You can say that I can be a “food snob” at times. I’m definitely into trying new dishes, but there are some things that I refuse to dabble on because I don’t like to spend money on something that I’m not even sure if I’d like. Experimentation isn’t an option especially if the dish is something that’s out of my budget. However, earlier this year, I have decided to change this view on food and open myself in trying things even if they are not my cup of tea.
A couple of days ago, I was invited by the good people of Butamaru Ramen & Izakaya to visit their newest branch in Julia Vargas, inside the Wilcon Depot complex in Ortigas. Serving Hakata-style ramen and other gastropub favorites, Butamaru has invaded the south with its palatable dishes, and now, they are ready to bring their good food in Pasig.
We were able to try a variety of food offerings from Butamaru, and while I’m not a fan of ramen, I could definitely say that what they have is something that I enjoyed (and, as a matter of fact, something that I went back to try).
Curry Gyoza (PHP 150.00)
For our starters, we were served with their Gyozas, both the original (PHP 140.00) and the curry (PHP 150.00) versions. Both are tasty and are filled generously, although I personally prefer the curry version because of its interesting flavors. I also have an undeniable love for curry, no matter how it was incorporated into a dish, so this bias is quite obvious.
Katsu Gyozayaki (PHP 160.00)
They also served us with their Katsu Gyozayaki (PHP 160.00), which is basically a fusion of Gyoza and Takoyaki, with a touch of Katsu (the balls are breaded and deep fried). The taste goes well together although it comes across as something confusing, especially for people who love authentic Japanese dishes.
The star of the night was, of course, the ramen. The restaurant’s pride and glory, their ramen are served with a 16-hour tonkatsu broth and comes with slices of melt-in-your-mouth chashu. Unlike other ramens, Butamaru’s is served with a light broth that’s perfect for the humid weather in the Philippines. It’s not as thick, but it’s still decadent and oozing with umami.
Tantanmen (PHP 360.00)
I decided to get a Tantanmen (PHP 360.00), pretty much because it ticked the things that I wanted: peanut flavors and a spicy kick. You can choose the spiciness level of your order, but I would suggest that you don’t jump into the spicier category unless you really love heat.
Other options for ramen are the classic Shoyu (soy-based) and Shio (salt-based). Seafood lovers would definitely love their newest Kaisen Ramen, which is served with huge shrimps on top of your noodles.
As I’ve mentioned, aside from being a Ramen place, they also serve Izakaya dishes that goes well with a bottle of beer. Their executive chef, Jerome Lim, created their Kushiyaki (skewers) menu, where they serve skewers such as Yakitori (chicken), Buta Bara (pork belly), Tori Kawa (chicken skin) and Shiitake mushrooms.
I haven’t tried their desserts, but they also serve green tea and black sesame ice creams to cap off your meal. 🙂
Food: A (delicious ramen and interesting izakaya menu)
Price: B (reasonably priced considering the quality of food that they are offering)
Ambiance: B (industrial feel, cozy space, but would appreciate if the couch has cushions; more than the ramen, I imagine the ambiance as a place to drink and have fun)
Location: B (can be a little hard to find because it’s a bit hidden in the corner)
Verdict: If you want to try a new ramen place, then this is something that you can consider. Also, it’s a great place to eat after a night of drinking from the nearby bar.
As I’ve mentioned, the restaurant’s ambiance is leaning more on its gastropub side, which also makes it ideal for drinking. If you want a quieter space to hang out with friends and if you’re craving for some tasty Japanese skewers, then this is the place to go.
G/F, Ortigas Technopoint One (Upper Deck), Ortigas Home Depot, Doña Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig (inside the Wilcon Depot complex, beside City Golf Plaza)
(02) 635 92 46
Operating Hours: 11 AM – 12 MN (Sunday-Thursday) | 11 AM – 1 AM (Friday – Saturday)
Estimated budget per pax: PHP 400 – PHP 600