Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen: Authentic Ramen Experience at Shangrila and Rockwell

My first encounter with Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen was a few months ago when my friend Sumi and her boyfriend J treated me there for late second lunch or perhaps heavy afternoon snack after touring me at the new Shangri-la Plaza Mall East Wing.

ikkoryu fukuoka ramen shangrila
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Shangri-La East Wing
ikkoryu fukuoka ramen shangrila
It had bamboo wood panels that functions as dividers. Each and every piece had Japanese characters sophisticated and carefully inscribed using brush and black ink.  Aside from the typical dining tables with matching red plastic chairs, it also had a ramen bar by the side with a glass that partially reveals the kitchen. 

ikkoryu fukuoka ramen shangrila
ikkoryu fukuoka ramen rockwell
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Rockwell Powerplant Mall
A few weeks ago, I received an invite by Riza Meriado, Ikkoryu Fukuoka's Marketing Assistant,  for a tasting session with the Kenji Komuro, the PR Director of Ikkoryu Fukuoka.  Being acquainted with a number of ramen shops here in the Philippines,  I have yearned to learn more about authentic Japanese ramen.   Thus, it was an honor for me to accept his invite.  On the scheduled date, I brought my closest guy friend (who believe it or not has never tried ramen before!) to meet Mr. Komura.

We were glancing at the menu when Mr. Komuro and Mr. Masanori Ogata, the CEO himself as indicated the first page of the menu, shook our hands and sat with us.  I was starstruck.  This was the first time, I've ever been on a face-to-face session with a restaurant owner before.  But, I did not let my shyness hinder my chance to broaden my perspective about the ramen culture and began asking questions to Mr. Komuro who acted as the interpreter for Mr. Ogata.

Currently, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen as over 40 branches in Japan and more than 150 branches internationally.  Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen was established by Mr. Ogata's father 43 years ago.  And, only Mr. Ogata and his brother knows the secret recipe.  The Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen restaurant concept in the Philippines is unlike those in Japan and its international counterparts.  Although it carries the same brand name, the concept here is more modern, cozy and artistic.  They even had to make a logo of a Japanese god which Mr. Komuro jokes looks like Mr. Ogata. The stores are all strategically located in malls too.  They intend to open 3 more within this year.  According to Mr. Komuro, the market here is very good because Filipinos love pork and its strong flavor.  In Japan, their stores vary from stalls to big restaurants.  Food items in Japan focus more on ramen and offer less appetizers.

Mr. Komuro explained to us that they highlight food quality above all.  Mr. Ogata visits the Philippines on a monthly basis to personally inspect their ramen broth.  The broth also has to pass the approval of their local Japanese chef and Mr. Komuro before they can be served.   This procedure will go on until Mr. Ogata is confident that local chefs can sustain their standard of quality.  It doesn't matter if it takes years or even 10 years.   Their sauces are all imported from Japan.  But, they use local fresh ingredients.  Mr. Komuro shares that when they first arrived in the Philippines, Mr. Ogata was pleased to find out that our pork quality even exceeds that of Japan's. 

Hope that little history didn't bore you, let us now proceed with the food. 
ikkoryu fukuoka ramen condiments
Each tables has a set of condiments: Soy Sauce, White Vinegar, Chili Oil and Roasted Sesame.  It's the same set in all branches even abroad.

Kobachi (Appetizer)
Gyoza (150 php)
I had this Gyoza during my first visit.  I was hesistant to order because I just had lunch so my friend Sumi, ordered the Gyoza for me.  I'd give this Gyoza an A+!  It had a slightly crisp and soft dumpling skin.   The pork meat was chunky and juicy too.

ikkoryu teriyaki chicken wngs
Ikkoryu Teriyaki Chicken Wings (180 php)
Mr. Komuro suggested that we try the Ikkoryu Teriyaki Chicken Wings.  It was deep fried and crunchy chicken wings glazed with sweet and salty teriyaki sauce.  If you love strong flavors of both sweet and salty, you'll probably appreciate this more than we did.

ajitama tonkotsu
Ajitama Tonkotsu (380 php)
During my first visit, there server suggested the Ajitama Tonkotsu as their best-seller so my friend Sumi ordered this and shared me a small bowlful.  Mr. Ogata also told as that this is his personal favorite.  They have three levels of doneness for their noodles: normal, hard and very hard.  I'd say we had it at normal.  The ajitama or egg was a bit overcooked for me.  I'd prefer it more runny.  The broth is lighter than the other variants but just as oily.

black garlic tonkotsu
Black Garlic Tonkotsu (380 php)
I was already allured by the aromatic black roasted garlic fragrant coming from my Black Garlic Tonkotsu as soon it was served.  My bowl had a big chunk of charsiu (pork meat) swimming in a mixture of rich and creamy pork tonkatsu broth with dark black roasted garlic oil.  Like many Hakata ramen shops in Japan, you can choose the the level of hardness of your noodles: Yawa (soft), Kata (hard) and Bari Kata (very hard).  As advised by Mr. Komuro, we had our noodles at Bari Kata (very hard) just the way people prefer it in Japan.  He was right, it was deliciously chewy!  He says that they are very specific even in terms of their noodle texture.  There are so many factors to consider such as the type of flour, thickness and cooking time measures in seconds.  He also insisted that I try it with roasted sesame to tame the strong flavor a bit.  With or without the roasted sesame, I loved this!  But, this got me thirsty the whole day.  No kidding!

special vegetable paste tonkotsu
Special Vegetable Paste Tonkotsu (380 php)
My dear friend is always quite the gentleman.  Intending to let me try, he insisted that I do the selection for him.  We've done this set up several times and let's say I've had as many errors as much as my tries so I really thought about this more carefully otherwise, he'll probably ditch me as a friend. =p  Since he is health conscious and appreciates spices like I do, I decided to place my bet on the Special Vegetable Paste Tonkotsu.  It's a rich tonkatsu soup with a bold spiced flavor from their special vegetable paste.  According to Mr. Komuro, they make the fresh vegetables into paste in Japan and import it here to make this. 

I had my fingers crossed the entire time, awaiting for my trusted friend's no fuzz and totally honest remarks.  Imagine my glee when he stated that he was pleased with the tender and large chunk of charsiu with fats that melts on your mouth.  More importantly, he loved the broth and the very hard noodles too.  

We're very grateful for such a memorable experience.  I got to learn and appreciate ramen more and my friend had a successful first ramen experience.  Yey! =)

Tsinoy Foodies Other Ramen House/Shop Reviews
Akira Restaurant 
Curry Bee Japanese Curry Shop
Hanamaruken Ramen 花丸轩  
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Kitchitora 1 | Kitchitora 2
Kokoro Ramenya
Menya Genki Tonkotsu Ramen
Mitsuyado Sei-Men
Moshi Koshi 1 | Moshi Koshi 2
Rai-Rai Ken Ramen House
Ramen Bar
Ramen Cool
Ramen Ichiban-Kan
Ramen Nagi
Ramen Sora
Ramen X (Closed)
Ramen Yushoken
Ukkokei Ramen Ron
Wrong Ramen

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has certainly lived up to its name whether in Japan or in the Philippines.  When dining at Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, you can expect your ramen served piping hot and bursting with strong and savory flavors just as how it is enjoyed in the Fukuoka prefecture.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Menu
Ambiance Kobachi (Appetizer) | Itamemono (Stir Fried)
 Ramen 1 | Ramen 2
 Ramen 3 | Ramen 4 and Toppings
 Agemono (Deep Fried) | Rice Menu |
 Salad | Dessert |
=Favorites or Recommended 
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
Branches Shangri-la Plaza Mall
5/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, East Wing, 

Shaw Blvd cor EDSA Wack Wack, 
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila

Rockwell Powerplant Mall
G/F Rockwell Powerplant Mall,  Lopez Drive, Rockwell Center
Makati, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am - 9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 300-600
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 477-8333
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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