New Restaurant Alert: Nobu Tea Lounge at City of Dreams, Parañaque
Experience the lighter side of this world-famous Japanese restaurant
Nobu Tea Lounge
Nobu Hotel, City of Dreams, Aseana Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque City
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) We discovered we had something in common with award-winning actor Robert De Niro. He wasn’t there, of course, the day we tried out Nobu Tea Lounge, but everyone at our table clamored for the same thing-the Tonkatsu Sandwich (P480), which the Nobu staff claimed was his favorite.
The tiny sandwiches seem a little timid for Vito Corleone. Different layers of softness make up this tea-time dish, begining with the shokupan. The pillowy Japanese breakfast loaf cushions a cloud-like streak of incredibly light mustard butter. Texture begins by way of the slow-cooked Japanese belly, which is juicy and tender, then brightened by homemade tonkatsu sauce. Each element is carefully considered, gently performing their parts to create a loud impact.
Fresh fruit, anyone? This plate is inspired by a zen garden.
There are many other savory items on the menu that compete for your palate’s attention. The Lobster Roll (P1,030) is a mouthwatering globe-deep-fried bao-that pockets a medley of poached lobster in wasabi aioli sauce. Under the pop of carrots and celery, the wasabi slowly makes its presence known, a backbone-supportive but distinct and incredibly important. The Nobu Club (P320), for those who prefer more familiar flavor, is how the kitchen interprets a classic club sandwich. Grilled chicken is perked up by ponzu aioli and painted with umami from the furikake.
Scones (P250), Azuki and Mixed Berry Mousse (P450)
There are two kinds of Nobu High Tea Sets (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.): the Classic which comes in packages costing P1,970, P3,200, and P4,150; and the Nobu Style which offers sets for P3,100, P4,400, and P5,250.
Then, the desserts because goodness knows every meal-even tea-should end on a sweet note. The Yuzu Pound Cake (P225) is baked in a classic Japanese style, moist enough to skip the chantilly cream and citrusy enough to do without the jams. It’s wonderfully light-to leave room for the Matcha and White Chocolate Eclair (P280), perhaps? The miniature eclairs are topped with a thin plate of white chocolate, adding a touch of sweetness to the rich chocolate and the earthy green tea.
Matcha and White Chocolate Eclairs
Miso Cappuccino Tart
The Miso Cappuccino Tart (P380) is an interesting combination: rich with a slight tail-end of a bite. A play on the trendy sweet and salty, this extremely luscious dish encased in a perfect pastry shell falls on an intense type of indulgence. The coffee flavor shines through, and when the cream and custard get a bit too much, let the candied pecans rescue your palate from the load.
The Chocolate Royal (P450), a demonstration on complementing textures, is a stack of simple chocolate mousse (a marriage of milk and dark), almond sponge cake, and the crispiest, airiest wafer base. Each forkful is heavenly, but broken down by that light crunch from the bottom.
Each item from their tea menu works to marry well with the teas. Nobu exclusively uses the Ikaati brand where each tea is meticulously hand-crafted and 100% organic. There’s a signature Nobu Shiso (P235) created specifically for the world’s most recognized Japanese restaurant. Its fragrance comes from the blend of white peony and Japanese mint.
The Imperial Earl Grey (P235) is a fail-safe black tea boosted by rare golden tips and organic bergamot flavor.
Honey Nectar Cooler
Mountain Peach Tea
Those who find "regular" tea too tame, the Nobu Tea Lounge has Ikaati-infused cocktails. Tasting almost like a dessert, the Mountain Peach Tea (P470) has Hendricks gin, passion breeze, cranberry juice, and a final touch of yamamomo, a Japanese berry. Local flavors find their way in the Honey Nectar Cooler (P470), which uses Don Papa Rum to add depth to the refreshing blend of nectar sun, honeydew puree, and calamansi juice.
Nobu has always been known for its playful approach to traditional techniques, but here, at the tea lounge, it’s still just good old-fashioned tea time. In case we’re not at the restaurant, this is where you’ll find us, eating the Tonkatsu Sandwiches and daydreaming about having conversations with Robert De Niro.