A Taste of Japan Available on Rt 309
Maria Poccia, Staff Writer
February 7, 2012
Filed under Cuisine
MONTGOMERYVILLE- Perfect for a Saturday night dinner, Ooka, a contemporary Japanese restaurant, was a sophisticated dining experience.
Furnished with low lighting, clean modern lines, wood finishes, and a soft color pallet with bold accents, the décor of Ooka created a chic atmosphere for an evening out. With two entertaining dining areas in the restaurant, the hibachi grill to one side and the sushi bar opposite, a diner can choose either one and expect a fun experience of watching your food prepared. Choosing to eat in the dining room, my table was across from the sushi bar, where I could watch all the sushi dishes that were being made and still here the excitement from the hibachi grills in the opposite side of the restaurant.
The service was very informative about the specials and the rest of the menu. The menu was reasonably priced for an urban chic restaurant. Most of the appetizers ranged from seven to twelve dollars, the sushi rolls six to sixteen, and the entrees from fifteen to high twenties. After looking at the menu that enclosed many different sushi options along with hot and cold appetizers and entrees of tofu, red meats, poultry, and fishes, I decided on the tuna tacos as an appetizer and the 309 Maki roll and the chicken teriyaki as a dinner entrée which came with a house salad and a choice of white, brown, or fried rice.
The salad came out first that was a mixture of greens with red and yellow cherry tomatoes and a ginger house dressing. Though there was a bit too much dressing on the salad, it was light, and mixed well with the greens. The 309 sushi roll came out next. The center of the roll was a spicy tuna mixture, while on top laid sliced avocado and scallion with a spicy eel sauce and tempura flakes on top. Presented on top of a banana leaf, the roll was dense, and filled you up fast. However, the flavors went well together, and the sauce was fantastic. This roll is definitely one of the best things on the menu, and its only twelve dollars.
Next the tuna tacos came out. These three petit tacos had the same spicy tuna mixture that was in the 309 roll. Lying on top of the tuna was thin slices of cucumber, a wasabi guacamole, a slice of cherry tomato, and a thinner almost sour cream like sauce. Each only taking about two bites to eat, they had the flavor of regular Mexican tacos and the spiciness of tuna added a kick. I wish there could have been more on the plate because they were delicious.
Finally the chicken teriyaki was served on a cast iron square skillet that was on top of a wooden block. Sitting on top of one large chicken breast, long stalks of broccoli laid. I ordered brown rice with it, which came on the side so that when the teriyaki sauce was poured on to the chicken by the waiters it would not become saturated. The chicken was tender and I cut into it, and the sauce was a bit salty, but had a lovely smokiness to it. Because it was served on a cast iron skillet it was extremely hot, so I had to wait a few minutes to eat it. The broccoli was not overcooked, and it had a wonderful fresh flavor.
Deciding not to get desert because I was full from the rich flavors of the dinner, the waitress brought my check. In the end, the total for just me was under forty dollars.
The meal was excellent, the atmosphere was chic, and the service was fast and efficient. All together, I give Ooka three out of four stars.