Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, another ramen post which I am sure all of you are shaking your heads by now. But before I proceed on this review, some celebratory introduction is well-deserved. By this time, I bet you have grown tired of my ramen posts, and want to see more variety. Don’t worry, there will be more variety. It’s just that ramen is one of my priorities to blog about! A round of applause to the following ramen posts that are very popular to the readers of Candid Cuisine. Thank you very much! You inspire me to write more ramen posts!
Now, on with this legendary ramen king, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. With franchises in Japan, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia, it has now joined the ramen bandwagon here in the Philippines. The restaurant is named after the Haiku poet, Santouka Taneda. Why do you think it is legendary? The ramen chain started in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan back in March 1988, where the owner Hitoshi Hatanaka decided to create the best ramen for his family, after eating a bad ramen experience. They started small, with only Shio Ramen as the focus of their menu. Soon, Santouka’s Ramen traveled around Japan with their signature Toroniku Char Siu pork as the star of their ramen. This Toroniku Char Siu pork is hailed from important parts, where 200-300 grams per pork is only used and daily for a limited quantity only. The broth, that many of us quite enjoy, is actually simmered at the right temperature along with pork bones for more than 20 hours before it adds all those delectable ingredients that we all love. The blend is so exceptional, they have to maintain the same ritual across all franchises around the world.
When I first ate here at Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, the place was quite full and I was sixth in line. This allowed me to study their menu well, and understood that their Santouka Set Menu was the most practical item in their menu. But the line was quickly attended to and I was able to get a table that’s quite cramp. This was better though than the long wooden table that was near to the kitchen, where chairs didn’t have backrests. On another note, I didn’t feel the Japanese aspect of the restaurant, even though there were a lot of Japanese inspired ornaments hanging on the ceiling. The interiors didn’t spell out legendary for me.
Shoyu Ramen Set by Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
My order came quick, and I knew that the kitchen was very well-prepared. I ordered a Santouka Set, where I chose an upgraded Shoyu (soy sauce flavor) ramen, with chicken gyoza, gohan and even a cup of tea! (which I love, by the way). There’s also a side salad, Chawan Mushi and miso soup that is served. It costs only P430 but since I upgraded mine to a medium sized bowl, I added P50 more. I opted the Shoyu over Shio, because Shio ramen is saltier, and with Shoyu, I feel like the Char Siu pork’s taste is emphasized. This is also a tad expensive over the Miso-Ten’s Tonkotsu ramen set that costs only P400.
The temperature of the soup is not too hot. I think they wanted the customers to sip the soup from the bowl, much like what the Japanese culture teaches us. I was seated beside two Japanese men, by the way. I made sure I was slurping my soup.
As a side order, I ordered their Ebi Furai. It tastes delicious and crunchy. I wish, though, they didn’t serve this with a tartar sauce.
Ebi Furai by Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
I also ordered Tori Karaage. The order only has three pieces of small chicken, which isn’t that good. But the chicken skin was crunchy.
I’d definitely return to this restaurant, and try out the Kara Miso Ramen, which is spicier.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.1 / 5)|