Friday, July 10, 2015

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar

I've always heard about Mecha Uma at the Fort, but never had the chance to try it out.  Guess there was really no occasion, nor do we find ourselves hanging out at the Fort.  Hence, no Mecha Uma.  Boo.  So it was great news to me (and to all of us) that Chef Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma partnered up with The Moment Group and opened up OOMA Japanese Rice Bar at the Mega Fashion Hall!  I, of course, spared no time and went straight to SM Megamall the moment I found out that they were already open. 

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar from outside

Here's good news for us who are more budget conscious,:  OOMA's price range is more affordable than those of Mecha Uma's.  Way, way more affordable.  Yay!

And here's what we had:
Gratinated Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese, Scallion, Togarashi, Unagi Sauce

Uh... not impressed here.  Sure there were lots of fancy "add-ons", but it did nothing to amaze the palate.  Plus, the gyoza skins stuck to each other, making it hard not to destroy it when prying them apart.

Scallop and Tuna Aburi Maki
Torched Scallop, Tuna, Cucumber, Sesame Seeds, Nori Crumbs, Scallion, Teriyaki Sauce, Spicy Mayo, Kimchi Aioli

Again, lots of add-ons, but nothing spectacular.  The pieces were teeny tiny and the rice did not resemble Japanese rice at all (so it's probably not).  Makes you feel like you're eating budget maki. 

Hanger Steak
Sous Vide Hanging Tender, Sauteed Mushrooms, White Truffle Oil, Sweet Potato Mash, Crispy Baby Potato, Pickle Dressing, Ponzu Butter

Now we're talking.  We actually bumped into an old friend who ate ahead of us and he recommended that we get the hanger steak.  I liked that they did not scrimp on the truffle oil (I could smell it in every whiff!) and that they incorporated sweet potato mash.  The meat was also tender (well, most of them are but not all),  The dislike?  There's a bit of a sour taste to it, probably from the ponzu butter, which I feel did not complement the dish at all.

Unagi Maki

Broiled eel, Cream Cheese, Fried Shallots, Toasted Rice

And lastly, is the unagi maki.  Same complaints here.  Small bite sized pieces, bad rice.  Unagi was practically nonexistent.  Oh well.

Overall, I really hope that our experience with OOMA was just the typical birthing pains of a new restaurant.  Aside from the hanging tender, nothing else we had that night was worth going back for.  There are, however, a couple more other dishes I'd like to try, but I think I'll wait a while first before going back.  1.5 out of 5 stars. 

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar is at 3/F, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City