Despite having been open for years, I was not at all familiar with Oedo until I heard an aunt mention it to my Dad. She talked about how it had become her go-to place with my Uncle whenever she was too lazy to cook at home. Being the fan of Japanese food that we are, my family and I decided we would pay a visit.
The first thing we were told was to arrive early- before lunch or dinner hour- to avoid having to wait long for a table. Apparently this place could get super packed, and even though it’s got two spacious floors the line does get long. And so when we arrived at around 11, we had the place to ourselves for the first twenty minutes.
I immediately fell in love with the wall art. There are walls with Japanese samurais and geishas painted on them in a sort of pop art style, while some walls offered a gorgeous view of Japanese ponds and pagodas. I wanted to sit and stare at all the awesome artwork.
On the other side of the wall was a collection of Japanese pottery. Right beside that was a collection of Japanese dolls. They were slightly freaky haha! But if there’s one impression I got, it was obvious how much the owners of Oedo wanted to get that fully Japanese vibe going.
And of course, it ain’t a true blue Japanese restaurant without the liquor. I saw a colorful display of them while I was wandering around after placing our orders. People more well-versed with Japanese drinks may comment that the selection isn’t as extensive as other izakayas in the metro, but this is probably good enough for a restaurant that’s not marketing itself as an izakaya anyway. For me, I see Oedo as more of a family-friendly restaurant. And that’s not a bad thing.
This restaurant is actually fairly big compared to many others in this area. It even has an al fresco/bar area. I imagine it gets busy out here in the evenings, but when it’s noon, it’s too hot to sit outside. I love the touch of the red lanterns on the big tree outside. I should try visiting here again during dinnertime. Perhaps having the “yard” lit up will offer a completely different vibe.
Okay, so I think we’ve toured Oedo plenty enough already, so it’s time to get to the food review part! For the record, there were no fails among the dishes we ordered. In fact, we enjoyed everything a lot and don’t have a problem recommending any of the items we ordered, but I decided to put my usual star beside the dishes that were my personal favorites.
Take Sushi (Php 880)
A sampler platter of fresh tuna, salmon, prawn, sea urchin, Japanese horse mackerel, squid, and tamago on top of sticky Japanese rice. There were also a few small tuna rolls.
We always start with sashimi when we eat at Japanese restaurants so I don’t recall why we went for sushi this time. Anyways, I don’t think they served us exactly what was stated on the menu due to availability issues, but at least the sashimi cuts were fresh and flavorful.
Crunch Roll Sushi (Php 375) 🌟
A combination of shrimp, crabstick, and eel rolled with cucumber and rice. The outside is coated with crunchy tempura flakes; then topped with mayonnaise, black sesame, and a sweet-salty sauce.
We love sampling rolls like these whenever we go to Japanese restaurants. It’s interesting to see how they each try to make something different. I must say, I was really pleased by these rolls. They give you a burst of flavor and a bit of crunch in every bite. (On a separate occasion when we visited Oedo again, we tried the Dragon Maki and they were fab!)
Okonomi yaki Special (Php 290)
Savory Japanese pancakes with loads of filling inside.
Most people might think all okonomiyaki are created equal, but honestly, some Japanese restaurants fail at making this. They are either too tough and doughy, or too soggy. Oedo’s has that perfect texture and it tasted exactly how an okonomiyaki should haha!
I took a peek at the filling of the pancakes and as you can see, they’ve got an array of bits and pieces in there. I don’t really know what went into these exactly. Just know that they are pretty good. (If you’re not a fan of the flat pancakes, the’ve also got takoyaki, fyi.)
Mix Yakitori (Php 350)
Eight sticks of assorted grilled meats.
Yakitori is just another name for barbecued meat. Honestly if it were up to me I wouldn’t have ordered this since it’s kind of ordinary in my book, but since I was dining with a bunch of carnivores (Dad and bros) they decided to order this. The meats were a bit small, but they were juicy and tender. This would make a great companion to Japanese beer or sake.
Beef Teppanyaki (Php 345)
After getting a taste of Kobe beef in one of my trips to Japan, I haven’t really found any local Japanese restaurants that serve beef in a comparable manner. (I’m not trying to be a snob here. The memory of that Kobe beef meal is just too strong haha!) That said, Oedo did a good job with this one, cooking it until tender and really juicy. That’s all you can ask for really!
Saba Shioyaki (Php 260)
Salt-grilled saba mackerel. This is the dish that made me miss Japan the most.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy quite a few special ryokan meals during a past visit to Japan, and most of those set meals would include a serving of fish on top of a small grill. As you ate the rest of your food, the fish would continue to cook until its skin gets charred, like this, but once you pull that aside to reveal the meat, it would be super soft and tasty. The natural sweetness of the fresh fish would mix with the smoky flavor of the charcoal in the grill, creating an utterly simple but delicious dish.
It’s pretty much the same case with this fish, only this one is grilled with salt so you get a little bit of that saltiness going through to the meat. The fish is so tender it’s a bit of a challenge to pick up with chopsticks. You must be gentle.
Omurice (Php 180)
Japanese Omelet Rice.
My brother ordered this out of nostalgia. This simple and homey omurice is cooked with a mixture of tomato ketchup and soy sauce, creating a reddish rice with a tangy flavor.
Oedo’s version is pretty straightforward, and I love that it’s served with a salad like they do it in Japan. Other versions put add-on’s like mixed veggies and meat, but this one comes plain with onions. For me, when I’m craving an omurice I’m just really looking for that tomato ketchup taste, so in that aspect I would say this was satisfying.
Uni Don (Php 395)
A bowl od sticky Japanese rice topped with fresh sea urchin.
Look at that uni flittering like gold! This dish is entirely dependent on the raw sea urchin on top and I’m happy to report that it was fresh and sweet. The uni is actually firm to the bite as opposed to being slimy. The quantity is also good for the price compared to some other places we’ve eaten in before.
Chasyu Ramen (Php 310)
Simple ramen with braised pork belly.
The ramen at Oedo is not something I would call traditional Japanese ramen like the ones they serve in ramen chains. I almost feel like there’s more of a Chinese flair to the way they cook the broth. If you’re looking for an authentic ramen experience, you would have better luck in restaurants that specialize in ramen. However if you’re looking for a hearty and warm bowl of noodles cooked with a Japanese influence, then this one isn’t so bad.
Ankake Ramen (Php 310) 🌟
A big bowl of thick noodle soup loaded with toppings.
Here’s an example of another ramen dish that I feel leans more towards Chinese than Japanese, but you guys, this one is SO VERY GOOD. The noodles are cooked the way I like them– with a gloriously firm bite. The broth is flavorful and thick, coating the noodles and the toppings very nicely indeed. I recommend this one over the Chasyu Ramen. You will slurp this down to the last bite!
Hiyashi Chuka (Php 280) 🌟
Cold ramen with a s0y-based sauce and a load of toppings.
There are actually noodles underneath that pile. I got so excited to eat this I forgot to photograph it after I mixed it up. I’ve always been partial to cold noodles so I try as much as I can, and this has become one of my favorite versions I have tried so far! Again, the noodles are cooked to maintain a delightful firm bite, and the sauce is just flavorful enough to coat the strands but still allow you to taste each and every topping: tamago, thin strips of chasyu, cucumber, crab meat… This is simply a flavorful option and a good break from your typical piping-hot noodles.
Tofu Ice Cream (Php 120)
This is, I believe, my first time eating tofu ice cream, although I have heard about it before. Apart from the ice cream itself, you have some small cubes of tofu underneath. The ice cream is a bit sweet, so it gets balanced out well by the tofu. It was an interesting experience and not at all a bad one, especially when you eat the tofu plus the ice cream plus the chocolate syrup together.
I think this one is a unique treat, but in terms of flavor, I like the next ice cream better.
Sake Ice Cream (Php 150) 🌟
I really loved this one! It reminds me a little bit of affogato since the ice cream is sitting in a small amount of sake to amp up the flavor. I really liked the sweet and fruity taste of this dessert. It’s not overwhelming and it goes down smooth and creamy. Definitely something I would order again!
I’m going to keep this part short because I don’t think there’s much else to say. I’m just truly happy to discover a good Japanese place that’s more accessible to me. Now I don’t have to drive all the way to Makati! What impressed me the most about Oedo apart from its good food and fair price is its extensive menu. They seem to have something for every Japanese food craving!
Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Oedo Japanese Restaurant
105 Santo Domingo Corner Sgt. Alcaraz Avenue,
Santo Domingo, Banawe,
Quezon City, Philippines
Hours: 11 AM to 2 PM, 5.30 PM to 11 PM
Contact Nos: (02) 2469069 ext. 274
Full disclosure: This post is not sponsored in any way. All opinions stated above are my own.