(SPOT.ph) Nigiri, uramaki, temaki, maki, and sashimi: if all of these sound familiar to you, then you must be a true blue sushi fan. Almost always, raw seafood is the star in this Japanese specialty that’s famous the world over. Although it may not appeal to everyone at first, there’s a big chance that you’ll be craving those rolls again and again. Plus, lots of Japanese restaurants around the Metro go beyond the traditional to offer sushi that’s extraordinary.
We’ve gathered a list of places in Metro Manila where you can get modern, over-the-top sushi.
From the moment you step inside Mr. Roboto, you know that this restaurant in Alabang is bold and playful, with robot-inspired interiors that are peppered with prints from Japanese anime. The menu reflects this vibe, with their colorful Japanese food letting you feast with your eyes first. Grab your chopsticks and zoom in on their modern sushi, some of which are named after Japanese cartoons and manga characters. The Mazinger Z (P235) is a dependable choice with its combination of spicy salmon with cream cheese and crispy salmon skin. If you don't mind some heat, go for Daimos (P250) that has spicy shrimp bisque, or Voltes V (P280) that features fried ebi wrapped in kani and wasabi mayo.
Mr. Roboto is at G/F ATC Corporate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
For people on the go, nothing beats fast and casual eats like Sushi Nori, which offers a wide range of sushi. A quick glance at the menu will show you that this food stop makes it easy for diners to choose from their four categories of sushi: Basic, Deluxe, Super, and Premium. Their new premium item, Oboro (P369), is a unique sushi roll that will surprise you with its pretty pink hue. It includes Wagyu beef cubes, unagi or eel, oboro (a fluffy pink flaked-fish condiment), tempura flakes, black ebiko or shrimp roe, teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise. They also have sushi platters, and even a sushi cake, which is an atypical choice for your next potluck.
See a list of Sushi Nori branches.
Walls spruced up with vivid Japanese iconography and pop art clue you in on the fact that Soru Izakaya is all about vibrant colors and flavors. The dishes that come out of their kitchen are works of art that are too pretty to eat. A consistent crowd pleaser is the Lava Maki (P420), with a tower of maki stuffed with salmon skin, crabsticks, and tamago topped with cubes of salmon and tuna, then doused with spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce. It resembles a volcano overflowing with lava, hence the name. Another must-try is the Avocado Maki (P490), a surefire hit with avocado-lovers.
Soru Izakaya is at Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City; G/F 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City; and Techno Point Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City.
81 Seihai Sushi Lounge
Be prepared for bold, in-your-face Japanese fare at 81 Seihai Sushi Lounge. Their interiors take inspiration from Japanese culture, from exteriors surrounded by bamboo plants to their walls painted with murals of cherry blossoms, great waves, dragons, sea creatures, and more. This lounge has both traditional sushi, as well as out-of-the-box rice rolls such as the Flaming Maki (P400) with deep-fried maki of salmon, cucumber, cream cheese, and crabstick that is blanketed in melted cheese with a bit of char from torching. They also have sushi boats that you can share with a small group.
81 Seihai Sushi Lounge is at G/F President Tower, Timog Avenue corner Scout Ybardolaza Street, South Triangle, Quezon City.
Wherever you’re situated in the Metro, Sushi Ninja will make your drive down South worth it with their signature sushi items. Enjoy their artistic take on sushi amidst the cozy interiors that highlight warm wood—from the dividers to the lighting fixtures made of crates. Sample their unique offerings like Leon’s Sushi Burger (P800), with buns that are replaced with molded fried sushi rice, and a layer of spicy tuna, kani salad, black ebiko, chuka wakame (sesame seaweed salad), jamon, and garlic mayo as the “patty.” Best to share the calories since it’s a pretty hefty burger. Also good for sharing are the beautifully plated toshi sushi like the Odakyu Toshi (P455), salmon wrapped around uni (sea urchin) like a rosebud, and then topped with minced spring onions.
Sushi Ninja is at Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City.
Takashi Japanese Cuisine
Modest neighborhood Japanese restaurant Takashi Japanese Cuisine may be known for their cute animal-shaped rice meals, but they’ve got an impressive sushi selection, too. Get the best of breakfast flavors with their Spam Musubi Maki (P188) which has thick slices of the popular luncheon meat. Something that’s hard to find elsewhere is the Tamago Cheese Sushi (P188) with cheese and sushi rice packed in a pillowy pocket of fluffy egg. With their affordable and delicious offerings, Takashi will most likely become your favorite place for a quick sushi fix.
Takashi Japanese Cuisine is at G/F Elizabeth Place Condominium, 332 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City; and Pioneer Center Supermarket, 8006 Pioneer Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar
If you happen to find this hidden gem in Quezon City, you’ll be rewarded with Japanese dishes-with-a-twist: Think takoyaki served pancake-style, which you can then fold up and eat with your hands—that’s why they call it Taco-Yaki (P290)! While they do offer excellent ramen, you might want to sink your teeth into their original maki as well. Their Ebi Black Maki (P280) matches the black-and-white theme of their interiors—the rolls are coated in fried squid-ink crumbs to give them a distinctive ebony hue.
Ohayo Maki and Ramen Bar is at 30 Granada Avenue, Villa Ortigas II, Valencia, Quezon City.
A huge factor in Genki Sushi's appeal is the conveyor-belt "train" that brings your orders to you, fuss-free. But what sets them apart is their extensive lineup of sushi. Name it and they most likely have it—from the plain sashimi to the cone-shaped temaki, and everything in between. If you’re not fond of raw seafood, check out the Fried Chicken Gunkan (P70), boat-shaped sushi that has a crispy chicken topping. A couple of highly recommended dishes are the Seared Cheese Shrimp (P200) and the Hana Sushi (P160).
See a list of Genki Sushi branches.
It’s easy to feel bright and cheery at Motto Motto with their playful vibe and cuisine. This concept by the Raintree Group (the same folks behind Chotto Matte and Izakaya Sensu) features inventive dishes that even the pickiest eaters would like. Their extensive menu includes all-day brunch and teishoku set meals, but you shouldn’t miss their market-fresh sashimi and sushi. If you think you can't have sushi without any seafood, prepare to be surprised by the Vegan Paradise (P250), which has Chinese cabbage, cucumber, carrots, asparagus, enoki, salad greens, avocado, and more. The Shiny Tuna (P320) is a feast for the senses, with a tuna in a gorgeous crimson hue topping rolls stuffed with marinated bluefin tuna, yellow radish, cucumber, and spring onions.
Motto Motto is located at G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.
Ooma Sushi Bar
Ooma has always been known for their over-the-top sushi but they take things to the next, crazier level at Ooma Sushi Bar. Expect sushi piled high with all kinds of toppings like Kimchi Prawn and Enoki Aburi Maki (P275) with crispy-fried prawns, cream cheese, and kimchi aioli to make this roll deliciously spicy. You can also get Ooma's signature Taco Maki in flavors exclusive to the Sushi Bars like the Spicy Tuna Taco-Maki (P199/two pieces), with fresh and tender tuna tartare, a togarashi-scallion dressing, and wasabi aioli.
See a list of Ooma Sushi Bar branches.