Leading the kagami biraki ceremony during Homare’s opening are The Bellevue Hotels & Resorts chairman Johnny Chan (second from left) and his sons (from left) Bellevue Bohol managing director Dustin Chan, The Bellevue Manila managing director Patrick Chan and B Hotels managing director Ryan Chan.
Homare: There’s glory in good food
PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - August 20, 2019 - 12:00am

The rituals and traditions associated with Japanese culture glazed the mouthwatering Japanese dishes served at the grand opening of Homare at The Bellevue Manila — I would say the finest, classiest Japanese restaurant south of the metro.

Homare, which means “glory, honor, reputation” in Japanese, stands out for its authentic Japanese cuisine, its grill section and its sprawling floor area, which has several pockets for cozy dining as well.

Patrick Chan gives his welcome remarks.

The choice of name, according to Bellevue managing director Patrick Chan, “signifies the Bellevue’s mission to glorify the exquisite taste of Japanese food, to honor its culture’s traditions and to leave the hotel’s reputation untarnished by offering authentic specialties and world-class service.”

(From left) Ed Ramirez and the author, Denice and Patrick Chan and The Bellevue Manila marketing and communications manager Jel Lagman Villarin.

The recently renovated Zen-inspired restaurant can seat up to 130 diners, with the main dining area able to accommodate 100. It has two private rooms, each with its own newly installed yakiniku grills.

Yakiniku.

The Homare inauguration started auspiciously with the “changing of the Noren.” A Noren is hung in front of an establishment to signify that it is in business. After months of preparation, the Noren in front of Homare was changed, signaling that it was now officially in business as a restaurant and grill!

 “Our Noren isn’t the only thing that’s changing,” said Patrick. “As you may know, The Bellevue Manila’s Japanese restaurant used to be called Hatsune. It was a great run, but it is now time for something new.”

Yakiniku area.

Bellevue chairman Johnny Chan was one of the first businessmen to see the potential of the south as more than just a residential area. When he and his family moved to Alabang 20 years ago, there were no five-star hotels yet in the area. A true pioneer, he vowed to build it and 16 years ago, The Bellevue Manila rose amidst the mango trees in the area, Alabang’s first full-serviced five-star hotel.

Homare roll.

*   *   *

In true Japanese tradition, the grand opening of an establishment is celebrated through the breaking of a sake barrel, also known as kagami biraki. The Chan family, led by Johnny Chan and his sons Patrick, Dustin and Ryan, went around the sake barrel and participated in the ceremonial act of kagami biraki, signifying the breaking of  all negative cycles and inviting luck and good fortune into Homare and to all who dine there. The Chans were joined by Japanese guest relations associate Risako Kishii and she led the special guests say, “Seno” (simultaneously or all together).

Gyudon.

To this, Johnny Chan and the Bellevue directors Art Lopez and Abe Villacorta replied, “Yoisho” (loosely translated, this means, “Yo-Ho,” or an expression before an act that requires exertion).

Patrick led in the first pouring of sake in tiny sake glasses, and the Japanese fiesta had begun.

The Homare dining area.

(You may e-mail me at joanneraeramirez@yahoo.com. Follow me on Instagram @joanneraeramirez.)

B HOTELS DUSTIN CHAN HOMARE JOHNNY CHAN PATRICK CHAN RYAN CHAN THE BELLEVUE MANILA
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