Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ted's oldtimer Lapaz batchoy

Ted's Lapaz batchoy is said to be the authentic Lapaz batchoy, if we'll believe the write-up of their advert poster. Then again the owner is said to be one of these so called originator of this local noodle soup, whether that has any substance to it's claim is still debatable.

To those unfamiliar to the dish, La paz batchoy is a Pilipino noodle soup dish that had it's roots in Lapaz dist. Iloilo city, mid-south of  the Philipines. It's a bowl of pork and beef broth with fresh egg noodles, topped with chopped pork meat, liver, offals and crispy toasted garlic and pork cracklings.

I usually partake a small bowl of batchoy when I had a little hungry pang for some lite meal of noodle soup. I ate this one at SM Mega-mall's food court.
I've never consider Lapaz batchoy as a full dish in itself. I treat it as something between a snack and a lite meal. Comfort food that one partakes usually at street food stalls when one is on his way to school/work. A lot of us Filipinos also take it as a side soup dish along with a main entree.

Now Ted's Batchoy is not something spectacular or even memorable, but it has all the basic essentials of a bowl Lapaz Batchoy that we've grown to used. Reminds me of those really old fashion ramen bars in Tokyo, their bowls unadorned and basically simple.

Their soup hearty but not salty, unlike other Batchoys being sold around. The noodle is partly dry fresh egg noodle that suits the dish strangely well. Using fresh Cantonese style noodles like one used in ramen seems, to me, is not that suited to this fatty pork laden soup. The salt semi-dry noodle strength is in it's inability to absorb the soup into it, making it's taste separate and texture distinct from the soup. It's like having two meals at one. Such idea to a noodle soup bowl is blasphemy to true Ramen lover, but to La paz Batchoy it works unusually quite well. 

View Jipan's - SM Megamall Mandaluyong city in a larger map

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Food truck by Broosey

I was taking a look around at some outdoor food vendors outside of a local mall when I spied upon a food truck that seems to specialize in ramen.

Now food stalls are abundant in my country buts it's rare to find these modern mobile food trucks that's more common in the States, and when this one serves primarily ramen it definitely piqued my interest. I bought me one of their special miso ramen.

A rather unflattering looking bowl the say the least. Can't believe I paid 180 Pesos for this (4.50 USD )
The bowl is made of laminated cardboard that one use as coffee cup, which may be good for the environment slightly than a Styrofoam bowl but not a good idea to use on a hot take-out noodle soup, fortunately the soup is mildly warm which in itself is not a good sign.

The serving is abysmal. The soup taste more like Batchoy than Japanese, even then I've tasted some side street vendors soup that tasted better than this. The pork slices is small and a little tough with bones to them. The Nori seems to be only thing Japanese in it, even that seem to contradict the pork  and Teri-miso soup. Perhaps they should've use crushed fresh garlic instead and maybe some bean-sprouts would definitely improve upon it's state.

One of the worst ramen bowl I'd tasted. Perhaps the chef is having a really bad bad day that it came out like that or maybe the trolls are messing with the recipe at night, who knows. I'll try it again and see if they'll improve... someday.

I tasted them at Metrowalk Ortigas center, I've seen them outside of Glorietta Makati recently.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ukokkie ramen ron

Ukokkie Ramen ron at Pasay road Makati seems a like a very good place for some authentic ramen adventure. There is line of patrons lined up front and the atmosphere inside is like one can find at any ramen shops at Japan. Though I must stress that I said 'seems'...

The place is crowded but not too packed and yet the servers , attentive and pleasant they may be, are disorganized and lacks proper coordination. I've seen and heard costumers complaining about their late, missing order or getting the wrong one. Many a times they have gone back and forth with the wrong order to a costumer beside me in the counter. 

Anyway all can be forgiven just to a have a good bowl of ramen.

A rather unimpressive bowl I must say. Boring could easily describe it.

The soup is good, the noodles are fine and are cooked just right, the braised pork slices are passable. It has all the bells and whistles for a good Shoyu ramen, it's just that it's just too typical of a bowl for the price one has to pay and the hassle of driving into the place.

I also ordered a side of Gyoza.

I think the picture speaks for itself. Their much smaller in life than in the picture, if you're reading this in a I-pad, they're still much smaller. You wouldn't believe how much I paid for such a depressing plate. I was searching for the meat from the wrapper while eating it.

They have in their menu a side dish of grilled steak strips. It's delicious and I would recommend it over the gyoza.

Except for the gyoza, the shop do delivers with what it advertise. I just wish that there is a little excitement to their bowl or at the very least a much lower price for it's rather plain but decent one. 

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Maria-sama ga miteru - Locations

The show Maria-sama ga miteru (Maria watches over us) is one my all time favorite. A series that deals with trials and tribulations between the students in the fictional Lilian private academy for women. It's intimate depiction with their lives and relationship during their brief moments in high school and how they mature into adults, framed within a lush world that is both idealized fantasy and uncanny realistic,  had always drawn a very loyal following though all these years.

It been speculated within fans that if this fictional Lilian Academy actually exists where in Japan  can it be found. Where does Yumi and company go to and every school day. It's been stated in the novels, in every prologue, that the school is situated at a suburb in downtown Tokyo where one can see Musashi fields.  Now  Musashino in Tokyo is right besides Suginami ward where the Tokyo women's Christian University, a school who's history resembles much of Lilian, is located. It's been said that Lilian is partly based on it and to a private Catholic school that the author, Konno Oyuki attended during kindergarten.

Now much like Lucky Star is to Saitama prefecture. I'd like to know where within it's vicinities is the animated version of the series is based off.

I'd a dicussion with a fellow fan about where the show takes place and the idea of finding these places intrigues me.

Unfortunately I've been to Japan only once therefore I just can't go about in an aimless pilgrimage, but, fortunately with the magic of Google map I can go about on a little virtual tour in the comfort of my armchair. So far these locations are what I was able to tie to the show, see if you can add more to it.


Main gate and building of Tokyo Women's Christian University, founded by Quakers and Presbyterian mission. It's sprawling campus includes a vast wooded area inhabited by, ironically, by Tanuki. 

The Reischauer House, the one time in campus home of one of the University's founder, could have serve as the structural basis for the Lilian Mansion, the student council's office and headquarter.

Now mind you a lot of elements of Lillian Academy is also based on one of Japan's oldest and most exclusive private school, Gakushuin Women's college and Gakushuin girls' junior and senior high school. That school is located at Toshima ward, Tokyo
This is where Japan's princesses study(literally).

Like Princess Mako and her "peti't soeur" Princes Kako, Granddaughters of Emperor Akihito.

Designated as K- station in the light novels, Kichijoji station is where the en bouton went to on their date, during the Valentine's day contest story. Seen in S1(season 1) eps. 12 of the animated series.

The mall that Yumi and Sachiko went for their window-shopping on their half-day date at S1 eps. 13.
(note: it's quite hard getting the same shot when using Google Street View. It's funny how the artist tried to emulate the real stores many-colored sign)

The cinema that's right beside Kochijoji station where Rei and Chisato went to on they're half-day date on S1 eps. 12. Something that Yoshino and Chisato would again imitate on their date the following year in the novel.

Inokashira park zoo, which is a few blocks away from Kichijoji station serves as a meeting place for Tsutako and Minako in their hunt for en bouton's date story.[ S1 eps. 12]. It's also the place where Eriko Torii met Mr. Yamanobe and  also were Yoshino and Chisto , Mami and her petit soeur Hidemi went to on their date at volume 27 of the novel series.

(note: not sure where exactly within the park that the two sat, but I use this one to take into account the Swan boats in the background)


Right across the mall that Yumi and Sachiko went to is Penny Lane shopping street, where they happen to run into a lonely Yoshino at S1 eps. 13. They invited her to have tea.

(note: made corrections on the location of the street)

Not quite sure about this one, a French style restaurant nearby could be the basis for the Cafe that we see in S1 eps. 13. that Yumi, Sachiko and Yoshino went to. There they met Lilian newspaper president Minako and ace photographer Tsutako.

(note: again I could be wrong about this and there might be an actual building like the one in the show, so I'm still checking)

Downtown Kochijoji Dori near K- station and as it appears in the OVA eps. 2, were Yumi is planning along with the rest of the Lilian council "Operation OK for short" in a cafe somewhere. There are some candidates, but I'm still looking for the Cafe that they used.

Disregarding the passage of almost 8 years from it's broadcast. The background artist added extra floors to the right side building but maintains the distinctive window frames.

A short distance from Tokyo Women's Christian University is Seikei University. Founded by Mitsubishi company, The red brick main building could have serve as inspiration for Hanadera boy's academy's main school building, seen during their school festival at the OVA eps 3.

Designated as M- station in the light novel, Mitaka station is were Yumi and company always go through on they're commute to and fro every school day to Lilian academy.

I use a snap shoot from Google map of a platform where I think is where Sei hopelessly waited for Shiori during one Christmas eve (platform 4 & 5 in the novels)

Outside Mitaka station on Christmas. In the novel Sei and her Onee-sama went out thru the south entrance of station, but the background artist for the animated series used a street on the north exit which is located close by the picture above.

Upper level exterior of Mitaka station and a shot seen  at OVA eps. 2 were Yumi unfortunately met Sachiko on her way to school to facilitate her plan "Ok for short".

(note: again, due to limitations, I just can't get a close enough angle shot that mimics the one in the show.)  

The bus waiting shed near Mitaka station that Yumi and Sachiko waited in on their way to school in one hot scorching summer day. OVA eps. 2

The elephant enclosure in Inokashira park zoo, where Eriko Torii spies upon the clueless Mr. Yamanobe as he watches the elephant and dreams of dinosaurs. Seen in S2 eps. 2

Here is a location map were one can see the orientation and proximity of the various places that show has shown.

I hope this would delight fans of the series and bring in sense a better idea about the world these characters inhabited in.

I sure would like get some feed back on what you think about this and on any corrections and additional locations that you may add are welcome to be augment to this one. Please do help me make a better map/picture of the world Marimite.

View Kichijoji Station, Tokyo, Japan in a larger map