There are two Japanese food items that have been making waves here in the Philippines — tonkatsu and ramen. And then I find a place that offers both — Tampopo in Greenhills! Like the international bakery chain Eric Kayser, Tampopo was brought to the Philippines by Chris Tiu and company.
Tampopo, a Japanese-owned ramen and tonkatsu franchise from Singapore (yes, Singapore!) opened in Manila sometime last December. It has been touted as Singapore’s #1 ramen and recognized as one of Singapore’s top restaurants.
As usual, our cook took the day off and so we had to go out for lunch last Sunday. Tampopo in Promenade has an adjoining area dedicated to Red Mango, a Korean yogurt chain which Chris Tiu also franchised. You can order desserts from Red Mango after a meal at Tampopo.
I wonder how Tampopo would fare against the other ramen and tonkatsu places…
I ordered a Deluxe Hakodate Ramen (P420, pictured above). According to the menu this uses imported Hokkaido ramen. The server told me that the milky white broth is a mix of chicken and seafood. It’s supposed to be one of the bestsellers too. This ramen had slices of pork, seaweed, bamboo shoots, a pat of butter, corn kernels, tiny shrimps, and a ramen egg (aji tamago).
The milky broth was quite bland despite the fact that I mixed in the butter thoroughly. The ramen egg was tasty and had a runny golden yolk. This is one of the better aji tamago I’ve tried although Ikkoryu‘s is still the best for now. The noodles were firm yet chewy, quite heavy in the tummy actually. The pork slices were kind of dry and the taste reminded me of Masuki‘s asado. I was unable to finish the entire bowl. Next time I think I should split an order of ramen with someone.
Daughter ordered Children’s Set A – Ebi Fry and Tonkatsu (P240, pictured above). Rice is shaped into two pieces of onigiri and served with potato salad, hard-boiled egg, shredded lettuce, cucumber slices, a big piece of deep fried shrimp, and a few slices of tonkatsu (pork cutlet). There’s also Yakult and tartar sauce on the side. It’s pretty hefty for a child and the price is very reasonable.
Son ordered Special Premium Katsu Don (P350, pictured below) and was given a small dish of sesame seeds to grind.
Not bad for P350, right? You get a big bowl of rice topped with yummy tonkatsu, egg, and shredded lettuce, plus a bowl of miso soup, some pickles, and fresh fruit slices for dessert. It’s a complete meal and son wolfed it down immediately after it was set in front of him.
We also ordered Sui Gyoza (P150 for 6 pcs). It’s supposed to be spicy as it’s shown to be drenched in a mix of chili oil and gyoza sauce in the menu but we asked for the sauces to be served on the side. I skipped the chili oil and just ate it by dipping a piece in gyoza sauce. Chewy wrapper, meaty filling, and more importantly not greasy since it was steamed. Nice.
Hubby had Hokkaido Seaweed Soba with Special Sauce (P240, pictured above) because he wanted something light and non greasy. He was happy with it, I forgot to have a taste lol so I can’t describe it.
He opted for an ala carte order of Pork Loin Yanagawa Premium (P220, pictured above) to go with his cold noodles. It’s pretty big for one person so I had a couple of pieces. It was surprisingly good — the pork was tender and I liked how they cooked it in egg and sweet-savory miso. I’d say the tonkatsu is about Yabu-level in terms of taste and price.
I’ve actually heard a lot of negative feedback about Tampopo prior to our visit so I didn’t have high expectations despite the claim of being one of Singapore’s top restaurants. Our lunch experience was pretty average. The ramen wasn’t exceptional but in general everything was okay. Service was good and the place was nice and cool despite the sweltering summer heat outside. I found the prices to be reasonable too. I would probably go back if just to try a different bowl of ramen.
G/F Promenade 3
Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City
Like this post? Subscribe to this blog by clicking HERE.
Let’s stay connected: