No one does sushi as special as these ones in Manila

Published July 22, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Sandy Daza

Assorted fresh sashimis

When I lived in Canada, I worked as a messenger. I’d deliver and pick up documents around the North Vancouver area. I had a fixed route and therefore had the same clients. Every lunch, if I wasn’t too busy eating in the car while driving, I would go to two places. One was a Chinese restaurant that had a lunch special of Chinese fried rice, a vegetable, and some kind of meat. The other was a delicious Japanese restaurant that specialized in sushi. The sushi was unique and creative. It was the only place I found with this kind of menu. Every time I visit Canada, I have to visit Ki Sushi in the New Westminster area.

Whenever there is a new foreign restaurant that opens, one of the first questions I ask is, “Is there a foreign chef?” Or where was the chef trained? I have a tendency to pre-judge the place even before I try them and I’m glad I’ve been mistaken a few times.

Grilled seafoods

Recently, friends Dedee and Bien Santos invited me to a new Japanese-themed restaurant along Mother Ignacia Avenue in the ABS-CBN area. Of course, I asked about the chef, already judging him against my personal standards drawn from the sushi I’d had in Canada in my youth. But boy was I happy to be mistaken! Chef Miguel Flores has been a foodie since childhood, worked in Dubai at a Japanese restaurant, and his food is worth a visit. Just listening to his love for food made me look forward to what he was going to serve us.

Chef Miguel Flores has been a foodie since childhood, worked in Dubai at a Japanese restaurant, and his food is worth a visit

First to arrive on the table were tempura squid and gyoza. I loved both! Then came the yakitori or grilled chicken skewers. Served with a brown sauce and well seasoned, this is also worth ordering.

Chef Miguel makes very good prawn tempura. All Japanese restaurants serve tempura but only a handful can make it well. Loved it! He also gave us a platter of fresh sashimi, which had salmon, tuna, uni, fish eggs, kani or fake crab, and scallops. All these were fresh. As soon as I tasted each sashimi, I knew this chef knew what he was doing. He knows how to choose very good and fresh seafood! With a dab of soy and wasabi, delicious!

Then came a platter of grilled salmon and scallops all sautéed in butter and garlic. I like that he accents the fresh seafood with just butter and garlic. One can taste its freshness.

Finally, Chef Miguel gave us two kinds of homemade sushi—Sushi Shokunin Special and Yake Shake Cream Cheese roll! With a dab of soy again, wow! Both were just delicious!

Sushi shokonin special

My suggestion of making special sushi is already being done by Chef Miguel. I was still glad to have share my suggestion and pointed him to the special sushi of Ki Sushi in Canada. No one does sushi as special here in Manila. A master in making steaks and Japanese fried rice, he also has a teppanyaki grill. Once an employee of Benihana, Chef Miguel also does a show of juggling with his utensils at the Tappan grill. Impressive!

You want something new and different? Check out Sushi Shokonin at 62 Sgt. Esguerra, along Mother Ignacia Avenue, in Quezon City. Call to make a reservation. 0956 246 0944

Happy eating!

For comments and suggestions, email me at [email protected].