I have to admit something. I’m half-Japanese but I wasn’t always a fan of ramen. I thought it was glorified noodles and I didn’t understand why they were so expensive. I’ve tried some of the popular ones but couldn’t understand the hype, until I tried the really good ones. One of those is Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.
Ikkoryu is a chain of restaurants established by Yamagoya Ramen, a ramen joint in Fukuoka, Japan that has been around since 1970. It’s known for its Chikuho noodles, or thin straight noodles dipped in tonkotsu soup, a rich and creamy broth made by boiling pork bones with seasonings for several hours. Aside from this, they’re also known for their gyoza and Chashu roast pork.
It’s hard to pick from the many ramen places in Manila but if you do find yourself in one of Ikkoryu’s many branches (and I suggest you do), here are some of the ramen I recommend you get:
Ikkoryu Original Tonkotsu (P330)
You can never go wrong with going with the basic and I enjoyed Ikkoryu’s version. Their Original Tonkotsu is both rich and creamy, and proves that you don’t need a lot of garnishes to get a comforting bowl.
Yuzu Tama Tonkotsu (P380)
The Yuzu Tama Tonkotsu takes its flavor from yuzukosyo, a Japanese paste made from chili peppers, yuzu peel (a citrus fruit), and salt. The taste reminds me of pesto with a little heat, and it’s a unique bowl of ramen.
Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu (P380)
I’m slowly starting to appreciate spicy food and I enjoyed Ikkoryu’s Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu. This bowl takes the Ikkoryu Original Tonkotsu and adds a portion of tobanjan paste, a spicy and salty concoction made from fermented broad beans. This dish is flavorful and for those who can handle something fiery.
Aburi Chashu Tonkotsu (P400)
The Aburi Chashu Tonkotsu is the Ikkoryu Original Tonkotsu with slices of Aburi chashu, or roasted pork belly. The smoky flavor is a great addition to the soup and makes for a complex flavor profile. This has to be my favorite.
Of course, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen also has other dishes and here’s what I love:
Chicken Karaage (P180)
The Chicken Karaage is a no-brainer and is a great side dish. Dip in the Japanese mayo and you’re good to go. This is great for kids, too!
Potato Croquette (P160)
These deep-fried mashed potato balls are extremely addictive and I found myself popping them in my mouth one by one. Creamy and delicious!
The gyoza has no frills and lets the flavor shine through. Probably the best pair to a hot, steaming bowl of ramen.
Hiyashi Chuka (P280)
The Hiyashi Chuka is a salad ramen and it’s as great as it sounds. It looks like a regular salad on the surface but once you push away the lettuce, you’re gifted with a heaping mound of cold noodles. A delicious surprise!
There are plenty of branches all over Manila, including Shangri-La Plaza, Powerplant Mall, Alabang Town Center, Century City Mall, Bonifacio High Street, Estancia Mall, and SM Aura. So if you find yourself craving for some ramen when you’re in these places, check out Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen!