What Japanese Brazilian Cuisine is like with the opening of Uma Nota Manila

Located at the heart of Bonifacio Global City, Uma Nota officially opened in Shangri-La The Fort last February 18th. Uma Nota's roots is quite the interesting twist, with a long heritage of Japanese migration to Brazil. This is reflected in the established Japanese culinary subculture in Sao Paolo. 

Their food is specifically made with Japanese cooking techniques, that harmoniously blends in with Brazilian flavors. The restaurant has adapted a menu to include the best of seasonal and local ingredients. Uma Nota, with branches in Hong Kong and Paris, in its basic form is first and foremost a dining experience, and everything else from its ambiance to festive life would complement said dining experience. 

But how would the intrigue of having bold flavors of Brazil interwoven with Japanese cuisine taste? All I can say for starters is that it is quite the interesting experience. 

Their drinks definitely capture what they want to emulate. I started the night off with Kyoto Sour, a cocktail that is exactly how it sounds to be, sour with the splash of grapefruit and lemon and yet the blend with Atago no Matsu Sake, green tabasco and agave brings you back to a sense of balance. 

I also got a taste of their Uma Nota Cup Noodle drink, which is served in a special glass with a couple of straws to emulate chopsticks. Flavors are more on the tropical and smooth side, with it having homemade toasted coconut liqueur, Plantation 3 stars, pineapple, a bit of cucumber, lime and sesame oil. It is meant to resemble the flavors of a cold soba, but in a yummy drink form. Very smooth, a definite must try. This is a fine drink to have especially on a date *wink*

If you're on the tame side, you can have their Coco Verde instead, which is made with lime, coconut milk, pandan and a hint of mint. I asked for that one with out any spikes, refreshing and tropical indeed. 

For our appetizers, we had their signature Coxinhas de Frango as well as Dadinhos de Tapioca. Coxinha is a popular food in Brazil similar to a croquette filled with shreded chicken. In Uma Nota, they added in sliced okra, shaped up as a teardrop, battered and fried. This is served along with a fiery hot homemade chili sauce that takes my tastebuds on an open door to brazilian flavors.

Dadinhos de Tapioca literally translates to little tapioca and cheese dice, coming from the Brazilian word dados which means dice or cubes. These are crunchy, cheesey and tapioca cubes, crispy on the
outside and chewy and cheesy inside, making them delicious. They get to a savory taste when dipped in with their sweet chili sauce.

For their rolls and Ceviche they served up the Salmon Roll with Wasabi Cream Cheese, a recipe that is unique to their Manila branch. This and their Avocado Rolls are refreshing, filled with texture and is a great start to seeing what Uma Nota has to offer. 

We also had Tataki de Carne Sol. Think beef tataki that is lightly cured, with smoked yuzu ponzu sauce seeping in and on the meat with black garlic mayonnaise, and crispy shallots for texture. This comes from the Japanese word Tataki, which is a method of preparing seared fish or meat but rare in the center in Japanese cuisine. Carne del Sol on the other hand is a brazilian term for meat of the sun, as traditionally, they used to cure said meat under the sun.

What captured my tastebuds though is their A5 Kumo-Oh Japanese Wagyu Striploin that is cooked to perfection with a side of Brazilian Vinaigrette and Farofa. Farofa is made from toasted cassava flour with a few spices thrown in to get an extra kick of flavor. 

They also served a side of extremely delectable Garlic Rice and Uma Nota Salad with greens, sliced avocado and an interesting wasabi ponzu dressing. You're getting heat but also crunch and brightness from the salad.

We ended the night with desserts and a show in the Living Room of Uma Nota. For dessert, we were served Abacaxi Churrasco, pineapples that had a smoky, sweet flavor, alongside some almond and coconut flour, which I would think is a sweeter version of Farofa. It was paired with coconut ice cream and a splash of Japanese whiskey topped off with lime. I personally liked this better, as it was obvious that the technique that was used to create this seemingly simple dish is artful. The taste as well is in a perfect balance, and it has a myrriad of textures but nothing overpowering. Alex Offa, the co-owner of Uma Nota notes that he preferred this as well. 

The sweetest ending yet would have to be their Matcha Layered Cake, which had a flair for presentation as they torched the cotton candy in front of you to get to the sweet and balanced Matcha Tiramisu with Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream.

The place itself is an exciting, casual and warm environment, where art, entertainment and music intertwine to create an experience like no other. 

Designed by Asmaa Said, founder of The Odd Duck Studio, Uma Nota unfolds as a sensory journey through four distinct realms. The Living Room, with its striking ‘Hanging Tree’ installation, seamlessly transitions from upscale dining to a vibrant, seductive evening space. 

The Bar fosters an intimate social atmosphere, while Tropicalia pays tribute to the 70s Tropicália movement. The Meiji Room, with its Japanese mural, honors the rich heritage of the mass Japanese migration to São Paulo during the Meiji era.

Uma Nota Manila is open starting 6PM every day. You woud average 1,500 to 2,000 Php per person including a drink for this place. On his menu, Executive Chef Gustavo Vargas adds, “We've been hard at work collaborating with Kyle Ureta, our Manila Head Chef to create dishes that bring together the bold flavors of Brazilian and Japanese cuisine while catering specifically to the local palate. In a city known for its diverse food scene, we're confident that our menu, crafted in harmony with local influences, will offer a delicious and unique dining experience.”

Things to note with Uma Nota Manila:

  • They accept all major credit cards, Cash, G-Cash
  • Reservations are available & encouraged.
  • Tables of 6 or more require the Chef's Menu and a deposit to secure the reservation.
  • You have two spacious Private Rooms available: Meiji Room, Tropicalia.

Uma Nota Manila

Opening Hours:

 Dinner: Sun-Tue, 6:00 pm - 12:00AM

Bar Hours:

Sun-Tue, 6:00PM - 2:00AM

Wed-Sat 6:00PM - 4:00AM

Smart Tel: 0908899292766

 Globe Tel & WhatsApp: 09173072766


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