As most of you know, I’ve been TRYING my very best to be a good eater these days. I’ve been eating healthier ever since I got back from our Euro trip so my weekends are really sacred for me because I reserve weekends for my indulgences. I try to be mindful of what I eat during the week, making sure everything I eat from Monday-Friday is packed with nutrients and that my body is getting a lot of proper nourishment–then on Saturdays/Sundays it’s back to lamon mode, just eating for the sake of eating. Because of this, I promised myself that my lamons better be worth it. Yung talagang KAIN na MASARAP! Worth every calorie, properly prepared with the best ingredients, I’m talking about food that will send you straight to heaven–that’s how I want to eat during the weekend 🙂 Of course this “lamon on the weekend mode” also extends to when I’m abroad on holiday (because eating makes up 75% of the fun of traveling!). Hahaha!!! Ang daming exceptions, noh?!? Who am I kidding!? Anyway, it’s been working for me so far and it also allows me to really be more picky when it comes to selecting the restaurants we dine in over the weekends. Not only for health reasons, it’s also a financial win—because we won’t just spend our hard earned money on so-so food. Because we are more purposeful about our resto selections, our weekend splurges are better justified.
Last week, my friends and I were invited by the owners of Hokkaido Santouka Ramen in Glorietta through my dear friend Vannah Santiago. To be honest though, he first time I heard about Hokkaido Santouka Ramen, I must admit I had that “Oh it’s just one of those ramen joints again”. With Ramen houses sprouting left and right, it’s easy to just dismiss it as another one of “those”. But then our dear friends, Joseph and Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, were raving and raving about this ramen joint that it piqued my interest and suddenly found it’s way on my food radar. So I booked it on a Saturday (to fall on my cheat day! Hahaha!) and was really looking forward to it all week. Our reservation was actually set at 630PM but because Patrick and I had RAMEN all over our heads, we went to Glorietta 30 minutes earlier. We just wanted our Santouka fix, ASAP!
I love the story behind Hokkaido Santouka Ramen. “One day, after watching Tampopo—a hit Japanese comedy, that featured, about a quirky ramen establishment—SANTOUKA’s founder, Hitoshi Hatanaka and his family stopped at a ramen shop for a quick meal. Unsatisfied with the taste of the shop’s ramen, Hatanaka declared that the next time he would be the one making ramen for his family. This simple proclamation marked the beginning of the now-legendary flavor of RAMEN SANTOUKA.
Using the same recipe that won over his family, Hatanaka decided to open his own ramen shop in March 1988, in Asahikawa, located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. The shop began modestly, with only 9 seats and one item on the menu—Shio Ramen (salt flavor),initially, the shop was just another ramen shop in a town famous for its tasty ramen, but once, the legendary taste of SANTOUKA was sampled, more and more hungry patrons soon followed.” -From the Santouka website
Hmmmm…what should we order??? The set meals were all so tempting!!! I ended up getting the Ebu Fry set with Shio Ramen. Patrick got the best-selling Fried Chicken set with his Kara Miso Ramen for a bit of spiciness 🙂
ALL THIS GLORIOUS FOOD!!!!! Me:”Guys don’t touch the food yet! I need to take a few more photos!!!!” Everyone: “Awwwww maaaaaannnnn!!!” Oh, such is the life of the annoying blogger. Hahahaha!
The happy crew all set to devour the food.
Wala ng usap-usap, kain lang!!!! Ang sarap! It was everything I imagined it to be and more!
The little girls loved the food so much they kept asking for seconds, thirds, nth rounds!!! This family friendly resto even provides special bowls for little tots so they can eat their ramen with a bit more fun. Audrey loved her pink bowl and pink utensils!
A closer view of the food we feasted on! The SHIO Ramen was AMAZING. I love Ramen and I’m pretty easy to please but WOW, this is hands down the best one in Manila. The salt only Ramen was a definite stand out! I highly recommend getting their set meals 🙂 Their Ebi Fry was equally satisfying—not overly breaded and the shrimp was tender and cooked to perfection. Masarap din yung Fried Chicken, I can imagine this would be a hit for the kiddies. Marge, RG, and Cecil ordered the Salmon and were super happy with their sets too!
Natalie enjoying her noodles! This one’s such a silly little human, I tell you.
This barkada loves food so the best reward—BUNDAT after our meal!!! We were sooooo busog and satisfied with our dinner, we could barely move after! Thank God they served us hot tea afterwards, it definitely helped us digest the food properly. Hayy, how I wish I had two tummies so I could eat more, more, more!
Happy Ramen Customers 🙂
From our Santouka feast, we took three steps to MOCHICREAM CAFE for some coffee and dessert. I loved that these two are connected to each other—it almost feels like you’re taking a little trip to Japan (but still in Glorietta!). I love MOCHI! Of course, by this I mean the authentic Japanese version of course. Not to sound snooty (okay, it will–sorry!) but because I’ve tasted MOCHI in Tokyo and Osaka in the past, I’ve grown quite discriminating of MOCHI copycats. Some MOCHI balls are either too thick and paste-y while some just feel like a ball of gaw-gaw. I’m happy to report that MOCHI CREAM has the perfect consistency of Mochi! Just the right amount of oozy gooey-ness with sweet Japanese flavors. I’m so glad we finally can enjoy REAL MOCHI in Manila!!!! If you must order one, I highly recommend the GREEN TEA with MARSHMALLOW Mochi! Kagulo sa sarap! I could eat a whole box of this for breakfast. lunch and dinner—and that’s not even an exaggeration. Hahaha!
But what won us all over was their MATCHA GREEN TEA–which is basically in everything! They have Matcha Latte, Matcha Float, Matcha Ice Cream. This is a Matcha Lovers dream place. Often times people get intimidated by Matcha Green Tea flavors because if not prepared properly it can taste a bit too earthy and leafy! Hehehe! Believe me, I’ve had bad encounters in the past. But the MATCHA GREEN TEA in Mochi Cream is the real deal. It’s smooth, subtle and creamy—just how Matcha should be!
Another surprise hit was their Japanese style FRENCH TOAST with MATCHA ICE CREAM. It was fluffy and sweet (but not too sweet! Just right!) and the kids really loved this 🙂 This is a great alternative if you’re feeling a bit mochi’d out. They also have an assortment of pastries, cakes and freshly baked breads that you can take away.
Thank you again so much MOCHI CREAM Philippines for the sweet treat!!! We will be back for sure 🙂 You can count on it! Cecil and I were whats-apping each other last night about our wonderful Mochi fest last Saturday. I even joked that my future baby will come out looking like Shrek kasi paglilihian ko siya sa Green Tea Mochi! Hahahaha!!! But seriously, we were really in Mochi heaven so thank you!! 🙂
Both MOCHICREAM CAFE and HOKKAIDO SANTOUKA RAMEN are located in the ground floor of Glorietta 4. It’s just across SM Makati and should be very easy to find 🙂 For big groups though, I suggest calling in advance to reserve a private room in Santouka as it does get packed easily. Just click here and here for more details about Santouka Ramen and Mochicream locations and contact details 🙂