Thursday, June 19, 2014

First Bite: Hanamaruken Ramen

Place: Small but not cramped. The place is also beautifully furnished; the decor is both modern and rustic. The music played in the resto is not loud and relaxing.

Food: The restaurant's main fare features ramen and rice toppings. So we ordered a bowl of Chasyu Ramen and a Happiness Rice Bowl. We also had a mug of Iced Green Tea.

The Chasyu Ramen (Php 280): noodles with braised pork belly slices, swimming in tonkotsu (pork bone broth) with shoyu (soy sauce). It's disappointing. The broth is not hearty and flavorful. Instead, it's salty. In fact, the only tasty component is the tender chasyu; the meat is juicy and sweet. The noodles are tad too soft for our liking, but they are not soggy.

The Happiness Rice Bowl (Php 250): rice topped with Hanamaruken's pride: dark, tender, slow-braised pork rib. Is it delicious? Well, it's just O-K. The ribs have too much garlic flavor! The pungency is overpowering the sweetness of the sauce. If it had the right balance, the dish would be a winner. Too bad it doesn't.

Our drink, the Iced Green Tea (Php 80): it's ice-cold matcha, authentic matcha. It's woodsy and nori-like.

Price: Considering food quality and serving size, prices are reasonable.

Service: Waiters are efficient, friendly, and attentive.

Based on our first-visit experience, we wouldn't mind not coming back to this restaurant.

Hanamaruken Ramen is on the 2nd level of TriNoMa. 

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