My dad’s procedure was relatively successful yesterday, although he’s still not out of the woods. Far from it, in fact. I feel his battle is just beginning despite having been confined to the ICU for nearly a month. I sense us all breathing a collective sigh of relief every time he makes it through something… anyhow, let me share something of a lighter nature today.
I’m always happy whenever a foreign franchise makes it to our shores. It only means I don’t have to travel far to have a taste of authentic food from another country! The newest one I’ve tried is Osaka Ohsho, hailed as the world’s #1 gyoza restaurant. Established in 1969, Osaka Ohsho has over 300 stores in Japan. Osaka Ohsho was brought to the Philippines by the same group who brought over the Singaporean franchise Wee Nam Kee.
About a week ago, hubby and I were invited to the soft opening of Osaka Ohsho in SM Megamall’s new Fashion Hall. We both love Japanese food and so we spent our lunch break there.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Osaka Ohsho specializes in gyoza (pan-fried Japanese dumplings filled with pork and veggies). They have three kinds of sauces you can use as dip — Miso, Osaka Ohsho Original, and Chili Oil. You can have the dips solo or mix them all together for a unique melding of flavors. I tried each and ended up mixing the three, for me mixing is the way to go.
Osaka Ohsho currently serves three kinds of gyoza: Original (P175 for 6 pcs / P350 for 12 pcs), Cheese (P190 for 6 pcs / P380 for 12 pcs), and Nori (P190 for 6 pcs / P380 for 12 pcs). You can order them by 6’s or 12’s or as part of a meal set. I liked all the gyoza variants as I quite enjoyed how perfectly crisp they were outside while being meaty and juicy inside. Osaka Ohsho uses a special mix of three pork cuts combined with ginger, garlic, and cabbage to fill each dumpling.
My favorite gyoza variant is Cheese. Check out how the gooey cheese oozes out of each gyoza piece. Soooo good. I usually get suya (that cloying feeling) with cheese but it wasn’t so in the case of Osaka Ohsho’s gyoza. I think I can finish a dozen. So perfect especially when dipped into my mixed gyoza sauce.
If part of a meal set (specifically a Koshihikari set), you get 3 pieces of gyoza, a bowl of miso soup, a fruit plate, and unlimited premium Koshihikari rice. This is the Mabo Tofu Set (P330, pictured above) that hubby and I tried. The mabo (pronounced ma-po) tofu is a popular Chinese dish from the Szechuan province, it’s basically cubed bean curd cooked in spicy chili and bean-based sauce, usually with minced pork. Osaka Ohsho’s version is not overly spicy, it’s quite mild actually so you just get a slight kick but nothing overwhelmingly hot. It goes well with the steamed Koshihikari rice. Hubby and I shared this since we were eating separate orders of gyoza on the side.
We also tried a couple of drinks, Strawberry Passionfruit Fizz (P110, pictured above left) and Matcha Milk Smoothie (P125, pictured above right). The Matcha Milk Smoothie is the bestseller and so for the other drink we decided on something that wasn’t milk based so we wouldn’t be overwhelmed. I’m sorry to say that the Strawberry Passionfruit Fizz’s taste reminded me of cough syrup lol, but hubby and I were able to finish it anyway. Matcha Milk Smoothie is very rich and creamy, kinda like a green tea milkshake. It was okay and I can understand why it’s the bestseller.
About a week later, I was at Osaka Ohsho again, this time with Marj and Weiser. I said I wanted to try Special Fuwatoro Tenshin Han (P310, pictured above) which I wasn’t able to try last time when I was with hubby. I also said I was going to drown out all my stress in black sesame ice cream. Special Fuwatoro Tenshin Han is kinda like omurice in the sense that it’s steamed chewy sticky Japanese rice topped with a super fluffy egg, but it’s different because the egg and rice are swimming in a sesame-based sauce. We had it with lots of gyoza. Yummy! Too bad Cheese Gyoza was out of stock that day.
Check out how gooey the fluffy egg-topped rice is. It’s really really yummy and although the menu says that it’s good for two I think it’s actually good for three because three of us shared it for lunch.
For dessert, I opted for a scoop of their homemade Japanese ice cream in Black Sesame (P125 per scoop, pictured above). I’m not an ice cream fan but this is just the way I like my ice cream — creamy but not sweet. It’s deliciously simple and uncluttered flavor profile reminded me of Michiko Halili’s award-winning Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream. I liked this so much I had the exact same thing during both visits.
Marj and I tried the Banana Tempura Ice Cream (P330, pictured above) as well. — that’s four big pieces of battered and fried bananas drizzled with chocolate syrup and served with three scoops of homemade Japanese ice cream. Good, but black sesame ice cream ala carte is still my dessert of choice. I could eat it all day, that’s how much I love it.
Osaka Ohsho is a good option if you want a quick, natural (meaning not processed), and reasonably priced meal. By my second visit, there was already a line outside the door. I’m not surprised because gyoza is a popular food item here in Manila and a lot of people who eat in Japanese restaurants usually order it. My favorites at Osaka Ohsho are the Cheese Gyoza, Special Fuwatoro Tenshin Han, and the Homemade Japanese Ice Cream in Black Sesame. Do give it a try if you find yourself in SM Megamall. Osaka Ohsho also offers kiddie meal sets starting at P100+ and afternoon meal sets (available from 2-5pm) for about P200+ per set.
3rd Level SM Megamall Fashion Hall
EDSA cor. J Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City
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