Ramen Bar | Improved Broth in the Greenfield District Revival

We were having a bipolar weather that day. Occasional sun then a splash of rain as we walk towards the Greenfield District at crossing Mandaluyong from Shangri-la Mall. Gone are the market-place vibe and busy transport terminals replaced with a newly revived atmosphere and look with chic and hip restaurants along its spacious manicured lawns. Among the interesting restaurants there is Ramen Bar with it’s steam-bath like theme interiors but serving instead hot steamy ramen that passers by would think twice walking past the restaurant. Happyfoodies with guest foodie Jen have a taste of the new and improved broth from Ramen Bar and other its other tasty offerings.

Hanamaruken Ramen | A Bowlful of Happiness

With the ramen craze phenomenally sweeping across the metro, it wouldn’t be far for popular Japanese brands would come in like the recent opening (November 2013) of Hanamaruken Ramen at the Trinoma’s Garden Restaurant. Originally established in 1982 in Osaka Japan, Hanamaruken Ramen has about 40 branches in Japan and is highly popular for its slow-braised pork rib topped Signature Happiness Ramen that takes about 20 hours to prepare. Happyfoodies was invited to dine in the first Philippine branch so I along with guest foodie, Jen, happily tried out some of their offerings.

Nomama: Of Miso Butter Dreams and Hearty Ramen

Much has been written about Nomama‘s artisanal ramen that I’ve expected little else probably worth sampling on a visit to shoot for a magazine.  So the Kitayama Flank Steak came as a very pleasant surprise.  It took me over an hour to finish my to-shoot-list and I expected the steak to be a bit tough after an hour of sitting on its dish but no, it was very, very tender (made me wonder how much more tender it was hot off the grill).  The liberal use of Miso butter lent an irresistible, exquisite taste so much so that even if I just had a bowl of ramen, I managed to finish the steak by myself.  The crispy tofu slices are a nice foil to the meat, not that my taste buds quickly grew satiated to the flavor.

Angeles Foodtripping: Finding Kimchi and Sashimi at Yu Fu In

Angeles City - Yu Fu In Kimchi A Koreantown in Angeles City? We’re probably too used to the concept of Chinatown that this idea seemed like a novel concept. Driving along the stretch of Friendship Highway, we passed a strip of establishments sporting signages in Korean with no English translations. Which ones are restaurants, it’s hard to tell. But for a taste of kimchi (the best one here for miles, so says our guide-friend, Tin, from the Angeles City tourism office), we bypassed Koreantown and headed to Balibago for Yu Fu In.

Casual Japanese Dining at Pasta de Waraku

Pasta de Waraku Smoked Roast Duck I have little expectations when it comes to airport food but lately some good restaurants have founded their branches in terminals making us people in transit getting better choices when it comes to food. When we arrived in Changi Airport in Singapore, the group ate at Pasta de Waraku, a Casual Japanese Pasta and Cafe Restaurant. Waraku in Japanese means “Peace and Harmony” and seeing the warm interiors, nicely decorated walls filled up with patterns of their plate dishes and welcoming staff, I was already looking forward to have their meals.

Nama Sakana spells Japanese fusion

Nama Sakana Tobanyaki

Truth is, there is no shortage of Japanese-themed restaurants here. Some are more authentic than the others, some far removed from their Japanese roots. Which begs the question: is there really space for a new one? The people behind Nama Sakana believe that with their fusion cuisine, there is always room.

But first things first – what’s in a name? Nama Sakana is Nihongo for “raw fish”, an apt name for the restaurant has an extensive sushi bar. But as happyfoodies found out, this upscale Japanese restaurant has more than sushi to offer. Talk about Nobu-style Japanese fushion cuisine where traditional Japanese fare is tweaked to offer the diner a tasty twist on their favorites. Chef Rolly, who has worked for Nobu London for more than a decade, does a fine balancing act in coming up with Japanese food that tastes familiar and yet offers something new for the taste buds.

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