Chirashi and Garlic Steak Are Out to Grab Your Attention at Ooma

Plus, other highlights from their new menu!

Ooma
2/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

(SPOT.ph) Even with all the Japanese restaurants that seem to fill every block of the Metro, Ooma has always stood out with their confidently eccentric take on Japanese fare. While being out there is never a bad thing, even the folks at Ooma admit that there are those who do crave the more traditional take on the cuisine. Hence, a shake-up of their current menu. They're bringing the focus back to Japanese fare familiar to most Filipinos, like takoyaki and spicy tuna, and it's all launching on October 2.

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Make no mistake: The additions to the menu are still something you aren’t likely to find anywhere else, but with flavors that are, admittedly, more familiar and accessible even to the newest of newbies. 

The Ikura Taco Maki has thick slices of salmon sashimi and salmon roe. 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
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The salmon sashimi, for example, isn’t just thick slices of fresh pink salmon—not that anyone would have complained. Instead, you get the Ikura Taco Maki (P315), which has a bed of crispy nori topped with a peppery fried shiso leaf, hefty slabs of salmon sashimi, and salmon roe for a briny bite to top it all off. 

The vibrant Bara Chirashi Don has uni, tamago, salmon, tuna, baby octopus, and more 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
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Ooma’s chirashi, the Bara Chirashi Don (P585), doesn’t seem like it strays from the traditional, but it also seems like more. More colorful, packed with more seafood—uni, baby octopus, salmon, tuna, and more—on top of sushi rice. 

The Crispy Tako Maki is Ooma's take on the takoyaki 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
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When it comes to their new maki, Ooma shows that they still have that flair for over-the-top rolls that somehow work. Their take on the takoyaki is the Crispy Tako Maki (P265), which has the familiar creamy texture and umami-packed flavor of a takoyaki, thanks to fried baby octopus, bonito flakes, a tangy bulldog aioli (similar to a burger dressing), and a soy dashi glaze. 

Stuffed with egg and cheese, the Tamago and Cheese Aburi Roll is rich and velvety 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason
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Packed with umami, you almost wouldn't believe the Roasted Eggplant Maki has no meat 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

There’s no question that the velvety Tamago and Cheese Aburi Roll (P245), rolls stuffed with mozzarella and cheddar plus tamago and aligue mayo, is a certified crowd-pleaser, but you would be surprised by how much you’ll end up liking the Roasted Eggplant Maki (P245) with the eggplant almost melting on your palate.

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Thick and tender noodles are the best foil to the tomato-and-cheese sauce of the Udon Bolognese 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Ooma may have been known as a rice bar, but they treat their noodles well, too—ask anyone who’s had their Uni Udon. But the Udon Bolognese (P395) might just turn into a new favorite: The East-meets-West bowl has thick udon noodles with an al-dente bite, covered in a brightly acidic tomato sauce and a blanket of cheese and cream.

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Gorgeously plated, the Garlic Steak comes with hanging tender, oyster mushrooms, and a cauliflower mash 
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

But the real star of the show? The Garlic Steak (P498), hanging tender slices set atop a cauliflower mash with garlic chips and oyster mushrooms. It almost doesn’t have to be as gorgeously plated as the way it is now, because there’s really no taking your eyes (and fork) off this plate once you’ve had the fork-tender steak with the crispy, spicy garlic, the earthy mushrooms, and the smooth mash to temper the aggressive flavors. 

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End your meal with the Mochi and Matcha Cheesecake, with a toasted sugar top and a sesame-seed-and-cashew crust
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Even regulars would hardly complain of getting tired with what Ooma has been steadily offering the past four years, and nobody really needs any convincing to come back. But Ooma has decided to woo us again anyway with a menu refresh—and with that Garlic Steak, we’re left swooning.

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Photos by Majoy Siason

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