Ooma 

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Ooma is a brand new restaurant located in SM Megamall. It is owned by the Moment group, the same people responsible for creating 8 Cuts, Manam, Phat Pho, and Linguini Fini, among others. The name ‘Ooma’ comes from the Japanese word ‘umai’, which aptly means ‘good’. Ooma’s main goal is to create Japanese comfort food that pleases the modern-day palate.

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Interior. We were seated all the way at the very, veeeeery back of the restaurant, which made me uncomfortable. Good thing the waitress was able to find us some slightly better seats ten minutes later.

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Menu: Small plates, Tataki, Maki, Ooma taco-maki, Ooma aburi-maki, Hot plates, Hot bowls, Udon & chahan, Desserts.

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O-Gyoza with unagi sauce, scallions, togarashi, and sprinkled with melted cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

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My dish was the Scallop and Tuna Aburi Maki. Just look at this beauty. It has torched scallops, tuna, cucumber, sesame seeds, seaweed crumbs, scallions, teriyaki sauce, kimchi aioli, and spicy mayo. The spiciness of the maki doesn’t hit you at first, but the sensation eventually spreads all over your mouth the more you chew it. The Aburi Maki (with ‘Aburi’ meaning ‘to burn something’ in Japanese) is Ooma’s signature creation.

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And you can use this nifty brush to coat your maki with just the right amount of soy sauce, so it won’t break apart right before it reaches your mouth (one of my food-related pet peeves).

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Ebi Tempura – Served with aonori, tempura sauce, and two dollops of avocado mousse and aligue mayo. This was pretty good, but I don’t really like it when a shrimp dish still has the whiskers on.

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Dad had the Buta Kakuni Katsudon – Breaded slow-roasted pork belly, onions, eggs, carrots, pickled onions, seaweed, and house tare.

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Our dessert was the Half-Baked Chocolate Lava Cake with ginger crumbs, and vanilla ice cream. I can’t pass up a delicious warm lava cake. The cake itself was nice and moist, and naturally goes well with the ice cream. I could barely taste the ginger, though.

I think Ooma’s dishes tend to focus more on presentation instead of taste – Because even though the food is visually pleasing, a couple of them (namely the tempura and the katsudon) still could use a little more salt. But the one thing that I do like about the restaurant though is their new take on traditional Japanese dishes, giving them a completely fresh and modern spin.

Ambiance/Interior: 4.5/5
Staff/Service: 3.5/5
Food: 4/5 (taste) 5/5 (presentation)

Ooma is located at 3/F SM Megamall, Mega Fashion Hall, Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Links: Facebook || IG: @ooma_ph.

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