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Jay Labrador

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WTN: Japanese and German

by Jay Labrador » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:45 pm

Dinner last Saturday was at one of our favorite places in Quezon City – Nomama on Scout Tuazon, almost directly in front of the huge Max Restaurant. Run by Chef Him Uy de Baron, Nomama offers food with a Japanese base but tweaked so its just a little offbeat. I’ve heard some people say they don’t particularly care for it but I can’t understand that. We love the food here. The flavors aren’t shy, the portions are good sized without being over the top and the prices are very reasonable. At this dinner our average tab was around P 700.00 per person including tips. But we’ve always liked Chef Him’s food, ever since he helmed the kitchen at Rustan’s Makati’s East restaurant several years back.

For a few months, Nomama will be showcasing some new menu items in partnership with Kikkoman, Ministry of Mushrooms and Kitayama beef and we took this opportunity to try a couple of new things on offer.

I did opt to start with an old favorite, tuna tataki and soba salad as cold noodles are just the thing for a hot day.
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Tuna tataki and soba salad by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

The kids were pretty hungry so a couple of orders of gyoza were also called for – traditional pork and a very tasty mushroom gyoza that doesn’t require any sauce.

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Pork gyoza by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

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Mushroom gyoza by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

While waiting for our mains to come I uncorked a couple of new wines I wanted to try. First up was a Japanese wine from Grace Winery. This was a Grace Winery Koshu Toriibira Vineyard 2010. Koshu is a Japanese white grape variety. The winery itself was established in 1923 and is based in Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture which is the birthplace of Japan’s wine industry just north of Mount Fuji. The wine was rather light but very pleasant, dry and a little grassy but no green flavors. Sweet herbs like mint also come to mind as well as a vaguely fino sherry quality. It’s a very easy wine to drink. I would love to try it again with some sushi or more traditional Japanese food.

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Grace Koshu Toriibira Vineyard by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

Another wine I opened was the Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2007 from one of the Mosel’s best sites and a great vintage as well. A lightish rendition of Spatlese although I suspect this is a proper Spatlese, not a declassified Auslese which is what some others taste like. Sweet but in a gentle way. A real crowd pleaser. Green apple and a touch grapey. I’m glad I have more of this.

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Max Ferd Richter BJS Spatlese 2007 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

Some of us opted for favorites from the regular menu like Albert and his Nomama ramen which is the most traditional ramen they have. Other ramens on the menu have Thai or other flavors and influences. A good ramen although he thought the chashu was a bit tough.

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Nomama ramen by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

Most of the kids opted for the Flank steak which is a steal at less than P 800.00. It also comes with fried tofu instead of fries which is a nice and healthy take on the traditional steak frites.

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Flank steak by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

From the new menu, I had the Prawn teppan in uni bisque as I’m a sucker for anything involving uni. The bisque is actually a sauce so don’t order this thinking it’s a soup. Lots of flavors going on here but it works.

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Prawn with mushroom in uni bisque by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

A couple of others chose the Kitayama wagyu ribeye teppan which Jocel said was one of the best teppan steaks she ever had. She generously gave me some as the portion was pretty hefty and the beef’s quality is certainly put in the spotlight in this dish. Highly recommended.

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Kitayama Wagyu Teppanyaki by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr

Chef Him is always dreaming up of promos and he told us to watch out for something coming up on April 1 (April Fool’s Day). Be sure to check out Nomama’s Facebook page for updates.
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alex metags

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Re: WTN: Japanese and German

by alex metags » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:25 pm

Thanks for the note on the koshu wine. Brings to mind an article by Jancis Robinson quoting a Japanese wine author who 'dismisses Koshu wines (and half his compatriots) as, “essentially without much personality – like Japanese women” ' I tried quite a few while living in Japan (many years ago) including visiting vineyards and wine tasting in Yamanashi Prefecture on a company trip. Many were nondescript but there were some decent ones that went well with sushi and sashimi; the Grace was one of the better examples. Haven't had any in well over a decade, though I've seen the odd bottle available in local Asian supermarkets.

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