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Monday, December 19, 2016

Ikkousha Ramen Cebu is Now Open

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Ikkousha means "one happy place".  This new ramen shop is positioning itself to be the happy place for Cebuano Ramen lovers.  Ikkousha Ramen comes from Hakata, Japan. Hakata is the home of Tonkotsu, the legendary broth that made ramen a worldwide phenomenon.  At Ikkousha Ramen Cebu, you can expect the best and most authentic Tonkotsu Ramen in town.  




Ramen Places in Cebu


In past couple of months, there have been several Ramen places that sprouted in the city.  This year alone we saw the opening of Tongara, Barikata, Yoshuken, Hamakaze, and Nobushi.  There were even stalls offering Ramen in the popular Sugbo Mercado.  While there may be cheap versions of Ramen, the best Ramen restaurants offer this Japanese specialty at premium prices.  Ramen is expensive but very delicious even bordering to addictive. 


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I guess the owners of Ikkousha Ramen Cebu believe that there is still room for one more in the highly competitive Ramen scene in Cebu.   Ikkousha Ramen knows how to differentiate themselves. Ikkousha Ramen is known for their Tonkotsu and they have over 50 branches worldwide.  They are a proud ramen franchise from the town of Hakata in Fukuoka, Japan. 


First Impression of Ikkousha Ramen Cebu


When I got an invite from Japanese blogger Jun Saito to check out this new Ramen place, I immediately said yes.  I have been a big fan of ramen or in general, noodles and I did not want to miss the opportunity to be one of the first Cebuanos to taste the ramen of Ikkousha Ramen. 

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At first, I was a bit surprised that they picked JY Square in Lahug because there are a lot of prime spots for restaurants in Cebu and JY Square will not probably rank in the top 10. Well, I realized the place is just perfect if you are confident with your product and I think they should be. This place gives Cebuanos one excellent reason to visit JY Square.

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Ordering your Ramen is pretty straightforward because all you have to do is check what you want to eat.  You basically pick your preferred Ramen base then pick your noodles then the saltiness of your broth then the option of onions then extra toppings then side dishes and cap it with your choice of drinks. After filling out the form, you just hand it over to their friendly staff.  After a few minutes, your order will be right in front of you and ready to be enjoyed.

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On that special night, I was able to taste the Special Tonkotsu Ramen, Karaage, Chasu-Mayo Don, and the God Fire Ramen Level 2. Aside from Jun, I was with one of Cebu's top bloggers Sinjin Pineda of http://www.libotero.com/ and a friend.  That is why we were able to order a lot. If I were alone, one Special Tonkotsu would have been enough since the order is really humongous. 


Kalami Cebu Food Review: Ikkousha Ramen Cebu

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Tonkotsu Ramen - I ordered the Special Tonkotsu with Hard noodles, normal saltiness and with onions. The first thing that really noticed is that my order is pretty big and it has a generous amounts of toppings.  It has four slices of pork, some nori, flavored egg (Ajitsuke Tamago), menma (bamboo shoots), black fungus, and spring onions. I also saw a lot of bubble on the broth.  These bubbles are called "aburaawa" and these are considered signs of having a tasty soup.  


Indeed it was! 


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The first time I sipped the broth, I immediately know that they really took special care of making it.   Unlike other Ramen places which gently simmers the broth, Hakata Ramen makers are known to cook the Tonkotsu broth at a rolling boil.   The method gives Ikkousa Ramen Cebu's ramen broth its unique body, texture, and appearance. It was milky, flavorful (full of umami), rich and it had the right amount of saltiness.  I loved it. I was able to finish my bowl easily. I also enjoyed the meat and of course, the flavored egg.  The different toppings gave my palate different textures and flavors.  The experience was amazing. 

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Karaage - To be honest, I really enjoyed the ramen so much that the karaage was an afterthought.  Karaage is one of the best partners Ramen aside from Gyoza which was not available that night. The chicken was well seasoned and it was cooked perfectly. No complaints really.

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Chasu-Mayo Don - This dish is made of minced pork mixed with mayo then placed on top of yummy Japanese rice.   It was mild like Tuna spread and I would probably order this again.  I am of those people who can eat ramen and rice at the same time. 

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God Fire Ramen Level 2 - Among the four of us, nobody really dared to get the level 4.  Level 2 was a good start to measure my heat tolerance with their ramen.  It has a scary name. God Fire is like stuff for movies. Well, level 2 was EASY hahaha.  It has a good amount of zing but nothing overpowering. 


In the end, I had a great Ramen experience at Ikkousha Ramen Cebu.  I will definitely be back. I could probably try the God Fire Ramen Level 4 with some Gyoza the next time I will visit there. The Ramen place is going to be a major player in Cebu Ramen scene.  I am glad that the first Philippine branch of Ikkousha Ramen is in Cebu and I am honored to be one of the first to taste it. It is surely one happy place for a ramen lover like me.


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Ikkousa Ramen Cebu is located on the ground floor of JY Square, Lahug.  If you love to enjoy some of the finest ramen in town, you better early because they close once they run out of broth and there is a long line right now.  Estimated damage per person is 400-900 pesos.