For the past few months, Asian cuisine becomes part of my gastronomical food trip adventure. To unli Korean barbeque to a lobster buffet, I feel like I’m tripping around Asia without a passport. But I must admit that there’s one dish that will “almost complete” this food trip: AUTHENTIC RAMEN. I’m not a big fan of Japanese food (like my mom, don’t ask why), but I learn to appreciate Ramen because my friends influenced me to come to their “Ramen Cravings.”
Without my ramen friends, I visited one of the hippiest and authentic Ramen house in the South. Hakata Ikkousha Manila is one of the 30+ ramen places in the world (2nd branch is in Cebu) that serves unusual ramen dishes and less than 15 food items that consisted mostly of different variations of ramen, gyoza, and chasu don.
Looking at the interior design of the restaurant, it’s easy to feel cozy and have a Japanese feels. Friendly staff who give Japanese greetings and fast service are one of the things that will make your stay so chill and enjoyable. There’s an open window where you can see their chef preparing your order in their neat kitchen. Unlike other restaurants, they will give you a piece of paper where you can check what you want to order and how you want to customize your ramen (noodles, ramen broth, side dishes, etc).
Enough with the chitchat, let’s talk about their dishes. I tried their best-selling “Special Tonkotsu Ramen” (PHP 450) and boy how big is the serving of this dish, I need a companion to finish a bowl. This big bowl consists of 4 pork fillet (cha shu), flavored egg, chopped spring onion, and their signature ramen broth, noodles, and other toppings. The first thing I notice with my ramen bowl is the too many bubbles in the broth. This means the authenticity of the ramen, and something I should not scared of.
What I learned about eating ramen are these key factors: you should eat it FAST and HOT. No wonder they don’t allow take-out orders for their ramen. For extra flavor, I decided to put crushed sesame seeds to the ramen broth. The result: it gave a savory and nutty flavor to the ramen which I like. Nevertheless, the ramen taste very “umami” with and without any additional condiments.
The ramen bowl alone can give such good vibes in my tummy. But I tried their other dishes as well. Their “Cha-Shu-Don” rice topping (PHP 150) is your bowl on-the-go if you want to have to take a break from ramen. Their chopped cha shu, spring onions, and Japanese rice in a bowl are best to serve with their “chicken karaage” (PHP 150 for 3 pcs.). The chicken is one of the tastiest chicken I ever ate. Served with egg with Japanese mayo, the skin and meat of the chicken taste umami to my mouth.
And this Ramen experience is not complete without trying their very own Gyoza (PHP 120 for 5 pcs.). I’m happy to see their gyoza not so rubbery and oily compared to others. It is fried in a light manner and I can tell how fresh it is by its smell and umami taste.
In conclusion, my ramen at Hakata Ikkousha is both a delight and excitement. Their dishes will take you to a Japanese adventure without the fuzz and hype. Yes, their Ramen bowl may be as expensive as other ramen restaurants, but I can say that they put justice to their Ramen and services that are worth the value of your money.
So for the people of the south, it’s time to have your Japanese adventure at Hakata Ikkousha and let it define Authentic Ramen is all about. Hakata Ikkousha will be available in Metrodeal starting June. And prepare for June 3, because it will be Hakata’s 3rd month and they are having unlimited noodles for more ramen slurping moments. Visit their facebook page for more promos and updates: www.facebook.com/hakataikkoushamanila/
Hakata Ikkousha Manila
Upper Ground Floor, Expansion Wing, Festival Mall,
Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City