Akira at Robinsons Magnolia and the Art of Teppanyaki

My SoMoms friends and I had a chance to dine at the recently opened Akira restaurant at the ground floor of Robinsons Magnolia mall.

Akira’s facade

With my SoMoms mommy friends

Named after a fictional story on the legendary Japanese teppanyaki chef Akira who fought the fire god Kagutsuchi to save his beloved Sayuri, Akira likewise does not just provide great Japanese food but does so with savoir faire and art as its teppanyaki chefs deftly handle the cooking utensils. Teppan means iron plate; yaki means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried (source: Wikipedia).

All 4 branches of Akira have different themes, unlike many restos that look almost the same wherever you go. This Robinsons Magnolia branch was made to look more traditional with authentic Japanese picture frames, curtains and other decor.

Our lunch began with Akira rolls which contain real softshell crab meat, kani, grated cheese, spicy mayo, tobiko, and topped with tempura bits. I so wanted to try this but was afraid since I’m allergic to crab meat.

Akira rolls

Next we were shown the authentic Wagyu beef imported directly from Japan which Akira serves to all its customers.

No scrimping. That’s Wagyu beef direct from Japan.

What followed next was a fascinating demonstration of teppanyaki demonstration. We had one of the more skilled teppanyaki chefs of Akira give us a demonstration. Check this video out.

This was what my share of lunch looked like. Trust me, the Wagyu beef was extraordinarily tender and tasty. That’s why the picture didn’t show much of it left. Hahaha…

For dessert, we also had tempura ice cream (3 scoops of ice cream topped with whipped cream and maraschino cherry, with banana tempura on the sides). My photo did not look so nice so I am grabbing an official photo from Akira’s Facebook page.

Tempura ice cream (photo courtesy of Akira’s Facebook page)

And as a lovely end to a gastronomic feast, we were lucky that a musician trained in the Koto, one of Japan’s traditional musical instruments, was around. He was practicing for the following Sunday’s show at Akira but I felt so lucky hearing it playing while we were having lunch. It made my experience all the more authentically Japanese.

Ground Floor, Robinsons Magnolia
Aurora Blvd. cor. Dona Hemady St.
Quezon City
Tel (02) 809-1234
Other branches: Shangri-la Plaza (654-3920), Alphaland Makati Place (0917-706-7328), Burgos Circle (550-2164) 
Also visit their Facebook page


Samsung’s Concept Store at Robinsons Magnolia

My very first trek to the newly opened Robinsons Magnolia mall in Quezon City was for the launch of Samsung’s concept store.

With Odette Velarde of Samsung and friend Noemi Dado at the launch

Celebrities at the ribbon cutting ceremony

A Peek inside the Concept Store

The Samsung Concept Store is located on the al fresco area of the mall on the 3rd floor. At first, Noemi and I got lost and thought the Samsung store inside the mall on the same level was it. Apparently that one was just for mobile phones.
Upon entering the store, we found that it contained all the appliances one would need for the home. We saw the inverter airconditioners, washing machines and refrigerators which we had previously seen up close in another event. My post on that is HERE.
But the star of the event on that launch was Samsung’s series of Smart TVs for 2012.

The Samsung plasma TV sets
These TV product offerings center around 3 ‘Smart’ pillars: Smart Interaction, Smart Content and Smart Evolution.
Smart Interaction
Why even use a remote? Many times, I get frustrated looking for the remote especially when someone does not put it back in its place. With the Smart Interaction technology, the TV set itself detects your hand. There are no more boundaries between the TV screen and you. Motion Control, Voice Control and Face Recognition technology let you turn the TV on or off, select apps to activate, or search and select web content — all without having to use a remote.

Playing Angry Birds with hand

Celebrity using hands to play Angry Birds

Smart Content

While Samsung’s Smart TVs have already been providing premium content through over 1,500 apps worldwide, in 2012 it is taking that a step further by providing a Smart Hub, a simple user interface (UI) in full HD. Through AllShare Play, Samsung allows content to be pulled in from a Smart TV or mobile device or manually pushed out to the cloud, regardless of a user’s location.

Smart Evolution
Samsung is proud to be the only electronics company worldwide to offer Smart Evolution. This feature is available on select Samsung Smart TVs and really addresses the obsolescence issue. Many times, we buy a TV only for a new model and feature to come out soon after. With the Smart Evolution feature, the select TV sets have a Samsung Evolution Kit. A simple slot-in at the back lets consumers keep up with newer introductions of both hardware and software without the need to go out and bu a new TV set. You can potentially keep up-to-date by just “slotting in” the new features using Samsung’s proprietary system-on-chip technology. That is just so cost-effective!