Ooma Japanese Rice Bar: Umai! at first taste in SM Megamall

Japanese food has always been my main weakness when dining out. So although I've talked myself into eating cleaner, I thought I just had to have Japanese food when I was planning a catch up session with my friend, Fel. And of course, meeting up at SM Megamall, I instantly knew I want to try out Ooma.

Ooma Rice Bar at SM Megamall Fashion Hall

Ooma Japanese Rice Bar has been one of the hottest restaurants in my social media newsfeed for quite a while now. And while I know this post might already be waaaaay too late from the hype, I think it's still a pretty good share especially to those foodies like me who always seem to miss joining the bandwagon.

Ooma Rice Bar oozing with Tsukiji Market vibe
Ooma's ambiance is greatly inspired by Tokyo's Tsukiji Market.
Ooma Rice Bar Sushi Counter Seating
There are different seating areas, but I personally like the sushi counter the most.
Ooma Menu SM Megamall
But for a more conducive catch-up session, we went for the couch seating.

If you're always on the loop, then you'd have already known that Ooma is a concept by The Moment Group, and helmed by Chef Bruce Ricketts of Sensei Sushi and Mecha Uma. And with a head chef adept in bold Japanese fusion cuisine, my friend and I knew we were up for a flavorful date!

The Food: First Visit


Fel and I used to be voracious eaters back in college. I don't know if it's our age catching up with us, but we preferred to tickle our taste buds than to stuff ourselves to the brim during this trip. And Ooma certainly knows how to play its part well.

Salmon Tataki (P195)
Salmon Tataki (P195)

For starters, we had this sesame-crusted salmon tataki dish which is the closest it can get to salmon sashimi at Ooma. Garnished with roasted pineapples and pickled red radish in ginger garlic sauce, every bite is light and bright -- a suitable beginning to a meal.

Salmon Skin Aburi Maki (P265)
Salmon Skin Aburi Maki (P265)

To further satiate our salmon cravings, we had this pretty makizushi serving -- torched salmon with salmon skin, cream cheese, asparagus, wasabi aioli, then brushed with teriyaki sauce.

Unagi Maki (P299)
Unagi Maki (P299)

Since we didn't really order carbs for the meal except for rolls, we had another serving of maki. This time, it's broiled freshwater eel with cream cheese, fried shallots and toasted rice.

Hanger Steak (P495)
✓ Hanger Steak (P495)

As much as we liked our maki rolls, it's this meat dish that had us oohing and ahhing in foodie pleasure! Sous-vide hanging tender steak with sautéed mushrooms, sweet potato mash and crispy baby potato in white truffle oil, pickle dressing and ponzu butter -- a heavenly combination of ingredients!

If you can only order a few dishes at Ooma, make sure to include this! It's a must-try! Actually, I ordered this again on my second visit, 'cause how could I not?

Sumi with friend Fel at Ooma

Catching up with a friend is always enjoyable. But add in good food in the equation, and the session becomes a treat!

The Food: Second Visit


Just a few weeks after my first trip to Ooma, I knew I had to come back again. So when the boyf and I found ourselves in SM Megamall, I forced him to accompany me back to this resto.

Salmon Tartare Aburi Maki (P295)
Salmon Tartare Aburi Maki (P295)

I honestly wanted to try the Scallop and Tuna Aburi Maki. But since the boyf is also a fan of salmon, I figured this roll of fresh cut salmon with sweet soy reduction, uni aioli, teriyaki sauce and shiso will fit him better. And it definitely did.

Soft Shell Crab Taco-Maki (P199)
✓ Soft Shell Crab Taco-Maki (P199)

I already forgot where and from whom I've read that this item is a must-try, but this is really amazing! Each serving comes with two pieces of open-faced temaki wrap of crispy soft shell crab, aligue mayo and ebiko, and every bite is indeed an explosion of umami-licious flavors! I know it's pretty expensive to binge on, but I'll definitely order two, or even three, servings of this just for myself!

House Chahan (P99)
House Chahan (P99)

I won't post a second photo of it, but we also had the Hanger Steak as our main protein dish. And as expected, the boyf liked it a lot! To pair with the hanger steak, we had Ooma's house fried rice with mixed vegetables and egg. It's written on the menu as good for sharing, but I think the boyf can finish it all on his own. Haha!

THE VERDICT

For a hefty eater, Ooma's modern Japanese spread may not have effectively filled me up to the brim. But what it might not have done for my tummy, it definitely accomplished for my palate. Every item I got to try from Ooma's menu is flavorful and packs a heavy, satisfying punch to the taste buds. I also appreciate how fast service is at this restaurant. The plates just kept coming in one after another in a few minutes upon ordering.

Apart from SM Megamall, Ooma now has a branch at Rockwell, which further proves how late I am on trying it out. But nevertheless, I still found my visits enjoyable and have picked a few favorites I can foresee ordering again and again. In my future trips, I'm looking forward to try their Uni Udon and some of their donburi. So till we meet again, Ooma!

Taste 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Ooma, SM Megamall
3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall,
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
(02) 656 4591; (+63) 917 539 2083
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