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A Tale of two Sunday brunches


World-class and heartfelt brunches by expats for Filipinos

Let’s face it, on Sundays most hardworking folks just want to sleep in. Breakfast is often forgotten because we wake up at 10 a.m. and waiting for lunch at 12 noon feels like an eternity.

The solution? Brunch!

Recently, Expat had the privilege of experiencing two extraordinary Sunday brunches created by expatriates in the Philippines. Here’s our delicious conversation about dining between breakfast and lunch and the awesomeness that is in between.


Nobu-fied Sunday brunch buffet

Japanese Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, highly-acclaimed for his unique style of fusion artistry with influences from his travels to Peru, Argentina, Alaska and California, elevates the Sunday brunch experience in Manila with a bountiful array of the freshest local and imported Asian and Japanese fish, imported seafood, sushi rolls and exotic delicacies that pleases the most sophisticated palates from gourmands to A-list celebrities.

Local diners don’t need to fly to other countries for a Michelin starred dining experience of Chef Nobu’s signature contemporary cuisine. At Nobu Manila, a leisurely Sunday brunch allows guests to taste what Hollywood stars like Robert de Niro and Madonna have been raving about.

Nobu Manila restaurant ushers guests to the modern dining venue with 335 seats, two private dining rooms, a sushi bar, floating water cabanas, two Teppanyaki tables and a Chef’s Table. Nobu restaurant is situated at Nobu Hotel at City of Dreams Manila, the first Nobu hotel in Asia.

Foodies can lavish in as many servings they can consume of some Nobu’s signature dishes such as Tuna Tataki in Cilantro Dressing, White Fish Tiradito, Wagyu Beef Taco, and Salmon Karashi Su Miso; local cuisine with a Nobu twist such as Lechon Marinated in Nobu Style Anticucho Sauce, Crispy Pork Belly in Spicy Miso and Nobu Sinigang with Yuzu juice; freshly-grilled Yakitori and dishes from the Teppanyaki station includes meats, seafood such as Beef, Chicken, Chicken Skin, Baby Octopus, Alaskan Crab Legs with Aji Amarillo and Uni, Asparagus with Egg Sauce and Salmon Roe, and X.O. Fried Rice; other tempting delights and a myriad of desserts including green tea white chocolate fountain with an assortment of fresh fruits and sweets.

Chef Nobu’s Rock Shrimp is perfectly cooked and seasoned

A peculiar-looking roll of tasty soft-shell crabs in delicately flavored soy paper

The Eggplant Salad at Nobu Restaurant is a treat for vegans and foodies alike

Highly-skilled Japanese sushi Chef Akihisa Kawai is in charge of the Nobu sushi bar, decorated by the day’s fresh offering of yellow tuna or salmon. Chef Akihisa masterfully creates Nobu’s signature Yellowtail Jalapeño, which uses freshest yellow-fin tuna from General Santos City. It seems impossible to try everything on the sushi bar, but each sushi and sashimi is expertly crafted, velvety smooth, and bursts with flavors from fresh seafood and equally fresh produce.

“We are here to maintain the high quality that Nobu is known for all over the world,” Chef Akihisa told Expat. “We hope Filipinos will enjoy it, just like the rest of the world.”

When at Nobu Manila’s Sunday Brunch, we recommend the selection of sushi and sashimi at the sushi bar, the superb XO Fried Rice (fully loaded fried rice which could be a dish on its own), and the Yakitori meat section.

For the hot dishes, the availability of the Short Ribs with Special Nobu Spicy Paste may mean that the buffet gods are smiling upon the guests.

The Nobu Sunday Brunch is offered on Sundays, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PhP2,880++ person, inclusive of sodas, juices, mocktails, coffee and tea. For a more bubbly experience, diners may opt to have the brunch with free flow Moet & Chandon, a selection of Champagne cocktails, Bloody Marys, Mojitos, wines and beer, at PhP4,580++. The brunch is priced at 50 percent off for ages six to 12 years old and no charge for kids five years old and below.

Nobu Restaurant at City of Dreams Manila is located at Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue Brgy.Tambo, Paranaque City. For reservations and inquiries, call (02) 691-2882, (02) 691-2885, or their 24-hour hotline at (02) 800-8080.


Heartfelt bonding at Cafe Eight family Sunday brunch

No expense is spared at Crimson Hotel’s Cafe Eight, especially on Sundays! Perfect for families, their Sunday brunch features multiple excellent culinary stations.

Executive Chef Martin Bower from the United Kingdom makes sure all dishes are flawless and delivered at a timely manner for the buffet. His culinary team, including Filipino pastry chef Edcel Calleja, help his kitchen run like clockwork.

Filipino flavors are abundant at Cafe Eight, but diners are also treated to carefully curated stations like their Chinese station with hearty noodle soup and warm dimsum; cold cuts station with specially imported from various parts of the world like Serrano ham from Spain, Saucisson sausages from France, and Salami from Italy; a station where you can create your own pasta dish, and the dessert station that’s hard to miss and absolutely impossible to resist!

“Familiar food items such as mini beef burgers, mac and cheese, lava cake, chicken nuggets are given a healthier twist, as the chefs prepare these from scratch using only natural preservative-free ingredients and more,” Chef Martin explained.

Families can bring their young ones and let them lose inside the specially designated play area where Crimson Hotel’s kind staff will look after them while the grown-ups savor the dozens of delicious options laid out for the tasting. Face painting, balloon-twisting, and kid-friendly films showings await kids at Cafe Eight.

“Children are given special treatment with cool selections of kiddie treats to tickle their palates,” said Michael Sagaran, director of marketing and communications of Crimson Hotel Filinvest City.

Do not miss their carving station featuring unlimited US Wagyu Beef, sinfully delicious dessert station (diet starts on Monday!), their imported cheese station featuring Reblochon Lait Cru, Brillat, Savarin Mons, Pont L’Eveque, and the seafood station with unlimited fresh oysters, prawns, and lobster—which you can request to be cooked to your liking.

Crimson Hotel’s pastry chef Edcel Calleja makes deliciously moist cakes of all colors and flavors

Unlimited U.S. Wagyu Beef — juicy, tender, and flavorful — at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City’s Café Eight

This Dulce de Leche (sweetened milk or caramel) and Coconut Mousse is one of this author’s personal favorites from Cafè Eight

Aside from their fantastic feast and fun activities for the kids, diners will also get access to Crimson Hotel’s pool and deck area where they can have more fun as a family — all of this for just PhP1,600 per guest.

Cafe Eight at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City is located Entrata Urban Complex, 2609 Civic Drive, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. For reservations and inquiries, call (0) 863-2222.