I still remembered my first time visiting Mecha Uma and savoring the flavorful bite of its tuna tartare. It was so good that I always come back to the restaurant whenever I am in Manila.
Global Cuisine with Japanese Influence
Helmed by Chef Bruce Ricketts, Mecha Uma serves modern Japanese-fusion styled tapas with focus on high quality ingredients. The restaurant also serves Chef’s Tasting Menu (Omakase Style). This needs to be booked in advance as there are limited quantities served per day.
My friend and I did a walk in at 6 PM on Tuesday and by some miracle, we got a table. The restaurant was full really quickly!
Small Bites with a Punch
Talking about the food, we definitely started with my favorite dish – tuna, foie gras mousse, pineapple and pink peppercorn sandwiched in coconut biscuit (380 PhP). There are only 2 pieces of this per serving so you will have to order more in case there are more than 2 people. Lots of flavors are packed into this dish. The thin coconut biscuit is sweet and this adds another great touch to an interesting bite. Definitely a must order here.
The second dish was scallop, Japanese fruit tomato, quinoa, mecha XO, tomato jus (380 PhP). This dish is salty and sour – it has that similar taste to a ceviche.
Salmon gochuzuke, barley, compressed egg yolk, sake roe, toasted roots and stems, sesame (390 PhP) made up the 3rd dish.
The fresh ingredients were mixed with raw salmon resulting in a dish that was quite surprising. It was nothing like a sashimi you’d expect from a traditional Japanese sushi place.
The fourth dish was grilled octopus, polenta, onion, pickled corn and water cress (420 PhP). A very nice take on the octopus here. Good job Chef!
Main Courses to Share
We ordered two main courses to share. The first was Wagyu cheek kushiyaki, crunchy vegetable, cardamom and carrot top salsa verde, mustard and raisin puree (420 PhP). This is basically the grilled wagyu cheek skewer. The sauce was slightly sweet and the meat was tender.
Our second main was apple glazed lamb shanks with ume, Szechuan pepper cream and carrot juice (650 PhP). The Szechuan peppers gave this sweet dish a refreshing spiciness to it.
Mecha Uma names all their cocktails in Japanese and are reinterpretations of the classics. My first order was Genji (Bourbon, Umeshu Yamasaki, X-Mas syrup, orange and Angostura bitter, 440 PhP).
The second one was Yojimbo (Capel, Sudachi, Cointreau, chocolate bitter and egg white, 490 PhP). Unfortunately, both were nothing to write home about.
Sharing is caring
The food at Mecha Uma is full of flavors. The use of fresh ingredients and creative presentations of the small bites make this place stand out from typical tapas or sushi restaurants. I really like the tuna and the other small dishes. In my view, Mecha Uma is a terrific place to come share some bites with friends after work. The only downside is that its cocktails are not as good as the food. I will definitely come back again just to eat the tuna though.