Magosaburo impresses with Wagyu set meals

By Joko Magalong

Posted at Mar 18 2014 04:32 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2014 05:23 AM

The elegant interiors of Magosaburo at the Bonifacio Global City. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

MANILA -- Since it opened last year, Magosaburo, a franchise of the international Japanese chain, has made quite a name for itself as a place to impress—from a business client to a romantic date – particularly if you want to have excellent Wagyu steaks.

But there is more to Magosaburo, which also has outlets in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Thailand, than its famed nine-course Mago Kaiseki degustacion.

Last Wednesday, a select group of food bloggers were invited to sample the restaurant’s new offerings, such as its value-for-money lunch sets and the more luxurious “lava” sets.

Power lunch

The Hamburger Steak lunch set comes with several appetizers. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

With six sets to choose from starting at P420, Magosaburo’s lunch specials come with an appetizer, chawanmushi, meat and potato stew, kimchi and rice, served with your choice of main entrée.

Guests can choose from the spicy and rich Tofu Vegetable Soup (P420), the light and crispy assorted tempura(P480), the tasty Hamburger Steak(P620), the garlic-infused Wagyu steak (P650), a big steaming bowl of Tomato Sukiyaki (P750) or the deluxe lunch set of assorted yakiniku of Wagyu Chuck Roll, Wagyu Hanging Tender and Kurobata Loin (P720).

Vegetable Soup.Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

I was quite surprisingly pleased with the Tofu Vegetable Soup, which had a rich, full-bodied broth, while the Yakiniku was truly impressive.

Coconut Blancmange. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

You can also finish your meal with the Lunch Dessert Platter (P380) that consists of three dessert samplers, with selections changing daily. While all the deserts I tasted were good, I am a fan of the Earl Grey Crème Brulee, Grapefruit Jelly, as well as the Coconut Blancmange (think coconut panna cotta).

Cooked in stone

Magosaburo’s menu also offers “lava sets” which are complete meals for two persons with different main courses. These are named for the lava stone plates, handcrafted by Japanese masons, used to cook the meals. The meats are cooked at low temperatures, locking in the taste and the flavor.

Wagyu prime short ribs cooking on lava stone plates.Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

The lava sets come with: either three kinds of namuru (small Japanese appetizers) or three kinds of assorted kimchi; Luxury Green Salad or California Salad; Cream Cheese Tofu or Oxtail Omelet; Clam Soup or Spicy Vegetable Soup; and Chicken Rice in Stone Bowl or Cheese Curry Rice. Guests can choose Set 1, which features assorted kurobota or chicken yakinuku (P3,000); or Set 2, which features assorted Wagyu (3,600).

Prime meats for the lava set. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

For the tasting, we tried the Lava Set 3, which is the most premium set with Japanese Wagyu Sirloin, Short rib and Special Prime Tongue. We were also treated to a table-side show of tossing the Luxury Salad, aptly named as it featured truffle dressing and freshly shaved black truffle.

Freshly shaved black truffle for the Luxury Salad.Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

The Cream Cheese Tofu was a yummy conundrum. We asked Chef Motomatsu to spill his secret in creating that tofu texture with the cream cheese but he refused as we continued munching on crostinis with the spread and a sprinkle of mountain salt -- definitely one of the night’s favorites.

As for the meats, I’ve eaten in Japanese Wagyu before, and it’s a prized favorite. Magosaburo’s lava stone technique seems to have made the experience better. The cliché “melt in your mouth” seems inadequate in this instance. At P6,200, it’s far from being a cheap meal, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality and taste, not to mention exceptional service.

Magosaburo’s wine cellar.Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for

Meanwhile, Magosaburo announced that every Wednesday, the Mago Wine Lounge at the top floor will feature jazz artists. For P900++, customers can enjoy all the wine they can drink. The session starts at 9:45 p.m.

Fort Pointe 2 Building
28th Street, Bonifacio Global City