Thursday, December 12, 2013

Into the Traditional Ramen Culture at Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier ♪♪♪♪

Bonifacio Global City is steadily garnering a reputation as a mecca of good food, thanks in part to the vast array of restaurant franchises in the area. Foodies like myself, consider this a glorious development to whet one's appetite and satisfy a plethora of cravings. And if you find yourself yearning for authentic Japanese Ramen in the area, I can think of nothing better than Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.

Ikkoryu is a part of the Yamagoya Ramen Family which boasts of over a hundred restos in Japan, including their hometown of Fukuoka, Tokyo and Osaka, among others. Worldwide, Ikkoryu Ramen has over 150 restos in Taiwan, Thailand, China and most recently, the Philippines.

At its SM Aura Premier branch, for instance, I was impressed by Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen's attention to detail as depicted in its exotic wood plank walls behind an immense glass panel window.

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

More wood planks were found inside which somehow made the traditional welcome greeting of Irrashaimase twice as loud. Smiling Smiley Face  After the initial shock, however, my eyes became fixated on this covelike seating area for its creativity and classy vibe.

Wood Planks provide a more intimate setting @ 
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

 An even more stunning set of wood planks are found inside
@ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

Up close, the wood planks had something written on them which according to Mr. Kenji Komuro, Public Relations Director of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Philippines, was the opening sentence of Hōjōki, a popular essay in Japanese Literature written by Kamo no Chomei during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Known as Account of Hut or The Ten Foot Square Hut  in English, the short work talks about the many disasters faced by the people of  Kyoto at the time.
Primarily considered as a form of Zuihitsu  because of its adherence to the concept of loosely connected personal essays and fragmented ideas relating to the author's surroundings, in this case Chomei's, the writings on these wood planks, actually mean this:

"The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before. The foam that floats on stagnant pools, now vanishing, now forming, never stays the same for long. So, too, it is with people and dwellings of the world." (Translated by Chambers)

Impressive Calligraphy @ 
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

Renowned Japanese artist Ms. Sensyu Yasuko traveled here to the Philippines just so, she can do the calligraphy on each of the wood planks displayed at all Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen shops.

Renowned Calligrapher Sensyu Yasuko at work

I've always been fascinated by the art and science of Japanese Calligraphy ever since I attended a calligraphy class in Tokyo many years ago. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life, as I got a taste of Japanese culture through a seemingly simple partnership of a brush and an ink.

Got so self-conscious when our Japanese Team Leaders started looking at my work! 

Aside from the shop's calligraphy, I can't help but smile when I saw this section designed for solo diners as it exuded that traditional ambiance distinct in Japanese Ramen Houses from years ago.

Ramen Station for clients-on-the-go
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen specializes in Tonkotsu-based broth  made out of pork bones, fat and collagen boiled over low heat for more than 12 hours. To provide structure to the milky white broth are Chikuhou noodles known for their thinness and chewier nature.

A Five-Fold Approach to Fully Enjoy Ramen @
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen 

Assorted Condiments @ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen: 
Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil, 
& Blackish Aromatic Oil from sesame seeds or charred, crushed garlic 

Just last Saturday, I had the privilege of joining a group of bloggers to try out Ikkoryu's trademark ramen. Thanks Ms. Riza M. for the invite!

Left to Right: Mr. Kenji Komuro (PR Director of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen); Moi;
Mamu Lariza Garcia of Mom's World of Arts & Happiness;

Please allow me to share with you some of the different dishes we had that afternoon. 

Ajitama Tonkotsu (Php 380).

An undeniable bestseller for its milky broth infused with firm Chikuhou noodles, thick-slices of Chasyu (roasted pork), bamboo shoots, black fungus mushroom, a melt-in-your-mouth Aji-Tamago (soft-boiled egg) topped with spring onions and served with nori (dried seaweed).

I found this tonkotsu type flavorful, a little bit salty but certainly without the zing which made me like it even more. Although the Chasyu  wasn't as tasty as the one I had at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, I think that Ikkoryu's version worked well with its already savory Tonkotsu and very chewy Chikuhou noodles.  A definite must-try!!!

Ajitama Tonkotsu @ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen 

Mr. Kenji Komuro ( PR Director of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen)
serving us himself. Talk about customer service! 

Food Tasting @
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

Rediscovering the foodie in me!

Yuzu-Tama Tonkotsu (Php 380).

What set this tonkotsu-type from the first, was the presence of yuzukosyo known for its disarmingly zesty nature. If I were to rate this particular Tonkotsu's pungency level with 5 as the highest, I'll definitely give it a 4.5.

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

It was really that spicy; but, still undeniably delish and appetizing. Best enjoyed with a dash of sesame seeds to tone down the ramen's heat level.

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen SM Aura Premier

Special Vegetable Paste Tonkotsu (Php 380).

In between sips of Barley Tea in order to neutralize the palate, I was given a serving of our third type of tonkotsu ramen embellished with an expert fusion of vegetable paste and aromatic oil. The broth was tasty, exhibited a deep pepper flavor and a bit oilier than the first two which I think was really inevitable, considering this particular tonkotsu's primary ingredients.  

Special Vegetable Paste Tonkotsu @ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu (Php 380).

Despite a generous serving of zesty tobanjan paste, the resulting broth was not at all spicy but amazingly flavorful and deeply satisfying. And when the pickled ginger was added per advice of the PR director, the soup even had a more tangy edge which made it a notch more appealing. A first-rate tonkotsu in my book!  

Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu @ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Gyoza (Php 150).

No Japanese-style meal will be complete without gyoza, a popular dish originally of Chinese descent; but, has become strongly associated with Japanese food for the longest time. Made up of pork, cabbage, green onions, sake, sesame oil, among others, wrapped in a special type of dough, gyoza is first steamed and then grilled, according to Mr. Komuro.

Ikkoryu's gyoza was sooo good! The dough's crispness worked well with the filling's flavorful nature. I think that Shinjuku Ramen's trademark gyoza considered by many to be the best in town, has found a rival in Ikkoryu's.

Gyoza @ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen 

Karaage (Php 180).

I've never tried Japanese-style fried chicken before or if I had, maybe it wasn't that impressive enough to leave a mark in my memory. I guess the best way to define Ikkoryu's Karaage is to compare it to other fried chicken dishes in town. Ikkoryu's was almost as crisp as Bonchon's minus the sweetness and almost as flavorful as Max's trademark chicken. What's quite remarkable was that even though I ate the chicken almost 15 minutes after it was served, the chicken was still notably crisp and the meat, still juicy. Even without the slaw and mayo, I still quite enjoyed my fried chicken.

Karaage @ Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Philippines
My Rating:
♪♪♪♪ Marvelous! Highly recommended. 

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Philippines


Level 2, SM Aura Premier
26th Street corner McKinley Parkway
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Phone No: 478-8333

Level 5, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing
Shaw Boulevard cor EDSA, Mandaluyong City
Phone No: 477-8333

P1 Concourse Level, Powerplant Mall
Rockwell Center, Makati City
Phone No: 897-8088


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