This Japanese Restaurant in Megamall Puts Special Twists on Classic Japanese Comfort Food

If you haven’t tried truffle gyoza yet, this is your sign.
IMAGE COURTESY OF OHACHI/THE RELISH GROUP

Classic Japanese food seems to hold a top spot on everybody and their mother’s list of favorite cuisines. Whether it’s a steaming hot bowl of rich pork broth ramen or a golden batch of melt-in-your-mouth Gyoza dumplings, we dream about traditional Japanese food just as much as the next person—but we can also never resist a bold, rising restaurant that knows how to get creative with its menu. 

Ohachi’s Truffle Gyoza (left) and signature Chashu Ramen (right)

Photo by Courtesy of Ohachi/The Relish Group.

Opened just three weeks ago on the third floor of SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall, Ohachi is the newest restaurant by The Relish Group—the team that’s also behind Kumori, Wee Nam Ki, and Birdhouse. Despite its young age, the restaurant is already on its way to building a loyal customer base, with several repeat customers who insist on ordering extras to take home.

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Peer into Ohachi’s abode and you’ll recognize the unmistakably Japanese design elements: the honey-colored wood, translucent shoji paper screens, and chiefly minimalist colors. But with its rich splashes of red and its glowing bright lights, Ohachi’s interiors are a fitting reflection of its food: distinctly traditional, with an exciting, modern flair. Their chef, Chef Alfe, was trained in Japan, now celebrating two decades’ worth of experience in helming a variety of Japanese restaurants. With Ohachi, he’s helped develop an extensive menu of crowd-favorite Japanese comfort foods—but this time, with a twist. 

Ohachi’s ramen is their signature offering. They offer three flavors: classic Chashu (P675) and Tonkotsu (P365)—both currently on a buy one get one promo to celebrate their opening—and their special flavor, the Karai Beef (P299). 

Ohachi’s Karai Beef Ramen

Photo by Courtesy of Ohachi/The Relish Group.

The Karai Beef Ramen is great for those who love a fiery kick; it’s an aromatic balance of savory, sweet, and spicy, put together with firm noodles, miso and beef broth, tender beef slices, and an ajitsuke tamago with custard-like yoke. The team behind Ohachi knew from the get-go that this would be an instant best-seller, but what they didn’t quite see coming was the amount of customers who would order extra bowls for takeout after trying it in the restaurant. 

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Ohachi’s Special California Maki (left) and Okonomiyaki Roll (right)

Photo by Courtesy of Ohachi/The Relish Group.

Ohachi also puts their own unique spins on everyone’s favorite sushi. The Special California Maki (P349), topped with a lush layer of mangoes, a drizzle of Japanese mayo, and a neat row of orange tobiko, is a gorgeous upgrade on one of Filipinos’ most-beloved sushi rolls. The Okonomiyaki Roll (P320) is another popular choice: a smoky-savory roll made with kani, tamago, and umami fish bonito flakes. Their other noteworthy twists on the typical sushi fare are the Mango Chicken Teriyaki roll (P360), Vegetable Mushroom roll (P279), and Salmon Cheese Aburi roll (P379). 

Ohachi’s Pork Chashu Donburi (left) and Ebi Tendon Donburi (right) 

Photo by Courtesy of Ohachi/The Relish Group.
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Ohachi is the Japanese term for “Japanese rice bowl”—the literal bowl that the classic Donburi meal is served in. While Relish Group could have easily gone for the option to name the restaurant after the more familiar Donburi instead, the lesser-known word Ohachi sparks more curiosity among non-native Japanese speakers, also alluding to the unexpected, non-traditional style of Japanese food that the restaurant serves. Either way, when it comes to the food served in the dish that the restaurant is named after, you best believe they won’t disappoint.  

They’ve got a wide variety of donburi options, including the beloved Pork Katsudon (P290), Beef Gyudon (P335), Ebi Tendon (P350), Pork Chashu Donburi (P350), and of course, their best-selling Miso Salmon Belly Donburi (P325). Seasoned with Ohachi’s decadent miso glaze, the Miso Salmon Belly Donburi features chunks of premium salmon over a warm, fluffy bed of white rice. 

Ohachi’s Miso Salmon Belly Donburi 

Photo by Courtesy of Ohachi/The Relish Group.
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But as eloquent as we so desperately try to be, there are only a few words we find fit to describe Ohachi’s Truffle Gyoza (P560). It would be a sin to leave your table without trying it out. Presentation-wise, it’s got the fine sense of aesthetic that trademarks Japanese cuisine, and it’s just as remarkable in flavor as it is to feast your eyes on. The earthiness of the truffle doesn’t overpower the taste of authentic gyoza, and every single dumpling is pan-fried to a crisp golden brown while remaining soft and juicy inside. 

Ohachi’s Truffle Gyoza

Photo by Courtesy of Ohachi/The Relish Group.

Really, though, we’ve barely scratched the surface. They’ve got Soy Garlic Karaage (P350), Salmon Cheese Aburi (P495), Beef Sukiyaki (P345), a Yakitori Sampler (P430), all kinds of set meals, and so much more, including several dishes made in their timelessly lovable traditional forms. You can enjoy all your food with a refreshing beverage like the Signature Butterfly Pea Tea (P160), and for dessert, indulge in their Banana Tempura (P330), which is served with thick homemade matcha and black sesame ice cream. There’s something on Ohachi’s menu for everyone, whether you’re a die-hard Japanese food purist or a curious, adventurous eater.  

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Ohachi is located on the third floor of the SM Megamall Fashion Hall. For those dining at home, direct orders can be made through the Relish Group website. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @Ohachi.PH. 

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Claudine Abad Santos
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