Monday, January 23, 2017

When Food and Beauty Collide: Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo (Japanese Beauty Hot Pot)

If you may have noticed, my blog is geared towards beauty and food. I love makeup, but a girl has to eat, too! 😋 Last week, I was able to try out a new foodie discovery - we now have a Japanese Beauty Hot Pot here in the Philippines! Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo is a new Japanese restaurant located at S Maison, Conrad Manila, and they're all about quality, authenticity, and well-being. (I live far from Pasay, but this one is well worth the trip!)

Think: The hot pot you love, only now the soup is made of beauty-boosting COLLAGEN! Your skin will thank you.

Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo has a farm-to-table concept, which means that everything they serve here, they cultivate by themselves. Think fresh organic vegetables, free range Jidori chicken from their private farm in the Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, and more! It just doesn't get any healthier than this.

Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo guarantees a new kind of authentic Japanese culinary experience. I already love hot pot in its normal soup form, so I was beyond excited to try this new concept. I decided to wear my sneaky "buffet dress" to conceal my food baby. (Mission accomplished with that!) 😂

The interiors of this restaurant are Japanese-inspired, with detailed wooden decors that are very warm and inviting.

Menu of the Day! 💛

We're all set. Let the hungry games begin!

The Bijin Nabe is already a feast on its own, but they have noteworthy side dishes, too! Romaine Lettuce Caesar Salad with Shio-konbu (P240) has a blend of fresh, crisp romaine lettuce and homemade Caesar salad dressing topped with salted seaweed. It's a perfectly healthy way to start your meal.

The Maximum Fried Eggplant (P180) blew us away! I was wondering what was so maximum about it, since the serving size was just normal. This dish has "maximum" spice and sweet chili, and is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. This is a lovely way to indulge, since you don't feel like you're eating veggies at all!

Chicken Nanban (P295 for Original, P315 for Spicy Hot) is a Miyazaki specialty, and it's served with homemade tartar sauce and pasteurized egg.

The Nikumaki Onigiri is a popular rice ball in Japan. It's a best-seller for a very good reason - they're wrapped in special pork belly strips! 😍 It comes in 4 variants: Original, Cheese, Yuzu-mayo, and Spicy. Prices vary from P105 to P115 per piece, and it may look small in this photo, but it's not. In fact, it's quite heavy for a side dish.

And now, for the main dish! This is how you enjoy your Bijin Nabe. And it all begins with the broth.

Feast your eyes on the Golden Collagen Stock. The quality of this broth is consistent with its overseas counterparts, as it's imported directly from the Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan, which is home to the Jidori chicken. Jidori is a special breed of chicken that's meatier and more sinewy, making them tastier and richer in collagen. To produce the famous broth, they undergo a delicate 8-hour stewing process until the essence of the bones and meat are completely dissolved into the stock. Eventually, chicken stock turns into a smooth and silky collagen pudding!

When heated, the pudding melts into a delicately milky chicken broth that makes a delicious and enjoyable dish when combined with the freshest vegetables, seafood, and chicken. 

Each portion of Bijin Nabe is priced at P750, which is already good for 2 pax. (So this feast you see is equal to three portions.)

The set comes with sunflower sprouts, red radish, lettuce, enoki mushrooms, baby sweet potato leaves, baby corn, lady's finger, deep fried tofu, zucchini, fresh black fungus, tori tsukune (chicken meatballs), prawn, and chicken! The staff will be the ones to cook for you (since there is a cooking sequence to be followed), and all you have to do is enjoy.

But first, we were served the collagen broth in a tiny tasting cup, so we could taste it in its pure form. What's great about it is that it tastes just like creamy chicken soup. In the past, I've tried taking marine collagen but without success (and consistency), since I can't stand the fishy-milky smell. The Bijin Nabe is a youth cocktail that I wouldn't mind having anytime. It's good!

Next step is to enjoy the chicken that came with the soup, before the vegetables are added.

To add unique dimensions to the flavor the soup, Bijin Nabe is best paired with a selection of four condiments: the light soy sauce that is Shoyu, the flavorful Leek Oil, the zesty spice of Yuzukosho, and the aromatic chili layu sauce.

What's interesting with this experience is that the soup easily takes on the flavor of whatever ingredient you add to it. On its own, the broth tastes strongly of chicken. When vegetables are added, it has a more pronounced freshness and a "greener", more vibrant flavor to it, very much like vegetable soup. 

When the prawns are finally added to the mix, the broth transforms into a bolder-tasting seafood flavored one.

To cap off your meal, the last step would be carbs! You have the option to add either zosui (to create a Japanese thick rice porridge) or noodles. As for the noodles, you can choose among thin tsuru-tsuru egg noodle, thick mochi-mochi noodle, or rice noodle. We were already full at this point, but the rice porridge (cooked with the broth + egg) proved to be a deliciously tasty ending.

To cap off our meal, we had a very unique dessert. The Fried Japanese Sweet Potato with Vanilla Ice Cream (P255) is an unexpected combo that actually works. The sweet potato is imported from Kagoshima, Japan. I'm thinking of doing my own version of this at home! 😀


Overall, my experience at Bijin Nabe was a very unique and interesting one! The food is definitely great. I also admire the staff for their passion in treating every bowl as a piece of art, giving it ceremonial respect that's usually reserved for the most exquisite of Japanese cuisine. I can't wait to go back here with my family next month. 💛

For more information:
Instagram: @bijinnabeph


Let's keep in touch!
Lucky Citrine on Facebook
Lucky Citrine on Instagram

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...