food and beverage industry

Filipino-owned Japanese resto Soseki in US bags first Michelin star
Filipino-owned Japanese resto Soseki in US bags first Michelin star

Soseki's Instagram page

Florida's Soseki Modern Omakase is helmed by Filipino chef Michael Collantes

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-owned Japanese restaurant Soseki Modern Omakase in Florida just earned its first Michelin star for being “an ideal illustration of a contemporary meal expressed by way of an omakase.”

Founded and helmed by Filipino chef Michael Collantes, the Michelin-starred restaurant is an omakase and izakaya in one, where diners can get a taste of delicate dishes selected by the chef, paired with curated sake and wine. Customers are given 15 bites/courses that include a piece-by-piece nigiri, a slice of raw or cooked fish and seafood over a small mound of sushi rice. 

Soseki Modern Omakase serves its intimate, “globally-inspired,” and “seasonally driven” course menu to only 10 guests at a time, with a “leave it to the chefs” approach. Collantes’ small Japanese venture undergoes menu changes monthly depending on the produce available in local Florida, offering guests new culinary themes during each visit. One of its most recent menu items is a combination of toro, caviar, and puffed rice chips. 

There’s also the hitkouchi course that includes a mushroom escabeche with goat cheese and za’atar, plantain bellini with crème fraîche topped with caviar, and foie gras with radish, hibiscus, and milk bread. 

The 2022 Michelin Guide specifically lauded the restaurant’s “Scandinavian-style” sashimi with smoked mozzarella, saying that all of the dish’s elements are able to smoothly complement each other and strike a balance between “complexity and creativity.”

“I can’t express the amount of passion, care, and detail you all put in week in and week out,” said Collantes about his team at Soseki Modern Omakase. 

Collantes further went on to thank Soseki Modern Omakase’s partners and producers – the local Florida farmers, fishermen, and cheese and ceramic artisans. 

Soseki Modern Omakase was founded in late 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is located at 955 W Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park, Orlando, Florida. 

Its founder, Chef Michael Collantes, is also the mastermind behind the Orlando, Florida, restaurants Taglish Filipino American Fare, Kamayan Supper Club, and Perla’s Pizza. Collantes has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has also taken on leadership roles in major brands and corporations like Levy Restaurants, MGM Grand, Ritz Carlton, and Aria Casino. 

In April, Chicago-based Kasama, another Filipino-owned food establishment, also earned its first Michelin star for its dinner tasting menu. – with reports from Juno Reyes/

Juno Reyes is a Rappler intern.