This hidden Japanese restaurant lets you dine in culinary paradise

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant offers otherworldly fare in a whimsical setting. PHOTOS: Ching Dee and Diamond Hotel Philippines

When people hear about Diamond Hotel in Manila, they instantly think about Corniche (their buffet hall) or their fluffy, cheesy Ensaymada. But tucked behind their lounge café is the deliciously whimsical Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant.

Upon entry, you’ll be greeted by a gorgeous kimono. As you walk down the marble hallway to the main dining area, you’ll see their private Teppanyaki Room and Yakiniku Room — perfect for a fun gathering with friends and family or a unique corporate meeting. The 70-seater main dining room’s piece de resistance is the glass cherry blossom tree, creating a whimsical look any time of the day (but it is especially lovely come nighttime).

Yurakuen’s main dining area with its glass cherry blossom trees. PHOTO: Diamond Hotel Philippines

‘Yurakuen’ is the Japanese word for ‘paradise’ and truly it is the perfect metaphor for the experience you’re about to have in this authentic Japanese restaurant.

Nine Kinds of Sashimi | Photo: Ching Dee

Upon Yurakuen Manager Shinji Sato’s recommendation, we started our meal with their Sashimi Platter (with nine different kinds of seafood like salmon, scallops, mackerel, and tuna) and their signature Yurakuen Maki (with soft shell crab, prawn, tobiko, cream cheese, mango, and cucumber).

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For the main course, we had the highly recommended Grilled Salmon in Teriyaki Sauce. The sauce alone could’ve launched a thousand other dishes! The salmon was pink and sweet, moist yet flaky. The smoky flavor perfectly complemented the teriyaki sauce.

Their Chahan (Japanese fried rice) went really well with the grilled salmon. It’s subtle saltiness cut into the sweetness of the teriyaki.

For dessert, we had Yurakuen’s satisfyingly creamy Matcha Ice Cream. The sweetness was just right that you can still taste the goodness of the green tea.

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Drooling already? We don’t blame ya.

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant. 11:00am – 10:00pm. Diamond Hotel Philippines, Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila. (02) 528 3000. Facebook.

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