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:

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

Happiness Overload at Hanamaruken, Trinoma

I have been going through my #ramenphase for quite a while now.  I seek out ramen joints in the hopes of tasting rich creamy broth, firm noodles and flavorful melt-in-your-mouth meat.  The ramen that started this phase is actually the Signature Happiness Ramen I tasted during a Zomato Foodie Meetup at Hanamaruken, Ugong a year ago.  (Check out my Zomato review here.)

Since then, I have been converted to a Ramen Girl.  While I have gone around various ramen shops along my usual haunts in Pasig, Marikina and Quezon City, my thoughts would always go back to the ramen that started it all: the ramen that I measure all other ramen I tasted since against.

Imagine my absolute delight when one fine Friday, after a long and grueling meeting that extended to lunch time, my boss agreed to have a happy lunch with me and my work buddies at Hanamaruken in Trinoma.  And oh, what a happy lunch it was!

Our group of four divided among ourselves:

  • 2 bowls of Signature Happiness Ramen (Php580 each)
  • 1 order of Gyoza (Php240)
  • Initially 1 order of Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice Cream (Php180) but it was sooooo gooood that we ordered another one!

The Signature Happiness Ramen lived up to its legend in my mind.  One bowl was hearty and more than enough to satisfy two hungry and stressed office workers.  The gyoza was also flavorful and whet our appetite for the ramen while the lava cake with ice cream was a decadent cap to the meal.

I look forward to embracing this kind of happiness again when I eat at other Hanamaruken outlets.

This Hanamaruken branch is located at Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City (call 02 7209283 for reservations).  Other branches are located at:

  • The Grove By Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City (tel: 02 695 3643)
  • Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City (tel: 02 869 9857)
  • Hole in the Wall, Fourth Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City

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

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Review Rundown: Ramen Joints in Tomas Morato

Much removed from the instant noodles that we used to associate with the dish, ramen nowadays, especially for foodies, call to mind creamy full-bodied broth from rich meaty stock, firm noodles as well as tender meat, sumptious seafood, crisp vegetables, and flavorful aromatics.

Ramen shops and Japanese restaurants that offer this tasty Japanese noodle dish have sprouted all over the metro, especially in the Tomas Morato area in Quezon City.

Personally, I gravitate towards ramen with chashu (seasoned pork slices): the more tender and melt-in-your-mouth, the better. While my preference when it comes to broth is more towards the shio (salt-based), I’m usually open to eating shoyu (soy-based) or miso-based ramen.

Here is a rundown of the ramen I’ve sampled among such restaurants located in this foodie-friendly area.

Tonkotso Ramen (Php295) at Omakase

Rating: 3/5

I found the blend and contrasts of textures from the creamy broth, the crisp black fungus and the firm noodles interesting but somewhat lacking in flavor.

Check out my restaurant review here.

Tokyo-style Ramen (Php250) at Ariake

Rating: 3.5/5

Again, it’s the blend of textures among the noodles and crisp veggies that give this ramen a boost.

Read my restaurant review here.

Chasu Ramen (Php245) at Tokyo Bubble Tea

Rating: 3.5/5

The cuteness of its kawaii surroundings is apparent in the pretty presentation of this miso-based ramen.

Read my restaurant review here.

Shoyu Ramen (Php250) at Kimono Ken

Rating: 4/5

Despite my marked preference for salt-based ramen, I found the flavor from the chashu slices full-bodied, amply complemented by the nori garnishing, egg and aromatics.

Read my restaurant review here.

 

Tonkotsu Ramen (Php300) at Isaribi

I loved the rich milky-white pork-broth (with a bit of a garlicky taste) with firm ramen noodles, thin slices of green onion, half of a tamago (soft-boiled soy-tinged egg), and slivers of chashu pork belly.

Read my restaurant review here.

Follow this blog for more foodie and resto reviews.

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.