I’VE never been fond of fusion, preferring my food unaltered as much as possible from the original, but when I heard about Sumo Sam, at the Ayala Terraces, I felt that I should have a taste of the food that a lot of people I know seem to be raving about.
I don’t really know if the food at Sumo Sam is fusion, but if you ask me, it doesn’t seem to be; the menu still has a lot of “authentic” touches such as chicken teriyaki, ebi tempura, kakiage tempura, yakitori, and sukiyaki. Maybe a better way to describe the food at Sumo Sam is a “re-invention”.
While there are still some “traditional” kinds of sushi at the restaurant, there are some kinds that are “re-inventions”, like the Las Vegas roll. Yeah, it’s still sushi, but it’s topped with melted cheese and scallops. There’s also the Tempura Avocado roll, which is actually a piece of ebi tempura and a slice of avocado wrapped in rice, sushi-style.
Whether this is fusion or not doesn’t really matter to me, anyway. What matters is how it tastes, and for me, the Tempura Avocado roll is a winner, because I like both tempura and sushi a lot, and this dish combines the two Japanese dishes I like best. I also like avocado, so the addition of the fruit is kind of a plus. I feel the same way about cheesy scallops, so there you go.
The Seafood Kamameshi at Sumo Sam is also a nice deal. An order is big enough for two persons to share, and it’s served in a steel pot, with a burner underneath, so it stays hot all throughout your meal. Perhaps a good way to describe this dish would be a Japanese version of paella, since it’s kind of cooked the same way, with some of the same ingredients: rice and seafood like clams, fish and shrimps or prawns. And yes, it tastes as good as paella.
I also had a classic Japanese dish when I had dinner at Sumo Sam. It was chicken teriyaki, and it tasted pretty good, tare sauce and all.
It’s true, Cebu does have a lot of Japanese restaurants, but there’s none as funky as Sumo Sam. The menus even have a story telling of how Sumo Sam came to be, and it is quite a good read. The restaurant also has really good service, and the staff are all attentive, coming ever so often to your table to ask if you need anything.
Am I coming back? Yes, of course. I’ve always been a sucker for Japanese food, and with Sumo Sam in the picture, I’m now a sucker for Japanese food, re-invented.