Japanese cuisine is a juxtaposition. Preparations are intricate, yet it leaves a modest and clean palate. However, its simplicity does not equate to mediocrity. Instead, in the most complete and elaborate way, you are given exactly what the dish promises. Though many find comfort in Japanese food, its role surpasses a temporary fix.
On opening a franchise in the Philippines, owner Bernadine Go shares that while ramen restaurants have become saturated in the country, Uma Uma has something only they have (or rather, does not have something everyone has). Contrary to common practice, Uma Uma boasts of 100% MSG free ramen. This means that enjoying your favorite Japanese food won’t leave you feeling sleepy or craving for soda afterwards.
In Japan, Uma Uma has been in existence for 60 years. Before the Philippines, Singapore was Uma Uma’s first expansion outside Japan. Here, it is relatively young: the SM Mall of Asia branch opened in June 2016 and the Uptown Parade branch just six months after. Aside from carrying the same menu that originated in Japan, Uma Uma’s head chef is Japanese to maintain the authenticity of the longstanding restaurant.
The simple taste of Japanese cuisine exudes in Uma Uma’s ramen menu. We receive bowls that are filled with several ingredients arranged in the most appetizing way. We’d initially think: if a bowl holds this much, surely its flavor holds promise, as well. Hence, how can we say this dish tastes simple? The reason for this is how each ingredient harmoniously blends with the others allowing you to identify exactly what you put in your mouth.
To reiterate, Uma Uma’s Ramen is 100% MSG free and it’s one of the things we aimed to prove. True enough, eating has never been a breeze. We were left with no feelings of bloat nor any unnecessary cravings. Anyway, with ramen like Uma Uma’s, there’s no need for flavor enhancers like MSG.
Uma Uma Ramen, Php360 | One-bite Gyoza, Php140
Spicy Chasiu Ramen, Php390 | Yakitori
Garlic Ramen, Php360
There have been additions to the ramen menu that are curated for the local taste. Aligue is a Filipino term for crab fat. Without a doubt, the Aligue Ramen tastes like the rich local seafood flavor we are all familiar with.
Aligue Ramen, Php490
The Cold Ramen is unfortunately only available on Fridays.
Uma Uma’s side dishes are also worth ordering. Their selection ranges from your go-to gyoza and karaage to takoyaki and yakitori.
Yakitori (beef Php150, chicken thigh Php75, pork belly (Butabara) Php75, Shiitake mushroom Php75, Tsukune Php75, cherry tomato Php50)
Chicken Karaage Php160
Uma Uma also houses an expansive cocktail menu, which was developed in their Singapore branch. Bernadine shares that this is because Japanese people tend to drink when they eat ramen.
Needless to say, several ramen bars (both local and international) have opened in the metro in the past few years. End your search for the best ramen now and visit Uma Uma.
2/F Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
S Maison, Level 2 Marina Way Mall of Asia
Article by Jayrene Cruz / Photos by Janella Narvadez / Special thanks to Lance Cortez