Manila Diamond Hotel’s award-winning Japanese restaurant Yurakuen is proudly offering a totally unique Teppanyaki Eat-All-You-Can experience for all us buffet lovers out there. Instead of getting food from buffet spreads and cooking them on your table’s hot pot and griddles, Yurakuen lets you sit back and relax as you watch your personal chefs prepare food at your very own tables.
Available during lunch and dinner, enjoy the Teppanyaki Eat-All-You-Can with unlimited flow of local drinks, local beer, and Japanese Kirin beer, all for the price of Php 1,970++ per person. My sister, Mhel, and I got to experience it ourselves when they invited us to experience a Teppanyaki dinner. It may be a little pricey, but we can seriously say that it’s worth every penny! Not convinced? Let me walk you through it.
First, above are photos of the long lists of food you can order with the Teppanyaki Eat-All-You-Can promo (click to zoom), which include appetizers, soups, noodles, meat dishes, and even desserts!
We started our meal with a generous serving of Seaweed Salad. The whole dish is light and refreshing. The vegetables are very crunchy to bite, hinting how freshly they were served. The seaweed provided a delicate tanginess to the dish, and I liked it a lot since it’s not the type of seaweed that overwhelms you with its ‘salt watery’ taste.
Hot Tea with a bowl of Tuna and Salmon Sashimi
Bowl of Tuna and a plate of condiments for Steak (L), Vegetables (M), and Seafood (R)
Together with our salad came a cup of hot tea, a bowl of sashimi, a tuna dish, and a plate of condiments for the steak, vegetables, and seafood fare that are all to be served to us in the latter part of dinner.
While our personal chef and the kimono-clad servers were busy bringing out and preparing the ingredients for cooking on the griddle, we were first served with a platter of varied sushi and maki. I’m no expert in sushi, but I know a thing or two on determining how fresh seafood is. From the look, the texture, and mouth taste, I can tell that the sushi we were served were of the freshest quality.
The raw ingredients
Chef Bibong preparing our meal with a certain flare.
A plate of fresh onions, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, and Konyaku (vegetable jelly) prepared teppanyaki style!
I was very intrigued with the Konyaku, since, at first, I thought it was some kind of seafood, but it is actually vegetable similar to what they use in making ‘nata de coco’ and lychee jelly.
(Check the prices at the bottom of this post to know how you can avail of unlimited servings of this)
Chef Bibong flambéing some spine lobsters!
The lobster meat was extracted from their shells, then cooked and served with vegetables. But why waste the juices and flavors of the shells when we can send it back to the kitchen to make Lobster Miso Soup? Slurp! Slurp!
Flavorful Lobster Miso Soup
The Lobster Miso Soup was divine. I honestly tilted the soup bowl up just to get every single drip of it. The flavor of the lobster was very pronounced, as if the soup was simmered for hours and hours, when, actually, the soup came out 15 minutes after the shells left our table.
Squids, Salmon, Prawns
Squid cut into rings and seasoned well.
Biggest Scallops I have ever seen!
Mhel: I thought I lost my faith that I’d enjoy scallops as much as most people do. But, these were seared to my liking.
My Seafood Platter
He cooked the seafood separately, but I decided to put them in one plate so I could finish eating the whole lot in one swift move. I’m just kidding. I was waiting for our chef to finish cooking our fried rice, so I can eat the seafood with it. Again, everything is unlimited, so you could ask for more servings of the food that you want!
Beef Ribeye Steaks
Beef Ribeye with fried garlic
Let’s move on to meat! Our chef griddled some ribeye steak to our preferred doneness (most of us requested medium well) and served with fried garlic. The dish is very simple, yet the combination of flavors was to die for.
Beef Tenderloin Steak
Medium Well Beef Tenderloin Steak
Next is Beef Tenderloin Steak. You may ask your chef to cut up the meat to smaller pieces if you want. But I wanted my steak whole, since I’m the type of guy who enjoys seeing his steak transition from a huge slab of meat into total oblivion, with only the mere traces of the meat juices left on the plate.
Griddled Lamb Chops with Mint Gel
I’m not a huge fan of lambs. I had a difficult time swallowing it the first time I had a serving from a different restaurant. Perhaps the reason I didn’t like it before was because the meat was stewed. This time in Yurakuen, however, they cooked it on the griddle and – take note of this – added some mint gel. For some reason, the addition of the mint took away the gamey flavor I hate. And at the end of our meal, this has become one of the most unforgettable dishes we had the whole night.
Yurakuen Seafood Fried Rice
For starch, we had some Seafood Fried Rice. And Chef Bibong was sweet enough to shape it into a heart. It was not too oily, which most fried rice end up being. The seafood flavor was distinct. I could even order this alone, with no viand whatsoever, and still be full and satisfied. It’s that delicious!
Chestnut Ice Cream with Adzuki Red Beans
Finally, for dessert we had some Chestnut Ice Cream with Adzuki Red Beans. This reminded me a lot of the ice cream that ‘sorbeteros’ sell in our streets when I was growing up. Before, they serve their ice cream with sweet bean paste, but similar with all the vendors I’ve been seeing lately, they don’t have the beans anymore. And that’s why I’m so grateful for having this as our dessert at Yurakuen. A year-long craving for ice cream with sweet bean paste has finally been crossed out on my bucket list.
Still not convinced how ‘sulit’ or worth it paying for Php 1,970++ for the Teppanyaki Eat-All-You-Can at Yurakuen? Well, you may be surprised when I tell you that all the food we had above is not even close enough to half of the food listed on their buffet menu, and that you can order unlimited steak, lobsters, prawns, scallops!
Take note though that to order unlimited Black Cod, Chilean Seabass, Black Seabass, Spine Lobster, US Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, US Wagyu Beef Sirloin Center Cut, Striploin and Short Ribs, you have to add Php 500 for each one. But, again, it’s unlimited.
This deal is, one, such a unique experience since you get to witness your food being cooked in front of you. Two, you have a huge array of food that you can choose from! And, three, it is the perfect dinner for your family and friends for the coming holidays! A nice and quiet ambiance while enjoying Japanese dishes with loved ones. Don’t miss out on this one, guys!
Moving forward, the holidays are fast approaching, and I know people are cramming to find the best place to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Luckily, Yurakuen has prepared a special set of dinner for these holiday occasions.
(The part below is from 2011)
For December 24 and 25, Yurakuen is offering the Kaizeki Set which is inclusive of a complimentary glass of Umeshu or sparkling wine for only Php 1,630++ per person. They also have a separate Sparkling Wine Buffet for only Php 488 nett per person. This fits well to people like me who wants to welcome Christmas and the New Year toasting with family and friends!
For December 31, Yurakuen features the Kaizeki Set Dinner for Php 2,012 nett per person. And on January 1, Yurakuen presents its Osechi Set Menu at Php 1,630++ per person and the Ozouni Set Menu for Php 1,280++ per person.
Of course the New Year would not be complete without the much anticipated New Year Countdown! Join the fun and party all night with the Fahrenheit Band at the Sky Lounge for only Php 888 nett per person inclusive of 2 standard drinks.
Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant
TIP: Make sure you call for reservation, so you get seated at the Teppanyaki tables. – Thanks for the heads up, Michael! (comment)
By the way, we came home with these huge Ube Ensaymada from Manila Diamond Hotel which are absolutely tasty! We all instantly fell in love with its generous creamy cheese toppings and sweet filling.