These days, most people eat with their eyes first; the palate, second. But sometimes, food is best enjoyed when it’s deconstructed and made a little messy. Oh-Yu-Ge is here to prove just that by shaking things up a bit, quite literally.
A start-up owned by Jm Bercede Yap III, Oh-Yu-Ge specializes in hearty Asian rice bowls similar to bibimbap. For avid K-drama fans, one might also liken the concept to dosirak, a Korean packed meal with an assortment of banchan (side dishes) on a bed of rice in plastic or thermo-steel containers and usually shaken before consuming.
As a kid, Jm recalls always being called out by his mother for tinkering with his food. This sense of playfulness toward food eventually carried over into his business ventures; Oh-Yu-Ge being a clear example of that. Who would have thought that thinking outside of the box would lead him to food in, well, a box?
Jm and his cousins first thought of the food-in-a-box concept way back in 2017 but had to put the idea on hold to pursue other projects. The lockdown happened and the idea was finally realized and made into a business. While the food itself is heavily inspired by Asian favorites like samgyeopsal and bulgogi, the name was derived from the Bisaya word “uyog,” which means “to shake.”
Enjoying these rice bowls come with a simple three-step instruction, injected with the brand’s signature humor: First, “ta-bu-ne” (cover the bowl), second, “oh-yu-ge” (give it a good shake), until all the ingredients have thoroughly mixed together and have become a beautiful delicious mess; and then finally, pop the lid off and eat!
Currently, there are six variants to choose from: Beef Bulgogi, Spicy Pork, Japanese Chicken Curry, Tuna & Kani (the bestseller), Spam and Vegetable, which also comes with fried tofu.
“During this pandemic, people need to do things in the comfort of their homes and have almost everything delivered. I wanted to infuse a little bit of fun and excitement to the routine food prepared online—and also a bit of upper body exercise,” Jm quips, explaining the inspiration behind the Oh-Yu-Ge bowls, or as he jokingly calls them “shake shake rice.”
Like with most start-ups, Oh-Yu-Ge is operating solely online through deliveries for now, but a plan for a proper brick-and-mortar is definitely on the horizon.
“Cebuanos are food lovers and great supporters of new concepts. So far, we are getting good reviews and numerous repeat orders. Our heart is very full!” Jm added. S