Kazunori in Makati: A Tokyo-inspired Restaurant, Cafe, and Sushi Bar
Updated as of November 15, 2023.
Tucked along the busy thoroughfare of Chino Roces Extension is the best-kept secret this side of Makati—Kazunori, a Japanese restaurant/cafe/sushi bar owned by Nippon Hasha, the same group that brought us Ramen Yushoken, Mendokoro Ramenba, and Marudori.
IMAGE from Philippine Primer
You are guaranteed to get the best of Japanese cuisine, from sushi and skewers to donburi and soba—that is, except for ramen, which already has its own dedicated place.
Wagyu Truffle Bowl / IMAGE from Kazunori
Established in 2017, Kazunori is an amalgamation of three dining concepts and various culinary influences. It has integrated a Tokyo-inspired cafe, a modern Japanese dining area, and a sushi bar for omakase into a single-level 229-sqm space.
With its highly extensive menu, you can experience both traditional, modern, and ingenious renditions of Japanese cuisine—everything that takes a lifetime to master. What’s special about Kazunori is that, despite its relatively obscure location, it naturally stands out because of the experience of food that it offers. The experience here is artisanal and sincere—dedicated to showcasing the real quality of every dish.
For a start, you can enjoy traditional Japanese dining at the main dining area, which is at the back part of the restaurant, hidden from view. In this area, you can easily watch chefs perform wonders at the semi-open kitchen, overseen by Japanese chef Kazunori Kuramochi whom the restaurant was named after.
IMAGE from Kazunori
Kazunori highlights the simplicity in every comforting serving of soba, a less famous Japanese noodle that is surely worth a try. We recommend their Kamo Tsuke Soba, a combination of cold buckwheat noodles, kamo tsuke broth, foie gras tempura, and sous vide duck breast.
Kamo Tsuke Soba / IMAGE from Kazunori Japanese Restaurant / Kazu Cafe Facebook page
If you’re going for a quick meal to fuel you up or just craving for some meat, they have various kushiyaki (skewers) such Tori Mune as Buta Kushi Miso. The Buta Kushi Miso is tender, flavorful pork belly marinated in a special sauce made with white miso for about three days. It is served with Japanese chili powder on the side for an added kick. The Tori Mune, on the other hand, is yakitori glazed with tare sauce or shio seasoning grilled over Japanese binchotan coals to boost the flavors of the meat.
Buta Kushi Miso
Meanwhile, you can have more casual dining at Kazu Café, which is right at the front of the restaurant, the first area you’ll walk into as you enter Kazunori. The café is furnished with wooden tables and olive green sofas, a casual and laidback setup for a delightful Japanese meal.
IMAGE from Kazunori
Behind the cafe is the semi-enclosed area that serves as a sushi bar for omakase that offers the restaurant’s crown jewel—fresh, authentic, high-end sushi prepared by resident chef Saito Takeru.
IMAGE from Kazunori
If you’re wondering what makes Kazunori’s sushi specials stand out among the rest—well then, it all boils down to their utmost respect for this delicacy. The application of the Japanese art of ike jime makes a big difference in the taste. It involves a deep understanding and lifetime mastery of the act of netting and killing fish to preserve the quality. Choosing and cooking the rice, a crucial part of sushi, is also a highly meticulous feat for the professional sushi chef.
Omakase Sushi / IMAGE from Kazunori Japanese Restaurant / Kazu Cafe
In order to fully explore Kazunori’s sushi offerings, consider getting their Omakase, which translates to “I’ll leave it up to you,” or simply entrusting the choice to the sushi master. Their talent and various techniques will bring you an interesting plate of sushi, a celebration of Japanese ingredients and different seasonalities in Japan.
Omakase platter / Kazunori Japanese Restaurant / Kazu Cafe
In three different settings, Kazunori brings feelings of warmth and comfort, all while you savor your favorite Japanese dish—whether you seek something traditional, modern, or novel.