There are already a number of Japanese restaurants that are scattered all over the metro but none of them have yet to establish a name for itself as the defacto brand when it comes to Japanese cuisine. One particular restaurant that’s trying to put its name on the map is Sumo Sam.
A couple of weeks ago, our editors got an invite to a movie screening in Makati and was lucky enough to get gift certificates to Sumo Sam. So my friend and I took the GCs and decided to check out what kind of food this resto had to offer.
Sumo Sam isn’t exactly what you’d call an authentic Japanese restaurant. Instead, it offers food that’s what you would call as Japanese fusion – a cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions, which in this case Japanese and Filipino flavors.
Their menu offers a comprehensive option of Japanese delicacies from sushi, sashimi, tempura, soups, ramen, noodles, donburi and bento among others. We tried fried gyozas, the all meat fried rice and chicken tempura with fried potatoes.
I’m not really a big fan of this particular type of food, but all in all, the experience was quite adequate. The chicken tempura was really delicious, well-cooked and comes with a mayo-based dip. Gyozas on the other hand, were crispy, though I would have preferred if the dipping sauce was a bit more out of the ordinary. Lastly, the all-meat fried rice was okay, although I think it doesn’t need the shredded nori on top.
The restaurant’s services were in fact very fast. The food we ordered was served in fewer than 10 or 15 minutes and the staff were very attentive whenever we call their attention. We also ordered a bottomless drink and we were surprised that the staff was constantly refilling it even without us asking.
The Sumo Sam branch that we visited was the one at SM Megamall just beside the food court. Honestly, I think the restaurant should invest in making their place a bit better or actually consider moving to a different location. The ambiance was actually the worst part of the dining experience.
As it is located just beside the food court, a lot of people are passing us by all the time making the place a bit noisy for us to eat comfortably. The dining area is open and gives the restaurant quite a tacky feel, which doesn’t really reflect the price they’re charging for their food.
To sum it all up, Sumo Sam offers a somewhat unique menu of Japanese fusion. In terms of taste, its food can do some sprucing up to accentuate its Japanese flavors. As for its branch at SM Megamall, we wish they could do some renovation and get the place a bit cozier and quieter or better yet, move to a better location with better seating.