Friday, March 14, 2014

A Luxurious Lava Stone Steak Dinner at Magosaburo

If you're looking for a Japanese restaurant to impress your date that serves the best cuts of meats, uses only the freshest ingredients, has an amazing chef, and treats you to an all around dining experience, then bring your significant other to Magosaburo at the Fort Strip.

I had first read about Magosaburo in Anton's blog, and was so impressed that I was looking for an excuse - any excuse! - to visit the Japanese fine dining restaurant. So when my foodie fambam and I got invited to dinner there, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl, dreaming about all those prime cuts of Wagyu meats being served - the marbling, the texture, the flavor! I couldn't wait to go!

Magosaburo is located at the same building as URBN Bar & Kitchen. What I initially thought was a two-storey restaurant was actually three - the third floor being a speakeasy-ish wine lounge (and their smoking area).Chef Takashi Motomatsu moved to Manila from Magosaburo in Singapore to head the kitchen, and he has been delivering mouthwatering dishes every single time, assuring the authenticity and quality execution of all the dishes served.

Magosaburo hails from the Kumamoto Prefecture, which is central to one of the four major Japanese islands. The City of Aso, known for its luxuriant vegetation and Amakusa City, famous for its fresh seafood, are both located in Kumamoto Prefecture. Owing it to Kumamoto Prefecture’s mild climate, Magosaburo uses high quality food ingredients, lending dishes with only the freshest and most savory taste. 

I love how wine-friendly Magosaburo is. They make it very easy for you to pair your food with their extensive collection of wines - everything from your reds, to whites, to dessert wines. You pay for them by the glass, with the price depending on how much wine you want per glass. Of course, if you'd rather just buy them by the bottle, that would be better. I tried a few glasses of their fruity whites, ending my night with a glass of sweet Moscato.

We were treated to the decadent Lava Set Choice 3 (P6,200). Each set is meant to be shared, so if impressing your date is what you're going for, this is definitely what you want. The set consists of a small appetizer, salad, an actual appetizer, soup, and rice.

You also have a choice of what kind of small appetizer, salad, actual appetizer, soup, and rice you'd like, so feel free to mix and match dishes to come up with your favorite combination.

Small Appetizer: 3 Kinds Assorted Namuru or 3 Kinds Assorted Kimchi

We were served the 3 kinds of namuru, which reminded me a lot of Korean banchan. There was a pickled jicama and carrot slaw, cherry tomatoes in olive oil and basil, and a celery pickle to tease the tastebuds and cleanse the palate to get us ready for the next round of courses we'd be enjoying that night.

Salad: Luxury Green Salad or California Salad

The Luxury Green Salad may look very simple, the vegetables being composed of just fresh buttered lettuce and ripe, plump tomatoes. But the truffle shavings and truffle-infused vinaigrette brings the salad up to a whole new level. Another luxurious component is the salad being prepared table side - a classic French style of preparation and food presentation.

Appetizer: Cream Cheese Tofu or OX Tail Omelet

The Cream Cheese Tofu weirded me out at first. I didn't know whether what I was looking at was cream cheese or tofu. As it turns out, it was cream cheese with a tofu-like texture. Spread a little bit of the light cheese on a crostini, and add a sprinkle of Himalayan mountain salt before you dig in. I had quite a few crostinis, it was just too good to let go of.

Soup: Clam Soup or Spicy Vegetable Soup

We had the Spicy Vegetable Soup, which along with the Enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts, and other bits of greens, also had slivers of beef. The broth wasn't as spicy as I expected to be - I thought this would be as spicy as a Korean soup - but it only had a mild heat. Nevertheless, this was still really good, and like a good little girl, I polished off my bowl 'til the very last drop.

Rice: Cheese Curry Rice in Stone Bowl or Chicken Rice in Stone Bowl

We all enjoyed  the Cheese Curry Rice in Stone Bowl immensely - and this is coming from someone who doesn't necessarily eats rice. This was cheesy, spicy, and sweet all at the same time, and it complimented the steaks nicely. But then again, the steaks were so good I just ended up eating them on their lonesome.

Assorted Wagyu Steak Palette: 100g Japanese Wagyu Sirloin, 100g Japanese Wagyu Short Rib, and 80g Special Prime Tongue

The steak palette comes with a trio of dips: steak sauce, a soy sauce foam, and Himalayan mountain salt. Our servers also brought out lettuce leaves, three small plates of banchan, and a miso paste for those of us who wanted to enjoy our pieces of meat Gangnam style.

I was hesitant about the ox tongue, as is isn't something I'd eat on an ordinary day. But hey, there's a first time for everything, and this was presented so nicely on the lava stone plate, it didn't even look like tongue. And you know what? This was so soft, it didn't even taste like tongue either. Chef Takashi only uses the softest part of the ox tongue, and this was so delicate I could almost feel it melting in my mouth.

Short ribs usually have some bite to them, but these Wagyu short ribs had almost none. Even sans all the dipping sauce, because of its beautiful marbling, the meat had a rich buttery taste to it, whetting and re-whetting my appetite, making me go in for another piece, and another, and another.

I also can't stop raving about the unique lava stone plates! Each one is made by traditional masons, the same guys responsible for repairing the walls of Japan's historic castles and structures. Each lava stone plate is specifically with 3cm thick - perfect for grilling premium meats at low heat. The servers at Magosaburo are so anal about getting it just right that they use an infrared scanner to monitor the temperature to a constant 180 Celsius. Impressive, no?

Last, but definitely not least, is the Japanese Wagyu Sirloin. The highlight of our meal, just check out the color on the beauties! A marbling of brown and white on the outside, and a bright pink on the inside, the tenderness of the meat made me want to burst out into a musical number ala-Glee. I have never had steak this exquisite!

Speaking of enjoying a musical number, after our very decadent dinner, we explored the hidden Mago Wine Lounge on the third floor. With a glass of red wine my hand, my friends and I gossiped and laughed away the rest of our night, enjoying the smooth tunes of the sweet jazz crooner on set.

This is definitely a restaurant I'd keep coming back to, if not to dine at the restaurant, then definitely to enjoy a nice glass of wine without having to push my way through a crowd of people. I was also surprised to see that Magosaburo also has more affordable items on the menu, so if high-grade steak isn't in the budget right now, you can still enjoy something else without blowing through your latest paycheck.

When mucking around Bonifacio Global City and looking to treat your significant other to something a bit different, bringing them to Magosaburo is definitely a good idea, especially on Live Jazz Wednesdays where you get to enjoy, not only the music, but a wine buffet for only P900 all night. The jazz and wine sessions start at 9:45pm and goes on until midnight.

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+63 2 856 1808
Fort Pointe Bldg, 28th St
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Open Daily: 11am - 10pm