All Out at Allium: Hokkaido uni, Brittany lobster & Mayura steak!!!

We had an incredibly indulgent dinner featuring Mayura steak as presented by Chef Mark Tan of Allium.

Dinner started with appetizers of nigiri sushi.

First, GenSan Tuna sushi. We really must be proud of our tuna from Mindanao!

But the real treat was the third of the lot: Mayura rib cap nigiri sushi. It doesn’t get better than this. I’ll just let the picture speak for itself! Taken with just my iphone.

Next, Chef Mark treated us to some lobster. That small ball underneath is Brittany Lobster. Served with a touch of Hokkaido uni. Given another dimension with black figs. And to top it all off, homemade caviar by the chef. “When we have female lobsters with eggs, we salt cure the eggs,” explained Chef Mark.
Instead of soup, we were served Chef Mark’s version of Chawan Mushi. This was umami central! But here is the chef’s genius: he made a relish using French summer truffles and – get this – fresh wasabi and Pedro Ximenez sherry. Who would ever think of mixing summer truffles with wasabi?! My thought bubble was, what a waste of summer truffles! But I am equally blown away by the chef’s commitment to creating art.

What I loved about this chawanmushi were the bits of crab. As if it wasn’t enough to just use Philippine crabs, Chef Mark indulged us with Hokkaido snow crab and Brittany ocean crabs. What a treat!
Also from Hokkaido – fresh scallops! This was just perfection. The chef also added white fungus (stop snickering, Beavis) for texture and a yuzu sauce “for richness”.

The piece de resistance was the duo of Mayura wagyu (later) but this Mayura sirloin tartare held its own!

Chef Mark brilliantly mixed it with (hold your breath) oysters! So that the guest would not “get ‘umay'”, there is Pommery mustard. And for depth, that orange thing on top is not what guest of honor Scott de Bruin, owner of Mayura, thought was tomato … it is salt cured egg yolk!

And now for the piece de resistance: the duo of Mayura wagyu.

Mayura steak is really distinguished. It has a unique depth of flavor and richness.

The piece on the right was the picanha (aka rump cover aka rump cap aka coulotte), rated Gold while the piece on the left was the platinum rib fillet.

The rib was more tender but both were incredibly flavorful.

That puddle on the left is a chestnut puree but I didn’t even touch it! I was just obsessed with the meat. It is honestly, sincerely, truly excellent.

I learned last night that this meat is also used by Burnt Ends in Singapore and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana in Hong Kong. David Pynt and Umberto Bombana sure know good meat!


I had no more room for dessert. Just enjoyed the rest of the Brunello di Montalcino that our hosts Rey and Joy (and daughter Ella) Co served.

Margaux x Rey, Joy & Ella Co x Scott de Bruin (owner of Mayura beef) x Korina Stratton
Margaux x Rey, Joy & Ella Co x Scott de Bruin (owner of Mayura beef) x Korina Stratton
With Mayura owner Scott de Bruin.

An excellent, excellent dinner.

#ThankYouGod 🙂

Ruby Jacks: The High Rollers’ Steakhouse

When Jason Go invites you to dinner, make sure you come hungry. Because the guy, although skinny as a matchstick, sure knows how to eat.

We had the pleasure of eating at the recently opened Ruby Jacks, a new restaurant at City of Dreams owned by Frederick Siy and where Jason is an partner, last Thursday … and indulged in a tremendous spread that progressed from healthy tomatoes to a heart-clogging Tomahawk steak!

I quickly noticed that at Ruby Jacks, the dishes served are far more sophisticated than they sound.

These tomatoes, for instance, were from Fukuoka, Japan. They were fresh, incredibly juicy and sweet. As if it wasn’t good enough on its own, the chef, Matthew Crabbe, serves them with a dollop of Gorgonzola cheese underneath. They were so good, though, I ate them sans cheese – incredible, considering my love for cheese!

Caesar salad is drowned in strings of Parmesan cheese. This is the most cheese-laden Caesar salad I have ever had!

caesars salad rubyjacksThis was served alongside these scallops from the US. Plump, juicy … what’s not to love?
As if that wasn’t enough, we got to try the restaurant’s various takes on oysters. Our host joked that these oysters covered in roe are “virgin” oysters. Hmmm!

They also have oysters served with a jalapeño tartare and oysters baked with spinach and cheese.

But being a steakhouse, Ruby Jack’s is all about the steak.They have Platinum John Dee Wagyu with a marbling of 8 or 9. But what I love about Australian meats is that while they get the best Japanese cattle, they serve it the Western way so it’s still more meaty than melt-in-your-mouth fatty.

They offer imported steaks from Australia (John Dee), the US and Japan. From Australia, they are proud of their John Dee premium steaks. If you are a big group, highly recommended is the Tomahawk. Check it out (we had 2 kilos):

IMG_1439IMG_1438For dessert, don’t miss out on their siganture cheesecake; It is not heavily creamy but, made almost with a Jap touch – very light! The restaurant also makes their own ice creams.

This is the first Ruby Jacks outside of Tokyo. How lucky is Manila!

Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse
Upper Ground, City of Dreams
Reservations recommended.Tel. +632 801 8888.
Open daily from 10:00 am to 2:00 am.
Champagne brunch promos on weekends from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Private dining room seats 14 pax. Major credit cards accepted.
Accessible by elevator via Hyatt or Nobu Hotels (quite a distance though).