Monday, November 12, 2012

Menya Genki ramen

Menya Genki ramen is one of those places that you have to purposely go into try their menu.

Along Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., it's quite hidden by billboards and such, that you tend to not notice the shop if your cruising by the high-way

As you can see in the menu this is a Ramen specific kind of restaurant. You come here to order Ramen and just ramen, no sushi, thank you.

A rather Unimpressive looking bowl to say the least, but it a has the necessary requirements for a good bowl and a slight air of authenticity in it.

The soup is rather tepid but has indeed that substantial tonkatsu flavor that we're expecting. The Chasu pork is tender and juicy and has a delightful mild flavor.

The noodle is the thin and straight variety that is cooked just right. It absorbs the soup in it perfectly and is perfect to each other.

The toppings are boiled stewed eggs, slightly mushy raw, which is quite good. Some onion greens and black fungi and nori. Simple but direct in it's presentation.

There is a Bikkuri ramen challenge that they have. For 1000 pesos you can try one large order of their special ramen. Finish it in less than 20 mins and you get your picture up in their wall of fame. I think the record to beat is 14 minutes.

I might try it someday, if my tummy allows me to.

Genki ramen is in the same row of shops that has another Ramen shop that is more visible. but from the look of it, the other shop seems to be more into selling local sea food and beer than real ramen, I've yet to confirm my suspicions on it.

Menya Genki ramen in a larger map

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kenji Tei - ramen house

Kenji Tei ramen house is one of those new hip place that caters to the burgeoning interest for some real Japanese ramen. Located at the 3rd floor of Greenbelt 5 it is conveniently placed to sate the appetite of businessmen, shoppers and tourists that goes around at the country's premier shopping district and business center.

 I ordered their Miso w/ Chasu ramen since it's been recommended by the friendly staff . The soup is rich and very tasty. You can really taste the miso in. I've also tried their regular Shoyu style ramen to get a better feel for their plain broth and I must say it has the right clean flavour that is hallmark for a good ramen. Adding and cooking the broth with miso really enhance it even more, giving it hearty and fuller body. Really great for these wet season we're experiencing these days.

The topping consist of, besides the standard miso stewed ground pork with leeks and onions, are a hard boiled egg, green spinach and 2 slices of thin braised pork belly, very tasty, but to those who find it quite short, you can order an extra order of chasu, like I did. You may also order extra noodles for a small price.

My complaint is that they tend to overcook the noodles. Still firm and chewy it is, but I prefer my noodles with a little bite. It's a pity though their noodles tastes really good. Better tell your waiter to instruct the cook you want them hard if you're like me.

I also find the wooden spoon that come along with your bowl rather ridiculous and impractical in savoring the delicious soup. Go ask a ceramic or a metal spoon. Kids might find it fun though.

The place itself is pleasant and convenient. The arrangement of tables and seats plus their utilitarian but comfortable wood designs makes it an ideal setting to focus on one's ramen eating pleasure. Being in the prime location of Greenbelt one expect to be a little pricey, but compared to the other restaurants within the area, it is very reasonably priced and very filling and very good eats.

The next time you're on the area, I definitely recommend you try going for some joyful ramen  with your friends.


View Kenji Tei - ramen house in a larger mapKenji Tei - ramen house in a larger map

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jipan's - curry rice

 Jipan's bread store is one of the first store here in the country that sells totally organic breads and cakes for decades.
It is also famous for serving various authentic Japanese dishes like ramen and donburi food.

When they first opened their Megamall outlet, which is right besides the main Asian Development Bank in Mandaluyong city, they've been catering to the banks many Japanese executives during lunch time. Their most popular item is their beef curry rice.

Their curry rice is probably my favorite. the quintessential Indian dish by way of Japan is quite popular comfort food for many Japanese and it is something that we Filipino's might find rather familiar. One could say that Jipan's curry rice is like thick sauced version of our beef Caldereta. This is quite evident with shops cut of meat which tend to be chunkier than most Japanese curry rice, but is still tender with a good bite. The sauce is the just the right spiciness and the proper savory flavor without being too masked by the use of spices.
You only need a spoon to eat this stew which is laden in a heart bed of rice. It also come with a side salad of shredded cabbage and corn. I would recommend you try the curry rice with a spoonful of the salad's mayo dressing. Gives it a good creaminess to the dish.

The place at Megamall had just been renovated. It is more like a casual Cafe than fine dinning. It may not look like it, but here you can savor authentic popular Japanese home cook meals in the country that any Japanese salaryman would recognize.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss - ramen shop

Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss is one those new Ramen specialty shops that have been popping around the city. There had always been numerous Japanese food restaurants in the country for years. There are those catering to hi-end expensive ones and there those oh so dozens of Japanese fast-food chains with cheap good eats. Most of these had the standard menu with various popular Japanese food like Sushi, Tempura and Teriyaki meat dishes. Dishes that the Filipino palate found comforting that most have been taken in and absorbed to the Filipino cuisine, much like Chinese foods.

Ramen are available in these standard restaurants, but their quality tend to be much to be desired, some can't even hold against to instant ramen. Nowadays with these Ramen specialty stores coming out, Filipinos are slowly being reared to the rich ramen culture that is prevalent in Japan. Each of these store vying  for the Filipino market with each trying to present the real "authentic" Ramen taste.

I ordered a Shoyu ramen as sort of test case comparative menu, since Shoyu is the most common ramen type in Tokyo.

The soup is quite clear and clean, with a very respectable taste. Though the soy sauce base they use makes it quite pungent. The bamboo shoots they used isn't pickled right that it is soggy to bite and it's odor, though not unpleasant, conflicted with the broth.

The noodles are made in-house, that they are fresh and are cooked just right. Straight and smooth, they have that nice chewiness. I can't taste the wheat flavor that much but they go really well in soup that they get soaked on. Again there is a problem with the odor. The smell of kansui is slightly noticeable, especially to ramen connoisseur.  Perhaps letting the fresh noodles rest a lot longer before cooking will help remedy it.

Overall, they still have a very good bowl as a start. It is rather cheap than most specialty Ramen store. I sure would like to try their other menu.

I also ordered a plate of Gyoza. Again they're fresh with good filling. It's pan-fried with sesame oil like those done in Japan.

The shop is bright and had that nice modern minimalist design to give Japanese air, with that straight flat wooden benches and utilitarian setup. The Shop is partly self-service. that is you order in the counter that is right by the door, with the help of that large menu plastered besides it. The food will be served to your table by the staff.

 I should point out that this is specifically a Japanese Noodle shop, so it's not just ramen that they specialize but also Udon and Soba.

 The restaurant is quite close to the Studio that I'm connected to, so it is a must that I should try it.I ordered the Shoyu ramen as a trail order. It's not they're specialty ramen flavour so I must return to try their other dishes. I have high hopes for this store. I'll post on the other ramen, udon and soba when I got around to trying them.

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Moshi Koshi noodle boss
Shaw Blvd cor Ideal st, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

Monday, April 9, 2012

Konbini Store - ramen shop and Japanese grocery

Konbini Store is an aptly named Japanese products grocery that is conveniently located  just a few minutes walk from Greenhills shopping center and much closer to other Japanese themed restaurants in Connecticut st.

As stated, the place is were one can buy essential Japanese food product. From instant ramen to real Wagyu beef, you can buy it here for any Japanese expats to local Japanophile who wanted some real cool products from the Land of the rising sun.

The store has in it's corner a dinning area that one can order delicious Japanese food. Their specialty is their Ramen and fried chicken. I haven't tried they're chicken yet, but it is very popular to most eaters that I'll it make a point to try them sometime.

I ordered there their Chasu tonkatsu ramen and gyoza combo. For a grocery they do serve a very decent ramen. The noodles, straight thin variety, are not in-house made but are fresh and has good chewy texture with a right neutral taste.

It goes really well the Tonkatsu soup broth. The broth itself has that clean but tasty flavor that is ideal for that pork based soup. It has the right thickness but never being too heavy or fatty on the mouth, nor is it heavily seasoned or salty. The combination makes a very refreshing noodle soup that ones yearn on a rainy cold night.

My toppings consist of extra pork chasu that are thinly sliced lean cuts of pork. The hard-boiled egg is rightly half-cooked, though not stewed. The use of light green leeks and roasted sesame accent the dish quite well.

The shops gyoza are quite good and are freshly cooked. To local shoppers will find the products on display as being quite pricey for  even for imported items, but the price for the food being served in the store's restaurant is quite reasonable and and of very good authentic quality.

I quite recommend this store to any ramen enthusiast or to those who definitely want to have that little Japanese experience without leaving the county.

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Konbini store - ramen shop
Connecticut St, San Juan, Philippines

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kanzhu hand-pulled noodles


The present Kanzhu restaurant, near Wilson's ave. San Juan, Used to be a similar looking Hand-pulled noodle restaurant. For Whatever reason, the old restaurant was absorbed by the Kanzhu hand-pulled noodles restaurant group found in Timog ave. Q.C.They both serve Lanzhou-style lamian. I was a little disappointed when the old one closed since they do serve very excellent Lamian noodles, plus the place is close to where I work. I haven't tried out Kanzhu yet, so I was bit apprehensive when they took It's place. Fortunately, my fears are unfounded when I fish they're dishes quite as good.

As you can see I ordered stir-fried noodles with beef and vegetables, my usual order here. You can see it is quite a hefty amount. One order can satisfy 3 people, and for 160 Pesos per order it is a real bargain.

Despite it's oily and starchy appearance, I can finish a whole serving of these and not feel bloated that one get's from eating Chinese food. Those are good sign of a well made fresh natural Chinese noodles.

The original restaurant is manned by a Chinese chef from the mainland, and he makes superb smooth and really chewy noodles. Recently, most of the hand-pulling are now made by highly trained Filipino chefs. The quality of their noodles is quite equal in quality. Like any authentic Lanzhou-style lamian, they only make and pull the noodles upon order. You can guaranty in it's freshness. The soup broth are not that strong in the Mutton taste than in the past but are still equally tasty. It has that clean and refreshing taste that are different to the fatty broth that one gets from chicken and pork.

Lanzhou-style lamian are hand-pulled noodles as famously seen in various culinary documentaries discussing Chinese Cuisine. In fact Hand-pulled or Lamian noodles are just one from various types of noodles. There are Hand-Shave, Hand-cut, extruded type.. just to name a few, but the most common are the Machine-cut type. One can never tell which one is more superior since each one have their own faults and virtues.

There are even different style of hand pulled noodles and each one stems from what region in China it came. Lanzhou-style lamian came from the north-west part of china. Depending on the what they favor there are the Thin kind to a more thicker version of the noodle, with a slight different technique in pulling and twisting to achieved it.

Since Lanzhou is heavily populated by Chinese of Islamic faith, the food tend to be Halal, with the meat and soup broth are of Beef and Mutton. The Mutton smell and flavor is very evident especially to new costumers who are more used to the common Canton style noodles one finds in the Philippines. Unlike it's predecessor that limit itself to just noodles and dumplings, Kanzhu also serves regular Chinese fare for those who wanted a little more variety. Some people might be put-off by the Lanzhou taste, but I would certainly urge them to try it for themselves, and who knows you might get to grow to like it. I sure did.

The Kanzhu restaurant in San Juan is located rather in out away place than the various, more popular eateries that dotted nearby area along Wilson's ave. I would definitely recommend this place, not only to Noodles aficionados, but to any one who wants to have a superb dinning experience with friends and family. You'll be surprised in finding this little gem among roughs. 

This is were you'll find this map handy.
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Kanzhu hand-pulled noodles
8001 Jose Abad Santos, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ling-Nam noodle house

Ling-Nam brought to mind for those who grew up in the Eighties in the Philippines as one of the quintessential Chinese noodle soup shops in the country.  It's roots in Binondo Manila, it have been long time purveyor of Chinese style Beef brisket noodles Lomi and Wonton noodles as opposed to Ma Mon Luk style noodles soup,or Mami as we call here.

The name alone brought back warm nostalgia of much simpler days. Children who grew up on that era would surely have found memories of enjoying their humble dishes of hearty noodles bath in warm tasty broth. Their own adventures of taking comfort with one these on rainy days, most especially after class.

Ling-Nam  is one of the first in the country to venture in pay-at-the-counter self-service fast food Chinese restaurant, that Chow King would later on dominate. Lin-Nam was moderately successful in this, but it was very successful in getting more people to be more aware of their kind of Chinese dishes that their Beef mami recipe would become standard in the country and influenced most of today's restaurants.

Ling-Nam restaurant is trying to make a comeback by setting itself up as not as fast-food style but the usually sit-down Chinese tea-houses.

The taste of their Beef-Wonton noodle soup is practically the same as I remember when I was a kid. Their Noodles are the thin crinkly kind, is always excellent. It firm but smooth to slurp, and it holds up the flavor of the soup very effectively. The broth is on the sweet and tangy kind with the beef sauce that is added to it. The dish is definitely refreshing with the strange rainy weather we're having right now.

My only gripe is that their wonton dumplings and Siomai seems to be stuck back in the 80's to much that it would not hold up to the more sophisticated  versions we have right now. The fillings are good, but the wrapper is thin and quite very easy in getting mushy. This is rather disappointing for a shop who's business is producing raw noodles and wonton wrappers for other shops.

They also serve standard Chinese fare like chicken, beef, fish, rice dishes and other entree'  besides Noodles, that other discerning costumers can try.

I usually go to their Greenhills branch which is close to my work and my home. It's been open there since 2006. It is a very convenient location and they're open up to late at night, so it's a good place to those who are looking for a good place to eat after long tiring day of shopping at the Tiangge in Greenhills shopping center.

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Ling-Nam restaurant
Greenhills shopping center, San Juan, Metro Manila

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ramen Bar - ramen restaurant

Ramen Bar in Eastwood mall Libis is one these new chic' looking place that tries to cater to the local populace with authentic Ramen experience.

I've eaten there a couple times and I must say they do serve a very decent bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen. When I first tried it is rather of flavorful and yet subtle in it's taste. More recently though their Shoyu ramen (it say shoyu flavor but it is more tonkotsu style) taste a little tepid and lacks character. The pork slices is tender and very tasty. They use too much of the green part of the leeks, giving it a little bitter taste that is rather too cumbersome.

The serving is slightly adequate, if you get my meaning, and the price is higher than average. Not that surprising for the location it is in. There is also a service charge that I should note, besides the menu price.

I also ordered a plate of their Fried Rice. It is good companion with the Ramen or their Gyoza, except they use too much garlic, making it more fitting for a Tapsilog companion than to a standalone Japanese meal of Chahan.

Ramen Bar is a very easy and comfortable place. The place is not that big so it could get crowded easily. It is is a cool place to have a good bowl and a cozy ambiance to sit to in a very convenient place to walk about, probably enough to make up for the price.

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Ramen Bar
Eastwood mall, Eastwood City, Barangay Libis Quezon City, Philippines.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ramen Cool - ramen restaurant

I was driving from Pioneer st. Mandaluyong on my to Ortigas center when I noticed this brightly lit, well furnished new Ramen style restaurant called Ramen Cool. It looks like a nice place, so I got try it.

I checked their menu and It's very reasonably priced. It's a good place to take your friends or your girl to for some nice Japanese meal without blowing your budget.

I ordered Shoyu Ramen as a trial base. The serving is of the Japanese standard portion. You can order extra toppings and noodles.

It is a filling and hearty meal, something you can find in some standard Japanese shops in Tokyo, Nothing special. The Chasu barbeque pork is of the lean meat variety, its more boiled than roasted, lacks the layers of fat to make it tender and flavorful.

The noodles, though not home made, is smooth and has a nice texture. The pork base soup lacks punch and owes a lot to the soy sauce than the base broth for flavor. Wish it could come much hotter also.

I also ordered an order of pork fried rice. Definitely much better than most fast-food Japanese restaurants. Very filling with lots of meat in it. It's tastes is not diluted like your standard fried rice and it can be eaten by itself without any added entree.

Overall, Ramen Cool is a good place to try out some authentic Japanese fare. The price is cheap and portions are good and the service is prompt. I'll most definitely come back to check out on how the place's progress will turn out.

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Ramen Cool
#25 East Capitol Drive
Kapitolyo, Pasig city, M.M.