What Makes A Good Ramen? Butamaru in Westgate Alabang Shows Us How

What makes a really good ramen? Is it that rich, hot broth that is perfected through long hours of simmer? The noodles that we love slurping regardless of the texture? Os is it that array of only the best toppings and combination of veggies? From that time when Filipinos were all just used to that cup of noodles that we liked eating in the comforts of our home, ramen has made its way into our local tastebuds faster than we expected.

By this time, a lot of us would already know that in Japan ramen has evolved into many ways according to which region you belong to. But thanks to Brent Co and Chef Jerome Lim's passion for this iconic comfort food, Butamaru was born. After a month-long mission searching for inspiration various areas in Japan (Kyushu Island, Fukuoka, Hakata and Oita), they have been established as the go-to place for one of the best Chashu in Manila.

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Butamaru has a second floor, and downstairs the seating arrangement was like of how a ramen bar should look like. It's location at the Commerce Center is a refreshing sight for me, having to spend most of my time in Makati and Quezon City and it's been a while for me to come and visit Alabang.

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The Chashu Pork, marinated and roasted until it creates that melt-in-your-mouth texture, is Butamaru's bestseller. Just looking at this plate below is definitely making my mouth water. If there is anything else I wanted, maybe some rice please? But more on that later.

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Chashu Pork
Even Butamaru's Gyoza (which comes in pork, curry and cheese) are delicious. Everything is good in this joint including the sides!

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Pork and Curry Gyoza
This Cheese Gyoza is the bomb! See this interesting layer of cheese as it is grilled and topped with gyoza pieces. The result looks amazing. You can see the shapes of the gyoza seeping through the toasty grilled cheese. Yum.

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Cheese Gyoza
Both the gyoza and chashu goes well with their Takana Chahan, which is Japanese fried rice. It's meaty and filling, and the rice is perfectly cooked but not too sticky. It looks pretty, but it tastes even better.

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Takana Chahan
Moving on to the ramen, Butamaru's broth is made with a 16-hour tonkotsu broth, and this process is very important to create a rich soup base for their ramen. Butamaru's Ramen is as simple as it gets, but as filling as it should be.

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What I've tried, however, is their signature Tantanmen Ramen, which is their same tonkotsu broth mixed with spicy peanut and sesame paste. This ramen is a spicy lover's dream, with everything including their bestseller chashu pieces. You can have it either mild or spicy (if you happen to be more adventurous) just like what my boyfriend ordered. Both of us actually like spicy food but I thought the spicy was too hot for me. And after a few minutes, I was laughing at him because he was perspiring and putting his face in front of the air conditioner that's close to our table (which means he liked it so much hahaha).

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Tantanmen Ramen
Butamaru also offers this lusciously colorful Ramen Salad topped with veggies, nori and black sesame dressing. Spritz some lemon juice, toss and serve this refreshing dish anytime of the day.

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Ramen Salad
And for more Chashu goodness, Butamaru has its own Chashu Don that's made with 4 thick slices of their signature roast pork beneath a bed of japanese rice and soft boiled egg. The sweet and savory pork slices is amazing and you are sure to enjoy this meal especially if you are a fan of don buri.

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Chashu Don
The verdict is that the guys at Butamaru knows what makes a good ramen: carefully made, using only the finest and freshest ingredients, and giving homage to authenticity is key. The Alabang branch may be too far from us who are "from the north", but watch out because word came out that they are looking at another branch soon apart from their Alabang branch, and I am hoping to share these details soon on the blog!

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Saturday lunch with blogger friends at Butamaru
For more information and updates on Butamaru, check out
Butamaru Official Facebook Page
Butamaru Official Website
Follow them on Instagram: @butamaruph

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*This post was written by the writer's own thoughts about Butamaru. Special thanks to Brent and Richard Co.

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