Tucked away in the midst of car horns and muddled pedestrians, along what is fast becoming the city’s most talked about food corridor, is Kazunori, a new Japanese restaurant with three distinct dining concepts. It houses a casual cafe in the front, a high-end nine-seat omakase bar in the middle, and a traditional sit-down dining room at the back that serves traditional izakaya fare.
Owned and managed by seasoned restaurateur Elbert Cuenca of Elbert’s Steak Room fame and his partners in the popular ramen joints Mendokoro and Yushoken, Kazunori brings authentic Japanese cuisine to the bustling epicenter of Metro Manila—along Chino Roces
Interiors of Kazunori: It houses a casual cafe in the front, a high-end nine-seat omakase bar in the middle, and a traditional sit-down dining room at the back.
The casual atmosphere inside Kazunori makes for a simply delightful dining experience. A glass wall separates the restaurant from the adjacent Mazda showroom and during the day patrons of both establishments can cross over from space to space with ease. Its sleek industrial style interiors feature olive green and
It is the quality of food and ingredients that sets Kazunori apart from the hundreds of other Japanese restaurants scattered around the city. To illustrate this point, co-proprietor Ryan Cruz shares that the market price of a single slice of
Recently a soba master paid a visit to the establishment to assist the chefs in perfecting the soba and udon dishes by adjusting the thickness and texture of the noodles. Although the group has been making its own ramen noodles for a while, it recognized that a greater level of expertise was required to perfect the quality of the noodles. In true Japanese fashion, an artisanal expert was called in.
In addition, specialty rice is also sourced from Japan and high-grade wasabi is never premade but prepared only before it is served. Each area of Kazunori is managed by a single Japanese chef, and the three work together to keep the quality and consistency to a very high standard. The separate café and the izakaya menus can be enjoyed interchangeably, and it is only in the omakase space that a single menu is strictly adhered to.
It’s often said that we eat with our eyes first. At Kazunori, the food looks just as good as it tastes and all the dishes look pretty spectacular. To start, try the crunchy vegetable and prawn kakiage that resembles a colorful bird’s nest or indulge in the
“You can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none,” says Cuenca as he explains the importance of refining a set of dishes before expanding the Kazunori menu.
2301 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati; 989.3152.