Robert de Niro And Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Add Celebrity Sparkle To The Official Opening Of Nobu Hotel Manila

None other than Robert de Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa themselves travelled to Manila for the official opening of Nobu Hotel at City of Dreams Manila. Follow us as we get proper star struck at the purple carpet.

Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (5)Meir Teper, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert de Niro and Trevor Horwell at the opening of Nobu Manila.

It’s not every day that you get up close to a real Hollywood legend, and there was a distinct buzz in the air as members of virtually all major media outlets in the country wrestled for space in the hot morning sun outside the entrance of Nobu Hotel at City of Dreams Manila. The goal on everyone’s mind was clear: get a good shot of de Niro and Chef Nobu. Ladders, chairs, and selfie sticks were all utilized to get the jump on the competition as the press awaited the arrival of the lead characters in this early morning blockbuster at the purple carpet, which was in line with the color of the brand and matched nicely with our press pass lanyards.

Attention to detail and perfection in planning: you wouldn’t expect anything else from Nobu.

Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (2)Katana at the ready for the official opening of Nobu Hotel Manila

Getting ignored is probably not a feeling Iza Calzado experiences too often in her life as actress, TV host and model, but that’s precisely what happened to her a split second after she announced the arrival of the celebrity guests, when a sea of lenses turned from her to the group of gentlemen walking down the purple carpet. Two-time Academy Award winner Robert de Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa were joined by Hollywood producer Meir Teper (the man who brought you From Dusk Till Dawn), Melco Crown CEO Lawrence Ho, Melco Crown Co-Chairman James Packer and Nobu Hospitality CEO Trevor Horwell. Together, they swung a specially commissioned katana sword to cut through the ribbon and officially open Nobu Hotel and Nobu Restaurant at City of Dreams Manila.

Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (6)Officially open for business: Nobu Hotel at City of Dreams Manila

Following the sword wielding and camera firing action was a press conference at Nobu Restaurant, where the men behind the business explained a little more about it. Nobu Hotel at City of Dreams Manila is the first Nobu Hotel in Asia and features 321 rooms for what the press pack tells us is a celebrity inspired’ fun-luxury’ experience. Seeing that they have a true A-list Hollywood star amongst the management, it’s fair to say that press release is not exaggerating. Many a question was of course directed at Robert de Niro, including if he has tried local food yet (he hasn’t) and if he would consider shooting a movie here in the Philippines (he’d love to but there is no immediate project lined up).

Nobu Matsuhisa, the founding chef of Nobu restaurants, has risen to be one of the best known and most respected chefs in the world since he opened his first US restaurant in 1987, and his partnership with Robert de Niro and Meir Teper in 1994 has made the man himself and the brand he represents a global symbol of ultra high quality cuisine. These days, his culinary empire spans through 36 restaurants in 28 cities on five continents and is still growing.
Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (7)Press conference at Nobu Hotel Manila
Nobu Restaurant is a contemporary fine dining venue with 335 seats, including two private dining rooms, a sushi bar, floating water cabanas, two Teppanyaki tables, as well as a Chef’s Table. The menu features the modern Japanese fused cuisine Chef Nobu is famous for and includes signature dishes such as the Toro Tartar with Caviar, Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno and the Beef Tobanyaki, to name but a few.
Nothing at Nobu is left to chance and the credentials of the staff running the venture are as impressive as the attention to detail and culinary perfection that can be experienced here. Restaurant Manager Casper Khamphouy, for example, brings ten years of exeriecne with the brand to Manila, having previously worked in Nobu restaurants in San Diego, Dubai, Los Angeles, Perth and Wakiki.

Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (1)Robert de Niro at Nobu Hotel, City of Dreams Manila
Executive Chef Zachary Hillberry’s CV is no less impressive, as he brings over 15 years of professional experience and numerous awards to the Nobu Manila tables, including winning the Premium Chef Award at Las Vegas Taste of Elegance, and bagging the President Recognition Award at Luxor not once, but twice.

On the Sushi front, Head Sushi Chef Akihisa Kawai is making sure that things are perfect. A fully licensed Japanese Sushi Chef with over 20 years experience, his career has seen him spend time in top restaurants in the USA and Japan. This is a master at his craft and his skills can now be witnessed at City of Dreams.

Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (4)The men behind the famous Nobu brand and Nobu Hotel at City of Dreams Manila
Holding over-watch and keeping it all together on the hotel side of things is Marlon Hirsh, a 20+ years veteran of the hospitality industry who worked for some of the finest names in the game, including the Ritz-Carlton-Group, the Four Seasons in Jakarta and the Shangri-La in Manila, Oman and Bangkok, before joining Nobu Hotel Manila as General Manager.

Robert-de-niro-nobu-hotel-manila-opening (3)Sensational food being prepared for the media at Nobu City of Dreams Manila

Going by the beautiful setting, the flawless launch and the absolutely divine food we got to sample during the press lunch, it is fair to say that Nobu Hotel and Nobu Restaurant at City of Dreams Manila are must try destinations for discerning travelers and high-end foodies alike.