Monday, May 23, 2011

Omakase, Alabang

Name: Omakase
Location: Alabang, Casa Vicente
Google Maps: Omakase, Alabang
Date and Time: May 27, 2011 (Saturday), 07:30 PM
Must Know: 10.00% Service Charge, Expect a waiting queue during peak hours

Things have been very busy for both of us so we decided to revive our food blog the moment we had a weekend where there wasn't much to think about or do. We just came from a 'wellness' date and we decided to review this restaurant which we very  much enjoyed several times in the past while scrutinizing their service against our FAVS scorecard. This time, I was the critic.

It's always easier to be seated when your table request is "for-two", so they found us a place within 3-mins of asking. After reviewing the menu, we decided to go for some items that were already familiar to us and some which were new. We ended up with the following:

Ordered from the Menu:
  • Crazy Maki - PHP 185.00
  • American Dream - PHP 195.00
  • Tori Karaage - PHP 140.00
  • Mix Sashimi - PHP 325.00
The Crazy Maki (PHP 185.00) is a new dish for us. This is a simple tuna and salmon sushi invertedly wrapped (rice outside and seaweed inside) and coated with a light layer of fish roe. When the dish was served, it looked really dry and unappealing. However, upon tasting it in our wasabi-rich soy sauce (we're wasabi addicts), it was amazing how it turned out as soft and tasty despite its dry appearance. It felt as if it was just prepared right before it was served - and we began to realize that the appearance of the dish is probably caused by the yellow dim lighting of the place. This was a good start!

Crazy Maki - PHP 185.00
The next dish on our sights was the American Dream (PHP 195.00), a very familiar dish for both of us since we often ordered the SAR platter. This is a westernized sushi, having a tuna sushi fried in batter and served with a creamy sauce. This is not your typical sushi, and having a bite of it with the sauce is a completely different taste from the first one we had. Having this alone will leave a very simple impression, nothing great. But once you compliment it with the creamy sauce, it becomes a worthy concoction. Creamy, tasty, and filling would be the best words I can use to describe it. This is a fusion of east and west cuisine.

American Dream - PHP 195.00
The next thing that came is the Mix Sashimi (PHP 325.00) which we are ordering for the first time. Nothing exotic about this dish, but it's a sashimi set of several favorites: tuna, salmon, squid, prawn, crab sticks, and our very own favorite - uni sashimi. The salmon was normal and it wasn't as creamy as we wanted it to be, but the tuna was surprisingly very tasty. The squid was so soft and creamy that I almost didn't realize it was squid. The prawn and crab sticks were normal. The winner for this dish was the uni sashimi, which tasted like it was fresh out from the sea - creamy and fresh indeed. We enjoyed this one very much!

Mix Sashimi - PHP 325.00
The last one on the menu was the Tori Karaage (P140.00). This is a boneless fried chicken cooked in a way that it kept all the flavor inside, probably cooked with butter?! The fact that it was boneless and kept all of its flavor was just immaculate - I liked how this contrasted the entire line-up we just ate. A great way to cap-it-off! 

Tori Karaage - PHP 140.00
In the end, we certainly enjoyed the sumptuous meals and they way they were prepared. Here's how we broke it down against our scorecard:

Food Quality (4.5) - This is what keeps us going back to this place. You can't go wrong with your fine Japanese food cravings by going to Omakase. Their food is just great!

Ambiance (3.5) - This was a little downer. Although the place is nice, the location and the over-all set-up could be a lot better.

Value for Money (4.0) - This is very appropriate. Considering how the food is prepared and the effort that goes with it, they are priced reasonably well.

Service (3.5) -  Despite the peak hour, the were still able to serve us in an acceptable amout of time although there is no personal touch - probably because of the volume of their customers.

15.5 TOTAL. I was expecting it to rank higher than some establishments we've reviewed in the past, but scuritinizing each aspect against our scorecard, I say that this is a fair assessment.

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