Hokkaido Ramen Santouka: Of Rich, Milky Broth and Komi-Tamago Bliss

A ramen place that takes time to perfect its soup base, that is tonkotsu. Mild and pearl colored, this soup takes hours and hours to prepare. A rich and delicate pork broth, kept at an optimal temperature for everyone’s enjoyment. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, one of the popular ramen franchises in Japan opened its first store in Glorietta and is now thrilling foodies and ramen aficionados around Makati.

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This is their signature variant, the Tokusen Toroniku Ramen; oh soothing broth served with slices of choice pork meat, Their toroniku is simmered pork cheeks, so tender and flavorful it was love at first bite.

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The place is nice, modern design accentuated with a few wooden pieces. The place is fairly small and there’s usually a line, but you can always go here during off hours, pre-lunch or dinner time would be a good time. Although to be fair the turn around time for the queue is tolerable.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Menu:  Awase-Aji Ramen, Original Ramen, Specialty Ramen, Rice Bowl, Curry and Rice, Santouka Set Menu (Set Menu 1, Set Menu 2, Set Menu 3), Salad, Pao, Side Dish[1], Side Dish[2], Dessert, Drinks, Mochi Cream

Seeing the menu got us even more excited, although some of the menu items weren’t available as of the moment, the basic stuff was; from the original ramen flavors, their specialty ramen, rice bowls, and sides.

Though the quality of service and the behavior of the staff was really concerning. We placed our orders three times; we had to repeat ourselves to three different servers, only to find out that some of the stuff that we want to get isn’t available, it’s annoying. The servers weren’t really friendly and welcoming, and they get all flustered over simple requests. I understand that they’re at their soft opening but for me the rudeness of the waitresses was just inexcusable.

Tori Karage (P200)
Tori Karage (P200)
Tori Karage (P200)
Tori Karage (P200)

Started with their Tori Karage, flavorful chicken pieces that’s crispy on the outside and soft when you bite into it. Took a bite and I loved the flavor of the meat, then I hit it with some of that japanese mayonnaise and that mild, creamy notes complimented the chicken really well. The juice from the lemon also helped bind those flavors together. I didn’t try the cabbage strips on the side, but my friends really liked it.

Toroniku Pao (P120)
Toroniku Pao (P120)

Pao stuffed with that flavorful choice pork meat that is toroniku (pork cheeks) and is served with hojicha. The meat filling was really flavorful and the sweet sauce really went well with it. The picture doesn’t really give justice to how good it was.

Then we tried some of their Santouka Set Menu items, that’s composed of a choice of their original ramen and a few sides. We got the Ramen and Santouka Style Chirashi Sushi Bowl Set and the Ramen and Salmon Roe Rice Bowl Set first ;).

Small Ramen and Santouka Style Chirashi Sushi Bowl Set (P510)
Small Ramen and Santouka Style Chirashi Sushi Bowl Set (P510)

For the Chirashi Sushi Bowl Set we had  their miso ramen, the set is also served with a salad and chawan-mushi.

Miso Ramen
Miso Ramen

I usually don’t like Miso Ramen as I usually find the flavor lacking, I prefer the more salty ones. But their miso ramen is one worthy exception. They’ve used a mixture of pork broth and some miso paste for this, the pork broth really helps highlight the flavor of the miso. The noodles was also good, though we really took some time for taking pictures, the noodles weren’t soggy, a little bite-y and still had this nice texture to it. Then there’s the char siu that’s kurobuta pork pieces that’s really tender and flavorful and oh the fatty bits with the rich broth was really nice.

Chirashi Sushi Bowl
Chirashi Sushi Bowl

Chirashi Sushi (scattered sushi) is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes, in this case salmon roe, lobster meat, shrimp and egg pieces generously topped over sushi rice. It was really flavorful, there’s a lot going on, different levels of flavor and texture, though there’s more of the roe and egg bits on it.

Small Ramen and Santouka Style Salmon Roe Rice Bowl Set (P620)
Small Ramen and Santouka Style Salmon Roe Rice Bowl Set (P620)

For the Salmon Roe Rice Bowl Set, we got their Shio Ramen.

Shio Ramen
Shio Ramen

The pickled plum is their signature topping for the Shio Ramen, unfortunately my composition for the picture was off, I forgot to include the plum on the frame, sorry for that. 🙁

Anyway shio is their signature ramen, mild and creamy soup that’s seasoned with salt. We really fell in love with the broth, so delicate, creamy, and mild, then you hit it with the char siu bits, melt in your mouth pork fat and a creamy broth, this combination was really heavenly. And then you eat the plum with its light crunchy texture and sour taste, it really goes well with the broth.

Salmon Roe Rice Bowl
Salmon Roe Rice Bowl

Generous salmon roe toppings on a bowl of rice, one bite and this explosion of flavor delighted my palate. This is really flavorful and the roe bits help make a more interesting texture too.

Their Santouka Set items were served with similar sides; some kimchi, salad, and chawan-mushi.

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The kimchi had this nice tinge of spice, the salad had a sesame dressing that I really liked and the veggie bits retained this nice tinge of crunch. The chawan-mushi was alright, good texture and flavor.

Tokusen Toroniku (P370 - small | P430 - medium | P490 - large)
Tokusen Toroniku Ramen (P370 – small | P430 – medium | P490 – large)

I got their Tokusen Toroniku Ramen, this is their signature ramen that’s a bit different because the toppings are served separately. The highlight of this ramen are the Toroniku cha siu pieces that is simmered pork cheek meat. The meat is very rare with only 200-300g per pig, it is served daily but in limited quantity.

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The pork cheeks were so flavorful and very tender, one bite and the meat almost melts in your mouth, the same way a fatty fish sashimi does. These flavorful meat pieces are said to be good with a shoyu broth, as it’ll help the flavor of the pork cheeks stand out.

Every time I eat ramen, I always order for extra komi-tamago 😀

Komi-Tamago (P50)
Komi-Tamago (P50)

Oh that golden yolk bleeding out of the soft boiled egg that’s been marinated for a long time. The melt in your mouth goodness of these sof boiled egg pieces are just heavenly.

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And with the rich tonkotsu-based shoyu broth, I just can’t get enough.

With eating any ramen I start with smelling the ramen, a really appetizing part that excites me to dig in and munch on the hot bowl of ramen in front of me. Then I start with the soup, one spoonful and I try to appreciate it’s flavor, taking a moment to savor it’s mild and creamy flavor. Then the noodles, still bite-y with good texture. And saving the best for last, I hit the last spoonfuls of the soup with the komi-tamago.

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Rich, delicate soup + Melt-in-your mouth soft boiled egg = BLISS!

We decided to skip desserts as the rude servers ruined our mood, I really wanted to try their matcha though 🙁

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VERDICT: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, serves really good ramen, probably one of the best that I’ve tried. I’d definitely come back here for my random ramen cravings, I’d love to try a lot of other stuff from the menu. I just hope all the menu items will be available really soon. The quality of service and the attitude of the staff like I said was a bit concerning, they’re rude and not very welcoming.

VALUE FOR MONEY: Big serving portions that’s good for sharing, and the food is good. Good value for money.

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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Gloritta 4

G/F Glorietta 4, Hotel Dr
Ayala Center, Makati
Facebook
Official Website
(02) 728-1381

 

6 thoughts on “Hokkaido Ramen Santouka: Of Rich, Milky Broth and Komi-Tamago Bliss”

  1. Thank you so much for your comments! I was just wondering if you were able to get the names of the servers so we could inform management and further improve our service. Hope you still enjoyed your meal nonetheless, and to see you again in the near future!

    1. There were 3 different waitresses that served us, all rude and not very welcoming, and they seem to be at each other’s throat, we can hear them argue about stuff. Not good at all.

      Anyway the food was good and I’m definitely coming back for more.

  2. Had the same experiences as well, and that doesn’t bode well. If one server is rude it’s usually just the waitress. If all are rude that usually means that it’s a management problem. Anyway this chain isn’t the same quality as Japan or Singapore that’s for sure, and the broth really pales in comparison to Yushoken. The noodles are definitely not freshly made too. I did like the Toriniku although again it isn’t as tender as it should be.

    1. Hello Tori, I haven’t tried Yushoken but heard it’s good. For me the noodles were okay, it held up fine considering it took us a while to take pictures of the food we got. And yep the toroniku’s good! With a lot of raving recommendations, I’m really excited to try Yushoken 😀

  3. a few friends and i wanted to have a sort of reunion, and we decided to hold it at santouka, since we’d heard such great things about the food. indeed, the food did not disappoint: we sampled a few of their bestselling ramen dishes and side dishes, as well as their shot desserts sampler, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    however, we were having a reunion, and therefore we had to wait for some members of our company who were arriving late. as a result, we had to stay a few hours at what we felt was our reasonably small table. we were in fact worried that we were going to be asked to leave, as it was the weekend and at times, lines of hopeful patrons formed outside the door. we were fully prepared to leave if we were politely asked to do so, but until then, we hoped we could wait until our other friends could get there and enjoy the excellent food along with us.

    suddenly, as we were having dessert and contemplating ordering more, we were handed the bill. the server (didn’t get her name) just dropped the bill at our table mumbling something unintelligibly, and strode off. we found it very rude. we hadn’t even asked for the bill yet, WE HADN’T EVEN FINISHED EATING YET, but it was handed to us unceremoniously.

    it didn’t help that we were dressed casually; it made us feel as if the servers felt we couldn’t pay, so they wanted us out of there as soon as possible.

    another theory was that they just wanted us out of there because we had already stayed 2 hours. so,we called a server over and asked why we were served the bill even if we weren’t done eating, and also if they had a policy against overstaying. she was quite contrite as she told us, quite clearly, that they did not have such a policy, and she was very sorry we had to be served the bill even when we asked for it.

    we were still expected to pay the bill at the counter in spite of this discourtesy. since it was restaurant policy, we did it, but we made it a point to talk to another server and get more answers. this other server told us, also quite clearly, that it was their policy to serve the bill “as soon as the patron was done eating.”

    we had been prepared to just leave and put the whole sorry incident behind us, but she just had to go and say that.

    in retrospect, we really should’ve asked to speak to the manager instead of the servers, but we were too angry and insulted by that time. instead of making a scene, we just left, without leaving a tip. we felt bad about it, because the food was really good and we were looking forward to leaving favorable reviews for the place, and to helping spread the word about it. but with the treatment we got from the staff, i feel generous even giving this place 2 stars, JUST for the quality of the food.

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