Thursday, August 29, 2019

First Bite: Hakata Ton-ichi

Ramen never fails to brighten up the gloomiest day. Just thinking about slurping tonkotsu broth and munching on thin noodles topped with chasiu is enough to motivate me to get out of bed and head to the nearest ramen joint. And last weekend was the perfect day to check out the newest ramen shop in town--Hakata Ton-ichi. 

Hello, Hakata Ton-ichi
Bright and fresh out of a manga book, this is what I felt when I stepped inside Hakata Ton-ichi. Neon signs, wooden furniture and colorful graphics ornate this ramen shop's massive space at SM North Edsa's newest wing.
It may be new in town but it instantly gained a following with its pocket-friendly ramen and set menu. With its ramen bowls starting at PHP180 and bang for the buck rice bowls at PHP190, this is a great option for students, yuppies and foodies who eat out on a budget.
I was quite overwhelmed that Hakata Ton-ichi offers more than just ramen and rice bowls. It also has curry, maki rolls, karaage and salad. The glutton in me wanted to try it all but I know that I'll just end up over ordering. Thankfully there's Hakata King Set (PHP500). 
The Hakata King Set includes your choice of ramen (Ton-ichi, Red, Black or Miso-ichi), side dish (gyoza or chicken karaage), fried rice, salad or sushi roll, fruits and iced tea. I got Ton-ichi which is the restaurant's signature and bestselling ramen, chicken karaage and potato salad as highly recommended by M. 
Service was pretty fast and we got our orders within 15 minutes. The staff was also friendly and helped me get those gram-worthy shots. 
My bowl of Ton-ichi was surprisingly good. I read a few reviews saying that this one is quite mediocre so I wasn't expecting much from it. After all, a bowl only costs PHP180. But its mild broth was something I could finish in one sitting. I usually have trouble finishing broth as I always find it too cloying. But this one was well balanced. The charsiu was tender though a bit too thin for that extra bite you'd want with your noodles. The noodles were thin and firm, just the way I like it. Tamago was also cooked well. 
The small bowl of Karaage and fried rice can serve as another meal! I was already full from my bowl of ramen that I could barely finish this. I do hope though that the karaage was less oily to complement the ramen. I had to use tissue to get rid of excess oil before digging in. 
I was excited to try the potato salad after it was hyped by M but it tasted bland. Even M was disappointed and mentioned that it was so different from the one she had from Hakata Ton-ichi's Makati branch which was a lot creamier. I hope that they get this fixed. 
The menu said mixed fruits but I only got a few tidbits of pineapple which I think came straight out of a can. It would have been more enticing if it was watermelon. 
The iced tea too was a bit watered-down but something those sensitive tolerance to sweet drinks would like. 
Hakata Ton-ichi may be a hit and miss on my first visit but I wouldn't mind going back to try its other ramen flavors and curry which I got a tease from M's plate.

Hakata Ton-ichi is located at 2nd Floor, North Towers, SM City North Edsa, Bago Bantay, Quezon City.

Hakata Ton-Ichi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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