CHECK IT OUT: Geisha at Bonifacio High Street Central
Top-notch modern Japanese fare
Bonifacio High Street Central, Global City
Tel. No. 0917-569-2181
Open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) Arthur Golden vividly characterized the geisha by their resolute poise and elegance; the famously magnetic charm that's careful, welcoming yet shrouded with a captivating mystery.
That brand of grace is translated in an eponymous restaurant at Bonifacio High Street Central. Geisha is helmed by the same people behind restaurant chain Red Kimono. "We wanted (a name) that was Japanese but still understandable to the market," relates owner Michael Dargani. Like the Japanese artisans it is named after, Geisha is dripping with class right down to the last detail.
A palette of plum and soft metallic adds a touch of intimacy to the posh setting designed by Japanese designer Hisako Hirayama of Design HQ. Mirrored walls broaden the otherwise narrow space; and on one side, a set of booths is adorned with a row of unassuming gray curtains. Upon closer inspection, however, one will realize that they are made up of fine, lightweight chain mail-an example of the "special little touches" that Dargani proudly speaks of. Tokyo-trained designer Kim Gan also created custom kimonos for the servers.
The same level of sophistication is seen in the menu developed by British Chef Tom Hines and Chef Ramon Antonio. Cooking with only the freshest and best ingredients, Geisha, for instance, uses Kurobuta pork for their Gyoza (P285); Kurobuta is the pork equivalent to Angus beef. The Prawn Sushi (P150-P270), on the other hand, is an exquisite painting of colors, textures, and flavors, while the Tuna Sashimi (P140-P250), a dish literally glowing, served over a bowl of ice, is a feast for the senses.
Another testament to Geisha's meticulous attention to detail is the Skewered Pork 72 (P370): similar to the local lechon kawali, this dish takes 72 hours to complete. And our problem the US Angus Beef Teppanyaki (P895)? We just can't have enough of the plate of juicy, savory beef. Other standouts include the Butter Wasabi Oysters (P220), Geisha Carpaccio (P295), and the Spider Roll (P330).
For dessert, Geisha offers Tempura Brulee (P150), Chocolate Truffle Torte with Sesame-Sake Sauce (P190), and Green Tea Cheesecake (P165).
Photos by Christian Matias of the Red Kimono Group