Words by: Karl Batungbacal, Photos by: Kitkat Tan
Filipinos have a well-documented love affair with good, hot bowls of ramen. However, not all bowls of ramen are created equal. Tongara Ramen in Marikina is one particular place where we were able to taste different ramen bowls and sides.
Opened last April 7, 2018, the Marikina branch is the very first in the Metro and second in the country, the first being in Cebu.
The broth itself was created by Chef Makato who opened the first store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. “What makes it different from other ramen places is that its broth is a mix of pork and chicken stock,” shares store co-owner Vinch Cuevas. He continues to elaborate on the broth’s uniqueness by stating that “it allows for a unique flavor profile that can’t be found elsewhere. The chicken makes all the difference because it lessens the oil in the broth while maximizing the flavor.”
Their bestseller, the Tongara Ramen (P390), is an experience all in itself. With a blend of pork and chicken, it is a flavorful bowl masterfully made to take full advantage of the tongue’s tastebuds. Complemented with two pieces of chashu and a soft-boiled egg, it’s easy to understand why this concoction has their name in it.
They also serve the Tongara Tantanramen (P560) which is perfect for all the spicy ramen lovers out there. Cited as the most complex dish on the menu, the first spoonful of the broth is best described as a spicy burst of flavor with a hint of sourness on the side because of the mix of Tongara and Seafood broth.
A ramen bowl without a hint of meat in its broth, the Shoyu Ramen (p490), is considered to be the ramen with the lightest soup. Vinch says that since it has no hint of meat in its broth, it is highly recommended for pescetarians. The ebi that comes with it can be exchanged for chashu, too.
As for the sides, Tongara offers a wonderful selection and we were able to try their Gyoza (P200) and Chicken Karaage (P200). Their chicken karaage has a wonderful lemon taste to it in order to balance out its Japanese mayo. As for the gyoza, it does wonders in complementing the ramen bowls with its flavorful mix.
Make sure to get a taste of their ramen soon!
Unit 7 G/F Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Sto. Niño, Marikina
0917 179 4718