Food Hunt #1: Sumo Sam Baguio TechnoHub Branch - Wandering Pinoy

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Food Hunt #1: Sumo Sam Baguio TechnoHub Branch

Our “food hunting” officially started two days ago, and our first stop was at Sumo Sam Baguio Branch. Sumo Sam is one of the leading Japanese restaurants in the country spearheaded by top restaurateurs and renowned chefs Raymund Magdaluyo and Ricky Laudico and celebrity-chef and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 awardee Marvin Agustin. It started back in 2005 at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Manila , and according to its co-founder Raymund Magdaluyo, it “was born with the idea of bringing high-quality Japanese cuisine to the Philippines at a price point that is not too expensive.” Currently, it has branches in Metro Manila, Baguio , Davao , Pampanga and Cebu .

Sumo Sam Baguio opened February of this year in time for the Baguio Flower Festival, and it is the restaurant’s 24th branch. It’s located at the heart of Baguio-Ayala TechnoHub at Camp John Hay.

The Experience: I said, they said.
Our agreement is to meet at 7:00 PM at Camp John Hay TechnoHub but, because it took me time to get a cab going to town, I arrived late for approximately 10 minutes. When I arrived at Sumo Sam, Theresa, Leah and Aaron were already set and they’re just waiting for my arrival. After a few minutes of chitchats and photo-shoots, we called the waitress and we ordered our “stuff” which are as follows: Las Vegas Roll (Php248.00), Mixed Tempura (Php328.00), Tendon (Php268.00), Beef Gyudon (Php278.00), Tofu Miso Soup for four (Php68.00) and Gohan (Php68.00). Theresa is, unfortunately, allergic to shrimps but we still ordered Mixed Tempura and good thing she didn’t complain because I’ve been craving for “anything shrimp” these past few days. The last time I ate shrimp was, I guess, two months ago.

Our orders:  Las Vegas Roll (Php248.00), Mixed Tempura (Php328.00) and Beef Gyudon (Php278.00). Not included in photo: Tendon (Php268.00), Tofu Miso Soup for four (Php68.00) and Gohan (Php68.00)

Our “orders” arrived a little bit late which is acceptable given the fact that Sumo Sam is not a typical fast food restaurant. Added to this is the relatively “big” number of customers on the day we went there. What is not acceptable is the waiters didn’t know if we ordered “this or that.” Fact is, one of the waiters approached us and he asked us “Did you order ?” I’ve noticed that this also happened to the some of the customers which I find very “disappointing.” I’m not quite sure what happened to the waiters – I’m not sure if they’re tired because it’s Holy Week and the place’s relatively crowded – but it looked like they were totally not aware of what we ordered. 

Mixed Tempura (Php328.00) and Tofu Miso Soup (Php68.00). Miso is a delicious fermented popularized in China and Japan.

Fast forward: Let me share what Theresa, Leah and Aaron think about our Sumo Sam “food hunt.” I asked them to grade their overall experience from A to C (A – strongly recommend, B – will recommend and C – will not recommend) and here’s what I’ve got: 

Theresa says: “Sumo Sam was jam-packed with customers when we went there on a Maundy Thursday night. Its ambience perfectly suits a Japanese Restaurant, and its lightings and designs are magnificent which set my mood for photo session! We’re not familiar with Japanese cuisine so we ask help from the service attendant but, to my dismay, she was not able to explain well our orders. It turned out that we ordered two meals which are identical. The Beef Gyudon which costs Php278.00 is satisfying to my taste buds and I also love the Las Vegas Roll. Sad to say, I didn’t eat Tempura because I’m allergic to prawns/shrimps.”

That's Theresa at the entrance of Sumo Sam Baguio TechnoHub Branch! She said,  "Overall, I’ll rate Sumo Sam Baguio “C.”  I awe her the photos.   
Theresa further emphasized the significance of customer satisfaction, “A restaurant’s reputation relies heavily on the satisfaction of its customers. I’m completely aware that Sumo Sam opened last month so I’m giving them a benefit of a doubt for the “not so good service.” I strongly recommend for them to consider “order accuracy.” We were surprised that we have not ordered anything yet but they are already giving us something. They mixed up someone else’s order and they asked us if that is ours. Sumo Sam Baguio should also learn how to check their customers. We seated and waited for about 30-40 minutes but it took a long time before we got our orders. I’ve already tried eating at some Japanese restaurants here in Baguio and they are way cheaper than Sumo Sam. Overall, I’ll rate Sumo Sam Baguio “C.” 

Sumo Sam Baguio Branch was "full" when we went there. Good thing we found a perfect spot. 

Meanwhile, Leah admitted that she liked the place and the food but she was a bit irked by the unfriendly staff. She said, “I like that Sumo Sam is located at Camp John Hay because it gave me “a feeling” that I am away from the busy life. The place is clean. The tables are relatively big compared to fast food restaurants and they have comfortable chairs. The lighting is great and it definitely matched our mood. The place is little bit crowded but the ambience is superb! I like shrimps so I enjoyed Mixed Tempura a lot. The Tendon and the Mixed Tempura are great although we could have been informed that they’re the same. Beef Gyudon is also tasty and mouth-watering!” On the other hand, I hate the fact that they don’t have “wash rooms.” It’s also very dismaying that the crew isn’t friendly. They don’t even flash a smile. I know they’re tired but they should make sure that they remain amiable to their customers. They’re also “unorganized.” Every staff that comes to our table with food always asks if we ordered it or not. Don’t they know what their customers order?”

That's Leah with her Chinese-inspired outfit. She like the place a lot but she's also unsatisfied. She said, "The place and food are okay but the crew members are unfriendly and they are unorganized.” 
When I asked Leah, what’s her overall rating for Sumo Sam Baguio, she said, “I’ll grade it C. The place and food are okay but the crew members are unfriendly and they are unorganized.”

Our next "judge: is Aaron. He said, " I wasn’t satisfied with the customer service they portrayed. About the wait time? Like really? It was too long for us to wait for our food to be served. Duh!"
Aaron also confessed that he was a bit saddened by the crew members who were not friendly and accommodating. He said “The crew members are not friendly and accommodating. It is true that it’s already like the end of the day when we went at Sumo Sam and the crew members were probably dead tired but they should consider the fact that customers are excited and, needless to say, demands satisfaction. Clearly, they didn’t think of that. I wasn’t satisfied with the customer service they portrayed. Duh! About the wait time? Like really? It was too long for us to wait for our food to be served. We even have to ask them to follow up with our orders. And the price? I think Php250 is way too costly for a six pieces of sashimi. I will definitely not recommend the place to my friends!”

The "food-hunters!" That's me with Aaron, Leah and Theresa patiently waiting for our orders. I looked stressed! Lol!
Despite the negative remark about the crew, Aaron was still delighted because of the food and Sumo Sam’s location. He said, “Sumo Sam’s location is great and the food is just average – not so good..not so bad…”

That's me answering the survey. Because of our bad experience, we honestly answered that we will not recommend the place. 
Our overall experience at Sumo Sam Baguio is indeed “unsatisfactory” and I strongly agree with what Aaron, Leah and Theresa said. The crew members were unfriendly and they are unorganized. A restaurant’s reputation relies heavily on the satisfaction of its customers but I’m sad to say that our expectations weren’t met and we were completely unsatisfied. I hope we can still go back at Sumo Sam Baguio someday and, hopefully, their service has changed and improved.

Calling the attention of Sumo Sam Baguio management!!!!!


  1. Hi Aris this Jhoey Opening Team manager from Sumosam Baguio,we would like to express our sincerely apology regarding the problems that you have been encountered with us. At Sumosam, we take pride in ensuring our customer’s satisfaction. Unfortunately, we did not meet your expectations. As a result of your concern and testament to our strive for perfection, we have taken steps, rest assured that we will be doing necessary actions for this matter. We deeply value your relationship with Sumosam and our committed to provide you with the highest level of service simply because our customers deserve the very best. I have other concerns that I would like to address, hope we can get your contact number and we are looking forward to continuing serving you. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

  2. Hi, kindly email me at


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