Ninyo Fusion Cuisine is a restaurant located in Esteban Abada street, behind Katipunan. It actually looks like a house that was later converted into an establishment which is why the ambiance is very homey. As you can see from the pictures, it really just looks like a spruced up Filipino old-style home. I like it though because it doesn't feel uptight and the vibe allows you to relax and unwind. It's funny how I had studied in Katipunan all my life yet I only got to try this place out recently.
As I entered the place, I couldn't help but appreciate the way it was designed. They had a lot of interesting art pieces and the interior was laid out in such a way that felt as if my Lola had a hand in the design. Very comfy I have to admit!
Starters: Bread and butter
I cannot stress how much I love bread and butter. I like it so much that I am very particular which restaurant serves good bread. Also, I have to control myself because there are times that I get full on just the bread alone! In Ninyo, their bread was above average. Definitely good enough for me to enjoy while waiting for the real food to come.
Course 1: Honey Glazed Salmon Sushi
I think I got the name of this dish wrong but either way, it was pretty good! It isn't overwhelmingly yummy that you'll tell the world about it but you can taste that they used quality ingredients. You could also see that they took the time to present it well and make sure everything was awesome. For me, that's a good sign and says a lot about how the restaurant is managed.
Course 2: Shiitake Confit Salad
Honestly, I didn't even know what confit was when I ate this but hey, I'm learning everyday right? ;) This salad also wasn't mind-blowing but it was definitely interesting going through all the flavors in it. From the textures of the mushrooms, to the crunchy fried tofu to the sweetness of the dressing, it was a flavor explosion with each bite. I felt very food connoisseur-like as I was eating it. I think it was worth the experience of just trying it though. It's not everyday that you eat dishes like this so it was nice being able to have such exotic-tasting food once in awhile.
Course 3: Smoked Tomato Soup
Now we're getting to the good part! This smoked tomato soup was magnificent! The tomato base was seasoned perfectly, it wasn't too salty, the creaminess was on the mark and the tangy taste of the tomato didn't overpower everything. As a bonus, it also had a tiny hint of bacon-- probably because it was smoked. But trust me on this one, you should try it! I've always loved soups so I can usually tell if one is worth trying out.
(You might also like: There's No Such Thing as Too Much Bacon)
Course 4: Calamansi Yuzu Sorbet
Ah yes, the palette cleanser! It's the dish that cleanses your sense of taste so you can fully appreciate the flavors of the next dish. It's calamansi sorbet and the presentation was as cute as it can get. Need I say more? I gobbled this up in one bite! #yummehyummeh
Course 5: Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon
The first of two main courses! The salmon was cooked very well and the presentation was amazing (I have no idea how they stacked that many ingredients on top of one another!) but in terms of taste, it was pretty average. I actually found the previous courses to be a more interesting experience than this one. It just tasted so ordinary compared to the other dishes. Salmon, mashed potato and a little sauce on the side. It was something I could have at home. I mean, I know I'm not going to get full with this so at least make it interesting or memorable. This dish simply wasn't.
Course 6: Hanging Tender Steak with Pan Seared Foie Gras
Although the first main course was a dud, this second one was the opposite! The steak was flavorful and the foie gras gave it an extra flavor and texture that definitely made this one memorable. (Foie gras is duck liver BTW.) As of the writing of this post, it's been a week since I've eaten in Ninyo but I still remember vividly how this dish tasted. Maybe I remembered this because foie gras is NEVER used in my regular meals but I guess that's what I'm paying for -- exotic fusion food, right? Loved this dish!
Course 7: Vanilla Panna Cotta
I love leche flan and panna cotta! If you add vanilla flavor to it then it will never fail with me. I think I'm biased when it comes to this dish because I really like these kinds of desserts. Anyway, this is my blog, so I say it was GREAT! Go to Ninyo and get yourself some now!
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Come on, guys? How special can iced tea get? I was hoping Ninyo would prove me wrong but... they didn't! This is just like any other iced tea, it's just more expensive and less sweet. Enough said.
Anyway, for those who have tried Ninyo or are about to try it, leave your comments and let me know what else I should try out! :D
Juice Mag June 2012: Featuring Tarsius on the cover