Open top menu
Monday, July 13, 2015

This is the scene at 9:30pm on OOMA's first Friday night. 30 minutes to closing time and yet, people are still waiting to be seated. This is the pandemonium that CHEF BRUCE makes when he opens up a restaurant. People were willing to line up and try out his dishes.

OOMA opened its doors to the public last Wednesday at 6pm. The storm on social media the night before was wild. Photos of this and that. Ooohs and Aaaahs from foodies were everywhere. My friends and I ventured the storm and had to try it for ourselves.

Let me just be clear OOMA is a not so traditional take on Japanese Cuisine. The interiors shout Japanese Market. From boots, to a wheel borrow and even a manhole cover that is reminisce on TSUKIJI MARKET. And yet, the food isn't.

Before the eating part let me just share a crucial tip:

NEVER GO on a PEAK DAY!!! With all the hype it is receiving, be ready to brave the storm. Reservation is a must. By that, I mean they do not allow reservations. Even if they give you a number, try calling it. We did and there was no answer. You literally have to line up leave your name and wait or take the chance that someone might jump you in line. They won't allow you to leave your number for them to call you back. It is basically a wait and see game. So, have someone go there early for your group and have him register.

As for us, we waited for almost 2 hours. YES 2 HOURS! Good thing there were other restos in the area that serve beer and cocktails.

After the snafu, we were seated at a few minutes past 9pm. Knowing what to order before hand is a must specially since the mall closes at 10pm.

With an hour left, we decided to get the dishes that would definitely make us happy.

Since we are all rice eaters, we had the HOUSE CHAHAN. (99php).
This simple dish is the basic fried rice. Mixed veggies, egg and Japanese Rice.
Lest we forget, rice comes with any order and is refillable. Unfortunately, the rice is not the quality you would expect from this kind of restaurant. It reminded us of the same kind of rice a certain Japanese Fast Food Chain serves. Better to go for their fried rice instead even if this one is refillable and part of what you ordered. 
 Since we braved the long wait, Complimentary EDAMAME (115Php) were served. These are basically Japanese Soy Beans. Almost like nuts. To give it a different flavor, they added the kimchi sauce just to get that kick.

Instead of flat out sushis, they have TATAKIS. These are slices of certain seafood that are marinated in vinegar and has some pickled veggies to accompany them. 

The TUNA TATAKI (195Php) was excellent. It was executed very well. The fish was fresh and spot on. It is sesame crusted tuna with pickled mushroom, pickled red radish and ginger garlic sauce. The flavors jived and the tuna was the star of the dish.

The ABURI MAKI is not your typical rolls. These are blow torched creations. One thing that Chef Bruce loves to do is to play with food. He is definitely showing it here.

The SALMON SKIN ABURI MAKI (265Php) was conceptualized rather well. Torched salmon with crispy salmon skin, asparagus, cream cheese, and wasabi aioli with teriyaki sauce.  Although, I would have liked to feel the crunchy texture of the skin more, the flavors were there. If you would like to have soy sauce, they have these cute containers with mini brushes for you to paint them on the rolls. Innovative right?

If there was one type of dish that I would recommend, it would be their UDONS. This baby reminded me of my recent Japan Trip. The noodles were firm and cooked perfectly. There was still a bite but it wasn't undercooked. The texture was there and I loved it. It reminded me of my dinner in Tokyo Station.  Love it.

I was talking way to much. That I forgot this. The UNI UDON (495Php). Fresh uni, shrimp, onion, fresh mushroom, Nori Crumbs scallion and uni cream sauce. When I tasted it, the nori's smoky flavor was sort of over powering the uni and yet, the uni was still there. According to the hungrychef, the uni flavor was there but somewhere at the back. It creeps up to you.

For mains, one dish that was somewhat innovative was the KARA-AGE. These dishes are covered with sweet potato strips that serve as the batter. They make them more crunchy and plays a lot into the texture.

The TORI KARA-AGE (245Php) is crispy chicken thigh with sweet potato strips. Sesame seed on top with a soy and vinegar glaze. Something different from the usual batters.

One thing that was raved online a few days back was the HANGER STEAK (495Php). Sous-vide hanging tender. Sauteed mushrooms with white truffle oil and sweet potato mash. Crispy baby potato on top with pickled dressing and ponzu butter.
 When I tasted the dish, I was expecting more. I didn't get the truffle oil until I smelled the plate and it was pointed out to me. It wasn't there on the bite of meat I got. I believe that there were a lot of flavors going on that it could confuse the palate. Given that this is a hanger steak, I figured that the meat wasn't going to be as tender as I wanted it to be so I let the chewyness slide.

This definitely isn't MECHA UMA.
 OOMA by CHEF BRUCE and The MOMENT GROUP has brought an affordable dining concept to MEGA FASHION MALL. OOMA is not your traditional JAPANESE CUISINE. Rather, it is play on Japanese food and flavor to make it something more. The dishes are reasonable priced and the flavors are there that it would warrant another visit in a couple of weeks.

As for the waiting time/reservation issue, I would suggest that you give it a week or two. Soft Opening Issues. Better yet, go there on a weekday lunch time. Without the weekend dinner rush line, I believe this restaurant could be one of the best places to go to when craving for some Japanese cuisine in SM MEGAMALL.

Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Reservations aren't accepted.
Have your name listed down and wait.
Instagram: @OOMA_PH

Disclaimer: We Paid for our meals. Wrote this based on my experience.
E-mailed the PR Manager of The Moment Group to advise and give feedback on the Reservation Issue.
Different Themes
Written by Lovely

Aenean quis feugiat elit. Quisque ultricies sollicitudin ante ut venenatis. Nulla dapibus placerat faucibus. Aenean quis leo non neque ultrices scelerisque. Nullam nec vulputate velit. Etiam fermentum turpis at magna tristique interdum.


  1. I was dining at Osaka Ohsho during the opening night. Nakakacurious. Thanks for the tip, kuya. I'll give in two weeks tops before I give it a visit. And see you soon! Miss na kita! :)

  2. Hey hey heh ^^ give OOMA a couple of weeks more... To sort out the kinks... Better yet... Go on a weekday lunch... For sure...!!!!

  3. I think I would have to wait for months before the crowd pacifies! The dishes all look great and mouthwatering. No doubt, this new restaurant has a strong chance of joining SM Megamall's all-star roster. :)

  4. Definitely, they need to fix that side first. They need to relearn on how to handle reservation. The fact that you need to stay at their restaurant just to be sure that you get your table is mediocre at best. Knowing what they are capable of, they ought to "upgrade" to what other restos does for their diners. Like be able to contact the diners when their table is ready.
    Simple things done great are what makes excellent restaurant.