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A Japanese shade of green

Market research group Euromonitor International has recently revealed its top food trends for 2018. Topping the list is healthy living, with more consumers looking at unprocessed options, superfoods, and food items that do not have added sugars. The ultimate superfood, matcha, is said to have 10 times more antioxidants than green tea, thus helping control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, boosting metabolism.

Across the globe, from New York to Manila, and in the social media feeds of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Grammy award-winning artist Drake, matcha has suddenly become ubiquitous.

Nomi’s Havana Cubana has braised pork, kidney beans, sweet corn, and pico de gallo dressing. 
And the Philippines is no exception. At the heart of bustling Bonifacio Global City, a new café—Nomi Matcha—has opened, with bright, pastel-colored interiors that evoke a chill vibe, inviting weary pavement pounders to take a break, sip a cup of green tea or two, and enjoy delicious Japanese food.

“We are offering a modern spin on an ancient herb,” said Michael Jiang, who, together with two friends Také Hosomi and Asuka Hosokawa, set up Nomi Matcha.

“Matcha can be quite intimidating if taken the authentic way, which is hot. But a frosty matcha could be a good introduction. We wanted to integrate matcha with drinks and our dessert. We want to mainstream matcha,” he said.

Chicken power bowl with 6-minute egg, toasted cashew nuts, roasted carrots, and pesto dressing.
“We decided to start this venture in the Philippines because we strongly wanted to share the matcha culture and what casual authentic Japanese food tastes like. We all have the same vision for Nomi, and that is to provide a one-of-a-kind experience that energizes everyone with an enthusiastic vibe, great service, chill ambiance, and great time whenever they come to our café,” said Hosokawa.

Hosomi, for his part, said they want to educate Filipinos on the health benefits of matcha, which is the rarest form of green tea.

“We want to make a difference in people’s everyday lifestyle and their diet in Manila,” he said.

Nomi Matcha prides itself of being able to integrate matcha in their food and beverages without overpowering the taste buds of its clients.

A sampler of Nomi’s dessert options: tea-ramisu, legendary greenies, matcha churros, and green cookie monster
If hot matcha drinks are too old-school for you, try Nomi’s matcha detox (matcha with cucumber and lemon) and matcha surprise (matcha with watermelon).

For those with a sweet tooth, Nomi offers matcha cookie shots, legendary greenies (no, not the green kind of brownies that could make your part of the PNP’s tokhang statistics), tea-ramisu dream, matcha churros with white chocolate drizzle, and green cookie monster drizzled with white chocolate or caramel.

On the savory side, the café has chicken yum yum karaage with lemon kewpie and spiced rock salt; chicken power bowl with 6-minute egg, grilled tomato, roasted carrots, toasted cashew, and romaine pesto dressing; Havana Cubana which is braised pork shoulder with sweet corn, kidney beans, chopped lettuce, lime, cilantro, and pico de gallo dressing; and gyudon with steamed Japanese rice and poached egg.

I’m at  joyce.panares@gmail.com.

Topics: Euromonitor International , matcha , Michael Jiang , Nomi Matcha , Také Hosomi , Asuka Hosokawa

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