Friday, August 23, 2013

A Shmu-riffic Dinner at Omakase

I haven't seen my Schmuzter fambam in a while, and have been having meetings with my team over Skype for the most part. So when Lori, The Empress of Schmuze, held an editorial dinner for everyone to sit down and to know one another out of work, I was stoked!

The editorial dinner had a few extra company stragglers - okay, everyone came - and our little get together turned out to be a celebratory company dinner, which was even better! There was a not-so-new sales person, a tiny new graphics designer, and a new content marketing writer to say hi to. And in true Schmuzter fashion, all the introductions are best done over good food.

We had dinner at Omakase over at Ayala Triengle. It had been too long since I was here last - and I was starving for good sushi when I got there. Also, just so you know, on the rare chances I absolutely must be taking the pictures for this blog, some of them don't exactly turn out how I want it to - like the blurry one above.

I was the first one to arrive, and while the rest of the Schmuzter folks were wrestling with Friday traffic, I tucked into my favorite salad at Omakase - the Spicy Tuna Salad (P230). There is just something very comforting about the fresh, sushi-grade tuna that's been cubed and tossed in a wasabi mayonnaise with the tempura flakes on top giving each bite that much needed crunch and texture. I went through most of it when Lori and the rest of the guys started to trickle in.

Not to be outdone by the salad, Lori also got an order of Tuna Sashimi (P220). Although I would normally pounce on the generous fresh slices of raw fish, I was saving my appetite for the creative makis that Omakase is known for.

The Empress of Schmuze had been craving for Agedashi Tofu (P120) and finally satiated her hunger for the perfectly fried silky tofu with a dashi-based sauce. Their servings could use a bit more of the sauce though - the flavors just didn't come through and most of what I could taste was the nori strips.

We ordered a bunch of different maki platters for the table, the JSC Platter (P735) being one of them. Comprised of the Jurassic Maki (ebi tempura, ebiko, salmon skin, and cucumber with unagi on top), Seabreeze Maki (ebi tempura, spicy salmon and slices of tuna outside), and Crazy Maki (spicy tuna and salmon with chopped scallions and sesame seeds outside.

I hadn't had any eel for a while, so the Jurassic Maki was a first for me. The Seabreeze Maki was my favorite on the platter, as it was all so fresh and best eaten with light soy and wasabi instead of the thick mayo-like sauce they serve at Omakase. The Crazy Maki was forgettable compared to the two - I was hoping that it would be as spicy as the tuna salad I had earlier, but it was quite the let down.

We also ordered the BDR Platter (P640) but swapped out the Boston Roll for Califormia Maki, and the Rising Sun maki for an Omakase Roll (kani and cucumber inside with slices of salmon outside). It was a COD Platter!

I was looking forward to the Dynamite Roll (unagi tempura with spicy salmon or tuna on top), but again, the spiciness of the salmon didn't come through, and most of what I could taste was the eel, giving the maki a bit of a bite compared to the others.

In true Pinoy fashion, our meal wasn't complete without rice and ulam, so Lori also got two orders of Ebi Tempura (P425 for 8 pieces) for the table. At this rate, tempura is tempura - the good ones all taste alike and the bad ones taste floury or greasy. Omakase's ebi tempura was one of the good ones.

We all got two Fried Rice Bowls (P250) - like all that rice from the maki wasn't enough.

And Lori also got an order of Beef Tepan (P340), which was devoured the instant it hit the table. The beef was alright - good enough for the price point but nothing to write home about.

I had a blast catching up with the Schmuze Crew! We've grown so big in such a short span of time and have been blessed to be surrounded by lots of good people - like the fun kids of the Creatives department shown in the picture above, with our Admin-slash-HR-slash-executive assistant-slash company psychiatrist.

When mucking around Makati and in for a bit of celebratory Japanese, I would highly recommend Omakase at the Ayala Triangle! The place can get quite packed, but hey, if it's good food at a reasonable price you're looking for, this place has everywhere else beat.

Just mucking around Manila,
Follow @_muckingaround on Twitter and Instagram.
Like the Mucking Around Manila fan page.

+63 2 467 3150
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Makati Central Business District
Open Daily: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 10:00pm