the SUMO wrestler meets uncle SAM

The dramatic fusion of East meets West comes alive in this booming corner restaurant at the 6th floor of the Shangri-la Plaza Mall.

The name is Sumo Sam, the first name symbolizes a competitive contact sport in Japan and the second name stands for the main icon of the United States. Here in the Philippines, the unification of these two names stands for a funky dining place that serves unique dishes that blends both cultures in.

Wanting to catch up on each other's lives and to satisfy our Japanese cuisine cravings brought myself and three good friends to Sumo Sam one Friday evening. With our stomaches growling loudly, we poured over their big heavy menu and quickly pointed out our individual orders. One wanted something with unagi (eel) and so we got the Dragon Roll (chopped unagi sushi topped with fresh mangoes and crunchy ebiko). Another friend requested for the Spicy Tuna Salad which we all nodded in approval, another friend wanted something simpler and chose the Squid Karaage. While I just had to share with them my newest favorite which is the Bacon wrapped Dory.

Over our Japanese feast, we updated each other with what's happening in our lives. I enjoyed digging into the Spicy Tuna Salad despite it being uhh...spicy. The Dragon Roll, on the other hand, gave a new twist to the typical Unagi Sushi. It would have been better though if the mango was sweeter and the taste of unagi more distinct.

The Squid Karaage feels like a perfect pulutan (beer match). The squid was chopped into bite-size pieces and served with a sweet and sour sauce. Some pieces were hard making it difficult to bite into while some were pretty ok.

What I love the most is the Bacon wrapped Dory. I enjoy biting into the juicy, soft Dory meat tied with a strip of lean bacon. The Dory fillet is drizzled with Japanese barbeque sauce and green onions that seals in that Oriental feel.

Unique dishes in generous servings -- no wonder Sumo Sam is always filled up with families and friends every weekend. Still, I have yet to discover more mouth-watering dishes in my next visits.

Sumo Sam is located at the 6th floor (The Ledge) of the Shangri-la Plaza Mall. They also have another branch at the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell.

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