Morita at Fisher Mall by the Former Head Chef of Sugi Serves Quality Japanese Food for the Quezon City CrowdMarch 8, 2015
The best Japanese restaurants are located in specific areas around Metro Manila: Makati residents are regulars to Little Tokyo, while old Manila’s residents are spoiled by hotel restaurants and Malate’s holes-in-the-wall. These restaurants showed us the great care, craft, and detail the Japanese put into preparing their food. Despite Quezon City’s vast size, Japanese restaurants of the same reputation are rarely heard of in the area. However, visitors or residents of the area might not have to go far for quality Japanese food. Morita, a restaurant located in Fisher Mall, has more than enough space and servings of Japanese cuisine.
Morita is located at the far end of the mall. Both entrances can’t be accessed from inside of the mall, but getting there is easy once you get the right directions. The restaurant itself is massive: there’s a stage for bands that play at night, several tables for large families or groups, and a spacious second floor. Morita seemed bare and quiet on a weekday afternoon, but the interiors managed to highlight the restaurant’s cleanliness and size.
Morita’s menu is just as massive as its interior. At first, you’ll be overwhelmed by the variety of appetizers, salads, sashimi and sashimi variations, sushi, vinegared dishes, maki, teppanyaki, and donburi. The restaurant, however, has lunch sets at PHP 350 and special menus for those looking for more affordable bites. Diners can also have massive bento box meals that include Tempura Gozen and Chicken Teriyaki sets at around PHP 600.
Given the menu’s incredible number of raw seafood, we decided to try the Take Sashimi Moriawase (PHP 645) set of tuna, ika, uni, kajiki, and shima aji, Spicy Morita Roll (PHP 485), and Soft Shell Karaage (PHP 590). The sashimi set was served first and the presentation showed how fresh each piece was cut and prepared from the sushi bar. Each sashimi order was soft and smooth on the tongue. Since we were only two, the quantity of the order left that “umay” taste, but having a smaller order probably won’t have the same effect.
The Spicy Morita Roll was generous in serving. The thick rolls were difficult to eat at first: each roll contained unagi, mango, kanifry, asparagus, lettuce, tobikko, spring onions, and haikara topped with spicy sauce and Japanese mayo. Upon eating the maki in one go, we could only taste the “California maki” side of the Morita roll in the mango and Japanese rice. But the inclusion of the unagi gave the dish a special twist. The salmon was fresh, but the sauce wasn’t as spicy as we would prefer. When we ate the roll in two bites, we were able to taste the freshness of the salmon and appreciate the insides of the roll more. Overall, the dish was money well spent thanks to the quality of the ingredients and the consistency of the servings.
The Soft Shell Karaage was a bit of a disappointment. Although the outer layers were crisp and the parts served didn’t scrimp on the crabmeat, the batter tasted too salty. The vinegar-based sauce toned down the saltiness, but the extra savor lingered in between bites. Perhaps we should’ve had the soft shell crab with a cup of rice.
Despite the odd setup of a stage in a Japanese restaurant, Morita is a worthy place to visit for those who live or work in the area. We recommend visiting during the day, as the night time bands may distract you from studying the menu’s long lists and enjoying the food’s freshness. Quezon City residents definitely have something to look forward to.