Cybertourism Zone, Pasay City, and is open weekdays and weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. For inquiries and reservation kindly call (02) 973-6213.
(Chanda Shahani the Editor of the Diliman Diary)