5.348 Lobster Aburi Gunkan

Cycle 5 – Item 348

19 (Fri) December 2014

Lobster Aburi Gunkan


at Asunaro

(Pan-Pacific Manila)

-Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with solo

Try Every Restaurant in New World, Pan-Pacific, Diamond Hotels (4 of 10) (see also TERNWPPD)

Eating my way through the restaurants in the 5-star hotels within walking distance of my apartment in Manila: New World (3), Pan-Pacific (5), Diamond (2).  In contrast to the crappy food in the neighborhood, hotels ought to do better, at least in terms of quality.

In the distance, off to the left, the neon signs of Tao Yuan ablaze.

Adriatico Square is a food court of sorts, located on the ground floor of the Pan-Pacific, consisting of 3 coffee shops and 4 restaurants, 3 of which are mini versions of full-service establishments located elsewhere in the hotel.

Asunaro is a Japanese restaurant.  Enormously thick menu offers an astoundingly wide variety of dishes, perhaps around probably over 300 individual items, though nothing particularly surprising, just every type of sushi imaginable, every type of donburi, every type of tempura, etc.

Overall, the food was good.  No particular standouts, but everything contained high quality ingredients, properly executed – exactly what I’d hoped to find when launching TERPPHD.

Yasai Suimono (3.5): delectably delicate clear vegetable broth, enhanced by aburi shiitake – best dish of the meal.
Chawan Mushi (2.5): nice texture, but a bit too salty.
Ju Toro Nigiri Sushi (2.5): more like akami.

Aburi is a Japanese cooking technique.  Consists of partially searing a piece of meat or fish, done in the old days over an open flame but nowadays with a hand-held torch, leaving only bits or edges burnt, the rest often left untouched.  Ideally, the result is a juxtaposition of extremes in textures and tastes, from the soft and subtle to the crisp and charred.

Gunkan is a form of sushi.  Consists of a bite-sized rice ball, wrapped in a cylinder of dried laver, typically topped with minced fish (e.g., nego toro) or fish roe (e.g., uni).  The term comes from the Japanese for “warship.”

The Lobster Aburi Gunkan was meh.  Generally, I feel that crustaceans need to be fully cooked, both to bring out the sweetness of the flesh and to develop that silky chewiness.  The lobster here was rather bland and kinda slimy, even if seared.  Each of the gunkan was way too big for a single bite.  The mayo-based topping was nice.  I might order this again, only ask the kitchen to cook the lobster all the way, and make the gunkan smaller.



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