Comforting ramen at Ippudo

Did you know that Tokugawa Mitsukuni, a prominent daimyo that lived during the early Edo period in 1600s, was claimed to be the first person to ever eat ramen? The dish was said to have been introduced to him by Chinese neo-Confucian scholar Zhu Shunsui who became the daimyo’s advisor after fleeing the Manchu rule in China and seeking refuge in Japan.

After a business meeting in SM Mall of Asia, my officemates and I decided to have lunch at Ippudo for a taste of its celebrated ramen.

Ippudo, SM MOA

Founded in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara, who has been dubbed The Ramen King, Ippudo is the stage by which the famed ramen chef showcases his “tao” – the way of the ramen. This is centered on the philosophy of continuously innovating to remain true.

My lunchmates and I were able to het a taste of Ippudo’s artistry and innovation with our orders.

Tantanmen (Php520). Made with thick wavy noodles immersed in Ippudo’s signature tonkotsu (pork bone) broth infused with tantanmen oil. It topped with a generous serving of ground pork, torched chasu (pork belly), cilantro, parmesan cheese and onsen tamago.

Ippudo, MOA

Shiromaru Special (Php495). In this classic Hakata-style ramen, pork belly and pork loin are placed on top of ultra-thin noodles in Ippudo’s tonkotsu broth, garnished with salted soft-boiled egg and seaweed.

Ippudo, MOA

Shiromaru Tamago (Php420). The Shiromaru with salted soft-boiled egg.

Ippudo, MOA

Akamaru Special (Php499). In this modern-style ramen, a special blend of miso paste and garlic enhances Ippudo’s tonkotsu broth. Served with thin noodles and pork belly slices, it is topped by ajikikurage (flavored black fungus), salted soft-boiled egg and seaweed.

Ippudo, MOA

It was easy to discern the care and craftmanship that went into the ramen, from the flavorful broth, the springy noodles to the meticulously prepared toppings. These bowls are quite pricy too, so they’re not for everyday eating, but well-suited for those times when you want to treat yourself to an exceptional bowl of ramen.

Ippudo, MOA

Ippudo, MOA

You might be wondering how you can enjoy Ippudo’s carefully crafted ramen during quarantine. You would be glad to know that it recently opened some of its branches for curbside or courier pickups, making it possible for ramen lovers to have Ippudo at Home. Here’s how:

  • Send a message to a Yabu branch nearest you via Viber (+63 919 0744557 for SM Megamall, Greenbelt 5 and Powerplant Mall | +63 919 0744564 for Ayala Malls the 30th, Robinsons Magnolia, Ayala Malls Vertis North | +63 919 0744560 for Uptown Mall, Mall of Asia and Robinsons Place Manila)
  • Include the following details in your message: name, email address, birthday, date, time and store for pickup, orders and desired quantity
  • After receiving billing confirmation, make your payments via GCash, BPI or BDO
  • Send proof of payment via Viber
  • Arrange for pickup

So if you’ve been longing for a taste of Ippudo, fret not. Your lovely bowl of ramen is just a few phone taps away!

This Ippudo branch is located at Second Floor, Main Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Other branches are located at:

  • Robinsons Place Manila
  • Robinsons Magnolia
  • Ayala Malls Vertis North
  • Greenbelt 5
  • Power Plant Mall
  • Uptown Place Mall
  • SM Megamall
  • Ayala Malls the 30th
  • Eastwood

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Get your bowl of happiness at Hanamaruken

I wasn’t always a ramen lover.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t be able to differentiate among ramen varieties, nor appreciate the artistry that goes into crafting and delicious bowl of ramen.

That changed when I first tasted Hanamaruken’s Happiness Ramen three years ago.

Thus started my #RamenPhase that’s showing no signs of fading away.

Before the enhanced community quarantine, I was lucky enough to take my fam out to dinner one Saturday night at the place where my love affair with ramen started: Hanamaruken at The Grove along C5.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken is a ramen chain that originated from Osaka, Japan which was established in 1982 by Takaku Arakawa who belonged to a family of butchers. By drawing from its founder’s background in butchery, Hanamaruken became known for ramen dishes that feature choice cuts of meat and uniquely flavored broth.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

There, the fam enjoyed a meal that included:

Signature Happiness Ramen (Php445 half | Php580 whole). Arakawa’s ramen masterpiece features a combination of shoyu (soy) and tonkotsu (pork bone) broth topped with ginormous piece of tender slow-braised pork bone rib. This is still my benchmark when it comes to ramen.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Pot Belly Ramen (Php410). Another showcase for the tonkotsu and shoyu broth combo topped with roasted pork belly.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Spicy Tobanjan Ramen (Php320). Tonkotsu broth spiced by tobanjan paste. Hubby liked it so much that he ordered extra noodles (Php80) to savor more of the spicy broth.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Gyoza (Php240). My daughter #ExhibitA will not consider a visit to any Japanese resto complete without these Japanese potstickers.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

Ebi Tempura (Php580). Large prawns battered and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown and served with umami-rich tempura sauce.

Hanamaruken, The Grove

I look forward to tasting this kind of happiness again and again.

And since my daughter and I both unlocked our Zomato Gold privileges at this Hanamaruken branch, we got two of these dishes for free!

Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks for dining in at partner restaurants. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use the code JELLYB to get 45% off the membership fee.

Wanna have your own taste of ramen happiness but can’t leave home because of the ECQ? Here’s a bit of good news for you: Hanamaruken Forbestown is now open for pickup and delivery via Grab Assistant or Lalamove. To order, call +63 917 6356254 or +63 916 2142208.

This Hanamaruken branch is located at The Grove by Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Barangay Ugong, Pasig City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 86953643.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Forbes Retail, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ground Floor, Santolan Town Plaza, Colonel Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan
  • Hole in the Wall, Fourth Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
  • Second Floor, Garden Wing, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Ramen delivery from Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

My #RamenPhase has been going on for years (and I don’t think it will end anytime soon!)

With the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, it has been hard for me to get my ramen fix. Authentic ramen does not lend itself well to delivery: the noodles tend to get soggy if left in the broth too long. Due to this, many ramen restaurants refuse to offer their fare for delivery.

Well, the ramen shop near my home, Ramen Len, has found a way around that difficulty. Thanks to its ingenious packaging, the firm and chewy noodles, toppings (a slice of chashu, naruto, bamboo shoots and green onions) and broth are all kept separate until they get delivered.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

I discovered this when I decided to supplement our family dinner with some of Ramen Len’s offerings by ordering from FoodPanda.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Our ramen orders included:

Tonkotsu Shoyu (Php190). Thick and creamy pork bone broth flavored with herbs and Japanese soy sauce.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Tonkotsu Red (Php220). The pork bone broth combined with spicy sesame as well as various herbs and spices.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Tonkotsu Black (Php230). The pork bone broth made even more flavorful with the addition roasted garlic oil.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

We also ordered Special Gyoza (Php110/ 5 pieces) which is among my daughter’s perennial favorite Japanese dishes. These are Japanese dumplings filled with seasoned ground meat, finely chopped vegetables and aromatics.

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Now, I know where to go when I get that ramen craving!

Ramen Len, Santa Lucia

Ramen Len is located at 45 Countryside Avenue, Countryside Village, Barangay Santa Lucia, Pasig City. To order for pick-up, call +63 939 3357160 or have your order delivered to you via FoodPanda.

Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

 

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Got a sudden hankering for Japanese food?

Why not drop by Hashi Donburi’s newest branch in QC?

Step up to the second floor of the building across ABS-CBN and you will enter what appears to be a laid-back izakaya where you can sit back and have a hearty serving of your favorite Japanese food.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Here’s a sampling of what you can enjoy here:

Salmon Sashimi (Php299). Slices of fresh salmon served that’s great for starters.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Tantanmen (Php299). Slightly spicy ramen with a peanut-based broth topped with pork slices and egg.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Tonkotsu (Php269). Savory miso-based ramen topped with pork slices and egg. This is quite hearty and well-suited for a rainy day.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Gyudon (Php199). Rice bowl topped with beef and onion simmered in a sweet sauce with dashi.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Tendon (Php179). Rice bowl topped with battered and deep-fried prawns in donburi sauce.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Oyakudon (Php159). Rice bowl topped with simmered chicken, egg and sliced scallions.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Chicken Teriyaki Bento (Php199). A meal set that includes chicken teriyaki, rice, sauteed veggies, potato croquettes and miso soup.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Chicken Karaage Bento (Php199). A meal set that includes chicken karaage, rice, sauteed veggies and potato croquettes. I suggest you request for a serving of Japanese mayo (and add a bit of wasabi to that) as your dip.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Among Hashi Donburi’s menu items, I found the bento boxes the best value in terms of price, serving size and taste.

I now count this resto among my lunch choices in the area.

Hashi Donburi, Tomas Morato

Planning a party? Hold your gathering at Hashi Donburi and take advantage of these value-packed party packages:

Set A (Php4,499 good for 10-15 pax). Two servings each of edamame, ebi furai, yakisoba, tonkatsu, chicken karaage and chicken teppan plus three rice platters, 60-piece maki/sushi platter, four pitchers of drinks and 4 servings of tempura ice cream.

Set B (Php4,999 good for 10-15 pax). Two servings each of korokke, tempura, ebi furai, seaweed salad, yakiudon, beef teppanyaki, chicken karaage and chicken teppan plus two rice platters, 48-piece maki/sushi platter, one big ramen serving and 4 servings of tempura ice cream.

This Hashi Donburi branch is located at Second Floor, 139 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 77206040.

The original branch is located at 1607 Dapitan Street, Sampaloc, Manila.

Hashi Donburi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

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:

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.

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Ramen Choices at Ramen Nagi, Robinsons Galleria

Newsflash: I’m still in my ramen phase and the poor fam has no choice but to bear with me and my food choices.

That said, I don’t think they were too disappointed when we recently had our Saturdate lunch at Ramen Nagi at Robinsons Galleria.

Located at The Veranda, Level 2 of Robinsons Galleria, this ramen shop provides a unique experience to the ramen lover: the ability to customize your ramen experience.

You are given the choice of broth flavors: Butao King (its signature tonkotsu pork broth at Php390), Black King (broth infused with squid ink at Php410), Red King (the spiciest broth at Php 410) and Green King (broth infused with Nagi at P410).

From there, you can specify the following:

  • Richness of the taste
  • Inclusion of Ramen Nagi’s special sauce
  • Garlic taste
  • Pork Shoulder or Belly
  • Level of Spiciness, and
  • Firmness of the noodles

If you’re a ramen newbie like me, go for the chef’s recommendation (because he or she should know what tastes good, right?), but go easy on the spiciness, especially if you’re not much into heat.

I would also recommend adding a Tamago (Php60), a flavored egg that provides more richness to the ramen.

My daughter and I got ourselves bowls of Butao King, while the husband got himself a bowl of Red King. The little boy, on the other hand (being the only one who is not into ramen), had to content himself with an order of Chicken Karaage (Japanese fried chicken at Php250), which, sadly, he didn’t enjoy as much as the rest of us enjoyed our ramen bowls.

We also ordered a side of Gyoza (Php220) and a sheet of Nori (Php60) to nibble on while waiting for our order.

The service staff were attentive and helpful, prompt to answer our queries and assist our requests.

By the way, this year, birthday celebrants get free Butao King Ramen during their birth month. Remember, though, that you can only avail of this promo once (even though the originally announced mechanics indicated otherwise – a friend discovered this the hard, and apparently embarassing, way).

You can also check out my review of Ramen Nagi at SM North EDSA.

Ramen Nagi 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.