Ramen houses have been mushrooming all over the metro as of late, but this particular dish has been around for decades. You may agree or disagree with me, but I think Japan’s national dish has taken over some of our beloved dishes in terms of attention and trend.
Last month, I was able to experience Hanamaruken Ramen when a good friend invited us over to try it out.Originating in Osaka, Japan, Hanamaruken specializes in meat. They are known for their Shoyu (soy sauce based) Tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen topped with a dark, tender and slow-braised pork rib which they fondly call “Happiness“.
I am no ramen expert, but these are the guidelines I keep in mind when eating my ramen.
My DO’s and DON’Ts:
1) Once served, eat your ramen right away. Don’t wait for it to cool. You don’t want to eat soggy overcooked noodles.
2) Enjoy the soup first before the noodles. Either you finish the entire serving of soup or halfway. This is to fully taste all the flavors before it gets mixed with the noodles while it’s still hot.
*At Hanamaruken Ramen, you can order extra soup at Php150.00.
3) Get a little bit of the dish’s topping and savor it. Bite a bit then follow it up with the noodles. Don’t be shy to slurp! Slurping isn’t bad. In fact, ramen sometimes calls for a little bit of slurping every now and then.
4) According to ramen experts, eating time should only take 10 minutes.
Pot Belly Ramen (Php380.00)The Pot Belly Ramen was so tender the meat was literally falling apart and can be sliced easily using your chopsticks. Very flavorful broth, too. It had all the elements that make up a good ramen: soup, noodles, spices and toppings. It had the right amount of scallions and the noodles were perfectly cooked. Suffice to say, it was absolutely wonderful!
I will tell you all about the Signature Happiness Ramen in a bit. So, read on.
I rarely go to Trinoma because of the traffic and distance. So if I must go, I should have a damn good reason to do so and it must be worth my time and petrol. So, going back to Trinoma in just a span of a month just to eat ramen speaks tons as to how good the food in this establishment is. This time around, we brought our kids along. They are ramen lovers more than I am, actually! Everyone ordered the Signature Happiness Ramen except for my son who loves spicy dishes. He ordered the Spicy Tobanjan Ramen instead.
Their Gyoza (Php150.00) is already available.Personally, all Gyozas taste the same. It has ground pork, ginger, green onions and whatnot. But what makes this Gyoza different from the others is that it has 2 different dips: Gyoza and Chili sauces. Dip one end of your piece in the Gyoza sauce then the other end in the chili sauce for that flavorful zing. The chili pleasantly hits you slowly. Wonderful flavor combo!
Finally, I was able to try the Signature Happiness Ramen (Php480.00)!The slow cooked pork rib was really soft and the tendon was so tender. The egg yolk of their ajitamago was firm and creamy. The nori sheet adds a flavorful character, not to mention a subtle delightful aroma. Ramen won’t be complete without sliced scallions to add more flavor, of course. For a dish with a variety of ingredients, the Signature Happiness Ramen had flavors that didn’t overpower one another.
I also tried a little of my son’s Spicy Tobanjan Ramen (Php300.00).I can handle a good amount of spice but the Spicy Tobanjan Ramen has one incredibly big kick! I suggest that you don’t go slow when eating this dish especially if your tolerance level for spicy food isn’t too high. Finish it right away. It was crazy delicious!
I checked out Hanamaruken Ramen’s Facebook page and saw the pictures of their branch in Osaka. Hanamaruken in Trinoma amusingly differs from the looks of their establishment in Osaka in terms of space and interior. Hanamaruken Ramen in Trinoma is well-lit, spacious and can accommodate about 40 persons. It is beautifully interior designed as well to set the ambiance.
One tip… Hanamaruken Ramen gets really packed with diners especially on weekends. Go there early to get a spot or better yet, call to make a reservation.
Oh, and by the way… don’t be foolish and say, “It’s just another ramen house”, without even trying what Hanamaruken Ramen has to offer. You’ll be surprised to discover how something like age-old ramen can be remade into something you can fall in love with all over again.