I have not been back to Nomama for a real meal since we tried it out during their pre opening days until a few weeks ago. They recently introduced some additions to the menu using mainly beef from Kitayama Wagyu, mushrooms from Ministry of Mushrooms and Kikoman soy sauce. Behind Nomama is Chef Him Uy de Baron with an eclectic menu that I would describe more as Asian but with a strong Japanese influence.
The place has retained the zen like ambiance with its heavy use of wood and metal. I did notice this interesting skewered pig display (actually a facsimile of their logo).
We started off the evening with a Beef Tataki with Uni and Chips (P330). I’ve never had Uni (sea urchin) ever before, I’m just too grossed out by it visually to even want to partake. Chef Him takes Kitayama tenderloin tips and rib-eye, lightly sears them then chops it roughly. To complement the beef, it is tossed in a fresh Uni butter that gives it a creamy and almost silky texture. The best way to eat this is to get a sweet potato chip, spoon a little beef tataki then finish it off with some alfalfa sprouts. I think I should give fresh Uni a try next time.
Next dish was a Thai Spiced Tri-Tip with Jasmine Rice and Pineapple Salad (P365). Just from the name you’ll find its Thai leaning flavor and even extends into the rice and salad. The tri tip has a deep flavor but less fat, a cut quite unfamiliar to me which made it even more surprising. The pineapples add a sweet component while the edamame adds its own nuttiness to partner with the risotto like jasmine rice.
Soy-Prawn Teppan with Uni Cream Sauce (P420). This is one of my favorite dish of the night, with the uni cream sauce expounding the briny flavors. With my two forays into uni, I dare say I’ve been made a fan. I actually slice each piece of prawn then coated it thoroughly with the cream sauce.
Rib Eye Teppanyaki with Tendon (P650). This is another dish that uses Kitayama wagyu this time around the all time favorite rib-eye takes center stage. Plated with three different sauces, Kikoman Caramel, Roasted Garlic Miso Paste and Japanese Mustard. My favorite was the Kikoman caramel, as you could have guessed with my sweet leaning taste buds. Each piece is tender, fatty and flavorful, what real good beef should be.
For vegetarians who might be cursing their companions for all their carnivorous plates. Chef Him has the same exact Vegetarian Mushroom Steak (P375). It’s cooked exactly the same as the rib-eye so no envy at all. The fresh mushrooms from Ministry of Mushrooms are really delicious to boot.
A duo of noodles starting with the Wagyu Beef Cheek Ramen (P420). Its soup base is milky and creamy, to complement the super tender chunk of beef cheek. The beef cheek might be a lesser know part but it delivers heaps of strong savory flavor. In lieu of the half cooked egg, there is a perfectly poached egg ,partially hidden on the side. The noodles were very much improved but still not at par with the influx of many other ramen specialist. Overall, this is a ramen where I’d finish the broth til the last drop.
Spicy Tongue Dry Noodles (P345). Made with a spicy Korean sauce, with diced ox tongue. It’s visually stunning with a tomato stuffed with tofu and garlic. This is one spicy dish but I was surprised I got some more, there was just something in the taste that drew me back.
For dessert we had Fresh Fruit Teppanyaki with Yuzu and Lemon Gelato (P220). The gelato is a welcome burst of citrus, helping to wash away all the rich flavors from the previous plates. The lightly seared fruits injected their own sweetness to balance the flavors. The only thing I did not care for was the sesame brittle crumbled scattered on top.
Nomama Artisanal Ramen shows that they are much, much more the ramen. I dare say that their other dishes are actually more of a draw. Impeccable plating and creative flavors make for a spectacular one, two combination. Fresh local ingredients are what every restaurant should strive for, and I admire Nomama for doing this.