Ocha can be found in the middle of Session Road in Baguio. It looks small at first because of the limited number of seats on the first floor. But the mezzanine could accommodate more people. Especially the big groups like ours.
We first started off with an appetizer of Vietnamese Spring Rolls. We wanted to order this because it was Ma’s birthday and she’s a big fan of vegetables. As this was the most vegetarian of the appetizers, we wanted her to try it. And also, since she’s a great cook, we wanted her opinion on the use of the rice wrapper instead of the usual wrapper that we use. By the way, it did taste good; however, peanut sauce is a lot better compared to hoisin sauce. That’s the only thing I can comment.
Then we had the Tom Yum. I didn’t want to try it initially because of my experience with the original Tom Yum. However, to keep in line with determining the quality of these dishes, I did take a sip. It did have the same gradual conversion into spice but it wasn’t as spicy as the one I had in Thailand. This was great. The soup was the great and so was the amount of seafood in it. For it’s price, it is a big serving and the restaurant wasn’t so frugal on the ingredients. Normally, you’d have one to two prawns and a small number of shellfish. This was worth the price.
And we Filipinos will never live without rice. We decided to go for the Bagoong Rice because it’s a special occasion. It comes with strips of green mangoes, chili, onion, and pork bits. I must say that the bagoong wasn’t overpowering everything. The combination of all the ingredients was so perfect I could eat the whole bowl that’s good for 5 people. I was afraid that we might need another bowl but, alas, this and the combination of the other menu items we ordered was enough to fill me up. Also, we excluded the chili because Pa was the only one who’s so in love with spicy food.
Another item is Chicken Pandan, it’s like fried chicken wrapped in lemongrass. It was delicious and, for the most part, bigger than the usual chicken pandan we can order in the Metro. Also, this one is juicy and moist and has a lot of flavor to it. I wasn’t able to try the gravy, though. And, I didn’t notice it until now.
Items without photos include the Laksa, Japchae, and Sweet and Sour Pork. I am not a fan of curry so I didn’t try the Laksa. Howver, my sister tells me that it’s good, too! The Japchae was just perfect. Although I didn’t have enough reference to compare it too but I now know what I’ll look for Korea. Also, I didn’t get to try the other pork dish because it was gone way before I knew we ordered a set.
All in all, it was a very good meal. The service, too, was great and fast. We didn’t have to wait long before our orders arrived. They also have nice tableware, I think that’s a plus. If you’re in for a nice tour of Asian food, then you should try this restaurant!