OOMA Japanese Rice Bar

OOMA is a modern Japanese restaurant conceptualized by Chef Bruce Ricketts for The Moment Group, the same company behind 8 Cuts, Phat Pho, and Linguini Fini.

IMG_7312John and I are big Sensei Sushi fans, and we were excited to try Chef Bruce’s new, more affordable dining concept at SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall, never mind the supposed 2-hour wait for a table.  We decided to add our names to the queue, and kill time by browsing books over at Fully Booked.

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I’d say it took a little over an hour for us to be seated, but I think the long wait is mainly because about a third of the inner dining area is still closed while they are on soft opening.

IMG_7313The restaurant’s interiors are inspired by the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo,  using such things as rainboots and stools built on plastic crate as design elements.  It’s definitely a casual place, with a hip yet relaxed vibe.

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We started our dinner with the Soft Shell Crab Taco Maki (P199/2pcs), an open-faced temaki wrap with crispy soft-shell crab, aligue mayo, and tobiko.  This was my favorite dish for the night, and a must-order!

IMG_7309We also tried the California Taco Maki (P135/2pcs), but didn’t like it as much.  It’s an open-face temaki wrap with kani sticks, herb aioli, and mango pico.

IMG_7310I love unagi, and never fail to order it in some form whenever we’re at a Japanese restaurant.  And I really liked Ooma’s Unagi Maki (P299/6pcs), made with toasted rice, cream cheese, fried shallots, and sesame seeds.

IMG_7306I also love all things aburi, so we ordered the Scallop and Tuna Aburi Maki (P295/6pcs).  It was just all right.

IMG_7307Diners are provided with paintbrushes to “paint” soy sauce on their sushi.

IMG_7305And John and I were hoping that the Corn & Oyster Kakiage (P155) would be something like Yardibird’s corn tempura.  It wasn’t, but I like corn and I love oysters, so I enjoyed this anyway.

IMG_7311The Tuna Karaage (P335) is deep-fried tuna belly coated with sweet potato strips, togarashi, and seaweed.  I really, really didn’t like this dish and something tasted off to me.  I heard that the chicken version is really good, but I don’t eat chicken.

IMG_7301John ordered a Gyudon to round out his meal, and he really liked it, too.  I only found out afterwards that you can actually ask for (unlimited) rice with any order!

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Is Ooma worth the long queue?  Well… I don’t regret lining up for dinner, but maybe we’ll wait for the lines to move a bit faster before going back.  I definitely want more of the soft shell crab taco maki, and also want to try the udon with uni cream.

Have you tried any of the dishes at Ooma?  How long did you have to queue, and what other dishes would you recommend?

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar, 3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall
Facebook: Ooma | Twitter: @Ooma_PH | Instagram: @Ooma_PH

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