Contemporary Flavors: A Taste Of Progressive Japanese Cuisine 

This restaurant serves modern Japanese dishes—ask any avid foodie and chances are they will rave about it or complain that it is so difficult to get a reservation. 

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s April 2023 Issue. 

The 12-seater restaurant is closed for lunch and serves dinner only from Wednesday to Sunday. This is already an additional two days from when they served only from Friday to Sunday. 

Mōdan is the Japanese word for “modern.” He serves progressive Japanese that is imaginative and full of flavor. Japanese cuisine is special for Chef Jorge Mendez as he was introduced to this as a child through his mother who learned the cuisine when she worked in Japan. 

READ ALSO: For Restaurant Regulars, Uptown Bonifacio Offers a Plethora of Dining Options

Inside Mōdan’s intimate dining space

Mendez’s star has finally shone. With his private dining concept, people have seen how innovative this chef can be. He prepared a 10-course degustation menu and closed in March for research and development. He was supposed to change this menu for April but due to public clamor, he shall continue serving the popular menu, a tribute to people who have played a part in his career. 

Chef Jorge Mendez

His appetizers were amazing, to say the least. He created four small bites that included a beef tendon tempura that was crisp on the outside but gelatinous inside and was dipped into a taro cream and onion tea. His version of the Osaka classic snack takoyaki (octopus balls) replaced the octopus with crab and he added ikura (salmon roe) and corn. He made a mini chutoro (fatty tuna) and green toast that was seriously a bite of heaven! 

Amaebi Capsicum Jicama Tosaka
Rice Wagyu, Unagi Tsukeono, Renkon, Edamame

The debasaki or chicken wing was stuffed with rice and caviar and dipped into a soy-cured egg yolk. His amaebi (Japanese sweet shrimp) dish is Mendez’s tribute to Margarita Forés who mentored him as he was her research and development chef. Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016 introduced him to flash-cooked shrimps during a trip to Japan and he created this shrimp with capsicum, jicama, and tosaka (seaweed) with Forés in mind. His Japanese-style focaccia was an ode to bread maker Richie Manapat. It was smeared with seaweed butter using nori and furikake which resulted in intense umami flavors. 

Sweet Corn Crab Ikura

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia April 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos courtesy of Mōdan.

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