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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – The Mythic Ramen Hits Manila
When in Manila and the ramen bug bites you, there is a new place in the city that you can dive into for a hearty bowl of soup and noodles, it’s the legendary Hokkaido Ramen Santouka.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Glorietta 4, Makati
Falling in love with the Santouka store in Vancouver, Mr. Garry and his family decided to bring the world renowned brand to the Philippines. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka originally started in Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido (northern part of Japan) in 1988 and was named from the famous Japanese poet, Santōka Taneda. With the ramen craze exploding from Japan to other parts of the world, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka spread across Asia and even the US almost instantaneously. The response to Santouka stores was really good, with long lines of consumers waiting for a warm bowl of ramen seen outside shops even before opening time.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka officially opened its doors in the Philippines last February 21, 2013.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka exudes a Japanese ramen house vibe and the appearance of every Santouka restaurant is the same though not completely identical. The idea is to provide the same feel to complement the same taste that you can get with every bowl of ramen.
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Glorietta has two large rooms that you can book in advance for a certain consumable cost. VIP A is a room that can cater for 6 to 8 people with a minimum consumable charge of PhP 3,000 (exclusive of service charge). VIP B is for 8 to 10 people with a minimum consumable charge of PhP 4,000 (exclusive of service charge).
So if you are going out with a group and you want a little privacy, it is recommended that you book any of the two. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Glorietta sits around 60-70 people. It may be quite small but it is said to be one of the biggest in the Hokkaido Santouka Ramen chain of stores. Furthermore, it is spacious enough in comparison to the ramen houses where I have been in Japan, which were really tight. But with good ramen, I bet you will not mind.
What makes Hokkaido Ramen Santouka different is that it is one of the few ramen places where you can get a bowl of Shio Ramen. Shio is a simple soup base flavored with salt only. The ramen turf is widely dominated by Shoyu (soy sauce) and Miso (soybean paste), but if you want something authentic, simple, yet flavorful, a bowl of Shio ramen can do the trick. However, it is a pretty tricky flavor to work with and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka was able to master it thus considering it as a flagship ramen.