IN PHOTOS: Niu by Vikings debuts 9 new dishes for a limited time

Paolo Abad

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IN PHOTOS: Niu by Vikings debuts 9 new dishes for a limited time
Tired of the usual buffet setup? Try something new – 'oysters and pearls,' pork loin in malt liquor, and more

MANILA, Philippines – Niu has just turned one this month – as Níu stands for the number 9 in Old Norse, they will be serving nine new dishes, available for a limited run from October 17 to 29.

Like Niu’s regular made-to-order dishes, these are not charged on top of your bill. So, stuff yourselves like the ancient Scandinavian seafarers!

Located at SM Aura Premier, Niu is the upscale venture of popular buffet chain Vikings. The restaurant features cuisines from across the globe while trying to source local ingredients as much as possible. (READ: The new buffet at Niu by Vikings: Tips and tricks)

According to executive sous chef Paul Cruz, Niu offers classic, no-frills fare presented in a modern way.

At a recent tasting, we had a degustation of these dishes for the anniversary celebration – each one representing one of Niu’s nine buffet sections: Japanese, Pan Asian, Chinese, and Western – to name a few. Note that the serving sizes that appear in these photos are merely tasting portions.

Here’s a look at these limited time-only dishes:

Caprese mousse and avocado-shrimp panna cotta

The caprese, as it is commonly known, is a salad that chiefly consists of mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Now, compact that into a dainty tart, and you have a unassuming but very nice amuse bouche.

This is paired with a creamy panna cotta topped with a layer of equally velvety avocado and shrimp. 

Truffled cream of pumpkin and shrimp

The unmistakable flavor of black truffle emerges through the subtly sweet and frothy cream of pumpkin. In this soup, there is a complex harmony of flavors – each distinct but exquisitely blended. 

Supreme mushrooms bean curd skin roll

The dumpling-like supreme mushrooms wrapped in tofu skin are an earthy but delicate interval between richly flavored dishes. As such, it is meant to cleanse the palate.  

Oysters and pearls

Harvested from the seas of Aklan, Visayas, these oysters are steeped in white wine cream that masks its brine. As a result, it seems buttery and melt-in-your-mouth.

Topped with cold lumpfish caviar, it creates a remarkable interaction of temperatures – hot and cold.

Tuna teriyaki salad

The tuna, also fished from the waters off Aklan, is prepared in the Japanese tataki method (swiftly seared over a pan) with a crust of sesame.

Bound in greens tossed with teriyaki and beer vinaigrette, the salad is brightly flavored, interacting well with the pleasantly burnt profile of the tender tuna.

Salmon chahan

This omurice-like salmon fried rice (chahan) is blanketed in scrambled egg and topped with saba nitsuke (simmered mackerel) and buta kakuni (braised pork belly). Even in just a tasting portion, it’s already quite hefty and satistfying on its own.

As a bonus, enjoy the bacon asparagus on top.

Braised pork loin in malt liquor

This dish is a convincing example of the virtues of beer in cooking. The pork is melt-in-your-mouth goodness with a malty and nutty hint to it.

A succulent cut of braised pork loin sits atop a bed of blueberry compote, which cuts through the rich flavors with its tart sweetness. Small, balled scoops of pears and carrots on the side add a contrasting texture to a velvety but heavy dish.  

Lamb caldereta (with edam and parmesan risotto)

The soft and flaky lamb is stewed in a sour and spicy reduction. This somehow resembles Osso Buco, fall-off-the-bone tender veal shanks, usually paired with risotto.

Thus, creamy risotto is perfect alongside the caldereta. In the risotto, there’s the familiar Edam (popularly known as Queso de Bola) and the mainstay Parmesan cheese.

Matcha soufflé

While the traditional Japanese matcha tea can sometimes taste astringent, it can transform into an endearing treat with milk and sugar (almost like sweet avocadoes). Niu’s luscious green tea-flavored soufflé is an apt finish to a hearty meal.

Usually, you pour syrup on the soufflé, but at Niu, you have a dollop of vanilla mousse on a teaspoon. Dunk this in the matcha soufflé and watch it melt in the spongy core.

If it proves too rich for you, there’s tarty fruit salsa on the side to balance out the decadent flavors.

Niu’s chefs also designed the menu to pair with cocktails that can complement the dishes flavors, or refresh their guests’ palates in the middle of the meal.

These sweet cocktails contrast well with the savory dishes. Take for example this Evergreen cocktail – made of grenadine, pineapple juice, vodka, and lemon lime.

Will you be visiting Niu soon for their anniversary celebrations? Let us know what you think about these limited-run dishes.– Rappler.com

NIU by Vikings is located at 6F SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway corner 26th Street, Taguig City

Updated rates as of October 2015:

Weekday Lunch:

  • Kids below 3 ft – Free
  • Kids between 3 ft to 4 ft (3 – 7 years old) – P 302.40
  • Kids between 4 ft and 4 ft 6 in (7 – 10 years old) – P 617.40
  • Adult – P 932.40
  • Senior Citizen 20% Discount – P 666
  • 75 years old – P 466.20

Weekday Dinner/Weekends/Holidays:

  • Kids below 3 ft – Free
  • Kids between 3 ft to 4 ft (3 – 7 years old) – P 407.40
  • Kids between 4 ft and 4 ft 6 in (7 – 10 years old) – P 722.40
  • Adult – P 1457.40
  • Senior Citizen 20% Discount – P 1041
  • 75 years old –P 728.70

 Paolo Abad is a film/television editor and motion graphic designer. He is also a self-confessed concert junkie. Follow his Instagram for live music @outoftunephoto

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Paolo Abad

Paolo Abad writes, edits, and shoots for a living. He is one of the founding partners of the online radio platform Manila Community Radio.