Ramen time with Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

My #RamenPhase has been going on for years now and is showing no sign of waning.

And with the metro just entering the season of ramen weather, it’s only fitting that I start looking for new ramen places to try.

Friends who reside in Marikina have been giving me rave reviews about Tongara Ramen for some time now. Located in foodie haven Lamp Quarters, this new ramen spot is lauded for its special broth which is also its namesake: tongara – a mixture of tonkotsu, broth made from pork bones, and torigara, broth made from chicken bones. The resulting broth has an additional layer of sweet-savory flavor to it that differentiates Tongara Ramen’s offerings from those of other ramen places in the metro.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

During a recent foray to Lamp Quarters with my daughter #ExhibitA, we decided to have lunch at Tongara Ramen to taste its celebrated ramen for ourselves.

Our meal included:

Tongara Ramen Junior Bowl (Php220). Don’t let its junior size fool you. We each had a Junior Bowl of Tongara’s famed ramen and it was filling enough to sate our hunger. We loved its flavorful broth and firm noodles which are well complemented by the torched tender slice of chashu (seasoned pork belly), ajitama (seasoned soft-boiled egg) and crisp bamboo shoots.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Chicken Karaage (Php200). Tender and flavorful bite-size pieces of marinated chicken covered in seasoned what flour and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. These are best sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice upon serving and dipped in Japanese mayo.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Gyoza (Php200). Japan’s famous pot sticker made of minced pork, shredded cabbage and aromatics wrapped in thinly rolled dough skins which are first steamed then lightly fried on one side to achieve a slightly crisp texture that complements the dish’s garlicky flavor. Any meal at a Japanese resto with #ExhibitA will not be complete without this dish.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

So, thanks to Tongara Ramen for another mother-daughter foodie adventure unlocked!

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen is located at Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Santo Nino, Marikina, open Sundays to Fridays from 11am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3903773 or +63 917 1794718.

Did you know you that you and a friend can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Tongara Ramen through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Enjoy your ramen during the wet season with Tongara’s Rainy Days Special: get a free side dish or cocktail for a minimum single receipt purchase of Php1,200 or 2 free side dishes or cocktails for a minimum single recept purchase of Php2,000.

Tongara Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

Get ready for unli ramen at Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa!

The rainy season is upon us. With those rain clouds come a bit of cooler weather, giving us Metro Manila denizens a much-welcome break from the heat.

But with those rainshowers and cool breezes come the craving for something hot and hearty that will warm the stomach and soothe the soul.

What better way to enjoy the rainy season than to sit down and slurp on some tasty ramen?

How about taking on Yummy Tokyo’s Unli Ramen offer?

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

But first, let’s get to know Yummy Tokyo and its ramen offerings.

After meticulously developed his ramen recipes, self-taught ramen master Jin Chiba left his corporate research job, found a partner who helped him launch his own brand of ramen in the Philippines, and thus, Yummy Tokyo came to be.

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

My friends from #SaanSaPH recently visited its store along Maginhawa Street and sampled some of its dishes, which include:

Tantanmen (Php189). Did you know that this ramen dish originated from China where it was known as “Dandanmen?” It became popular in Japan’s northern prefectures where its miso, peanut and sesame base was perfected. I like the peanutty taste, its flavorful ground pork topping and its slightly spicy kick.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Miso Ramen (Php149). Initially having gained foothold in the Sapporo and Hokkaido prefectures, it is made by incorporating lots of miso (soybean paste) with meat stock, resulting to a hearty and slightly sweet soup. Topped with a slice of tender chashu, it is quite a filling meal.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Seafood Ramen (Php149). Originating from Nagasaki, this ramen dish with a scallop base and topped with shredded cabbage, kani sticks and narutomaki, it is lighter than the other ramen dishes.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Tonkotsu (Php129). One of my all-time favorites, the soup for this ramen dish originating from the Fukuoka and Kyushu prefectures is made by boiling pork bones, fat and collagen for hours, resulting in a creamy and flavor-filled broth.

Tummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Cold Ramen (Php149). The idea behind this ramen dish originating from the Tokyo and Honshu prefectures is to top cold ramen noodles with assorted vegetables and meat then toss them in a vinegary dressing which makes for a refreshing meal.

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Now, about that Unli Ramen. For only Php399, you can stuff yourself with all the broth, noodles and toppings your heart and tummy can hold.

Rainy days don’t seem so sad now, do they?

Want to take your ramen experience home with you? Why not bring home some of Yummy Tokyo’s Ramen Kits (prices range from Php149 to Php169) to enjoy the store’s tasty and authentic ramen dishes at home.

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Many thanks to the folks of Yummy Tokyo for having us!

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

Yummy Tokyo, Maginhawa

This Yummy Tokyo branch is located at 103 Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village East, Quezon City (inside Moonleaf Tea Shop Compound), open daily from 4pm to 12 midnight.

Another branch is located at the Fourth Floor, East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange, Ortigas Center (inside Moonleaf Tea Shop), open weekdays from 11am to 6pm.

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers of #SaanSaPH, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held here wherein in food items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Yummy Tokyo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

Ramen dinner at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

I’ve been going through my #RamenPhase for several years now and it shows no sign of abating.

And why should it?

Slurping on some tasty, steaming-hot ramen is one of the most comforting things to do, specially on a chilly spring evening in the first week of my family’s visit to the Pacific Northwest.

That night, we ventured out to the beautiful city of Bellevue for dinner after a round of malling. From the mall, we walked across the Bellevue Downtown Park to the local branch of Hokkaido Ramen Santouka to enjoy the crisp spring air and to work up our appetites.

This ramen restaurant is quite familiar to us as it has several outlets in the Metro Manila.   It has become one of go-to ramen places because of its tasty ramen and katsu dishes that fave become family favorites.

The restaurant was founded in Asahikawa, Hokkaido in Japan by Hitoshi Hatanaka when he produced the tonkotsu (pork bone) soup, the flavorful base of the restaurant’s ramen dishes.  The soup is made by hand in all of the chain’s outlets in Japan and abroad; the process involves simmering the pork bones for twenty hours, then adding in vegetables, dried fish, kelp and other savory ingredients as well as seasonings, resulting in a mild but tasty broth. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s bowls are also specially made, with a specific thickness that slows the cooling down of the broth, allowing diners to enjoy their ramen in steaming-hot soup for as long as possible.  

Upon arriving, we entered our name in the tablet provided so that we can be part of the wait list, one of the innovations that we haven’t yet encountered back home.

The place was cozy and frenetic with activity, from new customers being ushered in and the orders and requests being called out.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

For tonight’s meal, our group got for ourselves several orders of our favorites:

Shio Ramen.  The restaurant’s signature dish featuring a milky white salt-based broth, firm hand-pulled noodles, slices of marinated chashu pork belly and more.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Neginanban Ramen.  The resto’s spiciest ramen variant topped with chashu, fried onions, onions and jalapenos.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Karamiso Ramen.  A miso-based ramen with bit of red chilis to spice it up.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

Tonkatsu. Deep-fried pork cutlet covered in crispy panko breadcrumbs and served with a tangy katsu sauce.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

With our ramen and katsu orders, we also availed of sides such as the aji-tama (soft-boiled egg marinated in a soy-based sauce) and gyoza (pan-fried dumplings filled with minced pork).

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Bellevue

With our dinner at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, the fam was able to enjoy some of the flavors we love back home right here in Bellevue.

This Hokkaido Ramen Santouka branch is located at 103 Bellevue Way, NE, Suite 3, Bellevue, WA 98004, open daily from 11am to 9pm.  For inquiries or reservations, call +1 425 4620141.

For more details, visit www.santouka-usa.com.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out the other restos I’ve tried in the Washington State area:

Authentic taste of Japan at Ramen Daisho, Mandaluyong

Ramen Daisho, a quaint Japanese restaurant located in Sunshine Center, Shaw Boulevard, offers delicious dishes with ingredients imported from Japan to give you the most authentic taste and experience possible.

This Lenten season, they’ll be offering specials to satisfy your Japanese cravings.

lenten noods main 2.JPGSeafood Tempuramen (Php399). Firm Ramen noodles in seafood broth, topped with Tempura and a side of Nori. Although I’m not a fan of anything seafood, this dish was a pleasant surprise as the dish offered a fresh taste of the sea.

lenten noods close 2.JPG

Other than Ramen, Ramen Daisho also offers bentos in their Lenten Special.

tempura bento.JPG

Mixed Tempura Bento (Php305). This Bento includes Ebi Tempura, Kani Tempura, and Mixed Veggie Tempura with a side of potato salad, rice, and almond jelly for dessert.

tempura bento up close


Seafood Curry Bento (Php305). Seafood curry with mixed veggie salad, rice, and almond jelly. Shrimp, clam, and squid come together with the savory curry sauce in this dish, rich in flavor. The flavors in this bento taste great together and is definitely filling.

curry close

Other than the Lenten Special, Ramen Daisho offers more mouthwatering dishes.


I started with appetizers such as Gyoza and California Maki (Php255). Gyoza is a customer favorite as it is soft, juicy, and full of flavor.

tonkotsu ramen

Tonkotsu Ramen (Php380 regular | Php670 large). Ramen noodles in rich and creamy Tonkotsu broth, with topped with slices of pork, bamboo shoots, scallions, and a soft boiled egg. Ramen Daisho’s Tonkotsu Ramen is full of flavor and delicious down to the last spoonful of broth.

shoyo ramen close 1

shoyo ramen

Miso Ramen (Php380 regular | Php670 large). Ramen noodles in Miso broth, with pork slices, nori, bamboo shoots, and a soft boiled egg. This dish is rich and fragrant, and is Ramen Daisho’s specialty.

dip noods

Dipping Ramen. Firm Noodles with a semi-poached egg, scallions and Zaru Tare sauce. This light and refreshing ramen is a summer must-try, as this ramen is cold rather than your normal steaming hot ramen. This is something I would order again.

dip noods closer

For authentic Japanese food, you can eat at Ramen Daisho, located at Unit 2, Sunshine Square, Shaw Blvd, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City. It is open daily from 10am to 10p. For reservations and inquiries, contact them at (02) 7740036 and (02) 6332280.

Ramen Daisho was founded in the country in 2013 by Mr. Katsuyuki Nakata. Daisho Global, Inc. is the holding company that oversees the franchise of Ukokkei Ramen in terms of cooking methods and supplies from Fukuoka, Japan.

The restaurant prides itself on the authentic taste of its dishes and experience of dining within its walls. Guided by Mr. Yasuhiko Funatsu, the Ramen Master of Ukokkei Ramen, it served authentic ramen with an ukokkei soup base.

Since 2017, it has been under the management of Ureshi Fudo Corporation.

Ramen Daisho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog:

We wanted it quick and cheap at Ersao, Tomas Morato

Sometimes, our food choices are determined by the limitations to our time and funds.  One such instance drove me and a friend to have lunch at the nearby branch of Ersao.

Ersao is a Taiwanese restaurant offering affordably priced snacks and side dishes, rice toppings and hot noodle dishes.  As we have meetings before and after our lunch break, a friend and I opted to get a quick and affordable meal at Ersao at M Place which is within walking distance from our office building.

The store occupies a small space with seating good for up to twenty people.  Even though it was lunchtime, the place was still quite deserted and we were able to order and get a seat with minimum fuss.

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

My friend opted for the Taiwan Style Rice Porridge (Php180), basically a rice congee with meat bits and aromatics.  Served hot, it can be quite comforting to the soul while filling to the tummy. She supplemented her meal with an order of Gyoza (Php110) for some added protein.

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Given the relatively low price of the offerings in this resto, I decided to splurge a bit and got myself a Pork Steak (Php170) and a Pearl Milk Tea (Php99).

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

The meal sated our hunger but left me wanting in terms of taste.  The pork steak, in particular, was too liberally seasoned, giving a sense of umay such that I wasn’t able to finish my meal.

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Well, we wanted our lunch quick and cheap, and that’s what we got.  Too bad we didn’t include flavor in our criteria.

Ersao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Taiwanese food restos:

Tomochan Ramen Express, Ayala Fairview Terraces

Sometimes, you just want to console your poor tired soul with some hot ramen. The flavorful steaming broth, the firm noodles that you slurp into your mouth and tender soy-seasoned pork chashu all combine to give you a meal that warms both your heart and tummy.

However, with most ramen places charging Php300 to Php700 for a bowl, you would think that your ramen treat would be a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of thing.

Akiko Okomoto, founder and CEO of Tomochan Ramen Express, will have none of that.

“We want to be your daily ramen,” she said to a gathering of food bloggers at the Tomochan outlet at Food Choices in Ayala Fairview Terraces. “We want every individual to consider our ramen as their ultimate comfort food.”

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview

True to her statement, Tomochan’s food offerings are priced affordably, starting with the Shoyu Basic bowl at only Php99. With this bowl, you can already slake your hunger in flavorful soy-based broth, half of a marinated soft boiled egg, two slices of tender pork chashu and firm filling noodles.

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview Terraces

Other shoyu ramen variants are just as affordably priced with Shoyu Vegee at Php109, with the addition of vegee to the Shoyu Basic bowl; Spicy Shoyu Tantan bowl at Php129, with the replacement of the pork chashu with a spicier version; and Shoyu Special at Php149, with a whole egg and 4 slices of chashu pork.

Craving for miso-based ramen instead? No need to sweat it with the Miso Basic at Php129, Miso Vegee at Php139, Spicy Miso Tantan at Php159 and Miso Special at Php169.

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview Terraces

If you’re hankering for a rice meal, check these out, all at only Php79:

Chicken Karaage + Rice + Cabbage

Katsu + Rice + Cabbage

Gyoza + Rice + Cabbage

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview Terraces

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview Terraces

Ramen + Rice Meal combos are also available, giving you quite a filling meal:

Half Shoyu + Rice Meal at Php159

Half Miso + Rice Meal at Php179

To get a Whole Ramen + Rice Meal, just add Php69 on the price of any ramen.

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview Terraces

Tomochan, Ayala Fairview Terraces

Additonal items such as Chicken Karaage, Katsu and Gyoza may be ordered ala carte at only Php69.

According to Okamoto, Tomochan’s name denotes a “warm and solid friendship.” By making the warmth and satisfying comfort of Japanese ramen more accessible to more Filipinos, Tomochan is helping to solidify the JaPinoy bonds of friendship and shared love of food.

Want to have that ramen craving satisfied? Head on to Tomochan Ramen Express at Food Choices, 2nd Floor Ayala Fairview Terraces, Quezon City.

If you work in Makati, check out the Tomochan Ramen Express at Food Oddyssey, 11th Floor LKG Tower, Makati City.

Tomochan Ramen Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself

Affordable Japanese Meals To Go at Izakaya Flame, BGC

Personally, I consider my weekday lunch hour sacred.  It cuts right at the half of my work day, giving me a few precious minutes of respite from daily grind, so I can escape into my next foodie adventure before I get back to work in the afternoon, refreshed and energized.

It also serves as time for bonding with work colleagues who also happen to be good friends.  Our brief #HappyLunch outings  give us an opportunity to catch up and relate with each other, not as coworkers, but as friends, fellow parents or just fellow nerds. 🙂

Central to our #HappyLunch experience is the discovery of good food – discoveries that become our new favorite places.  Sometimes, during weekends, we find ourselves taking our families and friends to the places we discovered during our lunchtime jaunts.

Sometimes though, morning meetings spill over to lunch time, or a report needs to be submitted at precisely 1.30pm.  During times like these, when we can’t go out, can #HappyLunch adventures still be possible?

Fortunately for corporate denizens of Bonifacio Global City (commonly referred to as BGC :-)), Izakaya Flame recently launched a line of affordable rice meals exclusively for takeout. Dubbed as Power Meals to Go, the line is comprised of five tasty yet fuss-free Japanese viands packed with premium Japanese rice.  They are served in microwaveable (and reusable!) plastic containers for easy reheating.

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

These include:

Gyoza (Php109)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Dory (Php119)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Tori Karaage (Php129)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Pork (Php139)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Katsudon (Php149)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izayaki Flames’ Power Meals to Go are an excellent option for those who are craving for their Japanese food favorites but are not able to dine at the restaurant. That’s such as shame as the restaurant’s swanky premises sure are easy on the eyes.  For those who can, I do recommend to visit the resto to take in the novel experience that it has to offer.

Building on the concept of izakaya – a type of informal Japanese pub where people can enjoy small-sized meals together with a drink – it has a modern Asian-inspired decor and both table, bar, and outdoor seating to cater to the diners’ preference.  The bar, in particular, is where the teppan is masterfully prepared right in front of dinners by a trained cook.

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Among the tasty representatives of Japanese izakaya cuisine you can sink your teeth into are:

Spicy Beef Roll (Php245)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Takoyaki (Php95)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Beef Teppanyaki (Php305)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Ice Cream Tempura (Php125)

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Plus, watch out for a fusion of Japanese and Pinoy flavors: the Dulong Maki.

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame innovates on classic Japanese flavors and brings them to lovers of Japanese food to be enjoyed whether inside or outside the restaurant.  Well, I know what I’m going for the next time I’m in a meeting that spills over to lunch at BGC. I know I can still have a #HappyLunch with Izakaya’s Power Meals to Go. 🙂

Izakaya Flame, BGC

Izakaya Flame is located at the Fourth Floor of the Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.  It is open daily from 10am to 10pm. For queries and reservations, call +63 916 2519922.

Izakaya Flame Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: I attended the Bloggers’ Day held at Izakaya Flame.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants: