Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has been taking over Metro Manila! With their first branch at Shangri-la Plaza operating for barely over five months, celebrities and high profile personalities have been seen enjoying the authentic ramen that Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has to offer.
Now on their third branch at Rockwell Powerplant, their second at SM Aura, the lines for the true Japanese ramen experience is growing longer. I, with a group of other food bloggers, was there last Friday to have a try of their signature dishes and share with you guys what the hype is all about.
The name Ikkoryu is derived from three words: Ich, which means number one; Kor, the name of the owner’s brother; and Yu, which means style. Put together, Ikkoryu means “Our number one style”. Fukuoka is a place in Kyushu, which is considered to be the Ramen Capital of Japan. The Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has been in business for over forty three years, and has opened branches in Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and finally, here in the Philippines.
What is most special about the interiors is the calligraphy done by renowned Japanese artist Ms. Sensyu Yasuko. PR Director Kenji Komuro explains that the calligraphy written on the walls had one very important message, which is to “Always Smile” so that the business would flourish. The colors of the walls and the restaurant were painted red and black, giving a very Japanese touch to their small space in Rockwell.
We also had the chance to meet the CEO of Y.S. Food and the owner of practically all the Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen restaurants all over Asia, Mr. Masanori Ogata. He says that the recipes and the business has been the brainchild of his father’s father, and has been passed down to him.
Here are three of the twelve ramen that Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has on their menu:
If there is only one dish that you should try at Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, PR Director Kenji-san shares that it has got to be the Ajitama Tonkotsu Ramen. Other than the tender and flavorful slice of Tonkotsu (Pork), the highlight of this dish is the half-boiled egg, the yolk of which is very soft and sweet to taste.
The Black Garlic Ramen is a tonkotsu soup with a mix of special roast garlic oil. This bowl of ramen had a notably strong flavor of both pepper and garlic.
The Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu is another favorite of mine. It isn’t quite as spicy as the Singaporean/Malaysian Laksa, but you can definitely taste the punch of the spices for thirty seconds before its gone. The level of spicyness won’t get you grabbing the nearest glass of water, but it has that strong flavored soup that me want to consume it one gulp after another.
Other than ramen, Ikkoryu Fukuoka’s menu also offered appetizers and bite-sized items to munch on.
The Karaage, which is practically Fried Chicken, is served with cabbage slices on the side. What I enjoyed about the Karaage is that the skin was fried to perfect crisp, yet the meat is so tender to bite. It doesn’t require any dips or sauces to be appreciated, unlike other ordinary fried chicken recipes.
Another of Ikkoryu Fukuoka’s pride is their authentic Japanese gyoza or fried Japanese dumplings. Unlike other gyoza, this one was not swimming in oily, which makes it a healthy dish to munch on. For Php150, it’s worth the price.
And for my most-awaited part of the meal: Dessert! For dessert, we had take-out of a scoop of Sea-salt Caramel Ice cream. It was my first time to try Sea-salt Caramel, and it is now my second favorite ice cream flavor. I couldn’t believe that there is such perfect balance between the sweetness of the caramel and the salty taste of the sea-salt. I’m craving for another scoop now, and I’m researching other dessert bars which offer this flavor!
According to Kenji-san, what makes Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen worth all the hype is the authenticity of their dishes. In three words, Ikkoryu Fukuoka is defined as “Modern Authentic Japanese”. Other than the recipe which has been conceptualized, tried and tested in Japan, many of the ingredients are imported from Japan, such as the soup, the marinated sauce, and the ingredients to make the noodles.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen’s Rockwell branch opened last August 20, 2013, but is now fully operational and ready for the crowds! This authentic Japanese ramen experience will give you a taste of what Japanese ramen truly is, without leaving the comforts of our country.-HANA
Thanks to Aldous Calubad of Aldous Ate The World for the event invite.