That 12-Course Omakase Dinner at Sensei Sushi at BF Homes, Paranaque

En route to dinner... we are starting early, which is good because I had a looonnggg day ;p

Sensei Sushi, BF Homes, Paranaque

Finally, finally, finally, I was able to make it to Sensei Sushi at BF Paranaque. I call it my “dream” restaurant because I’ve been wanting to go for ages but couldn’t sync schedules with people who wanted to go, or make reservations in advance due to my hectic schedule (you’ll see, it’s really a tiny place!) I did a search for the word “Sensei” on my Iphone and saw random texts from my brother Chris, “Have you been to Sensei? I’m here now, it’s good;” from my cousin Beverly, “I love Sensei;” from my cousin Macy regarding last November’s Rockwell Neighborhood pop-up food event, “I’m going for Sensei;” among several others. My cousins even started a “Sensei” Group on Whatsapp to align for an upcoming dinner there.

So anyway, my friend Carlo Calma said that Chef Bruce Ricketts is not there every night, and that we needed to go when he was cooking. We were able to secure a table for five on February 6, 2014 Thursday, so we were on our way!

En route to dinner... we are starting early, which is good because I had a looonnggg day ;p
En route to dinner… we are starting early, which is good because I had a looonnggg day ;p
This is Sensei Sushi. It's a really tiny space. Look for a Korean mini-mart and Nuat Thai Massage.. Sensei is in between
This is Sensei Sushi. It’s a really tiny space. Look for a Korean mini-mart and Nuat Thai Massage.. Sensei is in between

One of the best things about Sensei is that there’s no corkage, so you can bring as many bottles as you want. It seemed our party of five was in for a”bubbly” night as we had 3 bottles of champagne (1 magnum, at that– already opened during the car ride, ha!) and a beautiful chardonnay.

Thanks Daniel and Carlo!!! <3
Our stash for the night. Thanks Daniel and Carlo!!! <3
Here’s a closer look at the labels in case you have that Vivino app 😉 Really beautiful champagnes and chardonnay that paired amazingly with Japanese food

The thing about omakase dinners is that everything is left entirely up to the chef, based on what is freshest or in season, and he prepares everything on the spot while patrons (who sit by the counter) watch.  So even if I’ve seen countless blog posts and Instagram photos on Sensei Sushi– while it gave an idea of what to expect–  it wasn’t necessarily a preview of what was to come. Every visit is different. That’s what makes it special.

Chef Bruce Ricketts of Sensei Sushi Plating The Dish
Chef Bruce Ricketts is at the helm of the Kitchen at Sensei Sushi– quite literally, too. He used to be the executive chef of the now defunct Robot Restaurant
Chef Bruce Ricketts of Sensei Sushi
Chef Bruce doesn’t just cook and plate every dish, he also comes out to explain each one
Fried potato sticks with fresh uni, cauliflower puree, seaweed and lardo
Fried potato sticks with fresh uni, cauliflower puree, seaweed and lardo
Tuna, foie gras, pink peppercorn and roasted pineapple in a chip made from coconut milk, citron and black pepper. Chef Bruce suggests picking it up to eat like an Oreo
Tuna, foie gras, pink peppercorn and roasted pineapple in a chip made from coconut milk, citron and black pepper. Chef Bruce suggests picking it up to eat like an Oreo
Salmon belly cured in soy sauce, paired with junipers, radish and dill sauce (cucumber water infused with elderflower, dill, pickled watermelon, basil and fish sauce)
Salmon belly cured in soy sauce, paired with junipers, radish and dill sauce (cucumber water infused with elderflower, dill, pickled watermelon, basil and fish sauce)
Amaebi ceviche with a yuzu juice dressing, kaffir lime as granita and topped with fresh yuba (soy milk skin)
Amaebi ceviche with a yuzu juice dressing, kaffir lime as granita and topped with fresh yuba (soy milk skin)
Oyster poached in butter and sake, pickled mushrooms, and ikura marinated in sake.. with  breadcrumbs made from seaweed salt and lemon grass
Oyster poached in butter and sake, pickled mushrooms, and ikura marinated in sake.. with breadcrumbs made from seaweed salt and lemon grass
Watermelon and octopus braised in pork fat left in oven toasted for days and rubbed in garlic aoili, and grilled with cucumber tortilas-- bleneded lik gazpacho paried with strawberries dressed in pickled watermelon, and scallions with radish
Watermelon and octopus braised in pork fat left in oven toasted for days and rubbed in garlic aioli, and grilled with cucumber tortillas– blended like gazpacho paired with strawberries dressed in pickled watermelon, and scallions with radish
Tuna belly poached in olive oil. paired with barley; egg yolks and sauce made from asparagus, mushroom and abalone, topped with lumpfish caviar and rock salt
Tuna belly poached in olive oil. paired with barley; egg yolks and sauce made from asparagus, mushroom and abalone, topped with lumpfish caviar and rock salt
Scallops with dried adductor scallops turned into XO sauce and thickened with a bit of uni and lemon grass. The white specks are cauliflower and chopped eggs
Scallops with dried adductor scallops turned into XO sauce and thickened with a bit of uni and lemon grass. The white specks are cauliflower and chopped eggs
Palate cleansers: pistacchio, sunflower seeds glazed with granola bars and sorbet, grapes, yuzu and edible flowers
Palate cleansers: pistachio, sunflower seeds glazed with granola bars and sorbet, grapes, yuzu and edible flowers
Japanese wagyu with  burnt eggplant sauce with cheese, wasabi and scallions cooked in a pan to get that nice medium rare pink
Japanese wagyu with burnt eggplant sauce with cheese, wasabi and scallions cooked in a pan to get that nice medium rare pink
Uhoh, after one too many champagne bottles, here comes the sake ;p
Uhoh, after one too many champagne bottles, here comes the sake ;p
Mango and Yuzu
Mango and yuzu for dessert
Coconut and white chocolate
Coconut and white chocolate set with agar agar, yuzu with olive oil, and cream

It was a great dinner, with inventive flavors, mixing modern and traditional, but overall, it was Chef Bruce’s passion with what he does that makes it special. He does everything from going to the market daily to cooking to plating to explaining the dishes– to answering for reservations, and bookings. While he’s worked at other restaurants both here and in the USA, Sensei Sushi is truly his baby.

Bruce Ricketts and Mom
We had a pleasure of meeting Bruce’s mom that evening. It was her last night in Manila before flying off to San Diego, where she is based.
Had the best time with these guys! Daniel Dy, yours truly, Janelle Pimentel, Carlo Calma and Mia Dragon-Floirendo
Had the best time with these guys! Daniel Dy, me, Janelle Pimentel, Carlo Calma and Mia Dragon-Floirendo

The Omakase dinner is about P2500/ head for 12 courses. No corkage, so feel free to BYOBs– and as much as you want! They also have an ala carte menu. It is located at 268 Aguirre Street, BF Homes, Paranaque, Metro Manila. Phone +63917 5157018 for reservations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Sorry I could not help notice your keyboard is failing:”bleneded lik gazpacho paried” :) You may delete after it is corrected. The advantage of online blogs versus print. :)

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