I had the pleasure of discovering Yakumi recently, following a nice lunch with good friends.
Yakumi is one of the best Japanese restaurants in the city , with very good ambience located at Solaire Resorts & Casino at Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City.
There are Japanese fine dining places that are negligible but Yakumi is different. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s located inside Solaire and counts people of different nationalities as its clientele, hence there’s no compromising on the taste. While I was curious to taste their Sushi or Meat Plate, I opted for the California Maki plate.
True to the traditional means of service, set up was impressive and beautiful without being too much. Prior to the start of the service, our server Shanene came to our table and offered a serving of fresh wasabi. After a while, she handed me the wasabi root and the wooden paddle used as a grater so I could try it for myself. The paddle was covered with dried shark’s skin which worked best in grating the soft ends of the root. Soon, the familiar smell of fresh wasabi greeted my nose.
Here’s the thing. I hate wasabi with a passion and I can’t stand it’s smell because it reminds me trips to the dentist. But having the chance to see the difference in quality between a freshly grated one versus the one from the tube is worth it.
As if prove that Wasabi goes beyond a mere component in enjoying your sushi, Yakumi has graciously presented me with their latest desert, Wasabi Pana Cotta served with sesame crisp.
As expected, the presentation was nice and instantly Instagrammable – but time again, Wasabi will always be an acquired taste. I tried a few spoonful but definitely the taste did not agree with me.
To say that I was blown away with this serving of California Maki is an understatement. My order came in big pieces that is far from the usual five peso size. The salmon glistens and pops with every bite. While there were only four pieces in the plate, the pieces were big enough to immediately satiate your hunger (if there’s any). There was only enough rice to make each serving filling without making it overwhelming. The crab meat was fresh and sweet and provides a delicate balance between the mango, the fish and the rice.
I was informed that the fish came straight from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo and was flown in about two days ago. I was immediately impressed. One of my fondest dreams is to visit the market during its famed tuna auction. This meant waking up at the most ungodly hour of the morning just to make the cut for daily visitors.
But with one small sacrifice, consider the pay off: fresh seafood everywhere, the sound of haggling and the art of the auction and later, in one of the many stalls inside the market – your palate dancing the sweet dance in sushi wonderland.