New Japanese Restaurant in Megamall
Girlfriend wanted to try this new Japanese restaurant in Megamall Fashion Hall called Ooma. The Japanese Rice Bar is operated by Bruce Ricketts, who also handles Mecha Uma. Despite the similarity in name, Ooma is a more casual and chill experience (and cheaper!).
Many reviews said that the interiors are based on the Tsukiji Fish Market but I barely noticed the design (might have something to do with the amount of people).
Fortunately, we went early and were able to sit (sushi bar) upon arrival.
We were able to see them preparing the food and utilizing the mini blow torch on most of the dishes.
The layout of the menu was good despite having a wide variety of dishes to choose from. I personally find it easier to pick what to eat if the menu is easy to navigate.
We were given this brush to apply the soy sauce, I’m not sure if this is commonplace in Japanese restaurants but I immediately thought of the cleanliness of it (hope they replace per person).
We ordered the following dishes –
- Soft Shell Crab Tako-Maki – P199
- Scallops and Tuna – P295
- Hanger Steak – P495
- Buta Kakuni Katsudon – P289
These Soft Shell Crab Tako-Maki are legit! The charred taste (thanks to the extensive use of the mini blow torch) combined with the aligue mayo is perfect. Just the right amount of creaminess and crunch. The soft shell crab complemented those flavors while giving this dish extra texture. Will definitely order these again. Last lasa certified.
The Scallops and Tuna tasted okay–not bad, but not the best. It’s something you can find in other Japanese restaurants. The opening dish might have spoiled us a bit, and upped our expectations of this order.
I didn’t want to order the Hanger Steak, but the girlfriend insisted. The meat was tender and easy to chew on thanks to it being cooked sous-vide. The sweet potato mash with the truffle oil is a nice pairing with the steak. Would’ve loved to have a bit of char on this one but you really couldn’t get that with the cooking method used.
I always order katsudon. The sweet pork plus Japanese rice hits the spot for me. Ooma’s Buta Kakuni Katsudon tasted like most Japanese restaurants but the serving size is good for 2 persons. I eat a lot and I can’t finish this monstrosity.
I will definitely come back at Ooma to try the other blow torched dishes. If the Soft Shell Crab Tako-Maki is any indication, I’m hoping my next visit won’t disappoint.
(Update – 8/02/15)
I was still drunk when we ate at Ooma the 2nd time. Finished drinking at around 4am, headed over to Megamall by 10am as Uber gave free credits to the girlfriend and we decided to use it as it is only available that weekend.
The orders –
- Uni Udon – 495
- Tuna Tataki – 195
- Uni Ebi Taco-Maki – 220
- Soft-Shell Crab Taco-maki – 199
I’m indifferent with Uni. I don’t like it but I don’t hate it. I’ll eat if it’s there but won’t order it on my own accord. We tried this Uni Udon as the wait staff mentioned this is one of their best sellers. The creaminess of the udon gives this pasta dish a carbonara feel. Even the taste is the same with normal carbonara. The umami flavor is there but for 495 pesos, we were expecting more. Won’t order this again.
The Tuna Tataki looks good. The plating is nice but the dish is nothing special. Sesame seeds crusted seared tuna, mixed in with pickled mushrooms and radish so there’s a strong acidity to the dish.
From our first visit, we were blown away by the taco-makis. We wanted to try another. The Uni Ebi Taco-maki has sautéed prawns and uni mixed with aligue mayo. The uni and mayo has this same consistency and you really couldn’t distinguish the uni flavor anymore. That said, the bite of the shrimp makes up for it. Fixing the proportions of the uni and mayo will make this golden.
Of course, we had to have the Soft Shell Crab Taco-maki again. And it again is a winner. Same sentiments as what I wrote above but the torching is hit and miss. The crunch and bite is lacking compared to the first visit.
(Update – 8/31/15)
We visited Ooma again as we wanted to try ALL the taco-makis. I’m scheduled to get my watch I had serviced at Megamall Alexis, so why not?
The orders –
- Soft shell Crab Taco-maki – 199
- California Taco-maki – 135
- Spicy Lapu-lapu Taco-maki – 220
The Soft-shell Crab Taco-maki tastes the same. The aligue mayo was there and the smoke flavour from the char blends well in your mouth. However, the texture is lacking. The first time we tried this, the nori was crunchy and crispy. This time, it was a bit soggy and doesn’t give the contrast in texture that I want.
Nothing special for the California Taco-maki. Tastes the same with most california makis out there. As mentioned earlier, the nori should’ve given this dish another the crunch it needs for texture, but instead, it was quite chewy.
With the goal of trying all the taco-makis, the girlfriend was the least excited about the Spicy Lapu-lapu Taco-maki. We were both pleasantly surprised when we tried it though–the kimchi’s acidity gave the maki a needed ump to differentiate it with the others. It paired nicely with the aligue mayo and the lapu-lapu. However, in terms of spiciness, we barely noticed it.
Girlfriend Ranking for the Taco-Makis:
- Soft Shell Crab – LOVE. If you have to order only one dish on their menu, get this please!!!
- Spicy Lapu-lapu – good mix of flavors
- California – feel free to skip this
Price to Taste Ratio – 4/5
Budget Per Person – P500
Monday – Sunday – 10am – 10pm
Location – 3rd Floor Megamall Fashion Hall near Osaka Ohsho and Alqueria
Facebook Page – Ooma Japanese Rice Bar