New Restaurant Alert: Mecha Uma at Bonifacio Global City
You have to thank the heavens for someone like Bruce Ricketts.
RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Tower, 25th corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Wednesday to Monday)
(SPOT.ph) It's easy to fall in love with a place like Mecha Uma and a chef like Bruce Ricketts. From his humble beginnings in Parañaque hole-in-the-wall, Sensei Sushi, he has relocated to a more prominent setting in Bonifacio Global City. And fittingly enough, he's brought with him the gastronomical innovations that served as his ticket to this proverbial journey to success.
You know you're in for a treat the moment you walk through Mecha Uma's doors. The tiny space feels immediately cozy and intimate, with small tables around the perimeter for those who want to try a la carte. Of those prized 30 seats, the 10 at the beautiful, copper chef's table are the most coveted. That table, where Chef Bruce personally presents his tasting menu every night, is booked faster than you can say, "Omakase." When planning a visit to Mecha Uma, this is where you ought to be.
Omakase means "I'll leave it up you." Those familiar with Chef Bruce’s omakase tasting menus from Sensei Sushi know only too well to trust the capable hands of this young chef. Sensei Sushi always delivered, but what he has in this new playground is phenomenal, and his consistent growth in the kitchen is undeniable.
The 10-course omakase at Mecha Uma is an experience that lets you use all of your senses. It's more than just eating great food-it's an entire show in itself. As everything is meticulously prepared in front of you, you can't help but be in awe as Bruce and his team work their magic. When each course is ready, he explains the dish-every component, how certain ingredients were cooked, and why they were cooked that way-helping you understand every flavor and texture component better.
Course One: Potato bread fried in clarified butter, topped with coconut, avocado, a shisho leaf marinated in dashi, an oyster, and uni.
Course Two: Otoro, charred brussel hearts with patis lime, mirugai (giant clams) for texture, and fish bone gelatin whipped with olive oil.
Course Three: Peeled crab (for a more pronounced flavor that's thick, like mayonnaise) paired with a panna cotta that's like buttermilk with a watermelon gazpacho sauce.
Course Four: Shucked Japanese scallops seared on one side for a more caramelized flavor in a broth made from Iberico ham and parsley oil. Gabi leaves (laing) at the bottom.
Course Five: Akapo (grouper) that is seared and cooked the way one would cook pork. The sauce is made from sea urchin and grouper bones. The fish is paired with sago, vadouvan, a sauce of yogurt that's cooked for two days (becoming caramelized and tasting slightly like melted cheese), and raw ikura marinated with sake.
Course Six: Cochinillo cooked for a few days seasoned with sage and rosemary. The pork is paired with a risotto made of cashews and barley, and thickened with pureed eggplant instead of butter. The red sauce is vinegar made from beets and the black sauce is made from squid ink and pig's blood.
Course Seven: Colorado lamb that is cooked as slow as possible, being put in and out of the oven about 10 to 15 times. The white sauce is goat's milk and garlic, and the perfectly seared lamb is seasoned with pink peppercorns and juniper berries.
Course Eight: A palate cleanser that is light in the mouth: Elderflower and gin foie gras that is aerated and paired with guava, a granita made from grapes and yuzu, topped with walnut and duck fat crumble.
Course Nine: Grade A5 Matsusaka Wagyu cooked over sampalok hardwood paired with sprouts, onions, and porcini mushrooms. Its sauce is made of onions and seasoned with dashi and cabrales cheese.
Course Ten: A dessert made of carrots, oats, honey, silken tofu with white chocolate, dried pineapple, fried carrots with rum and lime syrup, and a moist sponge of carrot cake.
From the decadent starter that’s definitely love at first bite and an unexpected palate cleanser to a magnificent finale, Mecha Uma's omakase will elicit emotions unlike anything you've ever felt. When it's all over and you find yourself in an incredibly good mood, with a grin from ear to ear, you'll know that the key to a truly great meal is how it makes you feel.
The Omakase, priced P3,600++, is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
Photos by Jinggay Nograles