Balai Isabel

Lunch and Japanese cooking lesson with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in Manila


Christine Cunanan Travelife Magazine The Frequent Flier

What fun we had with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at his own restaurant Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in the City of Dreams last week. Chef Nobu visited Manila and I was invited to an exclusive Japanese lunch with him.

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Christine Cunanan of Travelife Magazine
Nobu and me

The lunch featured some of the Nobu specialties, including the black cod miso. This also happens to be my favourite Nobu specially dish.

COOKING LESSON WITH NOBU

I’d met several times him before. In fact, we have several common friends in Tokyo. But this time I just could not pass up the chance to have a delicious lunch as well as to actually watch him in action.

Yes, the famous Chef Nobu Matsuhisa was going to demonstrate how to create some of the iconic dishes served at his Nobu restaurants around the world.


Boracay issue of Travelife Magazine


SIMPLE & EASY JAPANESE FOOD

Many great chefs create truly delicious Japanese food. But personally, I believe that the genius of Nobu lies in the fact that he makes everything so simply, and yet also so simply delicious.

For example, he began the demonstration with a dry miso salad. This dish consists basically of five or six ingredients including a lettuce green found in almost every country. So it can be replicated anywhere.

He was so relaxed while demonstrating this dish. But within minutes, we had a perfectly plated dry miso salad in front of us.

CHEF NOBU MATSUHISA GIVES ME A LESSON IN SUSHI MAKING

Lunch and Japanese cooking lesson with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in ManilaThen he created a set of sushi. Everyone loves sushi, of course, and it looks deceptively simple to make. After all, sushi is really just sliced fish, with rice, a little vinegar, and some soy sauce. Or so I thought.

Our famous chef certainly made it seem that way.

Lunch and Japanese cooking lesson with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in Manila

CHEF NOBU TEACHES ME HOW TO MAKE SUSHI

But then he called out for a participant to help him make sushi. I immediately raised my hand. Of course I wanted to try making sushi with the famous Chef Nobu. In fact, I would be able to learn how to make sushi from the great master himself. Who wouldn’t to do so?

Lunch and Japanese cooking lesson with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in ManilaThis was when I realised how much harder it is to make sushi than to eat it. Chef Nobu made it seem so easy, but my sushi certainly did not turn out the same way as his.

HOW TO MAKE GOOD SUSHI

Lunch and Japanese cooking lesson with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in ManilaIn fact, Chef Nobu teased me afterwards: “I think I’ll give you my sushi to eat. But I don’t think I want to eat yours.”

He was right. I was holding a lopsided sushi in my hand. Even I did not want to eat my own sushi.

Lunch and Japanese cooking lesson with Chef Matsuhisa Nobu at the Nobu Hotel in ManilaBut guess what? In the end, I decided to eat it anyway. It was delicious. I may not have created a proper sushi in visual terms, but the fish and rice combination were perfect. In fact, it had just the right amount of wasabi and soy sauce. I was really pleased.

So I just may have a sushi career in the future, after all. When I’m done with living a Travelife, that is.


COLUMNS

GLOBETROTTERS