Where to eat ramen in Alabang: Hanamaruken Ramen and Ramen Yushoken

Thursday, October 30, 2014

When you're in Alabang, ramen options should not be a problem. In Alabang Town Center alone, you have the option to dine in Kenji Tei, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, John and Yoko, Tempura, Hanamaruken Ramen and if you like a budget ramen (with budget taste), go to Tokyo Tokyo. In Molito, you can dine in Omakase and Ramen Yushoken.

With the ramen craze, two restaurants that specialize in ramen have opened in Alabang: Ramen Yushoken, located in Molito and Hanamaruken Ramen, located in the 2nd floor of the new ATC wing.

Ramen Yushoken

Sitting on the bar will allow you a view of the busy kitchen.
You probably have read the story of Ramen Yushoken, which roughly translates to 'Champion House.' There's good reason why it's called a champion, since the 'son' of Ramen God Yamigishi Kazuo, Koji Tashiro, helped out in putting up Ramen Yushoken. Yamigishi invented the dipping noodles or tsukemen, which is included in the menu of this restaurant.

Shio ramen, P320

I have been fortunate to have eaten in this ramen place twice already and both instances, I ordered the ramen with the tonkotsu or pork bone broth, shio ramen. Each bowl has broth clean of impurities that shows some of the oil from the pork. Each spoonfool of broth is thick and flavorful. The mushrooms give that additional crunch together with the taste and texture of sesame seeds in the broth. You can see the oil on the top of the broth though, which gives your lips a sticky feeling afterwards.

Shoyu ramen, P350

The serving of the chashu pork or marinated braised pork belly provided is generous as it almost seemed like a half of a porkchop. The noodles were curly but not the instant noodles quality as they are smooth and chewy.

Yushoken is cited as one of the top ramen places in Manila and for good reason. It just tastes so good. When I visited the place in one weekday afternoon, the place was soon packed as it nears night. On my second visit, it was a weekend so we made sure we went there as early as 11 am. Past 11am, there was a queue of waiting customers anticipating their turn to dine in the tables. So if you're planning to dine in Yushoken, make sure to go there early especially if it's on a weekend!

Address: Molito, Madrigal Avenue, Muntinlupa City
Note: No take out and no sharing of ramen bowls

Hanamaruken Ramen

Before, Ramen X occupied the space that Hanamaruken Ramen is currently located at. Ramen X was more about Japanese pop culture rather than concentrating on the culinary aspect of ramen. After Ramen X closed, it took quite a while before Hanamaruken Ramen was opened to the public.

Dining in Hanamaruken Ramen was not planned as we did not know it was already opened. Located in the second floor of Alabang Town Center's new wing, it is the only one that sells food among the other stores in the floor that are into retail.

Hanamaruken Ramen has 40 branches all over Osaka and everyday, Japanese people religiously queue just to get their signature bowls of hot ramen. The ramen house has its first branch in Trinoma and its second in Alabang Town Center.

Hanamaruken Ramen boasts of its signature bowl, Happiness Ramen, which costs P480. Naturally, we did not pick this dish since it's too pricey. The name of the ramen is fitting as it has a slab of slow-cooked pork rib that crosses the bowl from end to end.

It seems a bit bare...

The restaurant is just in its soft opening, which may explain why the design of the interior is a bit bare. The walls were gray and there were hanging blue metal poles that looked like a number of people can dangle there. The acoustics also was pretty bad. When people talk, voices echo through the room.

Curry Tan Tan Mien, P320

But what's important is the food. We ordered a Curry Tan Tan Mien and Salary Man Ramen, which has the basic shoyu-based tonkotsu. The Curry Tan Tan Mien, on the other hand, is not too spicy and won't burn your tongue. The curry is flavorful that you'll enjoy every spoonful.

Salary man ramen, P280

Meanwhile, the Salary Man Ramen seems a bit bland. There's something lacking, even though collagen was added on the top of the bowl. The broth was a bit thin, compared to Ramen Yushoken's. The thin beef slices on top of the bowl were not seasoned and still had that weird plastic-like taste. It was not enjoyable but for a P320 bowl of ramen, it will do.


We also ordered a plate of gyoza, which surprised us. At P150, you get eight pieces of gyoza, wherein the sides are crisp but the edges are a bit burned. We did not complain, though. At its price, it's worth it.

Gyoza, P150

They also serve complimentary hot tea and service water without asking for it.

Although our experience with the Salary Man Ramen is off, we will surely come back for the curry tan tan mien.

Address: Trinoma and Alabang Town Center
Instagram: http://instagram.com/hanamaruken_ph

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