September 13, 2017

Kazunori Japanese Restaurant and Kazu Cafe at the Mazda Showroom in Makati

Been hearing about this new Japanese restaurant in Makati which is situated within the Mazda car dealership showroom along Chino Roces Ave. Kazunori Japanese Restaurant is apparently from the same people behind Mendoroko Ramenba and Ramen Yushoken.

The restaurant has three dining concepts: a casual cafe by the entrance (Kazu Cafe), an upscale sushi bar at the middle, and the main dining area at the back. The main dining also sports an open-kitchen bar table which can accommodate 10 persons.

The place, while unassuming, was packed with diners on a Saturday evening. We didn't have prior reservation, but was lucky to get a table at the main dining area.

For appetizers, we got the Kakiage (P420) tempura which I noticed most tables also have.

It was priced higher than average, but serving size was really huge. I love kakiage tempura and this one did not disappoint. While it came in just one piece, the dish is ideal for sharing. It was creatively served as a crunchy and colorful nest of carrots, sweet potato, onions, corn, and peas.

Another appetizer not to miss at Kazunori is the famous Yushoken Gyoza (P180). These plump and juicy pan-fried dumplings will certainly fix your gyoza cravings.

Kazunori's signature appetizer is their Chawan Mushi topped with ikura and uni.

We didn't get that, but fortunately, most main dishes come with a sampler of the Japanese steamed egg custard. It didn't have the ikura and uni topping, but taste was nonetheless divine. The custard was silky and soft, that easily melts in the mouth after one spoonful. There's a a thin layer of sauce on top that gave a nice lemon-y flavor to enhance its overall taste. Will remember to get the full order on our next visit.

Kazunori takes pride in their premium and quality ingredients, which are all imported from Japan. Prices may be on the higher side, but you'll be able to taste the difference in terms of quality and flavors.

An example is their Uni Sashimi (P850) which you can get at regular Japanese restaurants for one-third its price. But this is not the local type of uni sashimi most Japanese restaurants in Manila serve. It has this bright autumn color rather than the usual creamy light brown our local sea urchins have.

Since I don't eat uni, we got an order of the Ebi Tempura (P340) sushi roll for me to enjoy. It was pretty ok, but it was probably the dish that didn't stood out the most.

For mains, we had the Beef Curry Gohan (P480) which was recommended by our server. The Japanese curry was rich and the beef chunks were very tender. I just wish there were more beef servings though.

The dish that stood out the most for me was this Karai Niku Soba (P460) which translates to spicy beef buckwheat noodles. It is a dipping-style noodles wherein you dip the soba into the spicy beef sauce. Dashi stock is served on the side which you can pour into the remaining sauce and enjoy it as a soup.

We also tried one pasta from Kazu Cafe menu and opted for this Ebi Tonkotsu Linguini (P440).

The pasta was very firm and al dente, while the sauce was very flavorful. I could taste the distinct flavor of seafood, heightened by the rich and savory tonkotsu broth.

Kazunori/Kazu Cafe menu:

I can't wait to revisit Kazunori and have the Chawan Mushi, Kakiage and Karai Niku Soba again. I am also looking forward to trying more dishes like other pasta and pizza dishes at Kazu Cafe. 

*Kazunori has an off-the-menu item which has been trending on Instagram. It's a chef's special of Otoro, Chutoro, Uni, Ikura on top of cucumber maki. Good thing I am not much into sashimi and raw items, as the dish is priced at a whooping Php5,000. Most friends I know who have tried it said it's nice to try it once, but would settle for the regular menu items next time.

Kazunori Japanese Restaurant/ Kazu Cafe
2301 Chino Roces Ave. Extension, G/F Mazda Makati Building, Makati
Tel num: 0917-836-2695

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