March 07, 2018

Hakata Ikkousha: A Happy Place for Ramen Lovers

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  • With the plentitude of ramen shops sprouting like mushrooms around Metro Manila, it gets more and more challenging for each business to stand out and much tougher for each hungry person to choose the most worthwhile place to satisfy their hunger. We were attracted to Hakata Ikkousha by its dedication to making people happy through their ramen, which also carries the heritage of Hakata in each bowl. This restaurant wants to make us full and happy—where else would we want to be?

    Also read: Ramen Jiro in Mandaluyong City: Serving Japanese ‘Home-Style’ Ramen

    Hakata Ikkousha was first opened in Japan in 2004 by a ramen fanatic and Hakata native, Kousuke Yoshimura, with one aim: to make everyone happy one bowl of Hakata ramen at a time. It is reflected in the restaurant’s name which literally translates to “one happy place.”

    Hakata Ikkousha founder Kousuke Yoshimura came to the Philippines for the opening of the newest branch in Alabang.

    Not only will you be uplifted but will you also get a taste of an award-winning ramen that won as the Ultimate Ramen Champion in Singapore for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). The quality of their ramen has been recognized and well-received all over the world; to date, Hakata Ikkousha has 16 branches in Japan, and more in different parts of Asia, Australia, USA, and Brazil. Its first branch in the Philippines was opened in Cebu City in 2016, while the second branch at Festival Mall Alabang was opened on March 3, 2018.

    Hakata Ikkousha is known for its Hakata ramen, which is made with 100% tonkotsu soup, made using the yobimodoshi method wherein the stockpot is never left empty, always simmering, and is filled with layers of new stock every day. The resulting soup is rich, thick, and creamy, with a strong aroma that would instantly make you drool. Getting a sip of it once it finally arrives on your table is indeed very fulfilling.

    For first-timers, a highly recommended dish to try is the Tonkotsu ramen (Php 320), which is the original Hakata style, full-bodied and collagen-rich. If you want to enjoy more ingredients in your bowl, you may opt for the Special Tonkotsu ramen (Php 450), which has four pieces of char siu and two pieces of ajitama (Japanese-style flavored egg).

    Ajitama Tonkotsu (Php 360)

    Another kind of ramen that’s famous in Hakata is the Black Tonkotsu ramen, also known as kogashi. It is made black by homemade burnt garlic oil and burnt miso flavor, which contribute to the strong, rich taste of the soup.

    Black Tonkotsu (Php 340)

    If you’re still hooked on the fire noodle challenge, Hakata Ikkousha offers a Japanese version with their God Fire ramen (Php 340), which has four levels of spiciness.

    God Fire (Php 340)

    For sides to go with your ramen,  you can choose from the Hakata Specialty One-Bite Gyoza (Php 120/5pcs; Php 200/10pcs) or Special Fried Chicken Karaage (Php 150/3pcs).

    Gyoza (Php 120/5pcs; Php 200/10pcs)

    When ordering your ramen at Hakata Ikkousha, you need to fill out a form for each order of ramen, so that you can conveniently specify the kind of ramen that you want—the noodle texture, the saltiness, the toppings, and more.

    Also read: Oden House in Pasay: A Tale of Good, Authentic Japanese Food

    While there are plenty of ramen restaurants, remember that there is one place that exists for your happiness. We recommend that you visit Hakata Ikkousha in Alabang and have a taste of passionately made ramen that embodies the heart of Hakata culture.

    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño

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