CHECK IT OUT: Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen at the East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong
Say "Konnichiwa!" to the newest ramen place in town
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
Level 5, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing
Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA
Tel. No. 477-8333
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Temporary schedule applies while the East Wing is not yet fully open and is subject to change without prior notice.)
(SPOT.ph) It wasn't too long ago when most people in Manila thought ramen was just ramen, a Japanese noodle soup with meat or vegetables. Fast forward to 2013, and anyone who frequents at least one of the city's ubiquitous malls can claim an ever-expanding knowledge of the dish and its many incarnations-from shio to shoyu to miso. With the opening of Ikkoryu at Shangri-La Plaza's brand new East Wing, ramen from the Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka takes the spotlight.
Shangri-La Plaza’s new East Wing
"Ikkoryu has been serving ramen in Japan for 44 years," says Kenji Komuro, who is in Manila to oversee the opening of the first franchise in the country. They serve Chikuho noodles with tonkotsu soup, distinguishable by its strong pork base. The broth is made by boiling pork bones for hours, resulting in a rich, creamy soup.
Black Garlic Tonkotsu
Among their recommendations: the Ajitama Tonkotsu (P380), which has chashu, green onion, bamboo shoots, kikurage, and noodles that can be ordered soft, firm, or normal. The pork is perfectly tender, the bamboo shoots adding crunchy texture. Half-boiled eggs give the dish a subtly sweet creaminess on top of the richness of the soup. The Black Garlic Tonkotsu (P380) is almost overwhelmingly fragrant but surprisingly doesn't overpower the taste buds despite its strong flavor.
Although it comes as a surprise when served-we expected maki of the sushi variety-the Chashu Maki (P230) is a good pick for a side order, offering a vegetable-packed break from the ramen. Pork strips are plated with bean sprouts and julienned cabbage, giving you the option to construct your own roll or eat the vegetables separately. Finally, the Gyoza (P150 for six pieces) is a must-try, with its delicate wrapper boasting a delicious crunch thanks to pan-frying. The filling is finely ground pork interspersed with freshness from diced shallots.
While Ikkoryu is among the first few to open in Shangri-La's cavernous East Wing, the restaurant is hard to miss thanks to its whimsical interiors: the simple but charming vertical wooden slats that encompass the entire space are decorated with the work of Sensyu Yasuko, a contemporary Japanese artist known for her elegant calligraphy. Manila is quickly becoming home to plenty of restaurants that serve good food in beautifully designed spaces, and from the looks of it, Ikkoryu will fit right in.