Gochisousama, Omakase!


After encountering it in a local magazine, some friends, and a food blog or two, I felt like it was a disgrace for me to not have eaten at Omakase yet, considering it they had a branch at Alabang Town Center, the mall I frequent most.

So, last Friday, we finally decided to find out what it was all about. Omakase, in Japanese, means “to entrust.” This term is used mostly in sushi bars, where asking for Omakase means you’re entrusting the sushi chef to choose for you, in lieu of ordering ala carte.

While we were not able to eat “omakase,” it was still a pleasant experience since everything we ordered tasted good. Omakase has the usual Japanese Restaurant staples like various tempura, teppan and donburi. But while everything looked yummy, we agreed to order stuff we don’t find at the usual Japanese restaurants, nor anything I can cook. Since we heard that the house specialty was the various fusion maki, that’s what we went for.

Omakase
Seeing various mixed platters, we went for the JSC Platter since both the Jurassic and Seabreeze sounded good. Along with the Crazy Maki, it proved to be a good choice. The Crazy Maki (leftmost) had spicy tuna and salmon on the inside, then ebiko (shrimp roe) and scallions on the outside. Yummy and satisfying, it had a slight spiciness, thanks to the tuna.

Omakase
Seabreeze had ebi(shrimp) tempura (!) and salmon on the inside, then tuna on top. Love thanks to the delicious soft, melty tuna and salmon. No tough, jointy fish here. Just fantastically fresh, sushi grade cuts.

Omakase
But the star of the show, or of the platter, was Jurassic. Full of yummy goodness: ebi tempura, kani (crab), ebiko, salmon skin (!) wrapped in sushi rice, then topped with savory barbecued unagi (eel), more ebiko, scallions, and sesame seeds. Jurassic has a flavorful punch that assaults your tastebuds, in a good way. Plus, there’s the bonus of textural play with a curious crunch. I’m not quite sure if it’s the tempura or the salmon skin; either way, it was a nice, light crunch that kept things interesting. The whole platter was served with a dish of what I assume to be kewpie mayo, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Omakase’s trademark dipping sauce, it made the flavorful selections even richer. Still, the quaint flavor of sesame seeds kept me coming back for more.

Omakase
Along with the JSC platter, my mom insisted on grabbing a plate of Oyster Butteryaki. I was not totally sold on the idea; oysters are after all, a tad expensive. After taking one bite though, I was a quick convert.

Omakase
Luxurious and oh-so-rich, the oysters were cooked in butter and ponzu (I think) for an intense flavor that coats your tongue in a non-cloying manner. It’s the type of taste that’ll leave you speechless. In fact, after taking a bite, all I could do was make appreciative, grunts of delight. It was simply perfect!

Omakase
To end the meal, I decided to go for a serving of Ice Cream Tempura. My mom and Paddy begged off, saying they were stuffed. While I’m not a dessert person myself, I knew I had to try the Ice Cream Tempura, if only to satisfy my curiosity. Good for us all, I insisted on ordering. Paddy ended up eating half of my dessert. Apparently, he thought that it was something like Ebi Tempura with a scoop of ice cream. So when he saw a dish of something sweet looking served, he was quick to grab a spoon and give it a shot. Served with mango cubes, we agreed that it reminded us of a mango crepe. (Ah, Cafe Breton’s Fantastic Pinay with Ice Cream. But then, that’s another story I’d leave for another day.)

Omakase satisfied us very much, and with the decent prices (everything cost us roughly 1k PHP) we knew we were coming back. And on Sunday, with our friends in tow, we did come back for even more maki.

Omakase
Intent on ordering something I haven’t tried (plus, we ordered a JSC to share), I decided on the Philadelphia Maki. Stuffed with tuna, kani, cucumber, mango, ebiko, scallions, and cream cheese, the Philadephia Maki was smooth as silk on the tongue, thanks to the cream cheese. The mix of sweet and savory, along with the crunch from the cucumber was perfect.

Omakase
Chris ordered the American Dream. The menu described it as salmon, kani and cream cheese that’s deep fried. I’m not quite sure though, if it’s really salmon or cooked tuna. It reminded me more of tuna than cooked salmon. Or maybe the frying process cooked it? Still, it was a good choice, especially with the light, crisp tempura batter coating the whole thing.

omakase08.jpg
Jamie had a soup dish whose name I forget. The flavors though, I won’t. It had lapu-lapu (grouper) with firm, sweet flesh. The soup was a light dashi, and the vegetables and silken tofu were plentiful. It was served with a soy based sauce that added a sweet and salty dimension to the fresh flavored dish.

Omakase
Not content with my Philly Maki, I ordered for the Omakase maki, a kani cucumber roll topped with salmon and sesame seeds. It was okay. The salmon they used was good but it was pretty traditional.

Omakase
Also notable was their house tea. Even tea afficionado Jamie was quick to say it was delicious. We weren’t able to ask what it was but she’s betting on brown rice tea. I wouldn’t be surprised, it had the full-bodied flavor of rice that I don’t usually find in lighter leaf or flower-based tea.

Omakase
After all the delicious dishes I tried, I know that I’ll be coming back again and again to Omakase. I want to try other stuff from their menu, not only to indulge in the varying tastes, but also to get more ideas for my own cooking. Still, nothing beats sitting down, grabbing a menu, then being served a lovely, freshly prepared dish.

All I can say is Itadakimasu!

Omakase can be found at the G/F Casa Susana & Vicente, Alabang Town Center.

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20 Responses to Gochisousama, Omakase!

  1. Leki says:

    Dang. I shouldn’t be reading this first thing in the morning. 😐
    I’m hungry! And I wanna try! Puntahan ko nga yan…pag may sweldo na. w00t!!!!

  2. kaoko says:

    You don’t have to wait for payday. The prices are fairly decent, it’s just like eating at Tempura or Teriyaki Boy. Only, the drinks are way cheap. C2 is only 20 bucks and Soda is 35.

    You can get a plate of 8 maki for 150 to 200 bucks, except if you get something special like the Jurassic which is 200+ by virtue of the unagi.

    But then, I just remembered what a bottomless pit you have for a stomach…

  3. amvn says:

    Eeee! This looks so awesome, especially the unagi-maki!!! My fave sushi roll is usually Philadelphia roll, but I wonder if that would change after tasting that ^_^

  4. kaoko says:

    I know the restaurant’s close to impossible to get to for you, but what’s to stop you from making some yourself, right? Personally, I want to give it a shot as well. Shall we try? 😀

  5. lalalady7 says:

    oh this website is beautiful!!! i did not know this existed outside your livejournal account. The banner is really breaktaking, how did u make it? using photoshop?

  6. kaoko says:

    Thanks, lalalady. The site is newish, I opened it last May 3. Still in the process of moving my archives but I’m hoping I’ll be done within the month. The banner was made using photoshop but I’m proud to say that the main one required minimal photoshopping, just a yellow overlay to get the yellow-green-orange feel I wanted. Everything else was lucky lighting. 😀 Here’s the original:

    http://www.kitchencow.com/2007/02/14/i-love-cream-cheese-and-salmon-3-3-3/
    (Yes, it’s one of my favorite photos ever, hehehe)

  7. Naomi says:

    Wow!!! I didn’t know about Omakase! I better try this! I do trust your taste, of course!!

    Wow… maybe I will try eating… omakase… -_^

  8. lala says:

    Hi! Niko showed me your site. I’m super like your photos. I can’t wait to go to Omakase and try everything. i’m in ATC almost everyday so i cant beleive that this resto didn’t register in my radar.

    • kaoko says:

      It felt that way for me too. I’m at ATC on a daily basis and I never found out about it til this year. And I know it isn’t a new restaurant at all. Hope you enjoy eating there as much as I did. 😀

  9. aoitenshi says:

    Where the hell is this place in ATC? Hahaha. I guess I should explore more with the bf, huh. We are forever in Corte de las Palmas only. The sushi looks fantastic!!! Waaaah.

    • kaoko says:

      At Casa Susana. 😀 Exit ATC by the door behind Mc Donald’s–the one beside Adidas. Turn left til you get to the building in front of the parking lot. Just go down the 1st level and it’s there. There’s also Seoul Seoul, a Korean grocery on the second storey. They also sell Japanese groceries though, so it’s always worth checking out 😀

  10. abbee says:

    Finally another reason to go back to ATC! 😀

    There’s a branch in Sta Rosa, Laguna, I think. I’m not sure. But my friends who live in the area always want me to go there.

  11. eehgow says:

    Note to self: Don’t browse food blogs — esp. ones that feature uber-yummy japanese food when you haven’t had a decent meal since forever and the next payday’s a week away XD

    Great info. Thanks! :)

    • kaoko says:

      Hehe, I know what you mean. I almost die from drooling over food blogs as well. Especially when it’s 2am and there’s no food in the house and all the people from the other side of the Pacific start making their food posts over lunch T_T

  12. govokinolij says:

    Hi

    Looks good! Very useful, good stuff. Good resources here. Thanks much!

    G’night

  13. Pingback: I’m craving for… « just got lucky…

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