Buzz: Ooka Restaurant Brings Sushi to Montgomeryville

By AML Publisher
Photos courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

Ooka’s teppanyaki keeps patrons of all ages entertained during the popular Hibachi show.

Ooka’s teppanyaki keeps patrons of all ages entertained during the popular Hibachi show.

The word Ooka (Oh’-kah) means cherry blossom in Japanese-and is a fitting title for one of the region’s most prosperous suburban restaurants. Fine Japanese dining in Montgomery County is here to stay and the buzz around Ooka Montgomeryville-which opened this summer-is palpable and purposeful. Duck consomme, Cajun tuna tataki, roasted Scottish salmon, raw maki, avocado sashimi-Ooka Montgomeryville’s menu reads like a wish list for lovers of sophisticated Asian cuisine.

Owners and brothers Benny and Lenny Huang, along with executive chef Shuji Hiyakawa and manager Skyler Strouth (both formerly of Center City’s Morimoto), have given Montgomeryville one sophisticated dining gem. Ooka restaurant opened in 1997 with a 35-seat fine dining restaurant in Doylestown. Since then, the Huang family has expanded to Willow Grove, Riverside, CA and now Montgomeryville. Benny and Lenny’s success is based on the fact they have relationships with the best seafood vendors in the world. “Because we resource from the world’s best, we try to be as authentic as we can get on the sushi side in the suburban area. Our goal is to offer new ideas and unique variety to our customer but keep our prices fair and reasonable. The variety of sushi and the sake list we offer is superior,” said Benny Huang.

Classical Japanese cuisine presented in a contemporary style is part of Ooka’s popular appeal to its growing customer base.

Classical Japanese cuisine presented in a contemporary style is part of Ooka’s popular appeal to its growing customer base.

Located on a bustling stretch of Route 309 in Montgomery County in up and coming Montgomeryville, Ooka’s philosophy is of a small plate, or tapas style. This allows customers the chance to create their own tasting menu, progressive menu or have their server customize one for them. Ooka also offers a $45 Omakase (translated to ‘leave yourself in the chef’s hands’) which is a multi-course tasting menu designed by Ooka’s chefs allowing customers to experience the full essence of the Ooka cuisine.

In addition, patrons can sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs prepare their meal. Seasonal fish in stock now include Kinmedai (a Japanese Golden eye snapper), Kanpachi (exotic amber jack), Katsuo (skipjack tuna) and o-toro and chu-toro (fatty belly of blue fin tuna). “The whole concept for the restaurant and the reason that both Shuji and I are here is to improve every product we can and offer a memorable meal for our clients,” explained Strouth. “There is a big difference between sushi restaurants that are trying to move sushi and sushi restaurants that are taking those ingredients and making them into unique dishes. We are offering something exciting and different.”

Ooka Montgomeryville

Ooka Montgomeryville

The beverage manager of Morimoto for four years, Strouth has a comprehensive background opening successful restaurants along the East Coast. Strouth overseas Ooka’s superior sake selection-having been tutored by Eric Swanson, the sake sommelier for Shibuya at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “It’s important for my sakes to have a distinct flavor profile that sets them apart from the typical hot sake. I seek out sakes that are made in a more modern style with fruits that pop-like apple, pear. It has to be different from what is expected from a typical sake. And, if we find sake we like and want to carry-we will bring it in from Japan and find a distributor,” said Strouth.

Ooka offers a popular Hibachi room that can play host for birthday parties, anniversaries, private parties and more. Strouth says their clientele at Ooka ranges from kids and families to those suburbanites who would normally dine downtown but have found a reason to stay closer to home. And that is exactly the appeal of one of the hottest restaurants in the Philly region.

Pan Seared Halibut, Sushi Rice Stuffed with Lump Crabmeat

Pan Seared Halibut, Sushi Rice Stuffed with Lump Crabmeat

The restaurant is a lesson in understated elegance, simple-albeit cozy with a contemporary Asian feel. The color scheme is one with a keen mix of gold, burgundy and black. “There is nothing in here to interfere with the presentation of the food. The tables are set with the proper silverware, we avoid floral accents-it’s all part of the Ooka experience to be comfortably modern,” explained Strouth.

Besides accessing the top sushi vendors in the world, Ooka believes in resourcing local businesses as well. They rely on Media’s Linvilla Orchards for their apples to use in desserts and special plates. And, Linvilla’s cider is part of their seasonal, popular cocktail menu. “The surrounding is serene, the ingredients are the best and Ooka is bringing Montgomeryville a very culinarily-advanced dining experience. We are always evolving our menu based on the best the season has to offer and what we can offer our customers on the highest standard of fine Japanese dining,” said Strouth.

Sample Menu Items from Ooka Montgomeryville

Fine Japanese dining in the suburbs-that’s the concept behind the success of the trio of Ooka restaurants across the region.

Fine Japanese dining in the suburbs-that’s the concept behind the success of the trio of Ooka restaurants across the region.

Ooka Specialty Cocktails

ooka martini pearl vodka, junmai sake, japanese cucumber 9
fuji autumn pearl vodka, domaine de canton ginger liqueur, wildflower honey, local apple cider 9
shiro-blanc grey goose le poire, junmai sake, elderflower liqueur, bordeaux blanc 12
winter sake sangria cinnamon infused red wine, sake, bacardi limon, pineapple, asian pear, fuji apple, mango, lychee 8
nashi blossom asian pear infused iichiko shochu, jasmine blossom green tea soda 10
pumpkin egg nog madagascar vanilla bean infused vs cognac, green tea shochu, pumpkin spice liqueur, egg nog, cardamom cream 11


japanese oyster trio roasted jalapeno, yellow pepper, and tomato salsas 9
blue shrimp cocktail wasabi-cocktail sauce 8
yellowtail ishiyaki hot stone yellowtail, oroshi sauce, key lime 9
cajun tuna tataki wasabi aioli, tomato confit, buffalo mozzarella
live scallop ceviche yuzu-oil 13
filet mignon or salmon carpaccio sweet and spicy ginger-sesame oil 12
mango roll tuna, salmon, mango, avocado, cucumber, mango vinaigrette 10
avocado sashimi creamy sesame sauce 5
tomato sashimi wasabi aioli 4


baked mussels spicy aioli, panko, caramelized onion, sweet shiitake 10
aromatic scallop wasabi panko scallop, edamame hummus, yuzu foam 8
foie gras unagi-pinapple-cucumber brunoise, pineapple-miso vinaigrette 15
duck sous-vide duck breast, ratatouille, miso-mustard, fried leeks 11
saikoro steak hot stone beef, asparagus, shishito pepper, garlic puree 8
togarashi shrimp spiced hot stone shrimp, grilled pineapple, lemon 8

Clean lines dominate the soothing and simple interior at Ooka.

Clean lines dominate the soothing and simple interior at Ooka.


sweet potato tempura house tempura sauce 5
spicy tuna tempura “hasami-age” shiso, scallion, ponzu 6
mozzarella smoke smoked salmon and mozzarella tempura 8
ooka tempura two shrimp, five seasonal vegetables, house tempura sauce 10


roasted scottish salmon brussel sprouts, yuzu-miso butter 21
scallop and shrimp coconut-curry sauce, cilantro pesto, grilled asparagus, 26
ribeye steak to-ban oroshi sauce, spinach, exotic mushrooms 25
duck breast balsamic–teriyaki reduction, asian pear compote, glazed sweet potato fries 23
ooka tempura four shrimp, one whitefish, seasonal vegetables 18

Sushi Omakase

ooka sushi nine nigiri, one maki 21
sashimi twelve sashimi 18
ooka sashimi fifteen sashimi 22
ooka sushi/sashimi four nigiri, seven sashimi, one maki 25
raw maki spicy tuna, spicy salmon, yellowtail-scallion 16
cooked maki shrimp tempura, california, eel-avocado maki 18

Ooka Special Maki

montgomeryville tuna, yellowtail, salmon, shrimp, crab, avocado 15
creamy king crab cucumber, avocado, albacore, 14
baked philadelphia eel, avocado, smoked salmon, spicy cream cheese 12
crispy spicy salmon panko crusted spicy salmon 9
godzilla shrimp tempura, eel, strawberry, avocado, sriracha, wasabi aioli 16

Location: 764 Bethlehem Pike (Route 309) in Montgomeryville, PA.
Call: 215-361-1119
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 am-3:00pm M-F 12:00pm-3:00pm Sat-Sun.
Dinner: 4:30pm-10pm Monday through Thursday, 4:30pm-11pm Friday, 3pm-11pm Saturday & 3pm to 10pm on Sundays

Visit, join their Facebook Fan Page: Ooka Montgomeryville, or follow Ooka Montgomeryville on Twitter at: ooka309

Ooka will be open Christmas Eve until 10pm and is offering seating on New Year’s Eve through midnight.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. bekah buttons Says:

    love love ooka 309!

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